Phottix have raised the bar again, releasing the first horizontal strap on speedlite to softbox adapter with the new HS Speed Mount II !
The HS Speed Mount uses a Bowen’s compatible adapter to mount regular softboxes and modifiers using the popular Bowen’s style mount. Speedlites can now be simply strapped in place on the bracket, which removes any stress from the flash foot. Traditional hotshoe style mounting is also still possible as well with the clamping cold shoe provided.
I’m actually already pretty familiar with (and possibly a little excited about) the new HS Speed Mount II, as I helped Phottix with designing the new bracket –
The HS Speed Mount II attaches via a regular 5/8″ brass stud to the very solid Phottix Varos BG umbrella swivel, or most regular umbrella swivels which accept the standard 5/8″ stud.
The brass stud is attached securely to the base of the bracket, there’s nothing to swivel around, come loose and fall apart on this bracket.
As well as the horizontal strap on mounting, the HS Speed Mount II features a reversible L bracket, which also allows traditional upright coldshoe style mounting of the flash. And the clamping coldshoe is also included. There is a lot of adjustment available, so radio triggers can also me mounted on the flash foot in the upright flash mounting position.
Where the HS Speed Mount II really gets interesting though is in the horizontal strap on flash mounting.
Mounting the flash this way means there is no stress placed on the flash foot at all. Or no stress on shoe mounted radio triggers, which often end up with broken feet, or just loose connection and reliability due to stress and movement in the flash on top. So mounting like this can make quite a difference in reliability with some shoe mount triggers.
Also as there is no rigid fixing to the flash at all, should the unfortunate happen and a light stand go over, you have a better chance of walking away without a broken flash or flash foot, as the strap holding the flash down allows some movement and cushioning effect.
The flash is strapped to an alloy base pad and secured with an elastic Velcro strap. The base pad has a number of 1/4″ threaded holes underneath, allowing it attach to the bracket by one simple thumbscrew.
The base pad has a rubber surface which the flash head rests on, and as nicely finished as this is, I would have preferred a more non slip rubber material to grip the flash easier. But if you make sure to pull the elastic strap down well, the flash is not going anywhere.
Phottix were fast running out of stock of the previous HS Speed Mounts, and in order to make this one available quickly the machinist/manufacturer had to take some of their own artistic license to the bracket. So admittedly its not all completely as I would have done it myself, but nevertheless its still a great little bracket.
The base pad attaches to the L bracket with one simple thumbscrew. And the flash can then slide in and out of the Bowens mounting ring as needed. This makes it easy to attach the flash with the Velcro strap while its outside the ring, and then simply slide them into position.
The L bracket is reversible, so either the the short or the long side can be used at the top for more or less adjustment or travel. Using the short side just folds up more quickly for transport.
Another great thing about the horizontal pad base, is that it can also be used on its own to mount a flash directly to an umbrella swivel (or anywhere else). And aimed much closer to the center of the umbrella than regular upright flash mounting.
To mount a flash this way simply screw a 5/8″ brass stud (which comes with most umbrella swivels which accept 5/8″ brass studs) to the bottom of the base pad. And then mount the stud and base pad into the top of the umbrella swivel.
When using a flash mounted with the base pad alone like this, the rest of the bracket can then still be used with the regular coldshoe mounting. So provide you have 2 umbrella swivels available, you can actually mount 2 separate flashes with the one HS Speed Mount II bracket set.
And lastly, I haven’t taken pictures of the bracket folded, or carry pouch yet. But the bracket folds up quite compact, and pretty quickly.
From this position all you need to do is remove the bottom thumbscrew (actually a thumb-nut), and reverse the L bracket so that the pad base is pointing back into the Bowen’s mounting ring. So its quite compact, and still one complete unit like that.
The pad base and L bracket can easily be removed as well if you need it to pack more compact still.
Price and Availability –
The HS Speed Mount II is available now from around $59.95 –