Speedlight to stand bracket details

Oct 14, 2008 | Flash | 16 comments

Here are the details of how I attach my Speedlights to my lighting stands. It is by far the most frequent question I get asked so I thought it worthy of a post.

Here is my custom made bracket in the horizontal position that allows me to place the flash emitter lens in an upright orientation.

Here is my custom made bracket in the horizontal position that allows me to place the flash emitter lens in an upright orientation and pointing downwards at the same time. This is a fundamental requirement of my location off camera flash technique. The stand is a trusty Lowel stand that I have had for 20 years - makes me feel old!

This picture shows the individual parts I have cobbled together to make my bracket. I have two identical brackets and they work in unison on the same stand if I am rigging both Canon and Nikon Flash guns.

This picture shows the individual parts I have cobbled together to make my brackets. I have two identical brackets and I use them in unison on the same stand if I am rigging both Canon and Nikon flashguns for a workshop. The parts left to right are; a Hama hot shoe adapter with the wire cut off at the head (a newer version is available I think), a Manfrotto 482 ball and socket head, a Manfrotto threaded lock nut from another accessory, and a Bowens spigot adapter from one of my old Prolites. My Prolites are attached to pantographs in my studio so I had a few of these spiggots kicking around.

This is the completed assembly in the upright mode.

This is the completed assembly in the upright mode.

As above with a SB 800 attached.

As above with a SB 800 attached.

A close up of the aging hot shoe showing where I cut the wire on the side. I think there is a newer metal bodied unit now available.

A close up of the aging hot shoe showing where I cut the wire on the side. I think there is a newer metal bodied unit now available.

A much more clunky alternative to my bracket is this one from Photoflex.

A much more clunky alternative to my bracket is this one from Photoflex.

I’m sure there are many ways to attach a Speedlight to a lighting stand and this is the way I do it at the moment. If you have a simpler method or know of an available bit of kit designed for this purpose please share it with us here.  Damien.

16 Comments

  1. David Frain

    Hey damien, some great info again..

    Just curious what the model number of the Lowell Light stand is you use? I’ve just got an elinchrom head and boom and it seems my manfrotto 52b will struggle to cope with this load on location.. I’m hoping the lowell will do the trick.

    cheers
    David

    Reply
  2. David Fenwick

    Hi Damien,

    Love the blog, book and DVDs – inspirational stuff.

    I also use the Novoflex Neiger 19 mini-ball with flash shoe – a few pictures here showing it in action.

    Yours,

    David

    Reply
  3. Paulo Mota

    Thanks… lets read the post!

    Reply
  4. damien

    Thanks Simon for the spring clamp tip. Here is a link to the clamp in question.

    Reply
  5. damien

    Hi Paulo,

    I have posted details of the bracketry I use with a white brolly here :-)

    Reply
  6. Simon Grosset

    I use a Manfrotto 175F spring clamp with flash shoe:

    It’ll clamp to the top of a lighting stand, or any other object up to about 2 inches thick (It’s brilliant on shelves!)

    In the US it’s known as a ‘Justin Clamp’

    Reply
  7. Paulo Mota

    Hi,

    I also use a stand for a SB800, but with a LiteDomeXS.

    The stand it´s not the problem since you advice here a few. But, tu use with the LiteDomeXS I mount with “LiteDome xs Accessory Hardware / Adjustable Shoe Mount”

    http://www.photoflex.com/Photoflex_Products/LiteDome_xs_Accessory_Hardware___Adjustable_Shoe_Mount/index.html

    Not eficient. Do you use LiteDomeXS, or other softbox with a flashgun? If yes, wich hardware do you use to mount it?

    Thanks

    Reply
  8. martin

    I like the Manfrotto 001 Nano for speedlights as it is very small and light though it doesn’t go as high as Damien recommends. By the time you add the swivel head and the height of the flash its not too bad. If I’m shooting in the street and want a speedlight higher I’ll mount it on the end of a monopod and have someone hold it. I usually have a taller Manfrotto with me that I sometimes use with speedlights though usually with the Broncolor. I also have a cheap heavy duty Interfit stand that is really tall and stable for use with the Broncolor.

    Speedgraphic is another good UK supplier for this stuff.

    Reply
  9. damien

    Hi Stuart and John,

    The lighting stand you use can be any make. Just check it goes to at least 8′ if you are going to be lighting people who are stood. You always need to light from above. Forget using a tripod. Manfrotto, Arri, Lowell and Calumet make complete ranges of stands. The one I use for basic street photography is an Arri 050KA. It is light – just 1.2 kg, folds down to 26.5″ long and extends to 99″. I wouldn’t want it any smaller.

    I use my Lowell stand with my Broncolor Mobil kit as it goes far higher, is stronger and more stable.

    You can buy a vast range of stands in the UK from Warehouse Express or in the US from B&H.

    Damien.

    Reply
  10. John Higgitt

    Hi
    Where is the best place to get the stands from
    thanks
    john

    Reply
  11. John Allen

    Hi Damien
    Ref: (Sean Bolton)I use a similar attachment, a NovaFlex 19 mini-ball head with flash shoe. £21.00 from Speedgraphic.

    Sean is spot on with regard to the NovaFlex 19 mini, however just one point: the round black plastic hotshoe has a very tight fitting slot when used with a Nikon SB800, in fact very tight, I overcame this by removing the small black clips that reside within the slot of round plastic hotshoe. access them from the rear of the shoe and pop them out with a very small screw driver. The Nikon SB800 will now slide on and off the hotshoe perfectly, used the shoe lock on the SB800 as normal.

    John Allen

    Reply
  12. Stuart

    Lowel stand, I take it with it being so old it’s no longer available so what is a good affordable alternative?

    How high do you need these stands to go up when using off camera flash?

    Would a Tripod at maximum height not do? Or do you need it to be above the subject pointing down?

    Thanks

    Reply
  13. damien

    Thanks Sean, Your solution is even smarter and more compact than mine. Excellent stuff.
    Damien.

    Reply
  14. Sean Bolton

    Hi Damien

    I use a similar attachment, a NovaFlex 19 mini-ball head with flash shoe. £21.00 from Speedgraphic.

    http://www.speedgraphic.co.uk/prod.asp?i=8473&1=Novoflex+NEIGER+19+Mini+Ball+With+Flash+Shoe

    This will attach directly to a light stand if the light stand has a 3/8″ or 1/4″ thread attachment (as on Interfit stands).

    If your stand only has a standard spigot you need the spigot to 3/8″ adaptor, £7.50 from Speedgraphic.

    http://www.speedgraphic.co.uk/prod.asp?i=11528&1=Manfrotto+Female+Adaptor+5%2F8%22

    The Novaflex ballhead is sturdy enough to hold a 580EX and allows full 360 degree movement. The hotshoe plate is removable and is made only of plastic so no metal bits to short out the pins on the bottom of the flashgun shoe.

    This combo works very well for me.

    regards

    Sean

    Reply

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