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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 01 Mar 2013 (Friday) 09:18
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Cheetah Speed Pro Alternative in UK??

 
dbeugel
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Mar 01, 2013 09:18 |  #1

So I've been putting together a list of gear to make use of some YN560II's I have knocking about that can be paired with some Bowens modifiers. Pocket Wizard Plus III's will be used as receivers and they will be mounted with the Hildozine clamps to the light stands.

I have checked out the Cheetah Speed Pro MkII which looks sweet with the supporting arm that bears the weight of the speedlite when mounted flat, however, shipping costs and import duty in the U.K (Treasure Island!!) pretty much trashes the idea!

I've spent an hour this morning looking on eBay and various sites in the UK and found a few alternatives from Calumet, Interfit & Lastolite but NONE of them have any system that takes the strain off of the cold shoe when the YN560 is lying horizontal apart from dumping some foam between the bracket and flash which I'm trying to avoid. We'll I'm guessing there's strain but I'd rather someone chirp in and tell me otherwise!

If anyone here in Europe is using this kind of setup that works well I would be grateful for some advice on which bracket to go for as I'd like to buy x4 in one order.

Much Appreciated.


I own a DSLR, some lenses and some lights.

  
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Osiriz
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Aug 02, 2013 03:11 |  #2

Bumping this thread with the same question.

Are there any alternatives or is Speed Pro the one and only?




  
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Whortleberry
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Aug 02, 2013 05:21 |  #3

A bracket without that additional support is simply begging for trouble, leverage being so high that the flash shoe is under tremendous strain**. Adding that height-adjustable screw support makes the whole item infinitely more viable and wouldn't be a big DIY job at all. However, to make the unit workable, it does need extra length on the track and it's this couple of inches which makes the Speed-Pro Mk 2 the superior bracket - there is then room between flash and upright for a trigger unit if desired, which often there isn't without the extra length.

I understand that these two mods to the basic design are quite specific to CheetahStand - it was Edward (along with a certain other member here, I gather ;) ) who instigated the changes. As far as I can determine, after a LOT of research, the Speed-Pro bracket is unique. Not perfect by a long way, but the best imperfect bracket currently commercially available (or NOT, realistically, if you live in Europe).

I'd definitely agree with you about postal charges. I don't know which is the more frustrating:-


  1. USPS want an arm and a leg to ship something quite modest over a route to Europe.
  2. USPS call the service "International Priority", yet it seems to take 50% longer than the FREE "Economy Shipping" offered by most HK/Shenzhen/Shanghai/B​eijing vendors. Warped sense of humour with the naming of that service - goodness knows how long a USPS non-priority service would take. Grrrr.
  3. Royal Snail are no better in the reverse direction, either for cost or speed. The phrase "Price Fixing" keeps floating unprompted into my mind.
  4. Charging VAT on the Import Duty as well as the product and shipping is, for me, most definitely a step too far. :mad: :mad:
A while back, I wanted some spare bands for a Rogue gel set from Expo Imaging. GBP£4 for 6 bands - fine (well, acceptable anyway). GBP£29.36 for "International Priority" postage - absolutely NO WAY on this Earth will I pay that for something which would slip into a plain DL envelope. (I eventually got 10 off-brand for £1.99 inc p&p from a UK source)

Unfortunately (for us), I don't think that there actually IS an alternative to the Speed-Pro Mk 2 which is available in Europe. Let's design a Euro-bracket shall we? :lol:

** Quick 'n dirty test to prove this. Hold the edges of your flashshoe by your fingernails to simulate the grip of the coldshoe on the flash foot. Now hold the flash horizontal over a padded surface (because you'll likely drop it). Now wave it around to simulate moving the flash on a stand. Drop it? I did, several times. It's very hard to keep hold - yet this is what we are asking the coldshoe to do all the time.

Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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Osiriz
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Aug 02, 2013 07:03 as a reply to  @ Whortleberry's post |  #4

Thanks for the info Phill!

I've sent a mail to Cheetah asking if they can make an exception and let me buy from them.

Yes the shipping is ridiculous, but I can live with that once or twice a year. :)




  
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Q-Man
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Aug 02, 2013 16:11 |  #5

I have one of the Speed Pro's and 2 of the flahspoint alternative. The Speed Pro is better and it is nice to have that support, but is it really that much trouble to put a piece of foam or something else there for support? I've also turned the head 90 degrees to have it rest in the opening. I haven't had any issues.


6D | 7D MkII | 16-35 f4L | 35 f1.2L II | 135 f2L | 180 f3.5L | 400 f5.6L
breathephoto (external link)

  
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Whortleberry
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Aug 02, 2013 20:13 |  #6

Not so much "too much trouble", it's more the impression created in the mind of the client. Much the same as turning up as the official wedding photographer, but wearing a pair of trainers or unpolished shoes. While it works, it's just looks a bit 'rough and ready'.


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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dmward
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Aug 02, 2013 22:25 |  #7

Whortleberry wrote in post #16176687 (external link)
Much the same as turning up as the official wedding photographer, but wearing a pair of trainers or unpolished shoes. While it works, it's just looks a bit 'rough and ready'.

WHAT?! I can't wear my comfy shoes when I shoot a wedding?

OK, on a more serious note. The support element in the Pro Bracket, Thank you Dave, is a valuable part of the device. I would think that with a bit of thinking, and some minor mechanical work, it would be possible to replicate the support. Tap and thread a hole, find a sufficiently long screw, place a plastic end on it. Vola, home made Speed Pro Bracket. :-)

Incidentally, for those wondering, I think the support is a 10-32 screw with a plastic tip and a locking collar.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

  
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Whortleberry
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Aug 03, 2013 05:28 |  #8

dmward wrote in post #16176947 (external link)
WHAT?! I can't wear my comfy shoes when I shoot a wedding?

OK, on a more serious note. The support element in the Pro Bracket, Thank you Dave, is a valuable part of the device. I would think that with a bit of thinking, and some minor mechanical work, it would be possible to replicate the support. Tap and thread a hole, find a sufficiently long screw, place a plastic end on it. Vola, home made Speed Pro Bracket. :-)

Incidentally, for those wondering, I think the support is a 10-32 screw with a plastic tip and a locking collar.

Goodness me, no Sir. Full morning dress with tailcoat, dove grey waistcoat & stock or cravat, striped trousers, patent shoes and top hat are de rigeur on these occasions, although I grant that things may be a touch less formal in the Colonies. As a professional person, one wouldn't want to appear to have taken less care over attire than the Bride, surely? :lol:
Joking apart, I did once (briefly) know a photographer from a previous generation to mine who wore this type of outfit, minus hat - he'd had specially designed pockets put in the tails of his coat to hold extra DDS. Imagine the comfort level!!

I'll bet that what you suggested, David, is exactly what DPF did initially. Don't know about the thread as I've never handled a Speed-Pro but, as you say, it's a simple enough mod once you have the idea. For me, the difficult part comes in finding a suitable end cap - I 'borrowed' one from a dowelling jig to pop on the end of a 3" long ¼" 20tpi stainless bolt which I'd remodelled. Works, sort of, but it's not 100% secure. The principle works fine, the captive element is somewhat suspect. My lock nut came from this (external link) (hence the ¼" BSW bolt).


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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tetrode
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Aug 03, 2013 09:55 |  #9

dmward wrote in post #16176947 (external link)
WHAT?! I can't wear my comfy shoes when I shoot a wedding?

OK, on a more serious note. The support element in the Pro Bracket, Thank you Dave, is a valuable part of the device. I would think that with a bit of thinking, and some minor mechanical work, it would be possible to replicate the support. Tap and thread a hole, find a sufficiently long screw, place a plastic end on it. Vola, home made Speed Pro Bracket. :-)

Incidentally, for those wondering, I think the support is a 10-32 screw with a plastic tip and a locking collar.

Yes, David, very simple to do provided, of course, the proper tools (drill, tap) are available.

My original prototypes used a variety of "leveling mounts" or "leveling elements" for the front support. All were threaded 1/4-20, thread length of 2-1/2 inches. This image shows one of the early versions:

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2883/9427029619_280d4b85f4_o.jpg

jwwinco.com is a treasure trove of normally hard to find parts for projects like this. This is the leveling mount seen in the above image:

http://estore.jwwinco.​com …detail&itemcode​=3T2500LMB (external link)

Leveling mounts are available in a bewildering array of inch and metric sizes and styles:

http://www.jwwinco.com​/products/section7/ind​ex.html (external link)

The clamping knob in the photo was chosen because it fit within the track:

http://www.jwwinco.com​/products/section8/krs​ka/ (external link)

Anything with a 1/4-20 thread could, of course, have been used under the track. A 1/4-20 threaded "check nut" works well:

http://www.jwwinco.com​/products/section11/cn​/ (external link)

The original Speed Pro (and clones, I assume) had a *very* short track. Anyone planning to purchase a Speed Pro work-alike for use with a shoe mount flash with foot-mounted radio trigger or with a CL-180 should make absolutely certain the track is long enough to accommodate the payload. Here, a CL-180 is mounted on an original Speed Pro track:

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3678/9429798816_199b76e56a_o.jpg

With a very low profile locking knob, the vertical "L" at the rear of the track can be reversed to gain an inch or so of travel. The stock locking knob (the knob in the photo is not stock) is too tall to fit under the body of the mounted flash. Track length on the Speed Pro Mk II is 23.5cm.



  
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Cheetah Speed Pro Alternative in UK??
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