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View Full Version : The MacGyver flash bracket



TomNanos
12-11-2008, 09:50 PM
OK, here's the MacGyver flash bracket I threw together.

Parts list:

* Two mic bar (similar to this (http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/KM-Microphone-Bar-Dual-Mic-Holder?sku=450488))
* 1 - 6" long 1/2" bolt
* 2 - 1/2" nuts
* 2 - 1/2" lock washers
* 2 - 1/2" flat washers

I removed the two screws that would normally hold microphone clips on the mic bar, along with the center mounting post. The bolt goes into one of the outside holes, along with the washers and nut (Bolt head-lock washer-flat washer-mic bar-flat washer-lock washer-nut), and torqued it down. To connect it to the camera, I pulled apart one of my quick release plates from my tripod (I've got 3 plates), and used the center bolt to connect the bar to the body. Oh, yeah, I also drilled a hole in the bar the size of the thumbscrew from the tripod plate. When it's all together, the Lumedyne head fits on the end of the bolt perfectly, and I just run a coiled sync cord to the PC socket on the camera. Voila, cheap-ass - but functional - flash bracket! :D

I had the mic bar in my basement, so the only things I had to buy was the bolt, washers & nut, totaling less than $3. See the attached pix for the completed rig...

oldnavy170
12-11-2008, 10:10 PM
WOW, that was fast!!!!!! :) Well I am impressed!!! That is a sweet set-up. Looks a little more complicated for me but that is one cool looking set of lights! How much does that weigh? Does it weigh down your camera?

Orgnoi1
12-11-2008, 10:14 PM
That looks great Tom... and I see you got your globe in.... so what do you think so far?

TomNanos
12-11-2008, 10:18 PM
Complicated????? You're kidding, right? It's about as complicated as putting a lens on. OK, maybe a bit more, but it's pretty much a bolt and a bracket.

Doesn't weight that much. The bracket doesn't add much, and the Lumedyne head isn't all that heavy. I can comfortably hold it with the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 on it (that lens itself is 3lbs), and with the 18-50mm (as pictured), it's very comfortable. I'd guess it adds about 2-2.5 lbs to the rig. And the pack is slung over my shoulder, so that's not an issue.

Ross - I like the globe. With the closer in stuff I tried tonight, you really didn't notice the 2 stop loss. I just opened up a bit and all was good. I'll be playing around with it again on Monday, so I'll get some more testing in...

oldnavy170
12-11-2008, 10:21 PM
Nuts, bolts.......what are THOSE? LOL!!!!! I ask for help to change the light bulb!!!!!!!! (just kidding :))

TomNanos
12-11-2008, 10:28 PM
OK, in that case I'll sell you one for a paltry $150! ;) :D

convergent
12-11-2008, 11:53 PM
A couple of comments...

- Nothing wrong with going on the cheap... but just make sure everything is solid. You won't be happy if you end up breaking the camera or flashgun because the rig came loose.

- I'd suggest getting some foam rubber pipe insulation and some duct tape and making a nice grip over that bolt.... otherwise it could get painful after a long evening of shooting.

- Nothing wrong with going on the cheap... did I say that already?

nvr2low
12-12-2008, 07:26 AM
very nice, there is a great sense of satisfaction after doing something like that!

TomNanos
12-12-2008, 07:26 AM
Mike-

Yeah, it's pretty solid. Only a little flex in the bracket, but nothing major. If I'm feeling like spending a few more dollars, I may get a section of U channel and use that instead of the mic bar to stiffen it up a bit. As for the rubber over the bolt, I had already thought about that, and dismissed it for now. I don't use it as a handle when shooting - I hold the camera as normal.

I really couldn't justify spending around $100 on a commercial flash bracket for the amount that I'd use it - it would spend more time in the closet than on the camera. I've got absolutely no need for one when shooting outdoors, which is about 90% of where I shoot, and when I'm shooting trains at night, the Lumedyne is with me as I walk around the scene popping flashes, while the camera sits on the tripod. Sure it doesn't look pretty, but it works just fine for what I need. Plus it's not like I'm shooting weddings where I have to look all professional. I'm just an over-zealous dad shooting his daughters at gymnastics practice... :D

convergent
12-12-2008, 07:40 AM
Ah, so you are using flash at gymnastics? I didn't know that was allowed.

I get you on the cost of flash brackets. The ones I was using which I sold (4 of them) were about $350 each! But, they are impressive brackets. (Custom Brackets is the brand) I had used a less expensive one until I moved to the 1 Series bodies and they just didn't work well with the less expensive brackets. What you've got here is definitely a good idea.

TomNanos
12-12-2008, 08:40 AM
Ah, so you are using flash at gymnastics? I didn't know that was allowed.
Probably not at meets, but in practice they have no problem with me going out on the floor and flashing them up. Also, it helps that I did the team group portraits and will be doing the team headshots too...and the fact that I pay them a fair amount of money each month for my daughters to be there helps... :D