Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

Started Sep 19, 2011 | Discussions
jman995x Forum Member • Posts: 55
Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

I recently bought a Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Tripod head (used, but in MINT condition).
When I first got it, the pistol grip's grip on the ball head was really tight.

I've been buys and haven't been able to play with it until today. So, I loaded my T2i (not a heavy camera by any means) with an 18-55mm lens (not heavy either) onto it today and noticed that even with the adjustment wheel dialed to maximum "Friction", that I could accidentally bump the handle (VERY lightly) and get the whole head/camera to move on the ball joint.

Obviously, this does not make me happy.

Is there something I'm missing?
Is there another way to increase the pistol grip's grip on the ball head?
Is this an inherent problem with these that I'm unaware of?

Any help/feedback/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Justin

OP jman995x Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

(bump)

Vulcanrider Regular Member • Posts: 306
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

Hope you get some feedback as I'm looking to purchase the same head.
Alan

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OP jman995x Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

Vulcanrider wrote:

Hope you get some feedback as I'm looking to purchase the same head.
Alan

I found some older posts on other sites and they had the solution...using a number 3 Allen key on a specific bolt makes the head's grip on the ball incredibly tight. I'll try to post (tomorrow) a picture of the exact Allen bolt that gets tightened.

J.

OP jman995x Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.
8

As promised, here is a solution to a Manfrotto 322RC2 head not gripping the ball very tightly.

If you insert a #3 (Metric) Allen Wrench in the hole in this picture, and tighten SLIGHTLY, you'll notice a marked improvement in the head's grip on the ball.

Since mine didn't come with a manual, this next bit of information is for those out there in the same boat....the red "Friction" dial ONLY adjusts how easy/hard it is to squeeze the handle. The red "Friction" dial has NOTHING to do with how tight a grip the head has on the ball....that is dictated by the aforementioned Allen Bolt in the picture below.

Hope this helps.

J.

Britten New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

The Springs inside is lubricated with silicon lubricant. which leaks on to the ball due to temp, humitiy etc. If you completely clean the ball of all greesy material you will see significant improvement in friction. You can open up the head, clean and put it back. You need help of another person to hold the springs while you snaps the covers back. hope it helps...

LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

Thanks to the OP and thanks to the replies.I have the same problem.Turns out that cleaning with isopropul alcohol the head and tightening the bolt really helped.

I had problems(the head supposedly was heavy duty but couldn't hold my 5DII,even with a "light" lens,like the sigma 105mm macro) but now that it works well it is really a very good head.
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DaPhatty Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

Thank you so much for sharing your fix with the rest of us. I recently rented this exact unit and was having the same issue. I assumed that the behavior was due to excessive misuse but now it works perfectly! Thumbs up!
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harleydavidson Senior Member • Posts: 1,237
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose, even on full friction?

Yes they are good heads. I have two that are in like new hardly used condition that I am selling if anyone is interested. With the box and manual, in fact one has seen no use at all and the second only used two-three times total. I am selling because I want to get geared heads for macro use instead. I have a thread going in the for sale forum if anyone is interested. I'm willing to deal on these.
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dxdn v2 New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

Thanks so much to jman995x and britten for your suggestions. Especially thank you to jman995x for the helpful photo and the exact Allen wrench size.

Had the same looseness issue with a used head from eBay and gave the seller quite a bit of e-mail trouble about getting a non-working item. Now I have a working item and an eBay seller to apologize to.

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drz Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

I know that this thread is pretty old, but I wanted to thank you for the solution.

I also never realized that the friction know was only for the handle resistance.  I always felt it made no difference - to the ball friction!

This head had sat idle for something like 3 years.  When I pulled it out, there was little friction to the ball.  This post solved it for me.

David

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Hendricus02 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.
2

Hallo, look at these 2 pics, does anyone think the tension knob with red indicater, has some-thing to do with the tensoin on the handle!!!? This is also the tensoin on the ball!
I disassembled the Manfrotto 322RC2, for same allready mentioned reason. Best Regards Henry

drz Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

Very interesting.  I had based my comment about the tension wheel applying to the handle on the earlier comment jman995x.  From your pictures, it looks like the friction wheel has everything to do with the ball, not the handle. (Unless there is some additional friction at the far pivot point at the top of the handle that the wheel affects.  That looks more like a stopping point, though.)

I still feel no discernible difference in the ball tension when I use the friction wheel.  Maybe it is just my unit.  I get significant difference in tension when I adjust the previously identified screw even a little bit.  It would make much more sense to have adjustment through the wheel for on-the-go changes.

Thanks for posting the pictures.

David

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Storm1989 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

THANK YOU!!!!! I have two different Manfrotto grip heads and both wouldn't hold. I just fixed the 322RC2 with the included allen wrench. They had told me I needed to send them in for repairs.
Now on to find a slightly smaller Allen wrench for the old grip head. Yay! I'm so happy.

fotowbert
fotowbert Veteran Member • Posts: 3,258
Manfrotto joystick head adjustment

Storm1989 wrote:

THANK YOU!!!!! I have two different Manfrotto grip heads and both wouldn't hold. I just fixed the 322RC2 with the included allen wrench. They had told me I needed to send them in for repairs.
Now on to find a slightly smaller Allen wrench for the old grip head. Yay! I'm so happy.

I have the older model 3265 grip head and a 2.5mm Allen wrench fits the adjustment screw in question. This adjustment actually controls the amount of lash (free play) in the ball lock mechanism which in turn controls how far open the release lever is in its free position. Turning the screw CW reduces the lash, CCW increases the lash. The screw turns most easily when you are squeezing the release lever which unloads the ball lock mechanism.

This adjustment is probably used during assembly and intended primarily to account for manufacturing tolerances although a user can use it to offset any increase in free play during use due to wear/compression of the lock components. Correct adjustment is to have the free position of the release lever short of its full travel where it is stopped by the little ears on the left end of the release lever in the 1st image in this link . This ensures the full force of the large spring pushing the release lever out is transferred through the lever's mechanical advantage to the ball locking plate, the light colored piece in the linked image.

It is this large spring that provides essentially all of the locking force on the ball. A very small additional force does come from the +/- knob spring but that is intended to control the friction of the ball head when it is free to move since it is not relieved by squeezing the release lever. In an attempt to reduce the squeeze effort of my 3265 head I have substituted weaker springs for the release lever spring. Unfortunately the ball would slip under load and I had to return to the original stiffer spring.

BTW these heads are easily disassembled but watch out for flying parts. As another poster said reassembly is better done with 2 pair of hands.

  • John
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Larry Gindhart
Larry Gindhart New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

jman995x wrote:

As promised, here is a solution to a Manfrotto 322RC2 head not gripping the ball very tightly.

If you insert a #3 (Metric) Allen Wrench in the hole in this picture, and tighten SLIGHTLY, you'll notice a marked improvement in the head's grip on the ball.

Since mine didn't come with a manual, this next bit of information is for those out there in the same boat....the red "Friction" dial ONLY adjusts how easy/hard it is to squeeze the handle. The red "Friction" dial has NOTHING to do with how tight a grip the head has on the ball....that is dictated by the aforementioned Allen Bolt in the picture below.

Hope this helps.

J.

This is the solution I was looking for. Thanks so much for posting. Joystick now working perfectly!

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http://GindhartPhoto.com
Indianapolis, IN

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PacificFreelance New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.
1

OMG.

THANK YOU.

On my last shoot i was VERY dismayed when my grip was not only slipping at 90* but also straight up and down. Ive had this grip [222?] since about 2012 so i figured it was just old and worn out.... like its owner.

I went as far as ordering a Giottos midi ball head and although i love its construction and feel, i do NOT like the Arca-Swiss plate and could go on and on about that.

But after NOT getting that to work the way i wanted it too i went to the Fix-All which is Google Search and found your post.

I cleaned the ball, with OUT dissassembly [turn the grip 90*, clean the exposed ball, turn it 1/4, clean exposed, repeat] and also tightened the small screw and i think it works better now than when i pulled it out of its original box!

Plus, haha, my cousin has one of these grips he uses with a spotting scope for hunting and BOY will i look like a genius when HIS grip starts loosing its grip and he doesnt know how to fix it.

Thanks guys!

Skizeks New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.
1

Thanks   I'm glade I found this post before I was going to sell this head!

I could not get it to work.

Cleaned it up tightened up the screw, now it works better than new!!

cbeutie New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU! I was sure that I had done something wrong and needed to buy a new one!  More money for glass....

mbender71 New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick head very loose on ball....SOLUTION.
1

Wow! Wow! Wow!

I too thought for sure my Manfrotto ball head was dead after 20 years and the spring just had lost it's ability to lock the ball. I cleaned the head with alcohol and paper towel without disassembling (putting ball in 90deg position and small rotations while cleaning). I then tightened the 2.5mm screw about 3/4 of a turn and BOOM the head was like new!

Thank you to everyone for this thread!!!!

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