Use A 3D Printed Strobe Mount To Get Your Strobe 89% on Axis
A few days ago we shared a cool way to mount a strobe to a tree using a 3D printed “dog bone” and a strap. It used a cool housing for the strobe that placed the strobe 100% on axis which was very cool. We actually got some mails about that flash mount from the video so we asked Chris Cameron for the brand.
Chris told us that it was not a bought mount, but that he printed it himself and he agreed to share the (redesigned and improvbed) file with DIYP readers. YAY!!!
So first, why getting on-axis light is good? In 2009 we shared another type of on-axis flash mount where we explained why on-axis is better (and shot some samples):
The swivel (or umbrella holder) is designed in a way that the umbrella does not go exactly 90 degrees into the shaft. It is tilted upwards a bit – this is done since the flash mounted on the swivel is not 100% aligned with the center of the umbrella. If the insert was angled at 90 degrees, light from the flash would hit only the top of part of the umbrella, creating uneven light.
So the umbrella is tilted upwards a bit. However, the swivel is one and mounting options are many – you can use big or small umbrellas, place the umbrella in different positions within the shaft or shoot through only half open umbrella. Since the shaft if fixed, sometimes you’ll end up with the light going only to the top or bottom half of the umbrella – this is why you’d like to place the flash as close to the umbrella axis as possible.
And this is ever worse with umbrella softbox type modifiers.
That mount was good, but this new mount from Chris is even better, and way easier to build. It can also be used horizontally or vertically which gives you more control over how the light spreads. All you need is a file from Chris (it’s free, thanks Chris!), a 3D printer and a few bolts. (Or if you have no printer access / no DIY skills / no bolts, you can hit Chris’s store and buy a ready made mount).
Construction is easy: Once the sleeve part is printed shove glue two 1/4″ nuts into the recesses in the bottom and side of the part to finish it. It’s kind of a a snug fit, so don’t be afraid to use a pair of pliers.
Oh, one (small) caveat – this head is designed for SB900 and SB910 Nikon strobes (and will probably fit other monsters as well), but it is not universal. The good news is that the concept is easily modified + you have the source files to tinker with.
P.S. you can also buy a readymade unit on Chris’s store.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.