How to Use Speed Lights with Studio Softboxes

Here’s a DIY option to use your speed light with your studio softboxes.

I was looking at various ways to hook up my SB-800 to my softboxes and found a few options like the Westcott Slipper but found it overpriced considering you could get an Ezybox for less. Being determined to find a way, I continued my hunt. And last week I got lucky and found this Youtube video by Stephen Poff from someone on Twitter who RT it. In his video, he shows how he used a Justin clamp with his speed light and studio softbox. My jaw dropped to the floor! It’s so simple!

Being a big Strobist fan myself, I find myself using my SB-800s more and more. But what was missing was to use them with my studio softboxes. And already having  my version of the Justin clamp, I had part of my solution! All I needed to do now was to find a way to attach the clamp to a tripod. Farraging around in my studio gear, I found what I needed! A simple umbrella adapter!

Watch the video for all the details.

[vimeo 5652573]

Here are some great books from the YPS bookshelf.

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This was my 1st video editing experience with Adobe Premiere! I got my 2 hour crash course this weekend. I was hoping to have the tutorial out last Monday but… there’s a big learning curve. 🙂

10 responses on "How to Use Speed Lights with Studio Softboxes"

  1. Check this out. $40 for a magic slipper type bracket. I’ve been looking into the best way to make a DIY magic slipper, until I saw these. Haven’t ordered any yet, but I think that I’ll get a couple.

  2. Where did you get the extra pin an ball head for $5, or any cost for that matter. Where would I find these parts. (Beginner)

    Many thanks,

  3. Hi Yanik,

    nice setup. I solved the problem another way. I bought myself a plate of hard foam like the ones that are used to put images on to hang em on the wall (well sort of) and simply cut a rectangle hole in it. Then i adjusted the outside round shape to the ring. I made one for only one speedlight and another for two to get some extra juice. I will try to post a picture of it. when I get back home.
    I think my way is another simple solution (and cheap; around 5 Euro = 7,50 Dollar). I got the plate needed at my local home depot store, nothing fancy.
    And you have the flash outside to be able to access the controls very fast. The disadvantage is that it is not as thight a connection as with the clamp so beware of falling flashes. I have to figure out a way to secure it better, but still no faller!
    Thanks for your post!


  4. @Peter: good point! I’ll have to try it out with the flash on the outside. 🙂

  5. Interesting idea, but isn’t it easier to have the flash outside flashing into the box so that you can have access to the flash buttons?
    I mean, is it possible to put your hand throught the backside of the softbox, push buttons and see in the same time what you are changing? Otherwise it’s somehow very static.

  6. Great idea. I’ve been looking for a way to do this. A Hong Kong equipment firm has a softbox flash mounting ring, but $24 seems a little steep. Maybe I’ll give this a try.

  7. Thanks for your sharing again, this time in video~

    i see that there is a typo about this topic on the “CLASSROOM” page
    “How to Use Speelights with Your Sudio Softbox”, the word “Sudio”

  8. @ Carlos

    I should have removed the diffuser on the SB-800 because I wouldn’t put it on in this situation just to give me more power.

  9. HUnnnnnnn … I’m thinking here Yanik: if our speedlight is weak than a studio strobo AND you left that hole behind the softbox AND you didn’t use a baffle but the stofen … HOW MANY stops are you losing here? Another 4th set of batteries will be enough to the outside photo shoot?

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