As I might mention some posts before , my first try at more “normal” lighting diffusers, was some years back when a friend of mine (Chen, thank you!) got me a Photek Brolly from B&H, those where times where shipping wasn’t so easy to Israel and not so many alternatives for a softbox in the market…
So the brolly was a way to compromise and have a budget very big light diffuser. I think that it cost about 60$, but that was the cheapest gadget out there…
I use the brolly many times in my home studio and I must say that it lasted since (about 6 years ago). Today you can get at amazon 2 36″ for 34$, I don’t know about how good they are (my guess is that they are not bad) but I always say to try everything, especially is this one is your first, spending 36$ isn’t to much.
The thing that bothered me most was how to attach the speedlight to the brolly. Until some time ago, I’d put the flash in the brolly, using another small flash holder (as seen on this page), but this way has two disadvantages:
- The flash is in the brolly, so all the manual guys are in trouble, cause as your set the flash power and closed the brolly, you’ld have to open it every time you want to change the power.
- As the flash is inside the brolly, there is a small problem with the light spread in the brolly, cause your flash is to close to the umbrella, most of the light will be directed to the umbrella’s center.
So how to solve this “problem”? Two ways:
1.The Bungee Cord method – by attaching the speedlight to the brolly’s main rod, as the front of the flash is in the brolly and the rear of the flash out of the brolly, you get probably the cheapest diy way to get the speedlight into the brolly, while you still have all the control you need to manual control your speedlight.I used here two Bungge Cords, for extra caution, also one cord will do the job for indoors.You have extra safety as the open hole in the brolly’s front panel has a Velcro strip to get some more grip to the flash and the brolly’s holding rod.
2.Using an extra flash holder – this one is pretty easy, and “feel” more secure than the first tip. Get another flash holder, for this purpose you don’t must have a top of the line , I used the cheapest swivel head flash holder on the market, as it don’t need to hold to much weight, it only holds the flash to the main brolly holder.
Notice that in this setup, the flash isn’t pointing exactly to the center of the brolly, so if you can get a better angle you’ll have to get a shorter flash holder, but I think the over all this is a good compromise.
If you have another DIY trick of your own to attach the flash into the brolly, let us know!!!