View Full Version : Calumet CC400 on 3047 rotates on the quick release

Warren Weckesser
5-Jul-2005, 23:04
I recently picked up an old Calumet CC400-something, and based on some advice given in another thread, I also bought a Bogen 3047 head for my tripod. The problem I have now is that the quick release doesn't grip the tripod mount firmly enough to prevent the whole camera from rotating. Even just inserting a Polaroid (when the back is rotated to landscape format) is enough to twist the camera. Does anyone have any advice on a better way to mount this camera on a tripod? I've only tried tightening the quick release by hand; I'd rather not have to take a wrench to it.

For those not familiar with the 3047 or the CC400 tripod mount, the following pictures show what happens when even just a small force is applied to the end of the rail:



I just noticed that the quick release plate has a hole in it, near one of the "points" of the plate:


Could something be put in there to prevent the camera from rotating? The hole isn't threaded.

Darin Cozine
5-Jul-2005, 23:49
the problem is that even if you apply a large amount of force when attaching the qick-release plate, it only takes a small amount of force levered force from the camera to losen it.

I mount the camera on the tripod, turn the whole thing on the mount to tighten it. then release the QR plate and reposition it on the tripod. Works great with the hexagonal plates.

Darin Cozine
5-Jul-2005, 23:51
Just a warning: I would not reccomend doing this with a wooden camera (which is what I have).
It's easy to split the wood doing something like this.

Antonio Corcuera
6-Jul-2005, 01:55
I encountered the same problem with a Sinar on the 3047 hex plate QR. I got the Manfrotto 3297 hex plate (a large square plate that fits the QR) and screwed it with a wrench to the camera (tight but not overdoing it!). I keep the plate permanently attached to the camera. The 3297 is expensive though - $30 plus. Hope this helps.

Brian Ellis
6-Jul-2005, 05:12
There are three points at which camera rotation could occur. The camera could be rotating on the plate, the plate could be rotating within the clamping mechanism, or the whole head could be turning on the tripod. From your description it sounds like movement of the plate within the clamping mechanism is the source of your problem.

I've used seveal different Bogen heads (four at least) all of which used a hexagonal plate to attach the camera to the tripod head. I haven't experienced the problem you describe with any of them. It sounds to me as though there's a problem with the clamping mechanism into which the plate is inserted, i.e. that something has come loose or a part has worn or for whatever other reason the clamping mechanism on the head isn't clamping the plate as tightly as it should be. The only othe possibility is that you've somehow gotten a plate that's just a little too small but that seems unlikely.

I think you need to try to repair the clamping mechanism. Replacing the plate with the 3297 plate mentioned by Antonio probably won't help. It's an excellent plate , I presently use it with my 8x10 camera, but underneath the 4" square plate is the same hex type system you presnetly have. I also don't see that Darin's suggestion would help, his suggestion seems to deal with the whole head turning on the tripod and it doesn't sound like that's what you're encountering.

Unfortunately Bogen's minimum repair charge is $100 plus shipping and you could almost buy a brand new 3047 head for that. If I were you I'd examine the clamping mechanism closely and see if there isn't something that can be tightened or a spring that could be replaced, anything that would make the clamping mechanism work better. You might even be able to attach a shim of some sort to the little round part that actually connects the plate to the head to make the fit tighter.

I'd suggest that you call Bogen's repair department (get the number from www.bogenimaging.com), I've found them helpful and they might be able to pinpoint the source of the problem and sell you a part that you could install yourself. But short of fixing the problem youself I think you will have to either live with it (which isn't necessarily impossible I used a tripod head that turned a little on the tripod for quite a while) or buy a new head. Given the cost of a new 3047 head having someone else try to repair it doesn't seem feasible.

Antti Aalto
6-Jul-2005, 07:15
Excellent suggestion by Darin above. It's still quite possible though that you won't dare use enough force to make it really hold and you also don't want to kill the threads on the camera, be it a metallic one. Just to mention what I've tried and found not to work in a similar situation:
If you used a piece of a nail to peg the camera in place, there would still be quite a bit of free play since you won't really know when it's "tight enough" to be pegged and the hole can either end up in a good or a bad spot. I'm guessing it wouldn't take a long while for a few degree shift to become quite objectionable. You could also insert a metal plate in between and hammer the ends agains the hex plate and the camera to keep them from spinning, but this too would only keep it from turning much. If you've still got grip problems after trying it out the way Darin suggested, the next thing to do is to replace the material on the hex plate. You could first try a piece of firm cloth like torn off jeans pocket or a piece of thick engine seal to give the two pieces better grip once tightened up. Contrary to what manufacturers seem to think, rubber is not the best material to use to grip to parts of metal together. It gives in and has to be initially over tightened and then loosened up a bit to release the tension, or that's what I've thought. My Manfrotto head for example is much better without than with the rubber piece.

Warren Weckesser
6-Jul-2005, 07:24
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try DarinWC's first. The black rubber pad is easily removed from the plate, so I'll also try it without the pad.

Brian, the problem I am having is the first one that you listed: the camera is rotating on the plate.

The 3297 might work, but I think physics will still be working against me. I think what I really need is a plate with an "anti-twist" lip, such as 3157NR. But the 3157NR is a smaller rectangular plate. I checked out the Bogen/Manfrotto web page (www.bogenimaging.us), and I found the 3267 hex plate. I can't tell from the picture on the web page if the lip can be adjusted to lie flush against the tripod mount. If it can, the 3267 might work. Does anyone have one of those? Is it adjustable, and if so, how?

Ellen Stoune Duralia
6-Jul-2005, 08:23
Similar to the rubber pad idea... You know that knubby, rubber mat stuff (the thicker the better) that you use under area rugs to keep them from sliding about? That stuff is fantastic for keeping the camera from rotating. I just cut a piece the same size as the plate, work a hole for tripod screw and mount. A light touch with a wrench and you're good to go.

Wilbur Wong
6-Jul-2005, 08:23
Glue two pieces of silicone carbide sand paper (120 grit or so) together back to back and insert it between the two surfaces. If this works, you might want to permanently glue a piece to the bottom of the the mounting block.

6-Jul-2005, 10:28
Look on the underside of the Bogen plate, there should be several set screws near the tripod screw that can be tightened against the camera tripod block to prevent rotation. Shouldn't be a problem with your camera as it's base is metal, wouldn't recomend this with a wood camera tho.

Warren Weckesser
6-Jul-2005, 10:58

Here's a picture of the plate, with the black rubber pad removed. None of the holes that you see are threaded. I bought the 3047 (with the QR plate) used from KEH, and it did not come with any additional screws.


6-Jul-2005, 11:19
Hi Warren, I have several of these with screws, they may be a later version. I don't use the set screws as it's mounted on a Super D Graflex (wood)

Oren Grad
6-Jul-2005, 11:42
Warren -

I have four Bogen hex plates for the 3047 floating around. Just dug them out and took a look - one of them has a set screw - in your picture, it would be in the hole just to the lower left of the central screw. My other three, on the other hand, don't have it.

Maybe if you contact the parts department at Bogen - (201) 818-9500 Ext-244, or email parts@bogenimaging.com - they can tell you if it's possible to retrofit a set screw to your plate, or how to get a plate with the set screw.

Gene Crumpler
6-Jul-2005, 12:51
My 3047 plates have cork on the top. I've not had any problems once I get the plate tight enough! The leverage you get on a long monorail may be too much for the plate to hold securely.


Dave Hally
6-Jul-2005, 13:27
I had this happen sometimes even with my Toyo Field Camera. It even twisted the cork on the top of the plate the last time. I do tend to extreme camera overhangs and odd angles though. I would tap one of the holes for a set screw, and maybe a mating hole or dimple in the base of the camera. I just switched to a more compact geared head (Manfrotto 3275 I think). I used it last Saturday at the coast near Pescadero, it worked great, with precise positioning and no slipping!. The plates are different (rectangular), but I don't switch cameras that often, so no problem at all so far.

ronald moravec
6-Jul-2005, 13:43
Sounds like yu are missing the tightening nut on the screw. you are supposed to tighten the screw to proper debth, back out a little, then rotate the tightening screw.

If this fails to be tight enough. give yourself some rotation of the camera to firm it up.

I had no problem with my same exact set up.

Ed Richards
6-Jul-2005, 13:47
The plates are cheap - <$20. The newer ones have three set screws in those holes, which let you clamp against the base of the camera mount. Add some screw lock juice from the auto supply and it will lock up tight. If it still turns, use the suggestion about just tapping a screw through the plate into the camera base. You can also just peel off the cork - metal to metal is much tighter, esp. with a drop of epoxy.:-)

Dan Fromm
6-Jul-2005, 15:17
I've had similar problems with Manfrotto hex QR plates. I asked Bogen for advice, was told that real Manfrotto plates have a slot in the outer tightening knob (or whatever you call it) and that I should just stick a screwdriver or something similar in the slot and apply force.

Warren, please show us the underside of your QR plate.

Jim Ewins
6-Jul-2005, 23:05
The set screw is the answer. I drilled and tapped the hex plate for 1/4-20 and drilled for a 1/4 brass sleeve in the base of my Wisner Pocket. A 1/2" set screw set 1/4" in the base leaves 1/4" to fit in the sleeve. It doesn't move.

Warren Weckesser
7-Jul-2005, 00:11
I figured I would try the simplest thing first, and that was "apply more force". I tightened it as much as a could by hand, and then used a screw driver in the "slot" that Dan mentioned to crank it down another quarter turn, which was about as much as I could do using just a screw driver as my lever. I spent the last hour or so taking shots of bad still-life compositions in landscape format using the Polaroid back, and it seems to be holding pretty well. Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm sure I'll be back again with more basic questions, so don't go away!

Paul Moshay
7-Jul-2005, 00:43
Everyone seems to be missing the real problem with the QR 3047 head. The slipping that Warren is having is not between the hex QR plate but between the plate and the "auto" clamp of the 3047. I had the same problem myself with my 4x5 and 8x10 Toyo cameras. No amount of spring force of the auto clamp would keep the camera from rotating out of the QR clamp when loading film holders, especially in landscape format. I solved the problem by selling the 3047's I had and buying the older version with the screw clamp, problem solved, no rotating cameras. The older heads can be found on Xbay or by placing an ad on the buy-sell boards, that is what I did and now I have five of them. Actually, I can't figure why the QR heads are so popular, what is the hurry to save five seconds anyway at the risk of the camera moving? The only benefit of the newer heads is the larger diameter of the clamping handles but new replacements are available for the older units.


David Martin
31-Jan-2006, 04:21
You may be missing a trick here.

The problem is that there is insufficient friction between the base of the caera and the tripod mount. Looking at the base of my just acquired CC400, the base has two sides and the central mounting hole. If you were to cut a shim out of 2mm sheet alu or similar the right width to fit between the sides, and add a hole in the middle for the mounting bolt, then fix this to the tripod adapter via a couple of pop rivets, you now have a CC400 specific base which will give you complete directional stability with no worries about needing to use shear off the tripod bolt type forces to stop it moving.

Ascii art below

/ ____ _____
/_| | | |_

This is the base of the camera socket with the two edges and the tripod screw (representational)

| |
| O |

And tha adapter plate which should be thin enough to sit in the gap and be flush to the edges of the mount.

It will require a tiny bit of machining and is readily doable with domestic powertools and a file.
In fact, I may make one now for mine.


Mike Kovacs
31-Jan-2006, 05:47
Doesn't really help you if you're "married" to the hex plate system but the Bogen / Manfrotto 329RC4 I luckily won in a local contest locks down rock solid with my CC-400. The plate is a large, rectangular one providing plenty of surface area for the head to grip the camera base and the design of the head is such that it doesn't twist in the quick mount like the hexagonal or small rectangular Manfrotto plates.

If you can solve the problem of your plate twisting in the tripod head, RRS or Kirk used to make a Hex to Arca Swiss adapter. Those Arca Swiss style plates really lock down tight.