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Camera tripod adaptor


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I have a camera tripod which I want to adapt to take an instrument in place of the camera. I was thinking of something like a flat plate with holes in but with a tapped hole in the middle where you'd screw it on to the tripod using the screw which would normally screw into the camera. I think the thread is either 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch UNC.  Is there such a thing off-the-shelf or will I have to make one?

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It rather depends on the instrument, a trumpet could be more difficult than a violin.

Whatever you are thinking about attaching to a camera tripod, take careful consideration about the max load rating for the tripod and the fact that balancing will be an issue. You don't want the thing falling over.

There are all sorts of fixing plates etc out there, but adapting dovetail bars to fix onto camera bolts is simple and cheap.

Perhaps if you mention what it is you want to attach, you will receive more specific replies for a particular bit of kit.

Best, Rich

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There used to be an adaptor plate for a Meade ETX to tripod adaptor. I used one for qute a few years. Mine was made by Astro Engineering who made a few Meade adaptors of one sort or another. Think I picked it up at a camera shop in Cambridge and not the AE retailer at Ely. Eventually I bought a tripod with a Meade plate as part of it.

So an adaptor may be dependant on the scope you want to attach as I doubt the one I have will take a Celestron 4,5,6,8SE.

Astro Engineering do not (I think) exist any more, Meade plates may appear on the Astroboot website. Will say that other then Meade I have not seen any other camera tripod adaptor plates mentioned. Not sure if the plates went to the 90, 105 or 125 ETX ranges or just covered the 60, 70 versions.


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I second the point about watching the weight of whatever it is that you want to attach to a tripod.

Don't forget to consider this point,  if you attach a DSLR to a cheap (sub £50) tripod, you might have wobbles when you touch the camera which take a while to dampen out.  As you increase the weight, these wobbles will be worse.  I've seen cheap telescopes attached to tripods that were too weak and you are never able to look at anything as the thing will not stop shaking.

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Thanks everyone,

The instrument is just a tester for the mirror I'm making. It's light but you are right, I don't think the tripod will be stable enough anyway so I'll probably make some kind of custom stand for it.





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