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October 30, 2007

Bogen - Manfrotto 3265 Grip Action Ball Head with Quick Release

This is the pistol grip I've used on my camera tripod since I bought my Canon EOS 20D in November of 2004. Shortly afterwards, I bought an aluminum tripod and the 3265 pistol grip. Both are manufactured by Bogen in Italy, and distributed by Manfrotto.

The pistol grip worked faily well, until I got the Canon 100 - 300mm lens, and over time, the resisance of the ball joint in the pistol grip has weakened to the point that the pistol grip is nearly useless. It just slips and slides all the time, even when it's supposed to be locked into position. So, it's time to repair or replace the 3265 pistol grip.

I read some product reviews of the 3265 though, and it seems to be a fairly common complaint that the 3265 wears out over time, and won't hold the camera in position very well.

Then I found a site which shows how to repair the Bogen-Manfrotto 3265 unit.

After spending about 2 hours, tearing down, disassembling, cleaning, and re-assembling th 3265, it still functions about the same. There's not enough friction between the ball head and the surfaces rubbing against the head to generate enough resistance to slipping. Camera still gyrates and slips when it should be holding still.

Also, if you decided to tear yours down, be VERY careful with the spring or you'll lose an eye or two.

Update: Here is a review of the professional ball-heads out there on the market which would probably support my 300mm lens with the EOS 40D frame.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM


What model of tripod are you using?

Posted by: Robert R. on November 5, 2007 at 4:01 PM

I had the same problem on a couple of my bogen manfrotto 3265 ball heads. They just kept slipping. This photographer repaired them and they work better than new. They grip excellent,no problem. price was very reasonable.you can contact him at greggmoranphotographer@hotmail.com

Posted by: sonny on March 31, 2008 at 11:23 AM

I had this same problem with my 3265 grip. All you have to do is tighten the little Allen head screw that's on the opposite side of the long gray release lever. It's small so you may miss it. It's above the actual ball joint, right below the red tension indicator on the handle.
I took the whole thing apart about 5 times, cleaned it, tried adding an extra washer to create more tension and none of these things worked. Then I read somewhere on another forum that the little Allen screw fixes the problem perfectly, and it did. The grip now works flawlessly! Hope this helps!!

Posted by: matt on July 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Matt. I'll try this next time it gets loose. :)

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on July 5, 2010 at 9:35 PM

I've used two of these (one in indoor studio camera and one on outdoor camera) for nearly two decades and never had any problem or slippage. At first I used RZ67's on them with motorized backs. These are heavy BEASTS - as long as I kept the camera up - they worked fine. When digital came out and we switched to digital cameras - their smaller size and lesser weight worked nicely on these heads. With thousands of shots per year or more like 100s of thousands the heads still work fine and do not slip. I do not however put them sideways (for a vertical framing) I use a custom brackets brand camera bracket and the head is always vertical (so doesn't have weight pulling down against the friction points) I rotate the camera in the bracket. Recently I started using the 70-200 (canon) lens mount on the head in place of the expensive custom brackets, camera bracket. This comes with the lens and allows quick and easy horizontal and vertical framing without the extra expense.

Stumbled onto your page searching for this head number and info for one of my PortraNET students.

Posted by: Ron Kramer on November 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

THANK YOU Matt for posting the solution about tightening the little Allen head screw that's on the opposite side of the long gray release lever, right below the red tension indicator on the handle. I had been ready to throw out the whole unit because after about 2 years it got so loose as to be useless. Then I read your post and fixed it in minutes. Thanks!

Posted by: Bob C on December 5, 2014 at 6:25 PM

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