There are two reasons you are looking at this post. You either use speedlights a lot due to their small size and weight or you are insanely cheap. Either way, this bracket is both cheap and useful for both sides. I tend to use big lights for most of my lighting, however on a lot of trips with air travel I’m forced to bring a limited kit due to baggage limitations. I’ve had a 2-flash bracket setup for a while now to double up my speedlights and get a bit more output from the little guys. After breaking one of the delrin shoe mounts on it, I decided to make a bigger one. I’ve wanted to be able to mount three or four speedlights on one stand before so this was a great time to do so.
Now don’t try to fool yourself, four speedlights aren’t going to equal an Elinchrom Ranger, Quadra or Alien Bees 800 or 1600. They will however boost your output to help fill in the blanks a bit more with less weight in the dreaded 50 pound limit checked airline baggage.
There are a few options out there for this application, (like the Dot Line RPS Studio Light Bar) however the shoe mounts used just do not hold the flashes securely enough for my taste. I’d rather spend a few extra bucks on knowing that my speedlights are secure. Another good option is the Interfit INT337 Strobies Triple Flash Bracket, it’s smaller than my bracket which is great for travel, however two of the three flashes are mounted vertically, changing the beam pattern and there’s only room for three flashes instead of four.
For all you insanely cheap people out there, you could find cheaper shoe’s out there and then just bolt them on with 3/4?- 1/4?x20 bolts and save a few bucks. I chose the Stroboframe shoe’s beceause they are bomber. I’ve had a few different ones made of delrin, other plastics with some metal, and they all seem to break. These stroboframe one’s are bomber, and have strong clamping power to keep your speedlights on the bracket, and off the ground.
So if you are willing to take a bit more time than ordering something off B&H’s website to get something a bit larger, more versitile and tougher, then read on, the directions on how to make your own quad speedlight bracket is below.
Box end wrenches or ratchet/sockets
Drill + 3/8″ drill bits
1?(w) x 1/8?(d) x 48?(l) Flat Aluminum (Home Depot) ($12)
(2) 1/4? x 20 Nylon Locknut (Home Depot) ($0.30)
(1) 2-1/2” x 1/4”-20 thread bolt(Home Depot) ($0.15)
(1) Umbrella bracket ($18) (B&H, or your closet)
(4) Stroboframe shoe mount (B&H – $9.50/ea)
Cut flat aluminum bar to 14? length
Mark aluminum for drilling ? 3/16? drill bit
Hole #1 – 1? from the end
Hole #2 – 4? from Hole #1
Hole #3 – 2? from Hole #2
Hole #4 – 2? from Hole #3
Hole #5 – 4? from Hole #4 (or 1? from the end)
Screw nylon locknut #1 on to the bolt about 3/4? down the bolt.
Put the bolt through the center hole of the flat aluminum bar (hole #3)
Screw locknut #2 to the bolt securely on the other side of the flat aluminum bar to secure the bolt in place leaving the bolt flush with the top of locknut #2
Screw on each flash shoe to the flat aluminum bar.