What is that flash thingie for?

You know when you buy a speedlight, you get the little foot thingie? Yes, check the flash bag – it’s in there. So what is it for?

First, you can simply mount the flash on that foot and then set it on a table, say, and use it as a remote flash that way. All major camera makers have that ability – you may (on a Canon 5D, say) or may not (on a Canon 60D, 7D or on most Nikon cameras) need another flash on top of the camera to fire the remote flash.

Second, you can attach your flash to a light stand with it. Using this:

The down side of the foot screws onto the gold-coloured screw on top of the mount, and the entire mount now goes onto a light stand. It angles and turns, and it has a holefor an umbrella.

So for a pro umbrella shot, all you would need is:

  1. A camera, possibly with a high-end master flash on it, like an SB900 or a 600EX;
  2. A remote flash;
  3. the foot in the picture above;
  4. The mount in the picture above;
  5. A light stand;
  6. An umbrella.

And of course some simple knowledge – that is what this site is for, and you can complement that with some personal training – a few hours and you know all you need to know. Do that before the festive season and you get pro festive season pictures this year!


5 thoughts on “What is that flash thingie for?

  1. Hi Michael:

    I purchased an SB900 at the recent Exposure show. It had been used but was in the original box and appears to be in perfect condition. After I got home, I did a bit of checking and see a number of comments on the internet that this flash comes with some potential problems – i.e. overheating. I am wondering if you have any thoughts or insight into this product. Look forward to your comments. Always look forward to your daily tips and appreciate your sharing your knowledge.

  2. Hi Shari, I own 3 of the SB900’s. Yes, they will overheat if shooting at full power for say 15-20 consecutive shots in the course of say 1 min. However having said that, I have only run into an issue of overheating on maybe 3 or 4 of the numerous times I have used my flash units. Out of those limited occasions, I can honestly say that some if it was my fault for not paying attention to my camera settings making my flash work extra hard for no reason. The SB900 is a great flash. No need to worry.

  3. I would disagree slightly. The SB900 always overheats when used at high power, as William says. As does the SB-800. A very bad engineering decision: when you bounce your flash, you will always be working at high power. Also, when you use your flash in, say, Las Vegas, it’s going to overheat even more quickly.

    The solution? Do not use it at high power – use a higher ISO to achieve this when shooting fast-paced events and bouncing. You can work around it.

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