Month: April 2019

How to screw a shotgun microphone onto a tripod

How to screw a shotgun microphone onto a tripod

Have you ever been shocked that the screw in the quick release plate of your tripod is too small and won’t screw into a shotgun microphone like the RODE Videomic or a tripod head?

Whatever it is that you’re having a hard time with – I’ve already been through that problem. It just won’t screw in! 😮

The reason why it won’t:

The screw on top of you tripod is 1/4 inch in diameter, wheras the the threaded hole you’re having a hard time with is 3/8 inch in diameter. More specifically it is a 3/8-16 screw, which stands for 3/8 inch in diameter and 16 threads per inch of its height.

Why are there two types of screws for video gear?

3/8 inch is a standard thread for attaching tripod heads to their legs. For any tripod, that has a head detachable from the legs, or for companies, which sell tripod legs and heads separately – the standard bolt to tighten the kit together is the 3/8-16 screw .

The exceptions for this are:

  • When the camera must be attachable even without a proper tripod head screwed on. Monopods are a great example of such use. Freelancers shooting media coverage who you often see on public events don’t usually put a head on a monopod. Since it is basically a metal rod, it allows for quick and easy camera pans and tilts. No tripod head needed.
  • When the legs and the head are very small and compact.

In these cases the base – be it the tripod legs or a monopod – is equipped with the 1/4-20 screw you’re used to. Analogously as for the 3/8-16 bolt, 1/4 is the diameter of the screw in inches and 20 is the number of threads per inch.

Okay, but how do I screw a 1/4 inch screw into a 3/8 inch hole?

You are going to need a screw converter/thread reducer – there are a lot of names for these.

I recommend buying them in packs, because if you only have one and loose it – you are in trouble. I had a few shoots when I couldn’t use my shotgun microphone on a monopod (to serve as a boompole).

Easy to unscrew

I recommend this kind of converters, since they have a groove on one end. You use it to screw the adapter out if you get it too far in.

Get it here on Amazon:

Foto&Tech 5 Pieces Metal 1/4″ to 3/8″ Convert Screw Adapter for Tripod Monopod Ballhead DSLR SLR

I personally used it to attach my RODE Videomic to a monopod, which had a 1/4 inch screw on top of it. It was a cheap monopod and unfortunately it didn’t stand the test of time (or more probably of my own stupidity 😛 ) I used it to support one end of a 6kg video slider, which resulted in the slider ripping the 1/4 inch mount off the monopod. They say we learn on our own mistakes 🙂

Picture of the 1/4 to 3/8 inch screw converter was taken by
https://www.flickr.com/photos/qubodup/

and is licensed under:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Are you a filmmaker lost in the jungle?

Are you a filmmaker lost in the jungle?

In the jungle of unordered information on the Internet? Are you looking for a hub, where all the helpful information can be found? With filmmaking, videography, cinematography – call it what you want – the place is HERE 🙂

I have been a freelance videographer for several years and from my own experience I know that we often tend to overthink stuff. Therefore, simple problems require us – filmmakers – a lot of time to solve. Up to now I have also shot A LOT of non-commercial, pure fun videos and because of that I know quite a few tricks and tips on how to get your production value UP, while keeping the cost DOWN.

What does it mean?

I’ll be posting tons of helpful tips on how to get different effects done:

  • more quickly,
  • more easily,
  • a lot faster,
  • in a fun way c:

There will also be posts related to everyday problems a videographer encounters, like for example “how to prepare for shooting a corporate video?”

New article will be coming in every week, so stay tuned!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash