Securing a Markins head on a Gitzo
My Markins head wants to come unscrewed from my Gitzo tripod, making it no more useful than a lever clamp setup because I have to loosen the ball to move the lens. If I have enough friction to keep the lens in place I have enough friction to remove the head by turning the lens. I've tried screwing it on tighter and that doesn't help in the long run.
I assume I've installed it wrong but I have no idea how. I have just removed the head. How do I put it back on properly?
There is a guide in the forum FAQ for putting a head on a different kind of tripod. It calls for using a tool I don't have, basically saying if you apply enough torque eventually it will get tight. I've applied a lot of torque by other means so I don't think that will work for me. Alternatively it suggests glue. I don't know what parts I want to glue together on my tripod.
My center column is still attached and I feel no urge to remove it. It ends in a threaded hole on top of which sits a disk with a hole. Attaching the head to these in the obvious way leaves the setup prone to come loose.
#1. "RE: Securing a Markins head on a Gitzo" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberSat 27-Oct-12 08:59 PM | edited Sat 27-Oct-12 09:03 PM by jrp
If you don't have a rubber strap wrench, you can use a leather boot string fixed to the panning base.
Do not over tighten the panning knob to screw in the ball head. That may ruin it.
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#2. "RE: Securing a Markins head on a Gitzo" | In response to Reply # 0ericbowles Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 29-Oct-12 08:48 AM
I've never has a problem with my tripod head coming loose, but I think you are describing a balance between the drag adjustment and the pressure applied to tighten the head.
Is the pan screw tight enough to keep the head from spinning when you tighten it? I've always been able to hand tighten the head, but if the pan screw is not tight, the head just spins. Tighten the pan screw enough to hold the head. You should be able to hand tighten the head onto the tripod.
If you need to use glue you could try a single drop of blue Loctite (not Red Loctite).
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#3. "RE: Securing a Markins head on a Gitzo" | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Mon 29-Oct-12 12:55 PM | edited Mon 29-Oct-12 12:59 PM by nrothschild
Having used the 3 different Markins heads as far back as 2004, my advice is to get the rubber strap wrench. Any auto parts store, Sears, etc., will have them, often sold as "rubber automotive oil filter wrenches". If you ask an auto parts store for a strap wrench they may not recognize it as such (from experience). They usually come in pairs, the thinner wrench band is the one you want to use for a Markins.
The Markins pan bases will likely NOT lock absolutely, such that they will get tight enough by hand turning them. And they may be damaged, as Jrp suggests. Use a strap wrench or something similar like some sort of heavy duty rubber band.
I would be very leery about using Loctite. Think about it- if it is difficult to hand tighten the head enough to keep it locked in place, how are you going to remove it with well cured Loctite? A strap wrench, used properly, will hopefully do that job (but never tried). But it is best to use the strap wrench to install it without Loctite.
Edit: I frequently swap heads. My experience is that a head, properly seated when installed, tends to tighten with time, not loosen. Sometimes severely. Even with a strap wrench, used properly, it can be a challenging operation to remove it. My sense is that Loctite can only make that more challenging, to say the least, which is why I strongly recommend avoiding any thread locker on the ball head stem bolt.
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