Two weeks ago, I got back from a hiking trip in Austria and South Tyrol, and discovered that my Fuji X-T2 had developed a rattle. I gave it a quick check over, and discovered that the rattle was being caused by something rather offputting:
The tripod mounting thread had disappeared into the body of the camera, and was jiggling around as I moved it.
Turns out that this is fairly common occurrence, and lots of people have reported it happening to the X-T1, X-100F, and X-Pro2 as well as to the X-T2. Here’s how to fix it.
Obtaining new screws
The easiest way to obtain new screws was to just ask for them, by emailing Fuji Support (German / Austrian support address here) with:
- a photo of the issue,
- the camera serial, and
- my address.
The screws arrived within a week in a neat little plastic bag, and I wasn’t charged for them. Your mileage may vary! The Germany / Austria customer support was super helpful, but I’ve read reports that it’s different in North America and elsewhere in Europe. If Fuji or local distributors aren’t cooperating, you could try escalating to head office, or sourcing your own screws.
Aside: Sourcing your own screws
Whilst I was waiting to hear back from Fuji Support, I also figured I’d have a go at sourcing the screws from somewhere else. But I had a problem – I had no idea what dimensions the screws were supposed to be, because they were both missing.
I initially removed a different screw from the base of my camera, measured that, and then tried to source those – but it turns out that they’re not the same as the screws that attach the tripod mount to the case.
In case it’s helpful, here are the full dimensions for the replacement tripod mount screws I received from Fuji support:
If you’re looking to find or order something like this, the important features are:
- M1.6 screw thread. ‘M1.6’ stands for ‘metric 1.6mm’. the 1.6mm is the width of the threaded part, inclusive of the screw thread.
- 2.3mm long, including the thickness of the head. Note that you might not be able to get this exact length. I’m pretty sure a shorter screw won’t work, but you might be able to use a slightly longer one. The risk of using screws longer than the manufacturer-supplied ones is that you might end up screwing into something behind the screw receptor. This is a great way to damage sensitive electronics if you’re not careful; so evaluate this carefully for yourself before blindly trusting what you read on the internet1.
- Flat / Wafer head. Whilst investigating this, I discovered that there’s loads of different types of screw heads. Because the tripod will come into direct contact with this area, the screw heads need to not protrude from the base of the camera, so you need screws with the flattest heads possible.
It’s pretty hard to find screws that match all of these criteria! In the end, I grabbed some from this eBay listing. They’re a little bit longer than required (3mm) and the “flat head” is nearly twice as thick as on the original Fuji screws (0.65mm instead of 0.35mm). I’m planning on keeping these around as a fallback in case the official replacements fall out.
How do you measure screw dimensions?
A ruler really won’t cut it for measuring screws, as they’re not precise enough. I’ve been using a pair of calipers for this. At the lower price points, you’re much better off with something analog than something digital – I picked up this one from Mahr for about €23 on Amazon. I’ve found these to be an invaluable addition to my repair / DIY / maker toolbox.
- Based on the distance the tripod mount had receded into my X-T2, it seemed safe to try a 3mm or 4mm long screw, and screwing in a pair of 4mm screws didn’t damage my XT-2, but it might be different for other camera models. Longer screws have the added bonus that they’re less likely to fall out :) You could also buy 2mm and 3mm screws, try the 2mm screws, and then try the 3mm ones if the 2mm screws aren’t long enough. [return]
The installation procedure for these screws is kinda clunky, because you need the tripod mount to sit against the bottom of the case if you want to be able to reach it with a screw. To do this, you need to hold the camera right-side up, align the tripod mount so that the screw holes are aligned, and then screw in from underneath the camera.
You’ll need a Phillips head size #0 screwdriver. Some people suggest using a JIS-style screwdriver, because JIS screws are commonly used in equipment designed and manufactured in Japan. On my X-T2, I tried both a Phillips #0 and a JIS #0 and found I got a much better fit, and therefore more torque, with the Phillips #0. Be extremely careful when working with screws this small that you don’t accidentally gouge out the screw head. Go slowly, apply a little downward force, and don’t over-tighten. Some people have suggested using Loctite, with the caveat that you need to be careful about choosing the right one, or alternatively a tiny drop of nail varnish. I opted to not do this; I’ll update this article if/when the screws fall out again 😉.
The end result looks just as good as new:
Hopefully that’s all you had to do! Please let me know if you ran into any problems or have any questions!