Before I got my lightstand I used to mount my SB-700 on my tripod by screwing the quick release plate onto the plastic foot the flash came with and then putting it on the ball head. It works fine so long as you don't want to put your camera on the tripod at the same time.
Can you break down some of these solutions by make and model no. of the parts, or "how to" if they are custom made? My herd has grown to 5, with a SU-800 as the wrangler, so I'm looking for non-lightstand options to support them.
These are all the result of my own tinkering over a couple years as I plunged deeper into night photography sessions with various law enforcement agencies ten years ago. As I was often in armored vehicles traversing rough terrain at speed, with SB800s mounted in assorted, obscure places, or helicopters with their vibrations, stability and dependability were keys to my efforts. I have not had a single failure or dropped SB800 in my ten years of so of these sessions.
The rig holding the pair of SB800s in the umbrella is an inexpensive speedlight bracket with the shoe cut off, a pair of inexpensive Slik SBH60 ball heads, a pair of RRS flash adapters, and a pair of the 1/4-20 female to 1/4-20 male adapters used to fasten them to the modified bracket. These units are obviously for studio work.
The bottom images include Manfrotto Flex Arms, some small manfrotto #482 ball heads, A Manfrotto Super Clamp #035 (bottom unit on light stand), Nikon Multi-flash adapters (purchased before RRS announced their adapters), and a couple "Pony" contractor's clamps purchased at Home Depot, Lowe's, or possibly on-line, I don't remember. The Pony clamps come in a couple different sizes: #3251 small, and #3252 large. The ones shown here are the smaller ones, as they fit nicely on the light stand columns. Both sizes can be adjusted for gripping tension and used on flat surfaces as the orange tips swivel. For cylindrical surfaces, the area behind the orange tips is used. I find the need for both sizes, and have eight or ten of each made up as shown.
I prefer the Manfrotto 482 ball heads because they are stronger (but more expensive) and am gradually replacing all the Slik units.
The RRS flash adapters between the ball heads and the speedlights are much stronger and less expensive than the Nikon multiflash adapters.
The Manfrotto Flex Arms come in two versions: heavy and light duty. I have both, but prefer the heavy duty model as they are stiffer and will carry a heavier load without flexing or sagging under vibration.
The Super Clamps have an adapter that will permit use on cylindrical tubing and/or flat surfaces. They can also be equipped with a variety of adapters for almost unlimited mounting flexibility.
Carefully drill out the hole in the handle of the Pony clamps to accommodate a short (one inch?) 1/4-20 bolt. That and a couple flat washers are used to attach the ball head to the clamp.
I have more than enough of these assorted clamps, to mount my entire SB800 herd (twelve, the last time I looked in the nest) in almost any required configuration.
Hope this helps a bit.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
>I have a Nikon SB-910 and would like to mount it on my >Manfrotto 294 tripod. > >Is there an available adapter for this type of application or >am I stuck with purchasing a lightstand and other misc. >accessories?
One of the problems with any of the typical speedlight mounts is the stress on the foot.
Something is going to happen, it always does, the foot breaks.
I went to a DIY mount that holds the body in foam.