Do you have an old ball head that you love, but is not ARCA compatible? Do you want to give new life to your old gear? Let’s explore retrofitting!
What is retrofitting?
Retrofitting is adding a component to a piece of equipment that was not part of the original manufacturing process. Ball heads have changed greatly over the years. Do you have an old one hiding in storage that can be updated and give new life? The following is my personal experience in updating my old Manfrotto 468MRCG0 Ball Head.
Manfrotto 468MRCG0 Ball Head
Going back about 11 or 12 years ago, I was building my business and my gear on a very slim budget. Acquiring used equipment at bargain prices was a must. During one of my gear pursuits, for about $200, I purchased a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod (now discontinued) with a Manfrotto 468MRCG0 ball head (also discontinued). He tossed in a video head and angle bracket for no charge.
The Manfrotto 468MRCG0 has a 2 1/2″ hexagon shaped plate to mount your camera to the ball head. A few years after purchasing the ball head, it developed a creep. I was informed it could be refurbished. The refurbish eliminated the creep and gave it a new life!
As time has passed, the ball head found a home in my studio. The ball head’s primary use became macro and close-up work. Occasionally, it would go out for wildflowers and outdoors macro work. While researching the ball head, over the years it has gone through many upgrades and versions.
Recently, the Manfrotto 468CRCG0 made a trip to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Why? The ball head is a workhorse and can support up to 35 pounds! Since this is a heavy duty ball head and I have the “big bird” lens, M. Zuiko 150-400mm f/4.0 Pro, I wanted to make sure it was well supported.
The collar on the lens is ARCA compatible. However, when using a two camera system on a non-ARCA compatible mount, you are constantly changing the plate. While researching the Manfrotto ball head, I discovered you could retrofit it to an ARCA system.
Retrofitting the Manfrotto 468MRCG0 ball head
During my research, I found the Wimberley C-12 Quick Release Clamp was a match for my ball head. Performing the retrofit procedure seemed straightforward enough, so I ordered the Wimberley C-12 quick release clamp.
In the Wimberley C-12 Package
- Quick release clamp: C12 (1)
- Set screws M5 x 6 mm, pre-installed (3)
- Reducer bushing: BS — 100, brass (1)
- Mounting screw: M6 x 30 mm flat-head (1)
- Mounting screw: M3 x 12 mm Hex Screw (3)
- Mounting screw: 1/4″ -20 x 0.75″ flat-head (1)
- Hex key: 2.5mm (1)
- Hex key: 5/32″ (1)
Step-by-step retrofitting the Manfrotto 468MRCG0 ball head
The instructions were easy to follow; you had to match your tripod post to one of the many detailed in the manual, then follow the steps listed.
Using the enclosed 2.5mm hex key and remove the center mounting screw.
Switch to the 5/32″ hex key and remove the set screw.
Place the new Wimberley quick release plate on the head mount.
Use the 2.5mm hex key and replace the mounting screw that you removed in Step 1.
With the 5/32″ hex key, tighten the 3 pre-installed set screws; tighten loosely at first then go back and tighten all the way.
Mount your camera to your brand new tripod head and enjoy the new life you have given to your old gear!