View Full Version : Bogen 3047 Head Help Needed

8-Sep-2010, 11:23
I just received a Bogen 3047 Head. It seems a little flimsy and I suspect that I am not locking something in correctly.
Does anyone have a link to where I can download a manual for this tripod head?

douglas gove
8-Sep-2010, 13:28
i can mail you a copy of instruction manual...pm me doug

Bruce Barlow
8-Sep-2010, 13:46
If things aren't locking down, unscrew each of the handles and clean them thoroughly. Put them back in and it will seem much more solid.

Be very careful seating the hex plate - it's easy to not get it in properly and potentially give your camera a long and unwelcome fall.

Brian Ellis
8-Sep-2010, 15:59
I have a 3047 head, haven't used it in years but at one time I used it a lot. It's very simple to operate, I'm not sure why you'd need a manual. When you say it's "flimsy" what do you mean - that it seems too light and not well made or that it doesn't lock down tightly or what? Even if mine wasn't locking down I don't think "flimsy" is how I'd describe it, the thing is like a chunk of rock with three arms sticking out.

Kevin Crisp
8-Sep-2010, 16:49
Make sure you have locked the center column of the tripod so that it won't let the head rock. I also don't understand how this particular head could otherwise seem loose or flimsy unless the set screws on the top plate of the tripod are not firmly tightened against the bottom mounting plate of the head.

8-Sep-2010, 18:28
The only "flimsy" area was the handle that moved the camera up and down. I tightened that handle as much as possible I can still move it up and down. It takes a bit of force but it moves.

9-Sep-2010, 03:59
Just had the exact same problem with a 3047! Couldn't find a fix, myself.

Bruce Barlow
9-Sep-2010, 04:27
The only "flimsy" area was the handle that moved the camera up and down. I tightened that handle as much as possible I can still move it up and down. It takes a bit of force but it moves.

The threads need cleaning. I had the same problem. Richard Ritter, as usual, fixed it by cleaning all the threads on all three handles.

Since Richard is a good friend, it only cost me a pan of brownies and breakfast at the Dam Diner (behind the Townsend Dam...get it?...Dam Diner...?). Good omelets, so they can call themselves anything they want.

Clean threads will let you lock everything up tight.

Chuck Pere
9-Sep-2010, 04:36
If you pop off the plate that shows the name and number you will find an Allen head screw behind it. Tighten the screw and it might help. Worked for me. Also early heads had arms with hard slimmer handles that did take some muscle to tighten. I got some replacement handles for mine and they are bigger and much easier to use.

9-Sep-2010, 11:53
Thanks for all your replies.
Below is a link to a video I shot of the actual problem. Maybe this can help diagnose the issue:

9-Sep-2010, 12:00
Is it possible you have the camera mounted 90 degrees off? That is, you have the "roll" and "pitch" axes switched? In your video you are adjusting what I would consider the "roll" control, which doesn't seem as heavy-duty as the "pitch" one. This is especially with a monorail camera mounted.

9-Sep-2010, 12:05
I exactly sure I understand what you mean by that. However, anything is possible. I just bought it from b&h and mounted it to my tripod legs. How would I tell if it is 90 degrees off?

Chuck Pere
10-Sep-2010, 05:02
Looks like the same problem I had. Try that Allen head screw. Also look for that replacement handle set. It will make use much easier.

10-Sep-2010, 08:15
How would I tell if it is 90 degrees off?

Depending on how you attach the hex plate to the camera and how you attach the hex plate to the head, you might have the camera oriented with the weight on the left/right tilt control rather than the up/down tilt control.

Regardless, the head should be up to the task with the camera mounted the "wrong" way. I suspect you need clean/adjust the head as others have mentioned.

10-Sep-2010, 13:29
If you are expecting the head to lock down so tightly that you can really lean on it, you might be disappointed with any head that you can carry. I heard the grunt of effort it took to make it move after tightening. These are good heads, but used ones of the vintage of yours sell for some fraction of current high-end heads, so take that into account.

You might have some lubrication where you don't want it, and dirt in the clamp that is preventing it from seating properly all the way around the piece it encircles. As others have suggested, you can't draw any conclusions until the head has been thoroughly cleaned and properly lubricated in the right places.

I don't think I own a head that I can't force to move, even the Sinar tilt-head which, even used, cost an order of magnitude more than a couple of beater 3047's that have come my way. But I still made many sharp long exposures in the field using a 3047 head with a bulky Cambo/Calumet view camera.

Rick "possibly misinterpreting that YouTube video" Denney

10-Sep-2010, 14:26
I am very grateful for all your input. I tightened things up with the allen key but that didn't work. I will try cleaning everything out. What is best to clean then regrease with?

Also, I recorded more video of the tripod being loose. Maybe this will give a better view of what is wrong. For all I know, this is completely normal. I will wait until I hear back from all of you. Thanks
More video:

10-Sep-2010, 14:50
Yes, that video shows much better the problem you are having.

You have the middle vintage of the 3047 head. In the oldest version, which I have disassembled, there is a screw that holds a round plate that forms the angle scale for this movement, and that plate keeps the thing together. From looking at a 3047 of your vintage, that scale appears to be a plastic plate, which might be glued onto the front of the retainer plate to conceal the screw. I just took apart the oldest model to check it, and there is a thin steel wear shim that is wrapped around the aluminum frame of the head, and slips between the frame and the ring clamp (which is part of the casting that holds the camera mount). The loose flopping around the zero point might be caused by the end gap in that shim having worked itself down into the aluminum. You might try re-orienting it, if you can get it apart.

Another possibility is that the washer is missing from the handle. There should be a washer under the flange on the handle that bears against the ring clamp. If it is missing, you will have to tighten more to get the clamp tight. I was still able to tighten mine without this washer, however.

The grease they used was just plain, thick grease like axle grease (though applied sparingly), so I doubt your problem is caused by too much lubrication.

I suspect that steel wear shim is either missing or has worn its way into the aluminum. If reorienting it doesn't help, then it might be time to find a replacement for this head. I fear you will have to peel off that angle scale to find out.

Rick "who owns all three vintages of this head" Denney

10-Sep-2010, 15:29
Problem solved. Thanks to everyone who to took the time out to answer this question.
I removed that plate that said Bogen 3047 and found that the nut that wasn't tight enough. I took out the allen key wrench and tightened it up. Now it is strong and sturdy.
The only problem is that when I popped off the plate, it flew somewhere in my apartment and I still can't find it.