Am I the only person who thinks the Bogen "Quick0action levers" are a design nightmare? I just bought this tripod and I caught my skin twice in the stupidly designed snap shut levers. Have they just redesigned these to ensure you bleed when you use this tripod or has anyone else seen these torture clips? Have they always been like this? Or is this design some type of "improvement?"
Exactly. I've never been pinched personally - I close the levers with the heel of my hand.
Perhaps the nuts for the clamps on this tripod need to be loosened a bit. A brand new one tends to have very "snappy" levers until they've been used a few times. You could back off the tension a bit until the levers wear in and then add tension as needed.
With levers, this is my speedy tripod setup and takedown:
To extend the legs hold the tripod horizontally and flip all three levers open for each of the legs. Hold the tripod vertically - if it's aluminum, the legs will slide into extension via gravity, if carbon fiber, you might need to coax them a little. Squeeze the levers shut with the heel of your hand, spread the legs and you're ready.
Takedown: flip open all the levers - tripod held off the ground. Invert the tripod and let gravity do the work. You can close all three levers on a leg at once with one squeeze using the heel of your hand. Snap, snap, snap...the tripod is folded.
Contrast with my Gitzo carbon fiber where I have to loosen and extend each barrel and leg section individually. Half the time I grab and twist one barrel another one turns and loosens. Barrels are slim and can be quite solid, but they're slow.
I get my fingers pinched at least once per session with this tripod. I think if you always have to remind yourself "dont pinch yourself " then it is definatly a design flaw. There are other quick release lever designs that dont "bite" you like a snapping turtle that could have been utilized. So I have a label that I put on the tripod that says " BE CAREFULL, TRIPOD BITES!"
PAUL K.(The Connecticut Nikonian) Through Perseverance Comes Perfection.
I have gotten more than enough pinch marks to know that this is certainly a poor design. The old style seems to have been better for a number of reasons, such as being able to open them slowly (and thus quietly) when need be, along with the obvious lack of ways to pinch yourself while doing so.
I have since gotten used to opening the clamps with a careful style, but it is much more of a hassle than it seems like it should be.
> Have they always been like this? Or is this design some type > of "improvement?"
It's been changed. My Bogen aluminum 3021 is 15 years old and it has the old flip locks that "squeeze in", not snap shut like the new design do (I may be wrong about that, I've never seen the new ones in action).
All I know is that the old type of lock like mine, has drawn its share of complaints too. It's been said to have loosened up from time to time so that its squeezing power has deteriorated to the point it can't lock properly anymore, making it useless. You would then need the special wrench that came with the tripod to reset it. (I've lost mine a long time ago.) That said, I only had to it once on my own tripod.
You can use a thin-walled socket wrench to tighten the lever assembly nuts.
I realized that I learned how to avoid pinching levers a long time ago with early buckle ski boots. I had my share of pinches (including blood blisters) so I developed a survival instinct early on. I don't know if the bigger new tripods have a similar lever but I can't figure out how to pinch myself with the levers on the 3001BPro I have. Perhaps the larger diameter tubing has more aggressive levers.
Ed, I have a new 444 (3444d) with the levers and they work smoothly as you describe. I looked at the clamp and it is constructed with a small silver colored cam, and the tension is adjustable. Some are a little tighter than others but all are smooth. This may not help but is to say that all Manfrotto levers shouldn't be condemned.