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12-25-2015, 04:15 PM   #1
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Adjusting friction lock on Sirui ballheads?

I can't seem to adjust the friction lock on my new Sirui K-20X ballhead. Do I loosen the silver circle with a screwdriver to move it, or what? Instructions don't say anything about it, except describing what it does.

12-25-2015, 04:57 PM   #2
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The little inset silver circle should move with your thumb or fingertip. The idea is that when you have the knob that it sits in set to the right amount of friction, you turn the silver screw head clockwise until it stops... and voila, you cannot accidentally make the friction go any lower. (IOW, use this to set the minimum you want available, with going all the way to "locked" still a turn away, etc.)
12-25-2015, 06:15 PM   #3
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That's the problem, the silver circle does not move! That's why I asked about using a screwdriver, wondering if it was set tight at factory. But I don't want to do anything that might hurt the ballhead.
12-25-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
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Try turning the min locking knob to as loose as possible, then use a screwdriver CAREFULLY = pressed in tight as you can and turn slowly each direction to see if it will turn either way, try to avoid letting the screwdriver slip and scratch the set knob. Really sorry you're having trouble with that set screw. Following the instructions that came with the head, mine set easily just as it's supposed to. If the head cannot be set, exchange it for another. I can vouch for B&H and Adorama being good about returns/exchanges.

12-25-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I can vouch for B&H and Adorama being good about returns/exchanges.
I'm not concerned about either's returns/exchanges, as I've dealt with both; but if I have to return it, then I wait weeks for another one.
12-25-2015, 07:15 PM   #6
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Well, I finally got it loose; it was turned extremely tight; all I could do with the screwdriver was to get it loose. Now I'll go ahead & set it up.
12-26-2015, 05:41 AM   #7
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Keep us posted.

12-26-2015, 09:07 AM   #8
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Thanks Walter! Per instructions, it says after turning the main locking knob clockwise until you feel the resistance you want, then turn the friction adj. dial clockwise until it stops. Then it says "Turn the blue Calibration Ring to the 0 position". The blue ring does not appear to turn independently of the locking knob; right now it's at 2. So how do I set it to 0, without undoing my setting of the locking knob?

Last edited by csa; 12-26-2015 at 10:19 AM.
12-26-2015, 12:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Thanks Walter! Per instructions, it says after turning the main locking knob clockwise until you feel the resistance you want, then turn the friction adj. dial clockwise until it stops. Then it says "Turn the blue Calibration Ring to the 0 position". The blue ring does not appear to turn independently of the locking knob; right now it's at 2. So how do I set it to 0, without undoing my setting of the locking knob?
I'll have to look at my head (without a mirror). Will get back a bit later.
12-26-2015, 01:26 PM   #10
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Thanks again!
12-26-2015, 01:35 PM   #11
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OK. i Have my Sirui head on my lap. I adjusted the little silver friction control knob when I first got the head and have not touched it since. As now adjusted, when I turn the large locking knob counter-clockwise as far as possible. it stops very close to the zero mark on the blue numbered collar and the head is essentially free to move every which way with essentially no resistance. When I turn the locking knob clockwise, frictional resistance starts to develop quickly, the head is pretty much immovable after one full turn (back to zero) but the locking knob can be turned a bit more to a little past the number two but not quite as far as the number three on the blue ring.
I can rotate the blue "calibration ring" by holding the rubbery textured part of the locking ring in my right hand and rotating the blue ring with finger tips of my left hand, but it isn't especially easy to do because the blue ring is narrow, smooth, and slightly recessed. I don't think this calibration ring has any impact on how the head behaves when it is locked/unlocked. I just rotated the blue ring a full 360 and it made no difference to how the head behaved when tightened or loosened.
Easiest way I found to rotate the blue ring: Unlock the head fully (turn lock knob counter clockwise until it hits a hard stop). Pinch the blue ring tightly between left thumb and first two fingers of left hand; rotate the friction-lock (rubberized, textured part) about 1/4 turn clockwise; let go of blue ring, rotate the lock knob back counterclockwise as far as possible; pinch blue ring again and repeat until you get the number you want opposite the index mark. I cannot see that the numbers on the blue ring serve any function other than knowing I will get X amount of resistance when number X is opposite the index mark. This might be useful for someone using a long telephoto who wanted a particular resistance when swinging/tilting the lens but not locking up the head, but I find the blue ring numbers superfluous.
BTW: I usually leave the head fully unlocked when it's not holding anything (=transport & storage). How does the action I describe compare to your head?

Last edited by WPRESTO; 12-26-2015 at 01:55 PM.
12-26-2015, 02:37 PM   #12
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Thanks for taking the time Walter! Since the blue ring apparently does nothing as far as the operation of the head, I'll leave it alone, as it's very difficult for me to grasp it. Setting the head up per instructions, and what you've described, (without messing with the blue ring); the locking knob is right at #2; which holds the K3 and 55-300 very well.

BTW, that tripod is absolutely beautiful, can't thank you enough!
12-26-2015, 04:35 PM   #13
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You are abundantly welcome. I do really care that if a piece of equipment I'm retiring goes to another Pentaxian that they are well satisfied with it. The Sirui products seem to be very well made for the price point.
12-26-2015, 04:56 PM   #14
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I can assure you that this Pentaxian will certainly get a lot of usage out of it, and will treasure & keep it in the condition you sent it. Can't tell it from new!! It's very sturdy, and yet very light weight for me to carry, thus allowing me to use it much more!
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