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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jammed Gams vs Toast

Dear Gary - I have a circa '74 Tiltall. It has been my primary camera support as a professional studio/location photographer (when not using a monopod studio stand) for over 35 years. It has been all over the world. It recently developed a problem with one of it's legs; it is jammed and extremely difficult to adjust. Obviously I am a huge fan and would like to repair this one and buy another. I am concerned that the years may have taken their toll on the precision that I count on with this amazing machine. -Tony /

Tony- Let's try a repair/cleaning - first open up a working leg to get a "lay of the land" - with the original Marchioni and the Leitz, there will be coated brass fittings (ie bushings) - you may either have some grit in the jammed leg or your coating on the brass has worn off and starting to jam. 

The current solution is a nylon bushing which does not fit the earliest Tiltalls very well. You will probably find that if you reverse the brass bushing, add a little lube or exchange it with a different leg that you will get another 30 years out of the tripod.  Alternatively, watch for a good deal on EBay for a Tiltall of the same age and manufacturer and merge the two into one working tripod.  Now I do have a half dozen rebuilt KingHome Tiltalls available, but better to revive your classic.