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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #59143
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Subject: "Good Luck with Flash Bracket" Previous topic | Next topic
Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Fri 17-Aug-12 03:52 PM
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"Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
Fri 17-Aug-12 05:39 PM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

A month ago I telephoned Al Jacobs after seeing his website:

http://www.aljacobs.com

Al is a commercial pilot and has been a pro wedding photographer in Florida for decades. His website has deep resources/info about flashes and accessory equipment. With some tutorials. He makes and sells external battery packs for Nikon speedlights, including the Black Box (big, powerful) and the Tuxedo which can fit in a vest pocket of a Tux for wedding anonymity. His own gear is all Nikon.

All is a big fan of Custom Brackets products. Sold by BH Photo and Adorama and local camera stores. They are high end brackets, finely machined and fitted. But pricy. I telephoned Al to ask about cheaper alternatives. He told me about the Vello line of shortened TTL cables that substitute for the expensive SC 27/28 cables from Nikon.

These little shorties are great to use with a Paparazzi-style bracket. At BH Photo an Asian knockoff of the Custom Bracket, and the Vello cable cost me $18. They work flawlessly.
The ergonomics of this kind of rig might not please everyone. You have a firm hold on your camera/flash, but your hold on the flash end, while firm, feels rough and primitive. The butt end of the bracket pokes into the left palm. And you are holding on to the cold shoe, mount knobs and the bottom end of the strobe.

I guess some similar flat brackets come with a plastic pistol grip on the side. I saw these at the local camera store, but worried that they might bump into people/things to my left in a crowded room. Ruining a shot. Or even worse – might snag the clothing of bystanders.

I'm a little sleepy right now and have to get my day going. But I'll post photos of the gear in an hour or two. And I'll look up the receipt for the name of the $9 bracket.

From sunny Santa Monica.

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket
Bravozulu Silver Member
17th Aug 2012
1
Reply message RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket
jrp Administrator
19th Aug 2012
2
     Reply message RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket
cwils02 Gold Member
19th Aug 2012
3
          Reply message RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket
Bravozulu Silver Member
19th Aug 2012
4
               Reply message RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket
Arkayem Moderator
20th Aug 2012
5
                    Reply message RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket
Bravozulu Silver Member
20th Aug 2012
6

Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Fri 17-Aug-12 05:31 PM
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#1. "RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
In response to Reply # 0


Los Angeles, US
          


Here is the gadget. About $19.

Bracket itself was made in India. Cost for merely shortening your Nikon SC 27/29 cable is about $45 with Al in Florida, on top of the $80 cost of the Nikon 1-meter cable. The Vello shortened TTl cable (about 10 inches - 25cm) prevents you from getting tangled with trees, telephone poles, Giraffes. A real bargain at about $10.


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSun 19-Aug-12 09:30 AM
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#2. "RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
In response to Reply # 1


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Well, nice savings and it is not my intention to spoil your joy.
However, it is always preferable to have the flash over the camera, not on a side, to prevent unwanted shadows; especially with subjects near walls.
As for the long original Nikon cables, their purpose is to allow you to freely use the speedlight off-camera.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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cwils02 Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2012Sun 19-Aug-12 09:30 PM
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#3. "RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
In response to Reply # 2


HIXSON, US
          

>>"However, it is always preferable to have the flash over the camera, not on a side, to prevent unwanted shadows; especially with subjects near walls."<<

Wow! I was thinking the same exact thing. Maybe, I'm learning something.

Charlie

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Sun 19-Aug-12 10:13 PM
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#4. "RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
In response to Reply # 3


Los Angeles, US
          

You are right, but in the '60 and early '70s, when I shot news photos, I grew to like a strobe off to the side. If I fully extend my new bracket, the flash head is about 1 foot (300mm) off from the axis of the lens.

So any shadow get thrown far to the right of the subject. And it is simple to avoid standing people against a wall.

What I don't like about the flash in the shoe is the ergonomics of camera/flash. Quite top heavy. You can't stand the camera up. And the whole thing begins looking like the Space Shuttle on the rocket launch pad.

A Paparazzi bracket gives a person a very solid grip, and provides a lot of stability. But, like all things, this is a matter of taste. I'm taking my camera/flash to a restaurant party in a few nights. The SB 800 will be in the shoe --- on top. I don't want to look like ---- well, a Paparazzi! Ha, ha, ha.

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 20-Aug-12 12:35 PM
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#5. "RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
In response to Reply # 4


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>You are right, but in the '60 and early '70s, when I shot
>news photos, I grew to like a strobe off to the side. If I
>fully extend my new bracket, the flash head is about 1 foot
>(300mm) off from the axis of the lens.

I used to shoot for a newspaper in the 60's also, and I used a side mount rig.

However, news pictures are usually closeups of a person's face and any side shadow is not in the image.

For weddings, you often shoot a full body shot, and the shadow will almost always be in the image.

Consequently, I always used the flash directly over the lens for weddings and people events. When I had to shoot in vertical format, I used a CB Junior bracket. However, most of the time I kept the flash on the hot shoe (with a Fong Diffuser installed), instead of using a bracket, and shot everything in horizontal orientation which keeps the flash shadow behind the subjects. Later, I would crop to vertical during post processing. You can get away with that when you have 10-12 MP sensors. I couldn't do that, however, when my camera had only 6 MP. I used the bracket all the time then.

Now, my D800 has 36 MP, and it's great for shooting horizontal and cropping to vertical. I never have to use a space ship bracket setup anymore.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 20-Aug-12 08:23 PM
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#6. "RE: Good Luck with Flash Bracket"
In response to Reply # 5


Los Angeles, US
          

Russ, I am honored to have you respond to my silly commentary here. I am currently re-reading (3rd time) printouts of your blog on speedlight photography.

I have two sb800s and 1 sb700. Thus far, with 4 months experience in DSLR, I am finding the CLS system quite forgiving. Now, if I could just get my arms around front cutrain/rear curtain/slow sync etc, I would feel qualified. And TTL-bl, EC +/- on camera and flash. Ouch.

But I'm getting there. It isn't so much the intricacies of flash that confound me, but the D7000 camera itself.

Keep up the good work educating an eager community of newer photographers.

Gary Curtis
Santa Monica

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