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10-14-2021, 08:17 AM   #1
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Tripod head mount is misaligned

I just purchased a new tripod and head from B&H (FieldOptics Research MicroLite FT-5021A Aluminum Tripod and FieldOptics FPH-200 Pan Head). When the head is mounted on the tripod, the head plate is not parallel to the tripod plate:
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The difference is 1.2 degrees.
The problem seems to be the head, and not the tripod. I measured the angle between the tripod's plate and screw (after straightening by the plate), and it seems exactly 90 degrees.
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Is this something I can fix or I would need to send it back to B&H? I can see three screws on the head's plate. Could they be use to alight the head's plate, or they just hold the plate together?
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Also, what is the purpose of this small screw on the tripod plate?
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10-14-2021, 08:35 AM   #2
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Send it back. There's no guarantee those hex screws adjust the alignment. My Bogen/Manfrotto tripod head has similar screws to adjust the pivots and I find it impossible to adjust it so the head rotates with an even amount of friction throughout the 360.

You have to make minute adjustments to all three of the screws. Screw the head on to check. Unscrew, adjust, screw back on. Rinse and repeat. Maybe you'll get lucky or most likely you'll make it worse. The manufacturers must have some sort of rig to help during assembly.

If you ask me, it isn't worth the time and frustration when you can send it back for replacement.
10-14-2021, 09:03 AM   #3
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Give it back, even if you manage to fix it, you may avoid future problems.
10-14-2021, 09:58 AM   #4
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To answer your question about the screw on the tripod plate - you can tighten that to lock the head in place from loosening/unscrewing from the tripod.

10-14-2021, 10:36 AM   #5
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Those screw threads are filthy. Clean them, and clean the socket in the base of the head, as there may be metal shards in there from tapping the threads that are causing the problem.
Then if you still have the problem, send it back. It looks poorly machined.
10-14-2021, 11:41 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the suggestions!
QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Those screw threads are filthy. Clean them, and clean the socket in the base of the head, as there may be metal shards in there from tapping the threads that are causing the problem.
This dust feels like rubber, not metal shavings.
10-14-2021, 07:11 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Is the head fully tightened down to the base? If it is and still misaligned, I would call B&H. I'm sure they will take it back and make things right. Best customer service of any company I've ever dealt with.

10-15-2021, 05:20 AM   #8
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You might also call the manufacturer.
10-16-2021, 05:20 AM   #9
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To me, it looks to me like an increase in budget is in order. Going cheap only sets yourself up for disappointment.

For a tripod, may I suggest that you consider…

https://youtu.be/_cR71IbnBqc?t=496

For a ball head…


Enjoy the season… M
10-27-2021, 12:56 PM   #10
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UPDATE:

B&H replaced the tripod head, but I was slapped with another round of "Duties & Taxes" by a brokerage agent, even though I paid them to B&H. B&H response was basically "not our problem". Beware of cross-border exchanges.
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