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Is This a Creatively Designed New Tool or a Pricey Gadget?

In a bizarre twist, RØDE, best known for its audio gear, has just released the simplest little piece of grip gear that no one asked for, but I'm kind of glad they did. 

Sometimes the simplest things no one really needs are redesigned with a creative little spin that can make you think, "why didn't I think of that?" For me, this falls into that category, and to be fair I'm always a sucker for well-designed little gadgets, even though I realize most of us really don't need them.

RØDE is calling it the Universal Thread Adaptor and for musicians, photographers, and videographers. Of course, we all have a dozen or so different adapters, especially 1/4 and 3/8 inch ones, but if you are like me, they are scattered in different bags or left on random pieces of gear and never available when you need them. I remember years ago almost never needing an adapter but it seems as gear has gotten smaller and we added GoPros, Drones, Speedlights, video gear, and mics, I'm constantly swapping thread sizes. 

  • 1/4" male to 5/8” female adaptor 
  • 5/8” male to 3/8” female adaptor
  • 3/8” male to 1/4" female adaptor

Again, it is a very simple little device made up of 1/4, 3/8, and 5/8-inch adapters all threaded together but with an added adapter at the top that includes a tighten and loosening tool with a loop for adding a carabiner. This cool little design feature makes it easy to clip the whole set onto any bag or piece of grip gear. 

Of course, anything that falls into the clever or neat category these days is probably a little overpriced and this is no different, unfortunately. Though I do think they seem to be well machined and I still kind of want one. 

At $25 for the kit which comes with just one of these, I think it is a little high. A quick look at B&H shows you'll pay about $4 or $5 dollars for each adapter and of course you can probably even hit up eBay for some cheaper ones. You won't get the clever clip-on tool and a lot of the cheap ones tend to be pretty poorly machined. I've made that mistake and stripped a couple in the past. 

Michael DeStefano's picture

Michael DeStefano is a commercial/editorial photographer focusing on Outdoor Lifestyle and Adventure. Based in Boston, MA he combines his passion for outdoor sports like climbing and surfing into his work. When not traveling or outdoors he is often found geeking out over new tech gadgets.

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Steep price, but brilliant idea! I always need such adapters, I have probably half a dozen of each size, but as you say, never able to find one when I need it!

I'm gonna say no dog! All of your stuff needs to be on the same adapter so you're never in the field swapping anything out or looking for adapters. Get it all together... tripods/plates/cages/monopod/audio/etc and get the correct adapter on it. NOW.....if you don't have all that gear and you're group projecting things, I'd get it. It's Rode so it looks good and you know it works great like all their gear. So yeah.

For me its because weight is constantly a factor, unfortunately when an item's size and weight come into play you don't always have a choice to get the ones that all have the same thread size. As an example, it is easier to carry a single ball head and 3 adapters for my tripod, slider, or Astro tracker instead of 3 ball heads.