Markins Q3T locked up
/forum/topic/1169307/0



Zichar
Registered: May 13, 2009
Total Posts: 3521
Country: Singapore

My search-fu is weak, am pretty sure I'm not the only one experiencing this problem.

Well, sometimes the ballhead gets a dunk in the water (when I'm cleaning the tripod legs or just out in the field) and then the ballhead just locks up. And locks up really bad. Try as I might, I can't dislodge it.

All I've learnt is I just gotta wait it out. Was desperate once, and wrapped/wound the top with rolls of cloth then hammered it on the floor. Managed to dislodge it. Is there something I can do to avoid this?

Anyway I'm guessing it's some kinda vacuum, or when the water seeps through and creates a seal of sorts?
I can't replicate it at will, just happens randomly, under conditions that involve no temperature fluctuations.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 19006
Country: United States

When you say dunked in water is that salt or fresh?



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7393
Country: United States

Zichar wrote:
. Is there something I can do to avoid this?

quote]

I don't think this ballhead, or really any other, was designed to be submerged. Sorry, though, for not having a better reply.



Zichar
Registered: May 13, 2009
Total Posts: 3521
Country: Singapore

A mixture, fresh when I'm cleaning it, salt when I'm shooting at the shore
Was thinking if gunk from my hands transferred to the surface of the ballhead, the water dissolves that (or makes some kinda disgusting slurry) and gums up the head. Possible? It works fine now though, still smooth.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 19006
Country: United States

Zichar wrote:
A mixture, fresh when I'm cleaning it, salt when I'm shooting at the shore
Was thinking if gunk from my hands transferred to the surface of the ballhead, the water dissolves that (or makes some kinda disgusting slurry) and gums up the head. Possible? It works fine now though, still smooth.


if you have any contaminants inside the ballhead where it is well greased you may have internal issues coming. these were not designed for excessive contact with "slurry" and such. if you are going to use this in direct saltwater contact you better learn to access it more thoroughly. you may have an issue in the making.



Zichar
Registered: May 13, 2009
Total Posts: 3521
Country: Singapore

Understood. Guess I better go read up on the other threads about ballhead maintenance. Thanks!



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7393
Country: United States

You might try an Acratech ballhead, as its open design will be a good deal easier to clean.



eSchwab
Registered: Dec 26, 2007
Total Posts: 2447
Country: United States

I wonder if you couldn't take it off the tripod and soak it in alcohol. Moving it around occasionally to loosen up and free any salt or grease buildup.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 19006
Country: United States

eSchwab wrote:
I wonder if you couldn't take it off the tripod and soak it in alcohol. Moving it around occasionally to loosen up and free any salt or grease buildup.


and then dilute/strip the grease that is inside the head (the stuff that actually keeps things moving inside. you do want to keep that in its original working state unless you like doing repacks.

i'm not a real fan of Acratech but dcains option may be a more appropriate and prudent approach and the least labor intensive.



peter_n
Registered: Nov 29, 2010
Total Posts: 839
Country: United States

FWIW here are the maintenance/cleaning instructions from the manual:






sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 19006
Country: United States

I have a feeling we're beyond the basic situation



EB-1
Registered: Jan 09, 2003
Total Posts: 22647
Country: United States

Yeah. The whole head should be broken down, cleaned, and relubed.

EBH



Zichar
Registered: May 13, 2009
Total Posts: 3521
Country: Singapore

Hmm I was about to go the WD40 route. I didn't know it can be dismantled to be cleaned and relubed.
Lest anyone thinks I'm eating Cheetos then grabbing the ballhead to smear the orangey leftovers around, then drop it in a pail of water to age, I'm not

A large wave at the rocks (I wade in if it's safe), barring the odd drop into the sea (twice so far I think after 4 years now) or after shooting when I'm rinsing the tripod legs, the ballhead will come into contact with water. I pair it with the Gitzo 1541T so perhaps the 'resting' position leaves it exposed more than I should.



Bruce Sawle
Registered: Sep 26, 2006
Total Posts: 4165
Country: United States

This happened to me you just have to clean the contaminates out. I did this by cleaning the ball as I forced the ball around its axes.



polylepis
Registered: Nov 15, 2010
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

WD-40 worked great when my Markins got wet--a few spritzes, move it around and Bob's your uncle.



kimloris
Registered: Dec 06, 2012
Total Posts: 10
Country: United States

So glad I read this thread...
Mine is grippy since a last trip to the beach.



tanglefoot47
Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Total Posts: 14826
Country: United States

sjms wrote:
eSchwab wrote:
I wonder if you couldn't take it off the tripod and soak it in alcohol. Moving it around occasionally to loosen up and free any salt or grease buildup.


and then dilute/strip the grease that is inside the head (the stuff that actually keeps things moving inside. you do want to keep that in its original working state unless you like doing repacks.

i'm not a real fan of Acratech but dcains option may be a more appropriate and prudent approach and the least labor intensive.



Wondering why your not a big fan? I have been thinking of buying the GV2

Mike



kroyston
Registered: Jan 21, 2010
Total Posts: 161
Country: China

The main knob on my Q3 locked up earlier this week, while I was on a trip (no I have not immersed the ball head in water salt or otherwise). The minimum tension knob was set correctly for my camera and the main knob was not too tight. When flipping the orientation of the camera on the L-bracket the tension seemed to release and the ball started to rotate. The ball is not completely relaxed however as their is still tension, just not nearly enough to keep the camera in place (well below what I had set for the minimum tension). Additionally the main knob, and tension knob are now both absolutely jammed.

Anyway, I stumbled on this topic before writing to Markins, so I wanted to share their response:

Based on your description, it is most likely that the main knob is turned counterclockwise too far and firmly engaged with micro knob for tension adjustment.
The solution is to rotate the main knob clockwise to disengage the contact at the micro knob and main knob.
It need quite a large torque(force) to rotate the main knob, wearing a rubberized grove would help to apply more torque.
And when applying force to rotate(clockwise), apply with a sudden impact(impulsive rotation) would also help.
Or sometimes it's better to ask someone with more power.

Hope this solves your issue.

Best regards,
Markins


Looks like I'm not going to try a complete tear down, I'd be interested if anyone has any pointers!



peter_n
Registered: Nov 29, 2010
Total Posts: 839
Country: United States

^ I've seen posts on another forum with this solution and it apparently works. The solution is counter-intuitive (tighten it further?) but I think the key is a sudden short impulsive clockwise force then turn the main knob anti-clockwise.

It's probably best to wrap the ball housing in a rag and secure it in a vise. Put a glove on, grip the main knob as tight as you can with your thumb and index finger, and jerk it suddenly clockwise. Don't start gradually and then increase the force, it won't work. You have to give it a sudden jerk as if you were trying to break the seal on a threadlocker. Then you should be able to turn it anti-clockwise.

The smaller Markins ballheads do seem to be finicky. I've had three Q3T models and two of them suffered from various quirks. I replaced them with an Acratech and so far no issues, I'm looking forward to the winter and not having my ballhead lock up.



kroyston
Registered: Jan 21, 2010
Total Posts: 161
Country: China

Got it! Tighten to untighten... Impulsively. No tear down necessary.

I imaging what happened is I initially loosened the ball head too hastily, which jammed the main knob on the torsion limit causing the main knob to jam.