Photography equipment has come up a long way in contempo years; staggering megapixel counts, blisteringly fast AF systems, and low-light performance that was unheard of non long ago. But in my opinion, one of the most useful and underrated advancements has been in off-photographic camera lighting, notably portable, bombardment-powered strobes.
Gone are the days where I hauled my 30kg (~66lb) case that housed my 3 Bowens Gemini lights and the rats nest of x-meter (~33ft) power cables and PC Sync cords to every assignment, I no longer need to search high and depression for power outlets and risk clients tripping over cables, nor do I need to spend every pound earned on a physiotherapist to repair my back from the labor of it all.
When Godox released the AD600 Pro and later on the AD400 Pro, I immediately made an eBay listing and relieved myself of the 30kg monster living in the garage.
I bought 3 of the AD400 Pros also as a couple of their TT685 speed lights along with the XPro trigger for Sony mirrorless, and I couldn’t be happier. They evangelize simply shy of what my powered strobes could output, weigh less, and frequently last a full solar day’s intensive product shoot in a dusty warehouse, with nigh of the shots beingness at full ability.
A big role of what I shoot is product photos for high-stop commercial clients, and having color accuracy was a big gene. It’s safe to say they have delivered non just on color, but output accuracy, recycle times, and reliability. All at a fraction of the cost of their Profoto and Broncolor rivals.
The AD600/400/200 and most recently 300 Pro line accept completely revolutionized photography for a large majority of photographers. Affordable, high-powered lighting that tin can exist brought anywhere on location has been a game-changer, and I for one take loved seeing what those in the community take produced with this sort of equipment.
But there’due south just one problem…
I have one gripe, just one. The calorie-free stand mount. When putting anything larger than a medium softbox on the forepart end of the AD400 Pro, the lite bows its head and gives in under the non considerable amount of weight. If you’re a photographer that likes vivid soft images, you probably have some big softboxes and octaboxes you use regularly, and may be in the same position I’ve been in where I’m constantly playing a game of tilting the head back up and putting a scary amount of pressure on the plastic tightening handle.
The problem is the large washer that’s meant to create the friction needed to concur the head in place. It seems to be made of a plywood-like cloth with a plastic coating on it. Non only is at that place no stickiness or obvious friction to the surface of the washer, merely because its fabricated of a dumbo wood-like material it has absolutely no compression to it, meaning when you lot tighten the handle information technology will reach a hard stop and tightening farther might break information technology clean off.
When the handle stops, you can’t tighten information technology any more past that, and that may not be tight enough. Why on earth Godox idea this was a proper solution to this office of the design I do not know, and what’southward worse, Godox doesn’t have a groovy rail record for proven customer service, nor exercise they sell spare parts, to the all-time of my knowledge.
Turning to eBay I quickly found a supplier who sold prophylactic washers in any size you can imagine. For but £3.57 (~$iv.50) you lot tin buy a five-pack of washers that are an exact fit to replace the weird composite washer that Godox fits to the mount on the AD400 Pro.
(It’due south worth noting that I have merely washed this ready on the Godox AD400 Pro, not the AD600 Pro, then you may need to accommodate the size of the condom washer needed if you are going to effort on the AD600 Pro.)
If you’re going to order these the critical dimensions you demand for the AD400 Pro are as follows:
Thickness: 3mm (ane/8”)
Inner diameter: 8mm (5/sixteen”)
Outer diameter: 32mm (i 17/64”
Once you have your rubber washers, the next stride is to disassemble the strobe’due south lighting mountain. There are no tools required for this, all you have to exercise is rotate the plastic handle counterclockwise until information technology comes off, remove the brass band beneath it and and so remove the free one-half of the metal mountain (this may accept a little jiggling).
Yous’ll run across in the photo of the original washer that information technology equally a couple of slots either side of the inner hole. These slide over the specially designed bolt in the mountain and will demand to be cut out of the prophylactic washer.
Using a sharp knife or scalpel, carefully remove a small amount of material either side of the pigsty to mimic the cutouts on the original. This doesn’t need to be precise as the rubber is pretty forgiving. Once the 2 slots are cut just slide it back over the bolt and reassemble the mountain.
(Quick tip: the 2 niggling ‘wings’ on the side of the bolt are slightly different sizes from ane another and so you may need to twist the commodities 180 degrees for the free one-half of the mount to slide back on.)
Once reassembled you’ll have a strobe that tin can take the weight of your biggest modifier, and the handle will yet have more than room to tighten without the fright of snapping it off and ruining your photoshoot!
Editor’s note: PetaPixel and the author take no responsibility for any damage that may occur while doing this modification. If y’all cull to follow this tutorial, yous’re doing and then at your own risk.
About the author: Sebastian Engert is a professional person photographer in the Britain who mainly shoots events and weddings. The opinions expresssed in this article are solely those of the author. You tin find more than of Engert’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was as well published hither.