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Begginer's question: Tripod Mount Thread Size

Friendly Bird , Feb 10, 2004; 10:49 p.m.

Hi, I've just got started to do some serious photography and am now buying equipment. I'm looking for heads to match a Gitzo G1228 tripod. I came across some terms which I don't quite understand, but I believe they are critical in selecting heads. What does "Tripod Mount Thread Size" mean? Following are some head specs that I got, what do they mean? Thanks a bunch!

"Tripod Mt. Thread Size 3/8"-16" "1/4"-20 camera mounting screw"

Responses

Jonathan Scoles , Feb 10, 2004; 11:52 p.m.

3/8-16 and 1/4-20 are the two standard tripod screw sizes. Most 35mm camera bodies accept a 1/4" diameter, 20 thread-count screw. Most tripod heads attach to tripod legs with a 3/8" diameter, 16 thread-count screw.

Where did you see that specification, exactly?

Kelly Flanigan , Feb 11, 2004; 12:14 a.m.

most cameras today use 1/4-20 threads. larger movie cameras; Russian cameras; older pre WW2 Rollei TLR; may use 3/8-16 threads.

csab' józsa , Feb 11, 2004; 01:16 p.m.

My after-war (about '60) rolleicord V is also using 3/8 -16 screw.

If it;s written like this, you'll probably get it with the bigger 3/8 - 16 and a small adapter screw to 1/4 - 20 screw. Don't worry, it will fit your camera.

Bryce JFG , Feb 11, 2004; 01:57 p.m.

These are standard American thread sizes -you can buy bolts and nuts at your hardware store by these specifications.

The part that counts is: you can get an adapter to mount a 3/8-16 head on a tripod with a 1/4-20 stud (the adapter threads on over the stud to make it bigger); but I'm not aware of an adapter (it wouldn't be hard, it would just have to be fairly big, and add about 1/2" of height) to adapt a 1/4-20 head to fit onto a tripod with a 3/8-16 stud.

"professional" heads and tripods are more likely to have 3/8; but most will be 1/4-20.

NOTE: the adapters that are sold to fit 3/8-16 female threads (on the bottom of the camera or bottom of the tripod head) onto 1/4-20 male threads (on the top of the tripod, or on the top of the tripod head) are made to fit as many applications as possible; so they tend to be very short (they don't thread in very deeply). This can be a problem because they don't get a good grip, and can pull out -especially in an aluminum tripod head. You'll want to get one that threads in as deeply as possible into your tripod head, if it's necessary to use an adapter.

Friendly Bird , Feb 12, 2004; 12:09 a.m.

Thanks for all the reply: those more than answered my question indeed! Jonathan I saw the spec for a head that I want to buy at ebay, wanted to make sure it fits with my camera. I'm using a Nikon N80, so I guess that'll need a 1/4" screw.

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