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Light stand and flash/umbrella adapter

Domen Colja , Jun 24, 2007; 06:35 a.m.

I've been trying to do some research on the different types of flash/umbrella adapters that attach to a light stand or tripod. The problem constantly popping out is: I have a tripod that has a screw like this one (Link) and is it to my understanding that standard low-budget adapters that allow a flash mount (plastic element that simulates a hotshoe) and an umbrella attachment (a hole with a tightening screw), example (Link) use a different system that needs a pike-like protuberance on the light stand to be tightened on.

My tripod uses a screw thread (actually a quick release plate) suitable for cameras (and I can, I asume, attach my in-delivery 430EX using the stand (it should have a screw thread))and is therefore not suitable for such adapters, am I right? I have to buy a standard light stand like this one (Link), correct?

I'm realizing that a tripod uses a different 'head' than a light stand and such adapters are useless on the former. I don't want to spend a fortune by buying a light stand, and adapter and an umbrella individually. Could you advise me as to where to buy such equipment at low prices (I'm an amateur and pro equipment is out of reach)? Possibly in the European union (not a must).

I'm turning to your knowledge since my internet searches haven't brought me any useful information. Hope you can help me out. Thanks!


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Ellis Vener , Jun 24, 2007; 06:58 a.m.

check Manfrotto.

Alec Myers , Jun 24, 2007; 07:01 a.m.


I have to say I've read your email three times, and I'm still not sure what you actually want to achieve. I think you're asking what adaptor to buy to attach something (camera? flash?) to something else (light stand? tripod?) but I'm not certain.

Try stating clearly what you want to do...

Domen Colja , Jun 24, 2007; 07:43 a.m.

Alec, I might've been poorly explanatory, I'm sorry;)

I want to know if heads on a tripod and a light stand (common terminology: the tripod being a stand to attach a camera or a flash, correct?, and a light stand being a stand with a different head (?) to attach studio strobes, exc.) have different elements to attach equipment. I guess that the mentioned adapter for a flash/umbrella would not suit my tripod (it has a screw to attach a camera) since it needs a different 'top end' (head), right?

And by posing the question I'm inquiring where to buy such equipment (I need a light stand and some sort of adapter for an umbrella and a flash, the 430EX).

Thanks in advance and sincere apologies again.

Domen Colja , Jun 24, 2007; 07:53 a.m.

p.s.: Or: I want a stand with an adapter for an umbrella and my flash, the 430EX.

Firstly I thought that such an umbrella/flash adapter would stick on my camera tripod, but I guess I was wrong (that's why I circled around the debate around 'different heads' between tripods and light stands). Now I'm almost certain that I need the three elements individually: a light stand and an adapter for the umbrella and the flash. And to materialize my needs (in the end) I'd like some hints where could I buy the stated equipment at low costs (relatively) from one supplier.

p.p.s.: I've run hrough 'the big auction site' and there are cheap choices available but from different sellers.

Sorry again: all readers and repliers - have a nice day and thanks;)

Michael Sebastian , Jun 24, 2007; 10:46 a.m.

If I understand you correctly, you want to know how to attach your 430EX hot-shoe flash to either a tripod or a lightstand.

If so, then THIS (click) is probably what you want. It has a "cold shoe" to attach your flash to; and then fits over the 5/8" male "spigot" that is the top end of most lightstands. It also comes with two "studs" with 3/8" and 1/2" female sockets so you can also mount it onto a tripod if you don't have a lightstand.

I have this device and it works fine.

Greg Jansen , Jun 24, 2007; 11:12 a.m.

You could mount a cold shoe to the quick release, then an adapter to go to an umbrella mount, then flash on top of that, but what you will end up with is a floppy, clumsy, unsafe mess.

It will not be that usable. You will want you flash higher than what the tripod goes to most of the time. Also, there will be times you want to use the tripod and flash/umbrella at the same time.

Light stands are cheap. Get one is my advice.

I thinnk B&H has kits with a lightstand, umbrella adapter, and umbrella. That and a cord to your flash is all you'll need.

Edward Ingold , Jun 24, 2007; 11:47 a.m.

A tripod makes a poor lightstand. Besides being lighter, lightstands are cheaper and taller. The standard connector on a lightstand is based on a 5/8 inch stud. If I need a 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 threaded fitting, I use an adapter that fits this stud.

I use a metal hotshoe adapter with a swivel and an umbrella clamp. Put a piece of clear tape on the bottom of the metal shoe to keep from shorting the flash. I use Scotch "Magic Tape", which is tougher and thinner than electrical tape, and lasts much longer in the field.

Alec Myers , Jun 24, 2007; 02:17 p.m.


I agree with those who say "buy a dedicated stand for the flash". A decent flash stand costs about ?30 in the UK, and then get the kind of adaptor that Michael links to (above) which costs about another ?10.

In the EU ordering from B&H isn't going to be your best bet, but the same kind of stuff will be available locally.

(Hands up all those who didn't read the "Possibly in the European union" bit?)

Domen Colja , Jun 25, 2007; 04:46 a.m.

Thank you all for replying, I got exactly the information I needed. The semi-technical terminology used to describe light stand connectors (I called them 'heads') was the primary problem I encountered while shopping for the items. Not knowing what was the difference (and Googling without a correct vocabulary is pure nonsense) between the connectors, I kind of got stuck at figuring out the differences by zooming on products jpegs;)

Thanks to your assistance I will be searching for light stands and adapters, yeah, Alec, 'posibly in the EU';) Thanks again!

p.s.: B&H is the Alexandria of photo equipment, sure so, but to non-Americans it's a nuissance to pray for potential customs/tax bypass;/

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