November 8, 2009

The Bracketless Flash Bracket

I first made one of these little contraptions about 10 years ago for use on my Contax G2.  Not being an ‘everything bringer’ I’m always looking for ways to minimize my gear and for on-camera situations like events and PR work this is does the trick.

This latest version came about as I’ve finally bit the bullet and jumped out of the auto-flash world and into the modern smart flash era and traded in my 283’s and big honkin’ potato masher style Metz unit for a trio of 580exII’s.  I should credit both Will Crockett and Bob Davis for helping to push me over the edge as they had both put on some pretty compelling programs for our students that I had to give it a whirl.  After a good amount of testing I’m sold!

This gives you the ability to get the flash way above the lens (in your hand) for both verticals and horizontals if you want without toting a huge lighting rod like rig around a swanky cocktail party.  It also makes it possible to shoot with two cameras, this is a draw back for a majority of the commercially available brackets.

I tried numerous cold-shoes or accessory shoes before settling on the Stroboframe accessory shoe.  I initially wanted a finished product that wouldn’t need two hands to remount the flash on the camera but decided that the mount would remain more rigid over time if you weren’t pushing the flash into the shoe. 

You will also notice that I’m using the older style Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2 cable, the newer one, touting being more waterproof (really…. really???) does not give you enough room inside the cover for the ¼ 20 screw needed to mount the shoe.  The Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2 also is perfect as the mounting screw you need fits perfectly through a piece of metal that then receives the screws that hold the top and bottom of together.  So you are ultimately mounting the shoe to metal and not plastic.  If you look very carefully you will see that I put a thin coat of black metal epoxy and used a shoe with an anti-twist pin to ensure that the shoe remains solid.  While you do need two hands to remount the flash atop the camera it’s a trade off that’s worth it, I’m amazed how solid the unit is.

If you wanna build one and I’ve confused you, drop me a line. 

Happy shooting!

Here is the shoe you need:

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