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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Side Arm - Easy

Click to enlarge.

A] Remember when we said "Buy our 'headless' monocolumn option to add a monoball, gimbal or fluid head to the classic Tiltall tripod. Especially, for those who did not want to destroy their Tiltall head and column assembly in the process." No?  Take a read here.

So, as photo above, to create an inexpensive "lateral side arm" for overhead images of books, flowers, eBay objects, etc - buy this altered SuperClamp, go find your un-destroyed Tiltall head and column assembly and, on top of that monocolumn you purchased earlier - dah, dah, an inexpensive side arm.  Read on, but price of altered SuperClamp with shipping is $27.50  Order/inquire here.

B] the Altered SuperClamp - for reasons known only to the designers of Manfrotto, Matthews and Kupo - their SuperClamp has a 1/4-20 or M6 hole in the center of its base - I have never learned why - and why M6, folks?  Either case, not so good for attaching to 3/8-16 threaded tripod columns.  Yes, you could buy the appropriate adapter insert to join a photo standard 3/8-16 thread - we have all tried this and learned that by the third photograph - mysteriously - the adapter insert has loosened, so as to be completely worthless.  Why not simply tap the center hole to 3/8-16 and be done with it? So, the idea is free - get a tap, grab one of your SuperClamps and cut to it.  But if you just want to buy one - price $27.50 with USPS priority post.    Order/inquire here.

C] Telescoping Side Arm - which brings us to either, "I cant find my original Tiltall head/column" or "I would need more reach than the original "head/column" provides."  Get a SuperClamp with a second telescoping monocolumn.  Priced separately, an altered SuperClamp is $27.50 as above and a telescoping monocolumn is $55 as here.  Purchased together with shipping - $72.    Order/inquire here.

Note- not so much with the short Tiltall head/column, but with the longer telescoping monocolumn, expect to need a counterweight for balance - a second SuperClamp and shotbag, nah, joking.  Strapping tape and a water bottle will do just fine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Cleaning the Four Handles' Hidden "Stems"

At right, my "bevy" of the original Machioni Tiltalls are, of course, the oldest in my collection of not more than forty Tiltalls [the limit made by my wiser better half].  Here are some thoughts on cleaning the 1/4-20 threaded bolts or "stems" hidden in the handle placements that control the rise/fall and pivots of the column as well as the handle placements of the namesake "Tiltall" camera head.

    How has all this grit and grime found its way into, around and onto the handle stems? These wonderful Tiltalls are 45 to 70-year-old artifacts - just happens! - look at their owners.  If you are reading this, you are no doubt planning to use your Marchioni for another 70 years and pass it onto your great grands.

     So cleaning. It is hard to get even a paper clip down and around in the space between the hole's wall and the threaded stem.  In fact, maybe impossible to get any of the gunk out in any way. Take a look at the suggested trio of lubes - Illustration A - the usual suspects - Three-in-One oil, white light grease and WD-40. Note the last two are in their aerosol iterations which I found a bit quicker and easier to work with.

   Illustration B - loosen the grit/grime with some "blasts" of WD40 into the hole with one of its "straws".  See that I am working out on the driveway to minimize clean-up.  But keep some paper towels at the ready.  Let WD-40 set for 40 seconds or so.  Maybe tilt the Tiltall on its side and back to stir things up. Then "pour" any excess into your paper towel.

    Illustration C - next, get some grease into the hole.  But don't try to fill the hole.  Then insert and screw your handle onto the stem.  The hope is that that handle is your "scrub brush", that the WD40 and now the grease has loosening the micro grits and is mixing with any older lubrication.  You probably should not wind the handle down into the hole more than halfway.

    Now, remove your "scrub brush" aka handle, and - Illustration D - twist a Q-Tip down into the hole in the handle which should be full of a fairly nasty brew of trouble. Repeat with the other end of the Q-Tip and probably a couple more until the handle seems empty of crud.

    Dive back into the hole with your handle and wind down a bit deeper on the stem and repeat the above.

    You should notice a marked improvement in turning smoothness that second dive - and then understand where we are going.  Once you are happy that your "scrub brush" aka handle and your Q-Tips have brought up the majority of the problem, I think all that is needed for the next, at least 40 years, is a pea-sized dollop of light grease into the hole of the handle.

    Notice in my "Bevy" photo above that the far left Marchioni's column is flipped upside down in its outer sleeve for photos made down between the three legs.  Why?  For all your close-up flower photos, of course.  Also to copy flat art on the floor that is too big to scan in an A4/legal scanner and such.  We are going to discuss that outer sleeve next.

    Last note:  Your column passes through a five-inch [13cm] outer sleeve below the two handle placements that we have been discussing.  On the bottom inside of that sleeve, there should be a two-inch-wide "bushing" from a circle of ancient adhesive material.  This bushing stabilizes the column.  If you have cleaned your handles and stems [as above] and tighten the handles down, the column may still move back and forth if this bushing has gone missing. [See exploded drawing - it is the unnumbered part between the "033" outer sleeve and "034" bottom rubber stop.] In four of my five Marchioni Tiltalls, that "bushing" has blown the coop and my columns rattle around even when I think I have tightened everything as tight as possible.  If this is true on your Tiltall [any iteration], remove the column and put your finger up into that 5-inch sleeve to "see" if something [you didnt even know about in the first place] is now missing.  If so, the solution is a length of "loop" Velcro at least one inch wide and four inches long - sewing shops, Home Depot and Lowes sell this loop and hook velcro in small packets.  Pull the backing off, wind it up as tightly as possible, carefully insert without touching the walls of the sleeve until you are in position.  It will make sense when you do it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Continued innovation - Stephen Haverl

Here’s my version of the Tiltall conversion mount. The 1.25 “ aluminum column is epoxied into a deep round mortise that also is where the 3/8 stud is mounted. The top plate is oak cross laminated to 1 1/2” thick and cut into an octagon. On top is a Manfrotto 3030 head that has a telescope clamp box with a 1/4-20 screw. WORKS LIKE A CHAMP !