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Thread: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

  1. #1

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    Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    One of my high quality ball heads does not offer an OEM 3/8" tripod screw option. The only way to go is to get a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter. I have a few older ones but not that high of quality and the brass one scares me a bit to use. I would assume that a SS 1/4" to 3/8" adapter would be the best way to go or ? Can anyone recommend a high quality 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    Only a personal observation, but 1/4" tripod screws seem to now dominate the current market. Probably just the result of digital cameras vastly outnumbering LF cameras...

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    There are different qualities of brass. But long ago mechanics and machinists discovered that it's important to preserve a primary thread by using something potential sacrificial and a little softer for the secondary thread. I don't always follow that advice myself, and generally use stainless steel instead because our marine atmosphere around here inevitably corrodes even brass or chrome to a significant degree. The local camera store sells perfectly decent adapters. But if you want a good selection of all kinds of alloys, go to any real machinist supply (if any are open at the moment), or to the McMaster Carr website. You'll pay far more for the shipping than the item itself, unless they only package it in multiples, which might make sense to have around anyway.

  3. #3

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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    If you get one with a large flange, you won't have to worry about it getting stuck in your tripod head.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...to_3_8_16.html
    (I would remove any rubber pad) I tried a couple different brands and one of them had very few threads.

    Probably getting one, with as many threads that will go into your tripod head as possible and still be flush, is as important as the material. Some of the adapters are short so that they are guaranteed to screw all the way in, but all the way in has very few threads. If you don't get one with a large flange, pay attention to the outside end which may have a small squared off or beveled flange. If you have to use one with a small beveled flange so that it will mount flush with your tripod head, removing it may take more than the appropriate size of screwdriver.

  4. #4
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Keller View Post
    If you get one with a large flange, you won't have to worry about it getting stuck in your tripod head.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...to_3_8_16.html
    (I would remove any rubber pad) I tried a couple different brands and one of them had very few threads.

    Probably getting one, with as many threads that will go into your tripod head as possible and still be flush, is as important as the material. Some of the adapters are short so that they are guaranteed to screw all the way in, but all the way in has very few threads. If you don't get one with a large flange, pay attention to the outside end which may have a small squared off or beveled flange. If you have to use one with a small beveled flange so that it will mount flush with your tripod head, removing it may take more than the appropriate size of screwdriver.
    I have the opposite problem: most adapters are too long and protrude beyond the camera base. Also, I prefer ana adapter that has a slot cut into it so I can remove it with a flat-blade screwdriver.

  5. #5

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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    The best is the LInhof brass one.

  6. #6
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    The best is the LInhof brass one.
    And the Gitzo one?

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    A trick I use in this instance and numerous analogous applications is to use a little wrap of plumber's teflon tape around the outer threads (preferably the yellow gas line type). This prevents the insert from corroding itself shut within the tripod socket, and also makes it much easier to remove when necessary, yet without easily getting loose and falling out. Remember, even if you have an inert alloy in the case of the reducer itself, most tripod heads themselves are aluminum alloys capable of corrosion. Just hang around the beach frequently if you doubt that fact. Even the anodized aluminum trim on my slider windows is now a corroded greenish mess. Time takes its toll; yet I happen to like lifetime gear, and therefore appropriately care for it.

  8. #8

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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    And the Gitzo one?
    Not as good. Too long.

  9. #9
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    Unless it's totally loosey-goosey and ill-fitting, I would not run screaming from your brass adapter. If you're speaking of the threaded bushing type of adapter which threads into the camera's mounting hole and provides a receptacle of the correct diameter and pitch, then it's going to operate under compression anyway and the strength of the brass won't be an issue. Besides, brass will not gall with other metals, so little chance of it getting stuck.
    There's probably a reason that Linhof chose brass for their offering.

  10. #10

    Re: Best 1/4" to 3/8" adapter?

    I was in this situation last week.

    I got my new / old linhof back from the cla and tech told me not to use adaptors.

    The technika has a 3/8but my ball head arca style release plate has a 1/4

    I went onto Amazon and purchased a 3/8 release plate for $14

    I have to day I feel much more comfortable.

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