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Tips & Tricks

How to Fix a Damaged Tripod Mount For the Brave of Heart

By Justin Heyes on October 21st 2016

The ¼ inch-20 tripod mount is arguably the most universal port in most of the cameras produced today; everything from an inexpensive point-and-shoot to pro level bodies, like the Nikon D5, have a tripod screw on the bottom.


On some cameras, the ¼ inch-20 is meant to tear away in an accident to prevent further damages to your gear in a fall. Sometimes the repairs can be costly, and the whole assembly needs to be replaced  or like in Tom Antos’s situation just the threads were damaged, and the repair can be done at home for $20.

[REWIND: A Creative Approach to Dodging and Burning in Photoshop ]


Antos damaged 2 of the treads on is Blackmagic URSA Mini and with the kit was able to re-thread the damaged tripod holes.


Watching the video a few times I have noticed a few things. Antos explains that you need to remove the little bar with a few quick taps, not only is it cringe worthy to watch him thwack a $3k camera, it is unnecessary. The bar only needs to be removed if the user needs a pass through. Otherwise, it should remain attached.


Second, there is nothing preventing the new threads from unscrewing when the plate is removed. Something like Blue Loctite would help the new threads from slipping when removing the tripod screw.

Third, softer metals like aluminum can be more harm than good when doing a DIY repair. Most of the the tripod mount is made of a harder material like steel to take the abuses of constant use.

If you use your camera extensively with a tripod based attachment like the Holdfast MoneyMaker, Custom SLR Glide One or the Spider Holster this DIY repair is not for you, as it could cause more damage on the already damaged thread.

For those braver than I, The kit can be picked up for $20 on Amazon and contains enough material to repair 10 damaged threads, although I would not recommend drilling into your favorite camera.


Via Tom Antos Films

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Graeme Finlayson

    The repair here is probably more commonly known as a “Heli-Coil” or “V-coil” repair as those are the most well known brands. Once inserted, the threaded insert will not unscrew – the pitch and size of the insert is such that it inserts under tension and grips the oversized tapping in such a way that it cannot unscrew. This type of repair is usually stronger than the original thread and works exceptionally well in aluminium. I have Spyder pins inserted into aluminium tripod plates using these and they’re good for all-day shooting with a gripped D800 and a 70-200 f/2.8 hanging off them.

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