DIY Photography Equipment – Thread Sizes

Photography thread size :: Standard tripod and camera thread sizes

• Photography thread size •
Standard tripod thread sizes and camera thread sizes... these are standard throughout the world.
On the left 3/8 inch 16 UNC thread on a Manfrotto camera mount. On the right a 1/4 inch 20 UNC thread for a removable tripod top. The 1/4 - 20 UNC thread (right) is the standard on most consumer cameras.

Interested in DIY Photography Equipment?

You need to know something before you start your DIY. You need to know the size of that screw thread into the bottom of your camera. It is used on your tripod and a range of other photographic mountings. To fit things to photo-equipment you will need to know the photography thread size(s). Well here are the details you want…

Universal Photography Thread Size Table
Diameter inch Diameter mm Thread size
1/4 6.3500 20
3/8 7.9375 16

These are set out under the ‘Unified Thread Standard’ (UTS). It’s published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The camera thread is a UNC specification for a ‘course’ thread. The Standard ISO 1222:2010 Photography – Tripod connections External link - opens new tab/page allows for the same fit in metric size.

Most cameras are fitted with a hole to take a photography thread size of 1/4in – 20 UNC thread. This means…

  • A quarter inch width
  • By 20 threads per inch UNC thread

Larger/heavier fittings, pro-cameras and heavy lens mountings may take the larger photography thread size: 3/8in – 16 UNC thread.

Some tripod manufacturers fit the larger sized 3/8in – 16 UNC to their tripods. When buying a tripod make sure you are able to use a converter if needed. Converters are available from photo-retailers…

 
Photography thread size :: Thread adapters
• Photographic Thread Adapters •
 
Most cameras, tripods and other photo-equipment have mounting screws or threaded holes. If these do not match you have a problem.

Actually, matching a tripod and camera thread is easy. These threads are standard sizes. A variety of adapters are widely available and cheap.
 
Click the link below to see a some adapters. 
Photographic thread adapters
 

 
Older tripods may not have used the same photography thread size. For most threads the size is very close to the modern standard. In most cases a digital camera will mount on a legacy tripod.

Tripod Heads fit onto the same photography thread size on the tripod. A wider range of fittings are found on light stands and light fittings, flash units and special mountings. They meet the same standards. That preserves the interchangeability of photographic kit.

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Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photographer and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
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