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08-07-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
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Flash bracket compatibility?

Whilst digging up dad's old gear, we discovered a flash bracket for his Pentax SL, which didn't come with a hotshoe. It looks similar to the one listed here:

I've never used a flash bracket before. Am I right in saying that a flash bracket is useful for allowing you to place the flash slightly away from the camera? Is there anything else to it? Why else would you need a flash bracket?

Also, would it be compatible for use on a modern DSLR (my *ist DS) for use on a flash (AF-280T in my case)? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but as far as I can it's just a hotshoe on a metal bar plus handle with the camera screwed onto it through the tripod mount. Does that mean it can be used with any camera?

I could post a picture of it if required.

Thanks a lot in advance!

08-07-2009, 08:23 AM   #2
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Yes, flash bracket helps move the flash a little further from the camera, and some prefer the handling as flash generally alters weight & balance. More modern flash brackets often 'flip' to allow the flash to remain above the camera even when shooting in portrait orientation.

You could use a bracket like that with a D-SLR and a AF-280T but you need a way to trigger the flash--given this equipment you need a cable and adapters for both shoes to trigger the camera. The shoe in the pictured bracket is not "hot", it's just a mount. The AF280T doesn't have a port for triggering by wire. And your DS doesn't have a port for a wire either. So you need some combination of adapters and cables to provide an off-camera hotshoe.

One example of this might be this off-camera flash cord. This one supports Pentax TTL (probably P-TTL as well?), which both your AF-280T and *ist DS support. I would look around, some are probably higher-quality than others and can't vouch for this particular one. There may be some generic (non-Pentax-specific) ones that would sort-of work but probably only in manual & auto flash--no TTL.
08-09-2009, 06:29 PM   #3
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I see. Thanks Andrew!
08-10-2009, 12:00 AM   #4

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Does the bracket has some sort of quick release capability?

If it does, you can quickly remove the flash from the camera , take the photo, then re-attach the flash to the bracket. This is very useful so that the flash is even further from the camera, or to bouncing the light, expecially if the flash head can not swivel or tilt.

My Nikon F2 does not have a shoe, and I don't have a flash adapter. A bracket is absolutely needed.

08-10-2009, 02:56 AM   #5
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You are correct all a flash bracket does it provide a way to get the flash off camera but still I guess tethered is the best description and still portable. They can be very handy or a comply cluster you know what... But I find them very useful though I simply hunt for cheap ones and if I had my old workshop would probably DIY most of what I would like to try.

Here is a flash bracket setup I used on my 40D and, of course use the same bracket on my K20D without problem...except I don't need quite the reach I did with my Sigma 180mm Macro as I have 'slimmed down" and use the 35ltd macro... I'll get a shot of that rig to give you and idea:

The bracket if the Stroboframe Stroboflip and it's an nice bracket because rather than flipping the camera in the bracket mount when you want to change from portrait to landscape or vice-a-versa you flip the flash. It also affords the ability to place the flash at pretty much any position between 0-90-degrees...

If the Stroboflip has a drawback it is that one needs to carry a combination (open/box end wrench a metric #10 I think?) wrench in case the bolts work loose. but if you keep an eye on it and adjust things before starting a session, it's never been a problem for me.

If you are like me, the shear number of bracket options can seem overwhelming. Spend time thinking about what you want to use a bracket for...if doing portraits then a bracket that can elevate the flash a foot or more over the camera so the flash can be angled down toward or even above to feather the flash can be a really nice tool if you can't mount the flash on a dedicated stand in a studio.

The side effect of so many means there are almost always USED brackets for you can save a lot of cash while trying out different brackets. I only wanted a bracket in order to get the flash to the end of my 180mm macro with the hood attached. So I ended up with the Stroboflip PLUS a cheap Giottos ballhead that cost about $12.

Also to use a flash on a bracket, you will need a cord as you can see in the shots above. I found it very useful to have a cord with a she mount that had a tile adjustment. Just gives an extra bit of control for macro shots. And if not using the ballhead it gives a bit extra over what the flash itself allows in terms of tilting.

For how I use a small flash I found adding a good softbox made a HUGE difference. Even though I am a DIY sorta guy, I bit the bullet and bought a Lumiquest Softbox III from someone on eBay and saved about $12. But it's been a really nice general purpose softbox I can carry around...though on the K20D it sorta looks HUGE...I can only imagine how it will look when i get a K7...hehehehe...

Otherwise when I want the flash off camera, I want it off camera so I use them with RF triggers and position the flashes where the work best.

sorry I only have examples with a 40D for now. I really have had a bunch of family things going on that have pretty much put a stop to my photo's for fun...but I'll see what I can do to show shots of the rig with the new body and a couple lenses. that is a photojournalist in the making for sure!! That is a FUN shot!!!

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