Flexible arms for flash and LED lights

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Andy Davies
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Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:25 pm

Flexible arms for flash and LED lights

Post by Andy Davies »

I will be using Nikon flashguns which can be mounted on holders with a 1/4" female hole. My LED lights weigh 500g each.

I can drill and tap holes into my aluminium baseboard.

I'm looking for options for holding these with flexible arms. One possibility is to use Locline.

Any other ideas?



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Post by Saul »

Last edited by Saul on Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by elf »

Adding a piece of steel sheet metal to the top of your aluminum plate will allow you to use magnetic holders for the lights. It will be a lot more flexible for positioning the lights.

Chris S.
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Post by Chris S. »


I concur with Elf in recommending magnetic bases. You might take a look at the magnetic lighting stage I detailed here. It's based on Noga articulated arms. These cost more than eBay articulated arms, but perform vastly better.

Regarding Loc-Line, it depends on how precisely you want to position your lights, and how willing you are to fiddle. I use Loc-Line arms to hold things for soldering, for which the arms work well. Loc-Line would frustrate me for studio macro lighting, though, as it has more "give" and springiness than I like. This said, I would certainly consider Loc-Line for field macro, where precision in light placement is much less necessary. Similarly, for simple, diffuse lighting in the studio, Loc-Line might be OK.


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Post by enricosavazzi »

I have both types linked to by Saul. There are differences between the two.

The arm at the first link is made for photographic equipment. It has 1/4-20 bolts at either ends (or perhaps a 3/8 bolt at one of the ends and 1/4 at the other, there are both variants). The central "elbow" joint locks in place at a number of positions (i.e. it has interlocking teeth that prevent slipping, which also means that the locking angle is not continuously variable but is restricted to intervals of a few degrees - it should not be a problem for positioning light sources). The two ball joints near the ends have no such restrictions. If the arm is fully extended and carries a significant weight, the ball joint near the base of the arm will be more likely to slip than the other. This requires the arm to be tightened more than necessary to lock the two other joints. It should not be a problem to carry a medium-sized battery-operated flash unit, but a stronger (and larger) arm like the Manfrotto Friction Arm should be used for heavy units.

The arm at the second link is made to hold indicators or gauges in a mechanical shop. It requires some modification for attaching photo equipment, but it is doable. This model does not have the interlocking teeth at the elbow and must be locked very hard to hold up a flash unit without slipping.

A third type not mentioned so far is the Manfrotto hydrostatic mini arms, available in a couple of sizes. They are expensive but lock very tight with a minimal twisting force on the locking knob, and carry a higher weight than other mini arms. Overall they are significantly stronger and more durable than the other types mentioned above. I use a few and prefer them for precision positioning.

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