This article may be useful to you if like me you had trouble with the seemingly simple task of sourcing a threaded rod to fit your tripod or camera.

My search for this item was for the following purposes:

1. To attach a Gitzo monopod and tripod to a Really Right Stuff (RRS) Ball head and Manfrotto geared head ( 3/8″ thread)

2. To connect a Hama Accessory Shoe with Insulating Plate to a Lastolite umbrella swivel as I was always breaking the plastic manfrotto style accessory shoe (1/4″ thread)

3. To attach a ball head to a Manfrotto super clamp. (1/4 inch thread with 1/4 – 3/8″ adapter bushing needed on the head)

The problem I discovered is that most camera stores in the UK do not sell the compatible threaded rod. Outside of the photographic world the thread pitch is an old type known as whitworth so cannot be picked up at a regular hardware store. The pitch of whitworth is a 55 degree thread angle, and UNC (coarse) is the size which superseded whitworth is 60 degrees.

However UNC (coarse) is more easily obtainable from specialist suppliers in varied lengths and for photographic purposed they are interchangeable. Stainless steel should be used as it is the strongest which is advisable if you have a heavy camera and lens combination.


The solution and where to source in the UK

Depending on your tripod setup what you need is:

1/4″ UNC stainless steel threaded rod (grub screw) or socket setscrew

3/8″ UNC stainless steel threaded rod (grub screw) or socket setscrew

Required length will vary for your individual use, I found the 1″ length has worked well for ball head to monopod and general head to tripod mounting. This length also worked well to attach a Hama Accessory Shoe to a Lastolite umbrella swivel.

In the uk I have purchased these from to which I am not connected in any way.


Locking the connection

Once the correct thread has been obtained most people want to lock the threads using a removable threadlocker so their tripod/monopod head does not loosen during normal use.

The often recommended brand is Loctite 242 which is hard to purchase in small quantities in the uk. The difference between this and Loctite 243 is only related to oil repellence so will make no difference for photographic application

In the UK Loctite 243 Lock ‘n’ seal is easily obtainable for less than £3 for a 3ml tube from Halfords

Once this is applied to the thread and the items assembled as required the bond should be allowed to cure overnight.