I just purchased a used Markins M20 Ballhead that looks like it is just about new condition. The ball seems to work fine and I can set the sweet spot with both light and heavy lenses. The problem is that even with the panning knob completely loosened, there seems to be some drag as I try to pan the head around. The pan seems to lock down completely okay, but I don't think the panning is near as smooth as it is supposed to be.
Anyway I was wondering if anyone has encountered this before and found a remedy? I have looked through the Markins' maintenance information and it all seems to relate to cleaning the ball itself. Should I try WD-40 on the panning bearings? What would be the best way to apply it? I really don't want to dissemble the head or anything.
I have it on a Gitzo leveling baseplate. I have been testing it out some and compared it to a couple other heads at the shop (no Markins there though) and I think perhaps it is performing as designed. I thought it should pan a little more freely, but it seems that most similar size heads are equally resistant in terms of panning other than the Acratech heads - those seems to spin really fast.
I'll have to poke around to see if I can find a Markins somewhere else to compare it to though.
The panning base on my M20 is very smooth but well dampened. In other words, it rotates smoothly but there is some resistance. This is normal. If the resistance on your head is not consistant for all 360 degrees, you should take the head off of the tripod and check the bottom of the base for dents or bending from an over tightened set screw.
>Hi John, > >The panning base on my M20 is very smooth but well dampened. >In other words, it rotates smoothly but there is some >resistance. >This is normal. >If the resistance on your head is not consistant for all 360 >degrees, you should take the head off of the tripod and check >the bottom of the base for dents or bending from an over >tightened set screw.
Thanks so much - that is precisely what my seems like as well so I think it is fine - I was just concerned about how dampened it seemed since this is much different from my cheaper Vanguard heads. I did check the bottom and it looks good.
As an aside I contacted Markins with this same question and they said not to try to lubricate it on my own. Instead for $30 plus shipping they will clean and lubricate it - which seems like a good deal.
If you have any concerns at all I would send it in for a checkup. My Markins heads (including an older M20) have little or no damping. The M20 has a slight damping but nothing I would ask questions about. That is the best I can put it .
If the damping is uneven then it should definitely be sent in because the base (or an internal component) may be warped. And as already said a couple times, do NOT use any additional base plate screws, just tighten it down on the 3/8" stud. Using the additional base plate screws is how these things get warped!