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Old Jun 3, 2009, 9:44 AM   #1
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Default Flash Bracket Question

I've decided that I would like to get a flash bracket to use with K20d and AF360 flash. There are two types of brackets I am considering.

1. There is the "flash flip" bracket where the camera is attached to a horizontal base, and the bracket arm holding the flash can flip to allow changing the orientation of the camera from landscape to portrait positions. This however rotates the flash 90 degrees from it's normal vertical orientation.

2. Then there is the "camera flip" bracket where the camera is attached to a mechanism that allows the camera to rotate 90 degrees while the flash can stay in its vertical orientation.

Both brackets allow the flash to stay centered over the lens in both landscape and portrait formats, however the "camera flip" bracket keeps the flash in the vertical position regardless of the camera's orientation.

I have read that the "flash flip" type bracket that puts the flash in a horizontal position above the camera can put stress on the foot of the AF360 flash and cause it to break.

So my question is: does anyone have experience with either type of bracket and which would you recommend?

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Old Jun 3, 2009, 9:53 AM   #2
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I use an Alzo bracket where the camera flips while the flash stays fixed. I had seen a pro photgrapher using it and looked into it. I like how it works and it is quite versatile allowing for a tripod mounting, ability to mount an umbrella, etc. Here is the link to their site :http://alzodigital.com/online_store/...FRo-awodQVZXCA

I thought their price makes this a good value.

I have not used the style of bracket where the flash flips. They do seem less bulky though and may have some advantage of weight.
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Old Jun 3, 2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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I have a flash flip style of bracket - Custom Brackets CB Junior. It's nice but I would prefer to flip the camera. To me though there are some other considerations:

1. It's important to be able to move the flash away from the body. Jelpee's bracket allows this - I've seen some other rotation brackets that don't. To me that defeats the purpose of a bracket.

2. Ergonomics - think through what you will be doing and how you will be using the bracket. If you're using it primarily hand-held (vs. tripod use) - what will you be holding? the camera or the bracket? If you primarily use zooms, does the style of bracket allow you to easily zoom the lens. How does the flip work? Assuming you zoom with your left hand (and use right hand for camera/shutter) does the mechanism allow you to flip with your left hand easily? And where does the shutter button end up when you flip? For instance, in the website link - the little moving camera they show rotates clockwise - putting shutter buttons at the bottom. Most people have a tendancy to rotate the rig counterclockwise (with vertical grip putting a shutter button at top right position - without grip putting shutter button at top left). I don't like rigs that force you to put shutter button at the bottom.

That was one thing I liked about the CB Junior - it's set up for a counter-clockwise rotation. But it's still a flash flip which is a lot less convenient.

So to me, the 2 top priorities of a bracket are:
1) Allows me to rotate counterclockwise
2) allows me to elevate flash above camera (i.e. not a fixed length above)

It's great if you get a camera flip/rotate that provides the above two but they are often expensive solutions.
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Old Jun 3, 2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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Hi Jim,

You have another alternative. No bracket ! With the high resolution of the K20, you could shoot all shots in landscape orientation and just crop to vertical for all portrait oriented shots. An 8x10 crop at full frame height would give you a 3104x2483 image file which would print at over 300 DPI which is much higher resolution than you need for that size. In my experience, you could get a very good print at twice that height, or 16x20 at 155 DPI which will still look very good -- traditionally 150 DPI is considered about the maximum resolution that is discernable by the average human eye at normal viewing distances. I realize that this goes against normal thinking, but the resolution of the K20 allows one to sometimes think outside the box.

I personally don't like the bulk and weight of a bracket. The added weight of the flash is enough for me. I also always use a grip strap, so my camera is always secure in my hand, and my right arm and shoulder get a workout during an event, taking all of the strain of raising the camera however many times. I use a Joe Demb Flipit Jr with diffuser, so the flash head is always pointed straight up, which increases flash-to-lens height enough to easily eliminate any red-eye problems -- and you don't need a P-TTL cord to connect the flash to the shoe.

I've found that the camera/flash/bouncer-diffuser combo alone can get very heavy during the course of an event, and for me every ounce I can save counts, especially when taking candids with longer/heavier lenses like the 50-135 or 80-200 f2.8s.

I must admit that for most events, I use a 540 FGZ for the extra power, and the fact it can use an external battery pack for more flashes and faster recycling, but the 360 is my backup, and I wouldn't feel significantly handicapped if I just had it to use in the manner stated.

I do have a number of brackets, but I really don't use them anymore, and the Demb bouncer/diffuser has become a must have accessory for me.


Last edited by snostorm; Jun 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM.
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