Hot shoe -> tripod help

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by bellalee, May 4, 2010.

  1. bellalee

    bellalee Member

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    Firstly off, sorry if this is in the wrong area :S
    I had an idea to mount my small digital camera onto the hot shoe of my minolta x-700

    I was wondering if there are any special pieces that can do this, or would I have to butcher some tripod screws and hot shoes to make it

    Is it even possible?
    Thanks,
    Bella
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    A tripod thread is 1/4-20, a very commom imperial fasterner size. Buy a bolt and nut at the hardware store.

    For the hot shoe interface point, I would suggest a dead flash, or something of the sort. that fits into it already.

    Join the cut down part of the hot shoe mount to the bolt and nut using 'fimo' modelling clay. It dries in a day or two, and is quite strong. It shrinks slightly on drying.

    I use slow setting hot glue to attach the fimo piece to other plastic pieces, and even smear the exterior of the clay with it to give some tensile strength to the assembly.

    I have used this technique to make cradles for 120V screw shell sockets that sat on top of battery power flash units to give a modelling light capability.

    I have also used it to fill in broken sections of my old Metz lfash generator exterior plastic case, and to adapt a compendium lens hood for which I lacked the right sized diameter to fit a view camera lens.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Bella;

    An interesting concept. I know that we can buy things to go the other way; to adapt from a 1/4-20 bolt on top of a tripod to a "cold shoe" for physically mounting a flash unit. Going the other way is a bit different.

    One old bulb type flash gun I had did have a metal foot to go into the flash mount on the camera, and the metal foot had a 1/4-20 hole in the middle with a stud (a short piece of 1/4-20 threaded rod) that screwed into it. There was a threaded disk on the stud that allowed you to turn the disk to clamp it down onto the flash shoe to hold it there. You could also mount the flash gun directly onto a tripod by turning it down onto the 1/4-20 tripod screw. If you could find something like that, it would be easy to disassemble those parts to make up something that will do what you want.

    Then there is the curiosity that is asking; "Why does he want to put a digital camera on top of a Minolta X-700?"
     
  4. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Stroboframe and Bogen have all kind of fittings. They may have one that works.
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Flip a tripod adapter upside down. Put a piece of 1/20 brass rod, proper length to be tight when screwed all the way in, up and down, for mounting the camera.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Bella:

    My biggest concern would be with the potential for damaging the hot shoe and camera.

    I think if you talk to people who repair cameras, a lot of them will tell you they see a lot of cameras that suffer damage because something mounted in the hot shoe was bumped or twisted.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I just want to point out that the standard tripod thread is actually 1/4" Whitworth not 1/4-20 UNC. They are both 20 threads per inch but there is a five degree difference in the cutting angle. For mounting small items as being discussed here the difference doesn't matter but as things get heavier it makes sense to use the correct thread so that the maximum area of metal is in contact between the male and female threads.


    Steve.
     
  8. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Steve;

    That is a revelation. At the risk of being accused of taking the topic off onto a tangent, I have another question since this has now come up.

    What about the "European Tripod Mount Thread?" I have always thought that it is a 3/8-16 UNC also. Is there some other curious variation here too?

    Regarding the fastener and wrench system devised by Sir Thomas Whitworth, the 1/4 inch Whitworth wrench size always fascinated me. It is the only fastener hex size that I could not come close to with either a fractional inch wrench or a metric wrench. A Quarter Whit' took a Quarter Whit' Wrench and nothing else would fit. Well, except for a 5/16 British Standard. Left handed Metric adjustable wrenches do not count here.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    That too is Whitworth. 3/8" and 16 threads per inch. Same difference in cutting angle.

    In practice they can be interchangeable but if you use a Whitworth thread you will have a good flat surface to flat surface contact whereas mixing UNC and Whitworth will give edge contact around the thread. i.e. less area touching which may lead to wear and damage over time.

    Differences:

    http://www.britishfasteners.com/threads/unc.html

    http://www.britishfasteners.com/threads/bsw.html


    Steve.
     
  10. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Bella,

    Why do you want to specifically mount it on top of the other camera? Why not side by side, and use a metal bar with a suitable screw at each end to hold the cameras next to each other (or bend a bar to hold one above the other)? That way, the top camera is better supported and there's no risk of damaging the hot shoe.

    Just a thought.
    David.
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Stroboframe will have a flash bracket you can do the with. At least one opf the "Flip-Flash" units has a 1/4-20 hole in the upper bracket for a flash shoe or mount. Just run an appropriate sized bolt through it.
     
  12. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Steve Smith;

    Thank you for the additional information regarding the fastener system devised by Sir Joseph Whitworth. My copy of MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK was a casualty of the death of a marriage (along with the rest of my library), and I admit that I was going by memory alone in trying to recall his name. When working on English motorbikes, his full name was rarely, if ever, given in the repair manuals. With the links you provided, I can at least retrieve the specifications for the fasteners for storage on the computer.

    And, I see that at least one other person is curious why Bella wants to mount a digital camera atop a Minolta X-700.