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Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:37 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 164

... I can offer a "solution" that's relatively easy to implement and extremely effective. If you have no worries about your Einstein's mount dropping a heavy modifier, read no further.

Up front, let me say that I have experienced NO PROBLEMS at all with the mounts on my V2 Einsteins. That is not to say all speedrings attach equally well. Some do pull away from the body of the strobe when a large softbox/octabox is mounted.

Then there are the times that the Einstein itself is suspended in space with no other means of support than the Balcar mount. My Photek Illuminata, for example, comes with a proprietary ring that mounts to a lightstand meaning the attached strobe's stand mount is not used. This is not the Illuminata's ring but does illustrate the configuration:

Image

The potential for disaster is clearly evident. To err on the side of caution, I decided to implement a simple solution that would guarantee modifiers would never fall off the E640's mount nor would the E640 itself fall from a speedring.

Some time ago, I drilled 3/8" holes in all of my AB type speedring inserts to allow the beauty dish deflector to be used with softboxes. The hole, of course, lines up with the umbrella tube on the top deck of the Einstein. The hole can be seen in this image:

Image

It's this deflector shaft hole that facilitates my modifier support solution. You'll need a 10" or 11" length of 5/16" threaded rod, one 5/16" nut, one 5/16" wing nut, and a few drops of thread locking solution.

Apply a few drops of the thread locking solution to one end of the threaded rod and screw the nut on. Let the solution set up. With the nut in place, you're done! Done, that is, if you've drilled the appropriately positioned hole in the insert. An easy way to mark the proper spot is to slide a rod through the umbrella tube until it hits the back side of the insert. Trace the outline with a Sharpie. The actual drilling (and filing into an oval) I'll leave to you.

With the speedring attached to the Einstein, slide the rod through the face of the speedring insert and into the strobe's umbrella tube like so:

Image

When pushed all the way in, we have this:

Image

Image

To lock the speedring to the Einstein, thread the wing nut onto the exposed bit of rod but DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. This is just a safety measure. As long as the threaded rod cannot pull out, the speedring/modifier or strobe cannot separate:

Image

Image

That's it! The effectiveness of this safeguard can easily be seen. Here's a photo of one of my Einsteins supporting a 36" x 48" softbox:

Image

While this large and heavy softbox has never fallen from the Einstein, it does cause the speedring insert to pull away from the body of the strobe. The separation can be seen in the left hand image below while the image on the right shows the effect of tightening the wing nut 1/2-rotation:

Image

I've been using this failsafe scheme for some time now in high risk situations (that is with large modifiers or when the strobe is supported by the Balcar mount alone). It has given me tremendous peace of mind; one less thing to worry about. The hardest part of this "mod" involves drilling and elongating a hole in the speedring insert.

Hope this suggestion proves useful. And, in case you're curious, the pictured 16-hole speedring is for my 71" Rimelite Grand Box.

Dave F.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:13 pm

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:24 pm
Posts: 38

Nice idea, Dave, thanks for posting.

Even better would be a threaded T-handle to screw on in place of the wing nut to assist if making tilt adjustments. Maybe with a rubber grommet in between the handle and case. Not sure if this would work though, it might put excessive pressure on the umbrella mount or other parts.

Even better, maybe a ratchet handle like this one




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:51 pm

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:24 am
Posts: 5

Thanks for the post.

Seems like it would help most with modifiers vertical rather than horizontal from a boom arm, though.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:16 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 164

Turning wrote:
Thanks for the post.

Seems like it would help most with modifiers vertical rather than horizontal from a boom arm, though.


True, but the support is only really needed with large, heavy modifiers which I never boom. In any case, if I were to boom, say, my 5' octa, I would mount the speedring not the strobe to the boom's drop down pin. Rotating the insert in the speedring 180-degrees would allow the Einstein to remain upright and the support to function as intended.

Dave F.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:00 pm

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:23 pm
Posts: 53

Nicely done. What speedring are you showing with that integral mounting foot as part of the aluminum casting? I sure like that.

Even with the PCB 32-by-40-inch softbox is mounted on my Einsteins, the speedring insert does indeed pull away from the face plate by roughly 1/8". The union is not solid. I haven't dropped one yet, but I do find myself paying undue attention to the mount, when I should be fully focused (no pun intended) on the shoot.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:00 pm

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:24 pm
Posts: 38

Dave, what do you think of the handle idea, no good?




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:06 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 164

Dick Hertz wrote:
Nicely done. What speedring are you showing with that integral mounting foot as part of the aluminum casting? I sure like that.

Even with the PCB 32-by-40-inch softbox is mounted on my Einsteins, the speedring insert does indeed pull away from the face plate by roughly 1/8". The union is not solid. I haven't dropped one yet, but I do find myself paying undue attention to the mount, when I should be fully focused (no pun intended) on the shoot.


Thank you! Before answering your question regarding the speedring, I wanted to demonstrate visually that this approach is compatible with boom use:

Image

Again, it's the speedring not the strobe that is physically attached to the boom's Avenger D700 drop down pin. The added benefit (apart from being able to use the umbrella tube support rod) is that the Einstein and its display panel are right side up.

Now, the speedring: That was a recent discovery. It's sold on eBay by Oeccamera. You can find them here:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... +Speedring

Dave F.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:18 pm

Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:24 pm
Posts: 38

That's a very nice speedring, with or without the pivot clamp.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:13 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 164

Dave Jr wrote:
Dave, what do you think of the handle idea, no good?


Actually, Dave, that idea has potential. I've been using a screwdriver in the umbrella tube as a handle. I think in this application, a T-handle would not be appropriate because orientation of the wings of the "T" would be variable. The T-handle could not be permanently attached because then the support rod would have to be secured from the front and a 6-sided nut cannot rotate freely against the slanted face of the speedring insert. True, it doesn't have to be a 6-sided nut but securing and adjusting the rod from the front would be a less than ideal arrangement.

I think a better solution would be a 5/16" tapped tapered handle like this:

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Long-T ... 9+CST+2011

That could be used as a direct replacement for the wing nut I'm currently using. I have a Grainger near me so I just might swing by and pick up one of these handles.

Dave F.




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Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:20 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 164

Dave Jr wrote:
That's a very nice speedring, with or without the pivot clamp.


Yes, I'm quite pleased. It's made by Falcon Eyes in Hong Kong. It works with 16-sided modifiers like my Rimelite Grand Box but works equally well with octas and square/rectangular softboxes. It also works with strips. Very handy. The cast in mounting platform on the ring can interfere with the rear flaps on certain softboxes. Definitely not a deal-killer.

Interestingly, about a month ago I emailed Falcon Eyes to ask if they would sell me one of these rings directly. This was long before I found them on eBay. Anyway, Falcon Eyes replied that they'd be happy to for $82 shipped. Glad I waited. Oeccamera charges less than half as much for the same item.

Dave F.




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