What kind of tripod is used as a flash stand

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by melissa_eiselein, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. I want a lightweight, portable, tripod-like stand for a Canon 420ex
    shoe-mount flash unit. I want to use it as a slave to my 5503ex. I
    don't seem to find what I'm looking for in my online shopping when I
    use "flash stand" or "light stand" in my searches.

    I've seen "light stands" with a screw top but my 420ex doesn't have
    a screw mount. I've seen umbrella light stands, but that's not what
    I want either. I'm sure I'm missing something quite simple and
    obvious. Can anyone point me in the right direction or give the
    correct name for the item I'm looking for?
  2. The ideal is something like a Bogen 3086 light stand plus a Photoflex Umbrella Shoe-mount Multiclamp. Yes, that's designed to hold an umbrella, but the umbrella is optional, and it works fine without an umbrella.
    The lightstand has a post and a tripod mount at the top, but it doesn't have a way of tilting the light up or down. The shoe-mount multiclamp has a hinge that easily lets you aim the light up or down. If you can live with just a shoe on top of the stand, and use the light's bounce facility to tilt the light up and down, then you could make do with just a lightstand plus a flash shoe. Any decent camera store will have a small flash shoe with a tripod thread at the bottom; such a shoe comes as part of the Photoflex Shoe-mount Multiclamp that I already mentioned.
    A camera tripod is too expensive, big, and heavy, isn't tall enough, and is sturdier than is needed for a flash unit. That's why a lightstand is better suited to holding a light. However, if you already have a camera tripod, and you're willing to make do with it as a lightstand, you can just get a flash shoe for your tripod. It's the same shoe you would use to mount the flash directly to a lightstand.
    Pictures of all that gear in action are at http://webs.lanset.com/rcochran/flash.
  3. Melissa - As far as the shoe-to-screw part goes, there are adapters. The most basic ones do nothing but provide a physical mount with a threaded hole on one end and a metal shoe (slot) on the other. Adorama's $7 generic model, for example.
  4. Thanks Guys! I guess I was looking at the right items...just not the flash adaptors that go on them. I knew it had to be something simple and obvious! :)

    Richard, you've put together a nice flash page. It even shows me the pieces I need to put the flash stand together. As for the decent camera shop...well, not in my city. We don't even have a bad camera shop. :)

    Thanks again! Time to go do a little online window shopping.
  5. Melissa, in many Canon flash units there's a small plastic "foot" in the flash case, if so your problems are over because as well as being a small stand for the flash it also has a screw thread socket in the base that connects to light stands.

    Incidentally, if you're going to the trouble of mounting a flash unit on a stand then I'd recommend also getting an adapter socket that has a hole in it to take a flash umbrella. The brolly and adapter aren't expensive but they'll transform the look of your flash photography.
  6. Just wanted to say thanks to Richard for that link -- I learned a lot from that! I have been using a completely manual SLR from the 70s and flash "stuff" is still a mystery to me. I'm planning to get a modern autofocus camera (probably a Minolta) as soon as I can save enough pennies, and I'm imagining that Minolta's wireless flash and an umbrella could be quite a combo.
  7. Once more, I wanted to thank the people who responded to this thread. I also want to thank our ADMINISTRATORS for the FABULOUS Weekly Themes. The more I read, the more I want to play. Unfortunately, the more I read, the more I want to SPEND!

    For someone who knows nothing about lighting, except what I've read on Photo.net, my recent purchases were quite a splurge. I just ordered two Alien Bees B400 lights (in Martian Pink!) two 8' Bogen air-cushioned light stands and two white Photogenic 45" umbrellas with removeable black covers. Softboxes will have to wait until another year. Between the downpayment on my son's braces and these "studio" items, my income tax refund from Uncle Sam is almost gone. I have just enough left for a homemade pvc background stand and a big piece of muslin.

    Now I just hope I can make room for this stuff in my teeny-tiny little house. Maybe I should save my next 10 years worth of tax refunds for a downpayment on a room addition.

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