View Full Version : Camera Tripod Mount

Simon Benton
8-Jun-2009, 03:51
I purchased an old whole plate camera that has (to me) a non standard tripod mounting base. Can anyone advise me of the adapter I need to mount the camera to a regular type tripod. If there is one are they still available? Any help greatly appreciated.

8-Jun-2009, 05:35
I have been thinking about it a couple of times.

Why not make a base (a type of cradle) with tripod mount where you put the camera onto ? The base would require some uprights at all sides to keep the camera into propper position.


8-Jun-2009, 11:26
Here is a picture of my Okuhara half-plate camera that shows some of the tripod mount, which is similar to yours. The center part has a disk with a tripod socket. Radiating out from that at 120-degree spacing are three threaded rods with inside-threaded sleeves (tubes) around them. The sleeves have large "pins" (about 1/8 or 3/16 inch in diameter) in the end that fit the 3 holes in the mount in the camera base. To install the mount, you open the camera and, with the sleeves screwed toward the center, fit the 3 pins into the holes, then screw out the sleeves until the tripod socket in the middle disk is centered and the piece is firmly locked in place.

When I get home tonight, I can take a better picture of the base and tripod fitting, if you want.

Simon Benton
8-Jun-2009, 14:05
Photo would be a great help - thank you.

Ernest Purdum
8-Jun-2009, 19:30
These "turntables" in the bases of Japanese and British field cameras accepted individual tripod legs which snapped into place. Not only were these different from the modern arrangement, they differed also from maker to maker. Sometime after WWII, it became common in Japan for adapters to be fitted enabling the use of a standard 1/4" X 20 screw.

Another approach which should work on some cameras, is to remove the turntable and substitute a metal disc with a 1/4" X 20 socket in it.

I doubt that you will be able to find a commercial adapter. You don't mention the camera name. If you know it, and if the company still exists, you could ask them.

There were some advantages to the tuntable arrangement. You could fold your camera without removing the lens; and the chance of the base cracking was greatly reduced. I think the latter consideration must have been the reason for the big Deardorff disc.

9-Jun-2009, 07:47
Attached are some pictures of the base of my Okuhara field camera. The tripod mount is shown in the second picture (grid lines at 1/8"), with one of the “sleeves” off. It mounts in the middle hole shown in the close-up in picture 3.

As Ernest mentioned, you can attach a tripod directly to the base, using pins from the tripod legs fitted in the side holes shown in picture 3. In picture 4, I have placed a Graflex tripod to show how it might have worked (but this tripod does not fit directly).

Your camera is also missing the thumb screw used to keep the base ring from rotating. It fits in the bump shown at 12-o’clock in your picture.

If I were to make an insert, I would start with three 5/16” brass bolts, about 2 1/2” long, cut the heads off, and file or grind one end of each to a 1/8” diameter by 3/16” long pin. Solder or epoxy a 5/16” brass nut on each bolt about ½” from this end. Next, cut a disk from ¾ inch birch plywood and drill three 5/16” holes, 1 or 1 1/2” deep, in the edge, at 120 degrees from each other. Drill a larger concentric hole in ¼” from the edge and epoxy in a 5/16 brass nut in the hole, so the bolt can screw into the nut and hole. Repeat for the other two holes. Finally, drill a hole (sized for your tripod’s head bolt) through the center of the plywood disk and countersink the top to accept a nut epoxyed in.

By the way, what make is your camera?

Diane Maher
9-Jun-2009, 09:11
Here is a picture of my whole plate camera with a modified plate which takes a 3/8 inch mount. You might need to scroll down a bit to see it.


Simon Benton
11-Jun-2009, 03:20
Thank you all for the replies. How the tripod mount now works is a lot clearer. I think the camera name is Astoria but this sounds a very generic type name.

Ernest Purdum
11-Jun-2009, 09:50
Your camera was made by Astoria Limited. Their address was 17, 1-chome, Sonezakishinchi. Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan. They had quite a range of products including studio as well as field cameras. I doubt if they still exist, but you could give it a try. They had a post office box, C.P.O. 178. Osaka Japan.