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How to Add a Second 1/4"-20 Screw Hole to Your Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Sometimes you just want to throw the camera and a lens on a tripod, and keep it simple.

On occassion you also must modify equipment to make it do what you want, which is why I figured I'd post this simple fix for mounting the Zacuto QR Dovetail Plate directly on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (or Production Camera), so you can use the quick release systems like the Zacuto Tripod Adapter, Kessler Kwik Release or Really Right Stuff.

This also allows you to quickly swap the camera body and lens to your jib, gimbal or slider without having to take apart rigs, get screw drivers involved or any other BS you don't need to be doing when a client is standing over you looking at their watch.

 

Step 1.

Set your camera somewhere stable. I used thick cloth to pad it in my workbench vice.

Step 2.

Locate your Blackmagic Cinema Camera's set screw and then grab a 1/4-20 tap, and a tap wrench - or do as I did if you don't have one of those, and put the tap in your electric hand drill, and use that as a tap wrench. Be extremely careful and don't even bother to actually press the button on the drill. Just use the drill like a screw driver to get it started.

Step 3.

Go back and forth a bit to get the tap in there slowly. A drop or two of oil or WD-40 can help lubricate the tap and make it a little easier to get it going.

Tapping threads.

Tapping threads.

Step 4.

Now you should have a second tapped hole, which can still function as a set screw hole because it hasn't been enlarged really.

2x threaded 1/4-20 screw holes on bottom of Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

2x threaded 1/4-20 screw holes on bottom of Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Step 5.

You should now be able to mount your Zacuto QR Dovetail plate (or Kessler or Really Right Stuff) without it twisting on you. This should allow you to easily move your camera around without having to use anything but quick releases.

The second (big) screw is just for illustrative purposes. You'll need another small head one or else it won't fit in any of the quick releases. Zacuto will sell you one for $12...WHAT? :-/

The second (big) screw is just for illustrative purposes. You'll need another small head one or else it won't fit in any of the quick releases. Zacuto will sell you one for $12...WHAT? :-/

On a tripod.

On a tripod.

On a DJI Ronin Gimbal in about 10 seconds.

On a DJI Ronin Gimbal in about 10 seconds.

You can even do this on rods if you mount your quick release plate to your baseplate.

Kessler Kwik release on an old Zacuto Universal Mini Baseplate.

Kessler Kwik release on an old Zacuto Universal Mini Baseplate.

Quick release camera body from tripod to gimbal, jib, slider, etc.

Quick release camera body from tripod to gimbal, jib, slider, etc.

You can purchase this quick release system here: