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10-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #1
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Manfrotto 468MGRC5 Hydrostatic Faults

Manfrotto 468MGRC5 Hydrostatic BALL HEAD WITH RC5

I bought this head along with 161 MK2B tripod 3 years ago ,used it once and sat it in the cupboard ,
I had just started picking up 67 & 645 gear then .
I retrieved it to try out on my 645D and to my horror and disgust it would not lock up .
Supplier said out of warranty buy a new one.

Any one know why they fail ,or if it can be fixed?

If I had to review this item ,I would say steer clear minus 10 , over $400 in Australia and only worked once.

10-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Quite strange.....

Well to me, hydrostatic function refers to a sort of hydraulics which involves a fluid of some sort. Since it sat for so long, my first thought is that any fluid used in this head may have dried up?

I have this head and just love it, but mine is used at least a couple times a month.

Only suggestion I have is to call a Manfrotto repair place:

Manfrotto
10-22-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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Good Evening (well its evening here in Arizona), I really can't help you on why, other than as Stormtech observed about the fluid. It does sound very strange. However to their response of...
QuoteQuote:
Supplier said out of warranty buy a new one.
Why would I want to buy a new one when the old one failed after a single use.

From their website
QuoteQuote:
The Hydrostat is the most advanced ball head of the entire Manfrotto range. Designed to meet the demand of professional photographers for a lightweight, but at the same time heavy duty load capacity ball head. This model has similar features to our standard range of ball and socket heads, like independent pan and tilt locks, 360 pan and +90 / -90 tilt movement - but employs a revolutionary friction and locking mechanism. Designed for camera and lens loads of up to 35 lbs (16 kilos), this head has a magnesium die cast body, a 2” Tefl on coated aluminum ball which combined with specially designed tension surfaces provides movement as smooth as silk. A calibrated adjustable tension control allows you to preset the ball tension to suit your camera weight and give you fingertip control. The oversized lock knob hides a “PAT PENDING” locking mechanism which uses the fundamental criteria of the hydraulic laws - specifically referring to the hydrostatic ones, which locks the camera in such a secure position it gives the impression it has become one solid part of the head and removing completely any movement during the locking phase. Completing this masterpiece, a graduated panoramic base and a choice of six different “Hydrostat Ball Head” versions featuring a variety of quick release plate fixings.
Maybe you can embarrass them in to a repair. One of their competitors - Acratech warranties their equipment for 10 years. In talking to them, I was told if it ever fails - send it in and they would replace it, as they want to see what occurred (take it apart and perform a failure analysis) so that they can potentially improve the design. I asked them how many they have on their problem shelf, and they said a couple over the years that they have learned from.

Really Right Stuff has a 5 year warranty.

hope that helps.....

10-24-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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I sent this query in to HD Cameras

Manfrotto 468MGRC5 Hydrostatic Ball Head
I purchased this a few years ago ,used it once and put in cupboard .
When I next took out to use it wouldn't lock , seems to have let oil past
seal .
Can they be repaired ? if so how much?
I am pissed off with this item ,cost a lot and I would have expected better
quality from such a manufacturer.


Their reply

Dear Danny,

I am sorry to hear about your problem. I do not appreciate your language though.
As you did not purchase it from us I am unable to help.

Regards Bernie




They sell the product but will not repair or advise if bought some ware else.
Whats up with the language (English ? ) I thought I was quite descriptively mild under the circumstance.

12-21-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nedkelly69 Quote
I sent this query in to HD Cameras

Manfrotto 468MGRC5 Hydrostatic Ball Head
I purchased this a few years ago ,used it once and put in cupboard .
When I next took out to use it wouldn't lock , seems to have let oil past
seal .
Can they be repaired ? if so how much?
I am pissed off with this item ,cost a lot and I would have expected better
quality from such a manufacturer.


Their reply

Dear Danny,

I am sorry to hear about your problem. I do not appreciate your language though.
As you did not purchase it from us I am unable to help.

Regards Bernie




They sell the product but will not repair or advise if bought some ware else.
Whats up with the language (English ? ) I thought I was quite descriptively mild under the circumstance.
Hello Daniel

Further to our telephone conversation, the head we have in pieces on the workbench is a similar model but with a different QR on the top. The main body and ball are exactly the same as your model.

The one we have here I finally completely dismantled it. All the parts look to be in pristine condition. The only issue I see is the ball is covered in a lot of lubricant.

I have photographed all the parts and will email Manfrotto asking them what their opinion is. Hopefully their answer will give us a clue on getting your head operational.

By the way, I have attached a schematic of your head to this email for your reference.

If I can get some good information I'll relay it to you.

Regards




My Latest info Part R46839 seems to be the problem
I have completely dismantled the head ,as per your diagram ,and refilled this module with oil , ( it worked again briefly )
and then failed to hold as rigidly, so obviously the seal has gone on this unit.
This is defiantly the fault as my head would not hold at all before.
Regards Danny.


2nd attempt and we appear to have complete success.
1st grade of oil was too light and seeped ,so I changed to SAE 30 motor oil.

Too much in the 1st couple of tries and head locked up tight ,couldn't move it at all ,
but after releasing small amounts at a time ,I seem to have it just perfect.
Without adjusting the tension at all ,just rotating main knob 3/4s of a turn it locked up beautifully.
I will keep you informed as to how the seals hold as I can now completely strip the unit in minutes after stuffing around with it for so long
Regards Danny
PS pass this info onto Manfrotto as it is probably an inferior grade of oil being used that is causing all our problems with this particular head..

nedkelly69

Failed again ,seal just won't hold oil , bummer.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by nedkelly69; 12-21-2012 at 09:47 PM. Reason: failure
12-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
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This post freaked me out -- and I had to go check my 468MG -- whew! --it's okay.

I've had this head for over 5 years, and I bought it used. I've never had a lick of trouble with it. I use it straight up with big glass -- 300/2.8 class and heavier, and it's always been a performer for me. For the last couple of years, it's been the main base for a Wimberley Sidekick (I replaced the original RC2 QR with a Wimberley Arca clamp), and it works beautifully in that capacity also. Mine gets bumped around in my trunk all shooting season, and has bee exposed to extreme temperature ranges,

It's disappointing to know that Manfrotto seems to not consider this important enough to address with some consideration. The 468 series is a high end product in their line. There's a whole lot of competition at the advanced and pro levels of camera support gear being developed and mfg'd in the orient, and complacency in regard to customer service doesn't seem to be a wise approach looking towards the future.

Scott
12-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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@nedkelly69
I don't know if you will be able to repair this head properly until you find out what kind of oil they use. Different types of fluid require different types of seal material. I ounce repaired an automobile where the owner mistakenly added motor oil to the brake master cylinder. The rubber seals swelled and became as soft as Jello. The brake system had to be flushed clean and all rubber seals had to be replaced, because the brake seals were not made to work with motor oil. Can you replace the seals in this head? Clean everything that the oil touches with lighter fluid and then again with alcohol. If you can not find out what oil they use, silicone oil is less reactive than most oils. Automotive power steering fluid is another possible candidate. There is also hydraulic jack oil (available at auto parts stores), but I have no idea what kind of oil is used for hydraulic jacks. Maybe Google could help you here.
12-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
It's disappointing to know that Manfrotto seems to not consider this important enough to address with some consideration. The 468 series is a high end product in their line. There's a whole lot of competition at the advanced and pro levels of camera support gear being developed and mfg'd in the orient, and complacency in regard to customer service doesn't seem to be a wise approach looking towards the future.

Scott
Scott - the way I read the thread, the OP never contacted Manfrotto - he only contacted a vendor who sells Manfrotto, and not the vendor where he bought the head.

Here in the US we have a Manrotto repair center in Ramsey NJ. While their website does not seem to be working today, I've been on it before where they seem to have good fast service for all their products.

I'm thinking that if the OP had contacted the vendor where he actually bought the head, or since out of the warranty period, contacted Manfrotto, the head would have been repaired easily.

I've had my 468MG for over a year now and it really is a work horse!

12-23-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Hi Stormtech , My original query to the guys I purchased the head off

Hi ###### ,I hope you are still with the business.
I purchased this head 468MGRC5 with 501 pl plus tripod 161MK2B off you 23/10/2009 all the way from Australia ,don’t know if you remember me ?
Any how ,I set up tripod when it first arrived to take a photo of a medium format Pentax 67 with 500mm lens and then put it in the cupboard .
It stayed there until last night as I have only recently acquired a Pentax 645D and now want to use it .
The point to the story ---the head wont lock up ---there seems to be an oily residue around the ball .
Is this a common failing with this head ,has the seal gone from lack of use?? Can it be fixed ??
Not real happy after paying good money and only using it once , any help , advice you can give me would be appreciated .


Regards Danny Hawke
4 Dubbo Rd
Wellington
NSW
2820
Australia

02 68452128
0419207194

Their reply

Danny,
I’m sorry to hear your bad news. Unfortunately, Manfrotto has a 2 year warranty. You can take it to a camera shop and have them try to fix it or buy a new one.
If you want to replace it let me know which one you want and I’ll make sure you get the lowest possible price for it.

Thank you,

######
Sales/Customer Service Associate

Not allowed to name names for legal reasons

So yes I contacted the original vendor where the head was purchased 1st
Then tried to get on to Manfrotto themselves with no luck , the best I could do was the decent repair guy who is making enquiry with Manfrottto and was good enough to sent me the schematic diagram
that he was using on another faulty head with the same failure ,for the same ,no apparent reason.
12-23-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nedkelly69 Quote
Hi Stormtech , My original query to the guys I purchased the head off

So yes I contacted the original vendor where the head was purchased 1st
Then tried to get on to Manfrotto themselves with no luck , the best I could do was the decent repair guy who is making enquiry with Manfrottto and was good enough to sent me the schematic diagram
that he was using on another faulty head with the same failure ,for the same ,no apparent reason.
Sorry I read it wrong then.

I would probably have followed your same steps in requests for help, but after the original vendor, I find it hard to believe that Manfrotto wouldn't help you. The service center here in the US I think would have repaired it, but at my cost since it was out of warranty.

At least you have a decent repair person working with you now. I hope it turns out being repaired properly as I think this is a very good head. Again, for that reason, it is a shame that Manfrotto in your county would not help you.
12-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nedkelly69 Quote
Hi Stormtech , My original query to the guys I purchased the head off

Hi ###### ,I hope you are still with the business.
I purchased this head 468MGRC5 with 501 pl plus tripod 161MK2B off you 23/10/2009 all the way from Australia ,dont know if you remember me ?
Any how ,I set up tripod when it first arrived to take a photo of a medium format Pentax 67 with 500mm lens and then put it in the cupboard .
It stayed there until last night as I have only recently acquired a Pentax 645D and now want to use it .
The point to the story ---the head wont lock up ---there seems to be an oily residue around the ball .
Is this a common failing with this head ,has the seal gone from lack of use?? Can it be fixed ??
Not real happy after paying good money and only using it once , any help , advice you can give me would be appreciated .


Regards Danny Hawke
4 Dubbo Rd
Wellington
NSW
2820
Australia

02 68452128
0419207194

Their reply

Danny,
Im sorry to hear your bad news. Unfortunately, Manfrotto has a 2 year warranty. You can take it to a camera shop and have them try to fix it or buy a new one.
If you want to replace it let me know which one you want and Ill make sure you get the lowest possible price for it.

Thank you,

######
Sales/Customer Service Associate

Not allowed to name names for legal reasons

So yes I contacted the original vendor where the head was purchased 1st
Then tried to get on to Manfrotto themselves with no luck , the best I could do was the decent repair guy who is making enquiry with Manfrottto and was good enough to sent me the schematic diagram
that he was using on another faulty head with the same failure ,for the same ,no apparent reason.
Hi,
I rebuilt a Manfrotto 075 tripod and an 029 head.
I ended up being given the Australian importers contact details as the camera shop that I went to could not source the correct parts as some ended up coming from Italy.

Their contact details are as follows;-
Adeal Pty. Ltd.,
02 Baldwin Road,
Altona North,
Victoria,
3025,
Australia.
Ph. 03 8369 4444
Website. Adeal - Home
Email sales@adeal.com.au

They will sell you parts, but not a complete item, or they did in my case.

Hope this is of assistance,
Regards.
12-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gordon_l34 Quote
Hi,
I rebuilt a Manfrotto 075 tripod and an 029 head.
I ended up being given the Australian importers contact details as the camera shop that I went to could not source the correct parts as some ended up coming from Italy.

Their contact details are as follows;-
Adeal Pty. Ltd.,
02 Baldwin Road,
Altona North,
Victoria,
3025,
Australia.
Ph. 03 8369 4444
Website. Adeal - Home
Email sales@adeal.com.au

They will sell you parts, but not a complete item, or they did in my case.

Hope this is of assistance,
Regards.
Hi,

Sorry I forgot to add that I think that they also do repairs in house.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all,
Regards.
06-23-2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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Filled with grease , had 135-600 K lens sitting on it for 3 days and it hasn't moved .
Finally success
06-26-2013, 03:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Maybe you can embarrass them in to a repair. One of their competitors - Acratech warranties their equipment for 10 years. In talking to them, I was told if it ever fails - send it in and they would replace it, as they want to see what occurred (take it apart and perform a failure analysis) so that they can potentially improve the design. I asked them how many they have on their problem shelf, and they said a couple over the years that they have learned from.
This is the tack I would try, I'm not a fan of manfrottos ball heads. But I have to admit their geared 405MG Head is simply spectacular. Good to hear you managed to resolve the issue.
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