Tripod RepairManfrotto 055MF3 The Manfrotto 055MF3 carbon fiber tripod has been the workhorse tripod for me for many years. It has seen and been through a lot, including desert sand, beach sand, and salt water in both Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In recent years, I've "downgraded" to a smaller travel tripod but this one still goes everywhere locally as it is superior in its sturdiness.
With all of the use it's seen I have not really done any maintenance and it's possible it caught up with me. On one of the legs, a plastic tube collar broke and that section would now come completely off the larger tube, and became wiggly while sliding it. I must say though, those collars are a really flimsy piece of plastic. Still, it's possible a grain of sand got where it should not have and contributed to the parts demise.
Today, I spent several hour figuring out how to disassemble the tripod and am happy to report the first phase is done. As I took all of the legs apart I discovered another collar was already cracked too and it would have taken no time for the second leg to follow the fate of the first. The two spare collars for each leg cost $8 and since I have it all apart now I got three sets.
While I wait for the parts to arrive, the tripod will get a thorough cleaning to make sure no salt and no sand is left behind, and the moving parts at the top assembly will get fresh grease. And then I hope I'll be able to put it all back together and the tripod will be part of my photography for many more years.
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