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Pseudonym
20-Jan-2017, 11:05
Greetings to all. New member here, with what I hope is a stupid question.

I just bought a Sinar Pan Tilt head from B&H Photo as an early foray into LF photography. I know they are elusive, so I struck while the iron was hot.

It arrived yesterday, and seems to be in very good condition. It pans just as I would expect. I am, however, unable to get it to tilt. It seems to be stuck at horizontal, even after I loosen the collar locking screw.

Am I missing a necessary step or action?

Any wisdom gratefully received. I look forward to participating in less niggling topics in the future!

Greg Davis
20-Jan-2017, 12:38
Can you post pictures? That would be helpful to see what position it is in and if anything looks out of the ordinary.

Pseudonym
20-Jan-2017, 15:18
Thanks for your reply and suggestions. Here are a few images:

160069

160070

160071

Hope these are useful. I can post another view or a more detailed shot if it would help. The tilt handle does glide smoothly away from the head and rotate.

Jac@stafford.net
20-Jan-2017, 15:37
I am, however, unable to get it to tilt. It seems to be stuck at horizontal, even after I loosen the collar locking screw.

I'll bet it sat for years without being used. Loosen the lever, then rap the screw end with a dead-blow hammer or a small hammer with a wood block between to keep from bruising the finish.
.

Fr. Mark
20-Jan-2017, 22:39
Before banging, some penetrating oil might be in order, too, though it can be hard on finishes. Mine is smooth as butter in both directions. A joy to use with the Sinar P I have.

Daniel Unkefer
21-Jan-2017, 08:45
Looks to be in good condition. Agree with above, it's just stuck together. Needs a clean and relube.

Pseudonym
21-Jan-2017, 11:51
Many thanks for these helpful replies. It sounds like the head needs some work.

I'll see what B&H say when I talk to them on Monday. It shouldn't have arrived in this condition. Their warranty should cover this.

At least it isn't my head that needs work. I couldn't see what I could possibly have missed with such a well-judged and straightforward design.

It's nice to hear that these heads are a joy to use. People who have them seem to have nothing but good words for them.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
21-Jan-2017, 12:14
Mine came in the same condition, and it just needed a clean. These have thin plastic washers between the metal bits. I would take it apart, clean everything (maybe with electronics cleaner so as not to harm plastic) and then reassemble. The vertical tilt is easy to take apart, just unscrew that "collar locking screw" all the way and carefully pull it apart. Do take careful notes about the order of assembly. I didn't use any oil or lube on mine.

Daniel Unkefer
21-Jan-2017, 13:40
Right, thinking about this again, I don't think it needs lubrication. Just cleaning and a bit of elbow grease to free it up.

I use electronic contact cleaner on my Sinar Normas, it's the right thing to use. And if more cleaning strength is needed, try acetone.
Just don't get it on the finish and wear nitrile groves, with good ventiliation. I use a toothbrush, toothpicks, etc to scrape away any crud.
You can do this yourself.

This is a fifteen minute job. And really, you are not going to break it.

Bob Salomon
21-Jan-2017, 13:47
Many thanks for these helpful replies. It sounds like the head needs some work.

I'll see what B&H say when I talk to them on Monday. It shouldn't have arrived in this condition. Their warranty should cover this.

At least it isn't my head that needs work. I couldn't see what I could possibly have missed with such a well-judged and straightforward design.

It's nice to hear that these heads are a joy to use. People who have them seem to have nothing but good words for them.

Why wait till Monday? They are usually open on Sunday.

dpn
21-Jan-2017, 14:03
Totally correct decision to have jumped when you saw one available. It took me almost two months to find mine (on eBay.de actually).

Thalmees
21-Jan-2017, 15:21
Hello,
Did you try to tilt it while in your hand, only?
Before disassembling, try to connect it your camera/tripod, and then test the tilt function.
It could work under the influence of tension from camera weight.
If you already disassembled it, it should re-assembled carefully and correctly.
If it work this was, just take it out and try to exercise it by hand.
It still could need CLA.

Greg
21-Jan-2017, 17:32
Had the same problem with my Sinar Pan Tilt head when I bought it (for a bargain price) years ago. Took it apart, cleaned the parts, and bought the most expensive lubricant from ACE Hardware, applied it and the head has served me loyally since then. Was told definitely not to use WD-40 or graphite lubricant by a machinist, but can't remember the reasons why not to use them.

Good luck

Daniel Unkefer
21-Jan-2017, 17:38
Hello,
Did you try to tilt it while in your hand, only?
Before disassembling, try to connect it your camera/tripod, and then test the tilt function.
It could work under the influence of tension from camera weight.
If you already disassembled it, it should re-assembled carefully and correctly.
If it work this was, just take it out and try to exercise it by hand.
It still could need CLA.


This is a good idea. Put your camera on it, and put on a tripod. See if the weight of the camera will free it up. You might be surprised!
I would still clean it, it won't hurt it

Pseudonym
21-Jan-2017, 20:33
Why wait till Monday? They are usually open on Sunday.

That's true, and normally I'd follow your advice. This Sunday, however, is a full, head-down, working day for me. Monday should be lighter.

I did write to B&H as soon as I discovered the problem, so that might (or might not) speed things up.

Many thanks for the suggestion, though. Thanks, too, to everyone who has contributed advice and reassurance.

The head is well and truly stuck, even mounted on a tripod and under weight. Sounds like it needs disassembly and lubrication. I'll see if B&H is willing and able to help before I do anything else.

The silver lining is that I am in no hurry. I was just thinking ahead (excuse the pun) when I bought it. It'll almost certainly be fixed before I have a Sinar to put on it.

Right, back to work for me. Thanks again, everyone.

Bob Salomon
22-Jan-2017, 06:27
That's true, and normally I'd follow your advice. This Sunday, however, is a full, head-down, working day for me. Monday should be lighter.

I did write to B&H as soon as I discovered the problem, so that might (or might not) speed things up.

Many thanks for the suggestion, though. Thanks, too, to everyone who has contributed advice and reassurance.

The head is well and truly stuck, even mounted on a tripod and under weight. Sounds like it needs disassembly and lubrication. I'll see if B&H is willing and able to help before I do anything else.

The silver lining is that I am in no hurry. I was just thinking ahead (excuse the pun) when I bought it. It'll almost certainly be fixed before I have a Sinar to put on it.

Right, back to work for me. Thanks again, everyone.
Strange that you have time to do all the emails in this this thread but not enough time to make a phone call. I find that when I make a call I can still read an email and answer it. But when I am writing an email I can't dial a phone.

Willie
22-Jan-2017, 08:17
Compensate by using one tripod leg longer or shorter for tilt and leveling? ;-)

Bob Salomon
22-Jan-2017, 08:27
Compensate by using one tripod leg longer or shorter for tilt and leveling? ;-)

Just be ready to catch the camera on its trip south.

thomas_alemenia
12-Mar-2017, 14:18
I would like to use this head with DSLR camera and telelenses for low level photography and video of water birds.
Therefore I constructed my own tripod 162475

Do you think the Sinar will work for this use as a video head?
Is the friction, the resistance enough for pan and tilt with 5kg gear?

Leigh
12-Mar-2017, 18:27
Was told definitely not to use WD-40 or graphite lubricant by a machinist, but can't remember the reasons why not to use them.
I don't know why not to use WD-40.

I R a machinist, and I use it tall the time.
It's a great solvent, and it leaves a thin coat of paraffin as a lubricant when it dries.

I definitely DO agree about not using graphite for anything.
It's made of numerous tiny disks, like pancakes, but almost as hard as diamonds.
When these rub over one another they form a very smooth slippery surface.
But when one scrapes along a finished surface on its edge, it cuts.

- Leigh

Pseudonym
20-Mar-2017, 23:16
OP here with a belated epilogue.

I returned the head to B&H a few days after my previous post here. They looked at it while I was overseas and found nothing wrong. It was, I think, simply overtightened to a degree that I was unwilling to challenge if it meant possibly voiding the warranty. B&H kindly held onto it until I returned from travelling and then shipped it back to me. They were helpful and straightforward throughout.

So, all ends well. Now it tilts. Time to find a camera to put on it. Thanks again to everyone for comments and suggestions.