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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 20 Sep 2017 (Wednesday) 02:46
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Twin flash arm - reducing weight by using an external power source

 
hayath
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Sep 20, 2017 02:46 |  #1

Picked a tentacle-like Twin Flash arm a while back for trying out twin-flash lighting.
The problem I faced was the weight of the speedlights would cause the arms to bow.

Was just thinking if I could use an external battery pack to power the flashes, the weight on the arms would reduce considerably - and in all probability might be able to support the speedlights.

Anyone here who has tried this? I use a Canon 430 EX2

Cheers!
Hayath


Hayath
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Overread
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Sep 20, 2017 07:52 |  #2

External battery packs only recharge the capacitors themselves; they don't power the flash's electronics. As a result even with a battery pack you've got to have charged batteries inside the flash itself otherwise it simply won't work.

What I've found really works well is using RAM-Mount ball and socket joints. They are durable and tough and generally work very well for holding a heavy speedlite flash without the wobbling problem. I've currently got a setup that works for holding one flash, but keep meaning to send them an email to see if I can work out a setup that would let me mount two flashes (actually might just get on and send tht email now!)


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
My flickr (external link)

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hayath
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Sep 22, 2017 01:58 |  #3

Overread wrote in post #18456436 (external link)
External battery packs only recharge the capacitors themselves; they don't power the flash's electronics. As a result even with a battery pack you've got to have charged batteries inside the flash itself otherwise it simply won't work.

What I've found really works well is using RAM-Mount ball and socket joints. They are durable and tough and generally work very well for holding a heavy speedlite flash without the wobbling problem. I've currently got a setup that works for holding one flash, but keep meaning to send them an email to see if I can work out a setup that would let me mount two flashes (actually might just get on and send tht email now!)

Thank you! wasn't aware of the capacitor part...always assumed the power was external...learnt something new today :)

Did read up on the RAM-mount, does look solid..will check how I can get some of them here in India


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Overread
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Sep 22, 2017 03:45 |  #4

Here's what I spoke to the guy from RAM mount about and what would work (or shouldwork) for holding two flashes: Note that all these are RAM-B (1.0" dia) parts (under the components tab on their web page)

1 Toughball https://www.ram-mount.co.uk ...camera-thread-p-1940.html (external link)

2 Regular balls with screwthreads https://www.ram-mount.co.uk ...qpaku6a9ss0cp5056ns​bva2v6 (external link)

1 Ball and long screwthread https://www.ram-mount.co.uk ...qpaku6a9ss0cp5056ns​bva2v6 (external link)

1 Long bracket https://www.ram-mount.co.uk ...qpaku6a9ss0cp5056ns​bva2v6 (external link)

Double balls https://www.ram-mount.co.uk ...qpaku6a9ss0cp5056ns​bva2v6 (external link)

Short brackets https://www.ram-mount.co.uk ...qpaku6a9ss0cp5056ns​bva2v6 (external link)

Here's how it works.

Attach the toughball (1) to the base of the camera body (you use this one because its got more strength as its going to carry the most weight, although a regular ball should also be able to do the job as well, just with increased chance of shearing off if the whole setup takes a knock)

Take the long bracket and remove its screw and replace it with the ball and long screwthread (watch the video on the long screwthread page to understand that better).

Now you can secure the long bracket to the ball on the base of the camera via one end of its arm. Now that has one socket free and one ball free. Onto them you can now attach the arms, one for each camera flash (made up of short ball connectors and short brackets with the remaining ball and screwthreads on the end to attach to the flash mount which can then hold the flash).
Of course this way the setup is not even either side, as one arm starts with a ball and the other with a socket (but will of course end the same).

I would say that this should work
Socket end of long bracket - one double ball joint - one short bracket - ball with screwthread
Ball end of long bracket - one short bracket - one double ball joint - one short bracket - ball with screwthread

So that totals to:
2 Double ball joints
3 Short brackets
Along with the items listed above.

If you want a more even setup try this
Use one small bracket between the ball on the camera base and the ball and long screwthread that you put into the long bracket. That then gives you both sockets on the long bracket free to attach the arms too as follows

Socket end of long bracket - one double ball joint - one short bracket - ball with screwthread

So that totals to:
2 Double Ball joins
3 Short brackets

So the same number of items just a different configuration.

To recap the totals its:
1 Toughball
2 Regular balls with screwthreads
1 Ball and long screwthread
1 Long bracket
2 Double balls
3 Short brackets


I'll try and get a photo of my setup once I get it together, but at present I'll likely have to wait till next month before I can afford the extras that I'll need.


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
My flickr (external link)

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hayath
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Sep 22, 2017 07:25 as a reply to Overread's post |  #5

Awesome! Would love to see how it turns out.
Appreciate you posting back :)


Hayath
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JasonC007
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Sep 25, 2017 04:46 |  #6

RAM Mounts are the way to go, I use them a lot in my macro photography, although not for mounting directly to the camera. They are quite heavy do bear that in mind.

To hold each the flashes I use a magnetic base with 1" ball, a medium arm, twin ball, short arm and then a 1" ball with a tripod threaded end. I also use a magnetic base, short arm and X-mount to hold my stackshot controller in place.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4357/36579936524_f267aba539_b.jpg

Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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hayath
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Sep 26, 2017 07:40 as a reply to JasonC007's post |  #7

Lovely, that looks quite flexible! That is quite "industrious" :)

Trying to find something that can be used in the field


Hayath
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Twin flash arm - reducing weight by using an external power source
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