Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

I originally posted in 2009 about the discontinuation of Alien Bee equipment outside the U.S. and Canada. However, I failed to update that Paul C. Buff has established a new source outlet distributor in April 2010 for international buyers.

1st Line Digital is supplying parts of Europe, so if you’re hunting to buy Paul C. Buff’s lighting & gear, you might want to have a look.


There’s another separate log in for Australia, NZ, Asia, Middle East & Africa on the page. I believe you will need to register for access to browse.

I do use Paul C. Buff’s equipment. I find their flash units to be lightweight for my on location shooting. My apologies for missing their update!


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I dropped by my friend, Sandy’s house to loan her a lens for her upcoming trip west. Of course I had no choice but to watch the hummingbirds since she has amassed quite a crew. She runs her sandysandysweblog with due dilligence and mentioned my visit.

It was a good opportunity to try rigging with my SB900 with my 70-200mm lens for several reasons. One being that the reach of a SB900 is greater than an SB800. The other being that I could only use a Manfrotto Super clamp with an extension (heavy duty flex arm) on it. There was nowhere to set up my tripod. I’ve used this rig before but only for holding a speedlight to use it as a hair light. I wanted to see if it would hold a camera body, speedlight with a 70-200mm lens. It did and that’s a heavy rig! Pix to come of the setup.

Here’s a few shots of the hummers. They are such interesting little creatures. Fascinating to say the least.




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The DSLR Camera Remote for Nikon is coming out in version 1.1 as stated on the 1on1 (Mike Wong) blog. This is an application that enables you to control your DSLR camera with an iPhone or iPod Touch. The discount offer of $9.99 has ended and now the application is selling for full price of $19.99 in the iTunes store.

DSLR Camera Remote

Functionality for Nikon will not happen until version 1.1. I don’t think that any Nikon users purchased the 1.0 version since it was only for Canon. I know that I wouldn’t buy an application in advance that wouldn’t allow me to use it with my present equipment. Particularly since no release date for Nikon was mentioned when the Canon version came out. Please listen to your potential user base, OnOne. This is a great technological advancement and worthy application you’ve got. Don’t make Nikon shooters take a back seat. It looks like version 1.1 is about a month away.

A one day window to buy version 1.0 for a free update to 1.1 for the Nikon version was announced by Mike on the One onOne blog on 6/11/09 before the discount ended on 6/12/09. A one day notice isn’t particularly generous to those Nikon shooters anxiously waiting for the release that will work with their camera bodies.

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I normally shoot my D700 but had my D300 out this week and noticed the rubber piece on the bottom was missing. You would need to remove this piece from the bottom in order to install the battery grip. Thought I’d order the part.

Many of the camera retailers don’t carry those small bits and parts in inventory. Not to mention the hard to find pieces that have a way of getting lost and AWOL. The small caps on the PC sync port, 10 pin terminal, eyecups. All of them seem to drop into the black hole graveyard of Things that fall off my camera land.

I buy from a great retailer online. Precision Photo stocks those hard to find pieces and also repair pieces for those of you who are not faint of heart with taking things apart. If you’ve cracked your speedlight cover on your SB800, there’s even a replacement part for that.

Here is the Nikon parts and accessories page

Fix it replacement parts are Here

Canon folk need not despair. They have some Canon parts too, albeit not as extensive. Here

If you need some of the speedlight adapter pieces like a sync adapter, have a look

Here They are adding all the time.

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There is no dearth of available hardware for mounting speedlights to stands. The most commonly used piece is an umbrella swivel adapter. Here’s a sampling.

umbrella swivel adapters

Variety serves purpose. Most mount to the stand and allow you to affix a speedlight to the top.  Here are a few on the market. L to R, a simple shoe mount—not as flexible for swiveling the head and the shoe is a fixed part of the adapter. You should tape a piece of electrical or duct tape to shoe mounts that are metal. You do not want the contacts of your speedlight to come into contact with the bare metal of a shoe. The center adapter with a spigot inside is metal, made by both Manfrotto and Calumet. They are identical in build. Durable due to the metal. The one on the right is made by Impact and it’s plastic. Maybe not as durable for longevity, but much lighter in weight. All have a hole in common to slide an umbrella shaft through. The bottom mounts on top of a light stand and tightens with a knob.

The center bottom piece is a cold shoe mount made by Stroboframe. It’s one of the better ways of mounting a speedlight in the shoe. There is no metal for the hot shoe of the flash to make contact with. There’s a 1/4 inch hole that will mount to the top of a male spigot. It’s my preferred way of mounting a speedlight and it’s secure with the locking pin. I showed an earlier post with the Nikon AS-19 stand on top of the umbrella swivel adapter but the stand (also commonly known as a “foot”) doesn’t stay fixed as well. You’ll find yourself catching your speedlight as it takes a tumble. Worse yet, picking it up off the floor. The stand/foot is fine if you wanted to sit a speedlight on top of a flat surface like a bookshelf but not on top of a light stand.

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You won’t discover that there are so many different adapters until you need a specific one. Those pretty, gold metal pieces are called spigots. It’s good to invest in a bunch of these guys because you will eventually need one that goes with whatever new piece of equipment that you’re rigging. 1/4, 3/8, male, female, male, double ended, 20 thread… A spigot is used in some umbrella swivel adapter mounts when you want to attach a speedlight to a light stand.

My metal friend is collecting them for future use. You should do the same.


Spigots are actually adapters. You can stack them if you’re stuck with a mount, but I wouldn’t go too far to do more than two as this could erode stability. The double ended spigot shown above right is also very useful in a Justin clamp.

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I adore my iPod Touch. There’s a great handy application called Photo Calc that I have for photography. Exposure calculations for flash, reciprocity calculations (changing f/stop or aperture for equivalent same exposure), Zone system, sunrise and sunset times (according to my zip code), depth of field and hyperfocal distance calculator. I also keep some of my images loaded up on my iPod Touch. Good marketing tool.

Developer here

Apple currently has a good deal for college students (currently enrolled or entering college this fall). Buy a Mac and get a free iPod Touch. Must buy together at same time and be on same receipt. $229. rebate (price of the 8GB iPod Touch). Read the fine print to see if you qualify.

May 27, 2009, through September 8, 2009 and receive a rebate up to $229.

Current Apple Rebates

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