This post is for fans of the Strobist method of off light camera lighting.
One problem I've had with my speedlites over the past few months is getting the mount on my umbrella softboxes to work correctly with umbrella softboxes. Umbrella softboxes pose a problem because the standard umbrella bracket mount for light stands doesn't allow you to point the strobe directly in the middle of the umbrella, which is pretty much a requirement for using the umbrella softboxes..
Having recently bought a 60" Softlighter II, I needed to hack together a 90 degree adapter that would allow me to insert the speedlight into the opening of the 60" Softlighter diffuser cover. There are other solutions available but they are pricey.
Today I was able to come out of Home Depot with an elegant solution that cost my less than $8.50 including tax (and no shipping) for total for 3 sets of 90 degree adapters.
Step 1: Materials & Tools Needed for Making a Strobe L-bracket from Home Depot
In order to make an L-bracket for holding strobes, you will have to buy the following from Home Depot:
1-1/2" Corner Brace
1/4" - 20 Wingnut
1/4" - 20 x 1/2" Machine screw(I think a 1/4" long one would have been ideal but I couldn't find any)
1/4" Cut Washers (I used 3 because my screws were a bit too long)
Everything pretty much screws together...Tools you need:
Phillips and Flat head screwdrivers
A Socket wrench with a 1/4 bit
* The holes are a tight fit so you might want to use some gloves too b/c brute strength might be necessary
Step 2: Assembly Instructions
1. Remove the hotshoe mount from your umbrella bracket first (it's the silver thing that attaches to the strobe).
2. Use the machine screw to attach the hotshoe mount to one of the lower holes of the 90 degree corner bracket using your screwdriver or penny (use washers as spacers if the screw is too long). If the fit is too tight, get some pliers and a glove or and old sock to hold the hotshoe mount in place while you turn the machine screw.
3. Finally, attach the 90 degree corner brace to the thread coming out of the umbrella bracket where the hotshoe mount used to be using the wingnut you bought.
Best practices are mounting the hotshoe bracket sideway so that the ridge of the hotshoe bracket supports some weight and so that you can have better access to the controls of your strobe. Also, you should mount the hotshoe on the lower of the 2 holes on the corner brace. You can also use washers on the wingnut\umbrella mount contact point to distribute the weight a little better.
I also have another mod that allows for 2 strobes to share a single umbrella .
Thanks and if you want to find me online, my Twitter handle is @supertsai .