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Re Tripod Screw Thread Depth

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by retiredfromlife, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Veteran

    365
    May 15, 2016
    Syndey, Australia
    When trolling the web a few weeks ago I noticed a topic where someone had broken through the bottom of their camera when screwing in a quick release plate. something I had not considered. I have only recently moved to quick release plates by putting Manfrotto RC2 adaptors on my old Manfrotto tripods that just have screws and lock nuts on them.

    I measured all the old film cameras, point a shoot digitals and my new Olympus E-P5. The holes in the bottom of the camera bodies were from 5.5 to 6mm deep. Measured two ways, depth gauge on the back of a vernier and by measuring how far a bolt went in.

    My Manfrotto RC2 200PL plates have the screw coming out just more than 5mm, but this is not screwed in so it could go in further. I went into my local photography store and measured how far the threads came out of a lot a of arca swiss plates. These were all I could measure at the time. Some of them on the cheap good looking tripods measured 6mm which could pose a problem for some cameras.

    Bottom line for me is I am going to tap out a piece of both 5 & 6mm plate the size of the quick release plates I use so when I buy and other quick release plates I can screw them up tight and see if they protrude out of either 5 or 6m plates to ensure they will not bottom out and break through any camera bases I have.

    Anyone else ever looked into this?

    Regards MarkL
     
  2. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I encountered this problem only with a JB Designs Gripbase for my EM5. It uses a brass screw to mount the base to the camera that is itself tapped for a tripod screw. But, the hole was too shallow for my MeFoto QR plates. So, I cut some washers out of thin plastic sheet and used them under the QR plate screw to prevent the screw from bottoming out. You might consider doing that for your Manfrotto plates.
     
  3. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Veteran

    365
    May 15, 2016
    Syndey, Australia
    Yes shimming would be a way out. I was initially thinking of screwing my test plate to the quick release plates and grinding off anything that protruded out of the 5mm plate. I would then have to chamfer the end of the screw. I have a fine wheel for that.

    A better way may be to put a shimmer washer behind the head of the screw on the quick release plate, but these are hard to buy, and make. I think that is what you meant, but I was thinking of steel.

    There must be a standard for this camera hole but after googling around all I can find is the thread not the hole depth.

    Regards MarkL
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  4. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    It wasn't hard to make the washers. If you can't find them at a local hardware store, you could make them yourself with a paper punch and a sharp pair of scissors with some thin plastic. You don't want them too thick anyway. About 0.5 mm would probably be enough.
     
  5. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If the screws are too long then I would reduce their length (file, grinder, bench sander etc) to prevent any further problem there, but spacer washes can be a solution too I guess.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I like this solution better than shimming. It's an easy fix, doesn't require a shim for different bodies, and will have a more secure grip because you don't have an intermediary material for the plate to slide against relative to the body.

    If you have a tap-and-die set, cleaning your work up afterwards with a 1/4-20 die and some cutting fluid will ensure that it's as good as new.
     
  7. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Veteran

    365
    May 15, 2016
    Syndey, Australia
    I have all the equipment I need in my shed to do the work. I will make the testing plates before I grind down any screws because if the grip material on the quick release plates compresses it will change the effective depth. Also I notice that some cameras have little ridges on the bottom on the camera that are higher than the outside of the tripod hole so I will take that into account as well as the plates will sit on top of those.

    I don't want to grind to much off as that could be a problem as well.

    Regards MarkL