Brewer Bracket Obsoleted by New Monster Quad Bracket
The Quad Mod is possible only because Todd Brewer is a Guy. He is a "Guy-with-a-capital-G" because Guys over-engineer the heck out of stuff. You can spot a Guy Deck after the Cat 5 hurricane because it is the only one still standing.
Todd's "El Doble" bracket is so ridiculously strong that you can make it hold two more flashes with about $4.00 worth of hardware at Home Depot.
Find out how, and why in the world you even would want a four-flash bracket, after the jump.
Why Would You Do This Thing?
If you have four flashes, you definitely want the ability to couple them. Consider the math:
Each speedlight puts out about 60 watt-seconds of light, no matter how much they hype the guide number specs. Adding a second flash gets you to 120 watt-seconds -- and gives you one more stop of light at full power.
Having four flashes coupled effectively gives you a 240-watt-second, quad-tube monobloc (for two extra stops of light) with some very special capabilities.
First off, you can throw everything on full-power for a 240-WS monobloc that runs on AA's and can recycle in 3.5 seconds. This is way cool. And since it is really four, 60-WS flashes firing at once, you get a flash duration of just ~1/1000th of a sec.
But the goodness does not stop there. Remember, you likely have zoom heads on those flashes, meaning that you can zoom that 240-WS 'bloc out to maybe 105mm tele for even more reach when it is needed. Or you can back it off to wide for broad coverage. You can even spread the aim of the individual heads to get near 180-degree coverage. That's near-bare-bulb coverage with focused-beam efficiency.
But you do not have to use them on 1/1 power to get the bennies. Say you needed full blast power, but would be shooting too fast to allow the flash tubes to cool between shots. You could fry a single head, or shoot quad with each head on 1/4 power for safe, all-day-long shooting.
I know of several readers who light events, such as race finish lines, where this setup would work great. And you could motor away with an average one-second recycle time for a quad setup on 1/4 power without worrying you would miss a runner.
Basically, it gives you the flexibility to shoot power, speed or beam spread in whatever combo you choose.
Easy as Pie
To make the mod, you'll need a little strip aluminum, a drill and a vise (or big pliers.) Four short 1/4x20 boltss (and six nuts) and you are in bidness. (This assumes you already have the Doble's two-flash mounting hardware and cold shoes for all of your flashes.)
I used the vise to hold the strip as I bent two sections in a quasi-"Z" shape as shown. The dimensions were about 3"-4"-3", but that will depend on the size of your speedlights. Better to err on the large size.
Use a Sharpie to line up the holes and drill a hole with a 5/16ths bit (going through aluminum is easy) and you mount the four flashes the same way you would normally mount two. You'll be drilling a hole in each section of the "Z."
Note that I used a spacer nut beneath the bracket where the flashes mount to use up space on the bolt. The shortest bolt I could find tapped the bottom of the cold shoe otherwise. The aluminum bars themselves were held onto the bracket with 1/4x20 bolts and nuts as shown.
I did not even use a hacksaw to cut the aluminum -- I used my teeth. Because I am a Guy, too.
(Actually I just held it with the vise and bent it two times quickly and it snapped right in two...)
:: Original Brewer Bracket Post ::
:: Brewer Bracket Website ::
New to Strobist? Start here | Or jump right to Lighting 101
Connect w/Strobist readers via: Words | Photos
Got a question? Hit me on Twitter: @Strobist
Save Money: Browse MPEX Weekly Strobist Deals