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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 20 May 2013 (Monday) 13:48
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Are flash brackets helpful?

 
Icecreamstar
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May 20, 2013 13:48 |  #1

I found that on-camera flash is somewhat very limited, but on a trip, it's just hard to bring a flash stand with me all the time. Then I came to notice these camera-attached flash brackets?
Are they useful to manipulate the direction of light? Intuitively, I could imagine if I do portraits with 35mm or wider, it could help, but have no idea how helpful it is; but for 50 or 85mm, will the offset from the camera hot shoe enough to bring some differences?

Thanks in advance!




  
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cdifoto
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May 20, 2013 13:54 |  #2

If they weren't helpful, they wouldn't exist. ;)

Okay, some do more harm than good. Like the ones that are nothing more than a bracket to move the flash beside the camera. A good bracket gets the flash up high so that when shooting direct the shadows fall down low mostly out of sight. Most brackets are not made for ideal bouncing of light though but the camera rotating ones are. They'll keep your flash position the same while you rotate the camera itself to go from horizontal to vertical and back.


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May 20, 2013 13:55 |  #3

cdifoto wrote in post #15950175 (external link)
If they weren't helpful, they wouldn't exist. ;)

Yeah like UV filters...


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gonzogolf
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May 20, 2013 13:57 |  #4

They do one thing really well. They keep the flash above the lens regardless of orientation. For event work where you run the risk of throwing side shadows onto walls they are very helpful. They dont do anything else to the light, thats the job of a modifier or bounce. Doing portraits at 35 creates other problems but the offset is minimal if you have your flash zoomed to match the lens.




  
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cdifoto
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May 20, 2013 13:59 |  #5

davidfarina wrote in post #15950178 (external link)
Yeah like UV filters...

They used to have a purpose. Still do if you shoot film.


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klr.b
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May 20, 2013 14:06 |  #6

davidfarina wrote in post #15950178 (external link)
Yeah like UV filters...

I realize you're new, but I've read a lot of your posts. Sometimes it's better just to read and learn when you start out. ;)


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Icecreamstar
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May 20, 2013 14:27 |  #7

gonzogolf wrote in post #15950182 (external link)
They do one thing really well. They keep the flash above the lens regardless of orientation. For event work where you run the risk of throwing side shadows onto walls they are very helpful. They dont do anything else to the light, thats the job of a modifier or bounce. Doing portraits at 35 creates other problems but the offset is minimal if you have your flash zoomed to match the lens.


Got it. I know they do nothing to the light, just curious if they can handle well the direction light is from..

Thanks I will do more research!




  
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Icecreamstar
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May 20, 2013 14:27 |  #8

cdifoto wrote in post #15950175 (external link)
If they weren't helpful, they wouldn't exist. ;)

Okay, some do more harm than good. Like the ones that are nothing more than a bracket to move the flash beside the camera. A good bracket gets the flash up high so that when shooting direct the shadows fall down low mostly out of sight. Most brackets are not made for ideal bouncing of light though but the camera rotating ones are. They'll keep your flash position the same while you rotate the camera itself to go from horizontal to vertical and back.

Seems a lot for me to read and find out.. Haven't been able to find differences between different kinds of model you mentioned..

thanks anyway! Let me digest it first..




  
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gonzogolf
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May 20, 2013 14:28 |  #9

Icecreamstar wrote in post #15950296 (external link)
Got it. I know they do nothing to the light, just curious if they can handle well the direction light is from..

Thanks I will do more research!

They dont move them that much. So its not an alternative to off camera flash for the most part. So I'm not really sure what you mean by the bold part of the above.




  
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May 20, 2013 14:44 |  #10

cdifoto wrote in post #15950193 (external link)
They used to have a purpose. Still do if you shoot film.

Thats true, but they still try to sell uv filters when your in a photostore, even if you buy a dslr...


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May 20, 2013 15:00 |  #11

davidfarina wrote in post #15950340 (external link)
Thats true, but they still try to sell uv filters when your in a photostore, even if you buy a dslr...

And they still try to sell you rustproofing when you buy a car...




  
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ben_r_
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May 20, 2013 16:25 |  #12

Only if you get an RRS, Newton or Custom Brackets flash bracket. Otherwise all the other options Ive owned and/or played with/seen are a waste of money or more of a pain tow work with than a help.


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May 20, 2013 21:31 |  #13

ben_r_ wrote in post #15950603 (external link)
Only if you get an RRS, Newton or Custom Brackets flash bracket. Otherwise all the other options Ive owned and/or played with/seen are a waste of money or more of a pain tow work with than a help.

^^

If you spend <$150 on an amateur level bracket, the typical bracket leaves out one or more of all the essential characteristics of the RRS/Newton/CameraBrack​et pro level products.

A really good bracket will...
1.keep the flash above the lens axis, regardless of camera orientation, so that visible and objectionable side shadows are not created
2.elevate the flash head a bit more from the lens, to reduce redeye
3.keep the flash head orientation pointed at the ceiling, so as to not require the photographer to readjust the head orientation each time you switch between landscape and portrait orientation
4.permit CCW rotation of the body so that battery grip supplemental controls remain accessible

...while also have the characteristics of
•not being excessively heavy
•not being unnecessarily flimsy

The Newton is flexible enough to even allow you to use a BG some of the time, and the bracket easily adjusts camera & flash height suitably.
I feel that the Newton has

  • More reasonable cost than the quite pricey RRS.
  • Tied for first place for low weight with rigidity. (CB can be heavy!)


I have referred many working pros to the Newton, and all have agreed with my enthusiasm for the product.

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CxThree
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May 20, 2013 22:44 |  #14

Back to your question....

Yes they are helpful, if you get a good quality one. 2 main types. Camera flip and flash flip. Both try to keep the flash above the lens/body. For the most part, the higher it gets the flash, the better.

Camera flip
The camera flips orientation, but the flash remains the same.
Reference:
Less $$$ -
Stroboframe Camera Flip - $32.50 amazon.
http://www.tiffen.com …roboframe&itemn​um=310-900 (external link)

High End
Custom Brackets Pro-M Kit $380 Amazon (external link)
http://www.custombrack​ets.com/digital-pro-m-kit.html (external link)

Flash Flip:
camera body does not rotate in the bracket. When you flip the body's orientation, you usually have to then rotate the flash to get it back above the lens.

Reference:
Less $$$
Stroboframe Quick Flip
http://www.tiffen.com …roboframe&itemn​um=310-666 (external link)

Higher End
http://store.promediag​ear.com …ripBattery-Pack_p_30.html (external link) - Very good design

Compact:
Custom Brackets Folding T
http://www.custombrack​ets.com …rackets/cb-digital-t.html (external link)

Folds down to fit in a bag.

Personally, I own the CB Pro-M kit. It bigger, heavier, etc and I cuss it from time to time but its a rock solid solution.


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May 20, 2013 23:40 |  #15

Icecreamstar wrote in post #15950148 (external link)
I found that on-camera flash is somewhat very limited, but on a trip, it's just hard to bring a flash stand with me all the time. Then I came to notice these camera-attached flash brackets?
Are they useful to manipulate the direction of light? Intuitively, I could imagine if I do portraits with 35mm or wider, it could help, but have no idea how helpful it is; but for 50 or 85mm, will the offset from the camera hot shoe enough to bring some differences?

Thanks in advance!

Actual images using a flash bracket, a Stroboframe Quick Flip 350 (external link) that supported a Canon 60D and a Canon 420ex.

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As demonstrated through the above actual images that used a Quick Flip 350, when combined with a small on-flash diffuser such as a Lumiquest softbox (external link), or another Lumiquest bounce device (external link), or bouncing the flash off of a neutral-colored ceiling, the bracket avoids the worst problems of harsh on-camera flash. Placing the flash on the bracket provides useful separation from the camera body and prevents the harsh-edged side shadows that are typical of flashes that are mounted directly on the camera hot shoe. Note that the above sample images have no harsh side shadows because of the actual use of the bracket and diffusers.

A Flip 350, which is a pleasantly simple device, is the least expensive useful bracket on the market. It is a solid, durable lifetime purchase, which only may need to have the swing arm pivot tighened every few years, or an extremely infrequent replacement of the pivot washer.

Pound-per-pound, the most expensive part of a flash bracket setup is a Canon off camera sync cable. Fortunately, inexpensive third-party substitutes (external link) are available.



  
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Are flash brackets helpful?
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