Manfrotto 410 Gearhead: Pan Adjustment too stiff

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
Jarvis393 Contributing Member • Posts: 572
Manfrotto 410 Gearhead: Pan Adjustment too stiff

I have a two Manfrotto 410 gearheads.

I bought them both brand new and they have had extremely limited use.   All of the use has been in dustfree indoor settings.  One of them was purchased about a year ago for a tripod.  The second one was purchased a month or so ago to leave set up on a dedicated Magic Arm.

The first one I bought  tilts and rotates just fine in the top two axis but is extremely stiff at the pan head (closest adjustment to the top of tripod).  The stiffness almost renders the gearhead unusable.  You have to securely hold the tripod in place when you are trying to rotate it or you will unthread the gearhead altogether from the tripod.

The new 410 gearhead is perfectly smooth in all adjustments.  It's the comparison of the two heads that makes me think the first one is a lemon.

The only discernible difference between the two heads is the new one has a smoother base where it joins to the tripod and the older one has more of a pebble finish to it.  This base facet of the gearhead does not come into play with the rotating parts but does suggest some change in the manufacturing process.

DOES anybody know how to go about loosening the pan head so you don't have to threaten it each time you use it?  Can this be serviced by a user or does it need to go back to the factory?  Any suggestions how to make this more friendly?

IanMaw Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Manfrotto 410 Gearhead: Pan Adjustment too stiff

I have been through this with my 405 which works much the same and in my experience has the same issue, at least in some cases.

The only way I have found to fix this issue is to remove the knob assembly and loosen the knob while holding the helical gear in place. The grub screw must be removed before this can be done. Sadly the grub screw can damage the thread making it difficult to loosen the knob. If you loosen the knob too much you will introduce unwanted play.

I have photos of the similar disassembly I did on my 405.

You might find this video helpful :-

https://youtu.be/KOLVv2L68ds

This guy has the opposite problem but the disassembly stage is the same.

Manfrottospares.com have an exploded view of the 410 and also sell spares should you need them.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

OP Jarvis393 Contributing Member • Posts: 572
Re: Manfrotto 410 Gearhead: Pan Adjustment too stiff

Thanks Ian,

That was a very thorough review of how to dismantle the gearhead.  I might go ahead and try that but am somewhat disheartened that I should even have to.

My 410 gearhead was stiff like this right out of the box.  It is clearly a manufacturing defect that Manfrotto should certainly have been able to to prevent.

I like everything else about the head and will, if necessary, purchase another one.  This time I will try to get the vendor to actually test it before they ship.

RobinHsherwood
RobinHsherwood Contributing Member • Posts: 835
Re: Manfrotto 410 Gearhead: Pan Adjustment too stiff

Jarvis393 wrote:

Thanks Ian,

That was a very thorough review of how to dismantle the gearhead. I might go ahead and try that but am somewhat disheartened that I should even have to.

My 410 gearhead was stiff like this right out of the box. It is clearly a manufacturing defect that Manfrotto should certainly have been able to to prevent.

I like everything else about the head and will, if necessary, purchase another one. This time I will try to get the vendor to actually test it before they ship.

I have used two 410 heads for several years now, no sign of stiffness in any of the adjustments. If I had received one that was stiff right out of the box, I would immediately return it for exchange. I find them very good heads and even use them as leveling bases for other heads, e.g. gimbals and ball heads.

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Robin H

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