NEW Phottix MULTI BOOM 16″ – Easy Tilt for Umbrella Softboxes!

I’m very excited to announce the release of the new Multi-Boom Mini 16″ from Phottix. Not only because its a fantastic tool, but also because I designed the Multi-Boom with Phottix. And Phottix have done an exceptional job of creating a great end product which I’m extremely pleased with!

And the best part is the Phottix Multi-Boom is available now for around $69.99 from your local retailer, or the Phottix online store.

UPDATE – A larger 28″ Phottix Multi-Boom capable of holding more flash units and larger softboxes are now available as well.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Easy Tilt for umbrella Softboxes
As well as being a versatile multi flash bracket, the Multi-Boom allows easy tilting of umbrella frame sofftboxes, sized up to approximately 36″ or 90cm. The Multi-Boom places the umbrella swivel outside the base of the softbox allowing easy access to the tilt handle, and full unrestricted tilt motion of the softbox, which is normally very limited otherwise.

The Phottix Easy Up, and other similar umbrella style softboxes, are well known for their beautiful soft light with speedlites, as well as light weight and fast easy set up. The lack of tilt angle and access being the main drawbacks previously. The Mutli-Boom now makes these popular softboxes a joy to use and tilt! And a number of flashes can be mounted, increasing the light output, or reducing recycle times and overheating.

Phottix Multi-Boom

 

Full Tilt Angle
Full 180 degree tilt movement is now possible, with fast easy access to the swivel handle.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Folds Flat and Compact
One of the main design priorities of the Multi-Boom Mini was that it would quickly fold flat and compact for transport. Made of strong and lightweight machined and anodised 6061 alloy, the Multi-Boom is very solid, while also lightweight and compact at just 16″ long. 

Phottix Multi Boom 16"

Fast Set Up
By loosening one simple thumbscrew, the base plate quickly swivels and locks firmly into place ready to use.

Phottix Multi-Boom

 

Base Stand
In the folded position the Multi-Boom also acts as a convenient base stand, allowing the flashes to be placed on a flat surface like a table or floor.

Phottix Multi Boom 16"

 

Big Thumbscrews – Solid and Reliable
Another high priority in the design of the Multi-Boom was for it to be very simple, solid and reliable. The thumbscrews are all custom machined with beautiful big easy to grip heads, which are nice and easy on your fingers. And they are all solid metal, no plastic, captured in the slots so they won’t get lost. With all metal construction, the Multi-Boom really is rock-solid!

Phottix Multi Boom 16"

 

Umbrella Swivel or Grip Head Mounting
Mounting the Multi-Boom to a light stand can be either by regular umbrella swivels which accept a standard 5/8″ stud (good strong metal swivels are highly recommended), or via standard inexpensive 2.5″ grip heads, which allow easy tilt and swivel motions.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

The lightweight umbrella swivel is ideal for carrying on location. While a heavier grip head is ideal when using the Multi-Boom closer to the full horizontal boomed position, allowing easy tilt and swivel motions.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Centre Mount or Strip Box
The Multi-Boom offers a number of flash mounting combinations. Mounting the flash heads in the centre of an umbrella or umbrella softbox, aligned with the umbrella shaft, produces more even light, and higher output.

Strip box mounting also allows a wider, but narrow spread of light.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Hand Held
Another very handy application of the Multi-Boom is for hand holding a light on location. Simply lift the Multi-Boom off the light stand, and you have a fast, portable, comfortable and well balanced hand held light. Dual flash use is ideal for HSS and quick narrow depth of field portraits etc.

Because the flash heads are mounted on centre, the full umbrella surface is lit nicely, instead of just the top half as often happens with regular umbrella swivels. Meaning smaller less unwieldy umbrellas can be used without loosing light size.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Second Base Plate
By adding a second base plate (taken from a second Multi-Boom bracket), it’s possible to create further mounting combinations. Shown below in the 32″ Phottix Easy Up Softbox I have mounted 2 8AA cell external battery packs, which screw straight to 1/4′ 20 threaded mounting holes in the base plate. For smaller 28″ Softboxes the battery packs would be mounted just below and outside the softbox.

A third or fourth flash could also be mounted to the second base plate in a similar position instead of the battery packs. More flash mounting combinations can be seen here.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Quad Flash Mounting
For quad flash mounting in larger modifiers like the Phottix Parabolic Umbrellas, a second base plate can be mounted upside down, and just below the first base plate, which is mounted at the top of the column. This helps to spread the flash beams out evenly over the larger surface area. Softlighter II and front diffusers can also be mounted as seen here.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Quad Flash Mounting Upright
Quad flash mounting can also be achieved with the second base plate mounted at the base of the column. This configuration can be hand held or mounted inside an umbrella softbox etc. Mounting the flash units upright like this is ideal for shoe mount radio triggers, as it places less stress on them. Hand held dual flash with battery packs is another option. More than 2 flash units mounted can get quite heavy for hand holding if more than a short period though.

 

Grip Handle
A simple eyebolt Grip Handle is included to provide an external, easy to access, handle for tilting of umbrella softboxes. The Grip Handle is simply placed in the umbrella mounting hole of the umbrella swivel, and tightened in place with the existing thumbscrew.

 

To keep costs down the Grip Handle is currently a standard 3/8″ eye bolt, and this was originally just an optional DIY concept. Though Phottix have kindly assembled these with a nice comfortable hand grip, and included them with the Multi-Boom. The Grip Handle may not always be necessary, thought it can provide a quick and very convenient external handle for tilting the softbox. Note – some of the images show a silver eye bolt, but they are now nicely plated in a matching black finish.

Phottix Multi Boom Grip Handle
The loop on the end of the eye bolt can also be used as a convenient place to hang battery packs, or other small weights acting as slight counterweight.

Phottix Multi Boom Handle

 

Mounting Positions
Flash units can also be mounted in a number of positions, changing the balance of the Multi-Boom over the light stand.

Left – flashes mounted low and over the centre of the stand, best when using lightweight or less stable stands.
Centre – the regular position for mounting umbrella softboxes (where possible), still keeping weight closer to centre.
Right – best suited to heavier modifiers like large parabolic umbrellas etc, where the flash units are helping to counterbalance the modifier on the opposite side of the stand.

If the lightstand feels unstable at any point, sandbag weights may be required on the stand base.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Westcott Apollo Orb 43″ Mounting – The Multi Boom Mini 16″ was mainly designed for umbrella style softboxes up to around 36″ or 90 cm, maximum hight or diameter. It is possible to mount the 43″ Apollo Orb though with a small Manfrotto 153 extension added to the column. This is enough length to keep the umbrella swivel just outside the base of the 43″ Orb for easy access and tilting. Sandbags or weight on the stand base will likely be required when tilting this combination to larger angles.

Phottix Multi Boom 16"

Monopod Mounting
Mounting the Multi -Boom to a monopod (for hand holding as a boom pole) can usually be done by attaching a regular umbrella swivel to the top of the monopod. This is done by screwing a 5/8″ brass stud to the monopod head first, and then attaching the swivel to that.

If tilting is not necessary though, a simple but solid connection can be made with a Manfrotto 158 converter. Again the brass stud is screwed to the monopod first, or inside the base of the connector, and the complete connector screwed to the monopod head, as shown here and here.

 

Compact Mini Boom
Another function I find very handy with the Multi Boom Mini, is that its just long enough to boom a flash or sofbox over a table etc, without the long boom or grip arm poking out the other side. So its great in tight spaces where you need to move around. Mounting at 90 degrees like this also retains the minimum height of the light stand, while also keeping the stands base further out of the way.

A grip head used instead of the swivel shown below is ideal for angling the softbox in both directions.

Phottix Multi Boom

 

Big Thanks to Phottix
I’d like to say a big thank you to Phottix for supporting the Multi-Boom concept, and producing the end product so well. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see the Multi-Boom in production, and available at a very reasonable price. I really hope people enjoy using Multi-Boom, and find it as useful as I do. Phottix have been developing some really innovative, high quality, solid and reliable gear, and hopefully there is a plenty more to come !

Phottix Multi Boom 16"

Price and Availability
The Phottix Multi Boom Mini 16″, complete with a pair of Clamping Coldshoes, Grip Handle, and Nylon Pouch, are available now for $69.99 from –

Adorama and Amazon with free shipping in the USA, and also from the Phottix online store.

Or see your local retailer.

If you have any questions at all feel free to contact me.

Further Reviews –
Brian Hursey Photography

43 Comments
  1. plevyadophy 4 years ago

    Absolutely brilliant.
    This to me is THE flash bracket to have.
    Portable flash to me means portability and flexibility and this Mulitboom has portability and flexibility by the bucket load. It is bar faaaaaaaaaaaar the best device on the market that I have seen (and I have been looking for years and years) for attaching portable flashes to a softbox or umbrella.
    Well done.
    What I suggest you do now, to make this thing PERFECT is to design two more baseplates. The first one should be one that allows one to work with just one flashgun centred and the second one should be designed so as to allow two portable flashguns to be used with beauty dishes or other softboxes that have the flash access hole at the rear.
    I would also recommend that in addition to the kit you have outlined above, that Phottix also make available kits with two of these Multibooms.
    This item is now on my shopping list.
    Congratulations on an excellent design.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi There,

      Thanks for that! Yes hopefully provided the original bracket is received well there may be lots of additional options possible.

      Single flash use does work quite well currently as well though. You can put the flash head right up next to the umbrella shaft, so it still much closer to centre than on a regular swivel. Thanks!

  2. plevyadophy 4 years ago

    Well, if it is marketed well and as a result there is widespread awareness of the product amongst photographers I would be shocked if this thing didn’t take sell as well as fans during a heatwave!!!

    It’s just awesome but the real awesomeness comes from a detailed description, as you have done here, of all the possible configurations. I would highly recommend that any publicity materials you/Phottix send out to the media contains all the info you have outlined above and that the kits come with instructions also showing the various setups that can be achieved with this simple looking device.

    It’s just fab ……………… and I want one NOW NOW NOW!!!! :o)

    I don’t think i have ever before got this excited about a light modifier tool.

  3. Joyce 4 years ago

    This is a great design. I have one of the original designs and it is one of the best investments I have made for my flash set up. I use mine with a Wescott Apollo orb. I absolutely love it.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Joyce, nice to hear the feedback! Its great to hear it working well for you, Thanks again.

  4. Wing Wong 4 years ago

    I built something at home to handle the tilting of the softbox, but this takes the cake. The adjustability present reflects on the people who designed this thing actually took note of all the problems with dealing with an umbrella softbox. Great job.

    Also love that it effectively folds flat and compact for storage. Mine doesn’t do that and is a pain. 🙂

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Wing, yes folding nice and flat and compact is a high priority. Also that it erects with the base plate swivelling into position very quickly, and locking firmly into place. There are no joints that can unscrew themselves either, like many bracket that have you screwing brass studs etc in place on set up. Thanks.

  5. Diy Photography 4 years ago

    Hi,
    Its a very good solution for those umbrella softboxs.
    If only they would price it maybe a little bit lowwer, it would be a bargain.
    TNX.

  6. ColinH 4 years ago

    I ordered two and they arrived this morning. Great quality and very flexible.

    I nearly bought the Paul C Buff Mini Boom Arm, but objected to paying $109 from their European distributor, when in the US they’re $15!

    Colin

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Colin, hope you enjoy them. Thanks.

  7. Jason Langley 4 years ago

    If I hadn’t just bought the midwest dual speed light bracket, this would already be in my gear bag. My only modifier that this may not work with is my 60″ photek softlighter. This is brilliant and looks solid, can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for keeping it reasonably priced.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for that, the Multi Boom works great with the Softlighter II as well though, the flashes fit nicely through the collar now that they are centred around the umbrella shaft. Thanks.

  8. Bashir 4 years ago

    This is great and I bought one. Wanted to order the baseplate by itself. Is there any way to do that?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Bashir,

      Thanks for that, not a this point unfortunately. There may be some accessories coming, though I’m still not exactly sure what they will be an when at this point. Thanks.

  9. Dave R 4 years ago

    I purchased this for use with my 28 inch Medium Apollo. It is an amazingly useful and flexible tool. The quality of machining and finish are excellent. The height adjustability allows me to use any flash, with or without a trigger under it. The full tilt ability makes umbrella style softboxes much more versatile. I love it. Thanks for all your excellent design work on this Elv!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Dave,

      Its great to hear you like it, and the feedback is much appreciated, Thanks!

  10. John 4 years ago

    Is this available in the Uk yet?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi John,

      They should be, though the question is where exactly. There is an email on this page which you can use to see which stores would be stocking them –

      http://www.phottix.co.uk/Pages/purchase.html

      Thanks.

  11. gene 4 years ago

    Can you recommend a speedlight stripbox that would be compatible with this bracket?
    I looked over what Photttix has to offer, but they do not seem to offer a strip box for speedlights (interior flash) except a 2×3 ratio box… that’s not much of a strip.

    thanks,

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Gene,

      The Westcott Apollo Strip 16″ x 30″ is the most strip box oriented I know of. They also have a grid available which would help a lot.

      You could pretty easily run a strip of black material (or even cardboard etc) down each side of the front diffuser to mask the strip a little tighter if needed. Thanks.

  12. badphoto 4 years ago

    elv

    One improvement I can think of is to have 1/4 threaded holes for the thumb screws, so you can mount slaves or battery packs directly underneath the twin flashes without additional fuss. Like this.

    With some minimal adapters to these holes you can also mount 2 more flashes upside down. All without the need of another horizontal bar.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi badphoto,

      Thanks, yes I did originally want to have threaded mounting holes in the thumbscrews, but they would have been too heavy with the current solid metal thumbscrews. If Phottix make a plastic mold for the head later they would be able to add the mounting thread (in a metal center).

      I have those thumbscrews in the image, and being that small was something I really wanted to try and avoid. Also being all alloy the thread can damage pretty easily. In harder steel or brass they would be quite heavy even that small unfortunately.

      • badphoto 4 years ago

        Elv,

        Sorry I only used that image as a generic way to show the bottom holes of thumbscrews. I certainly did not mean to use the small thumbscrews in the image. Definitely the large size of your existing thumbscrews, metal even, is great. If only they have 1/4 holes. I have not found larger thumbscrews with 1/4 holes elsewhere either. I wouldn’t want them to be plastic since there’s always a chance of cracking after much use. As for the weight of metal thumbscrew I would not mind, since to mount upside down flash or radio slave to it I will have to attach a cold shoe anyway.

        With a headless screw about 1/2 inch in length that’s I can find in any hardware store, this round cold shoe would work well since it becomes part of the thumbscrew when you turn to tighten or loosen: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-4-SCREW-to-Hotshoe-Adapter-FLASH-LIGHT-STAND-HOT-SHOE-/270694218591?pt=Camera_Flash_Accessories&hash=item3f06a1fb5f

  13. António 4 years ago

    There is a new multiboom, the 28″ version?
    Any details on this one?

    I think it is recommended for the easy-ups softboxes larger than the 90cm.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Antonio,

      I may know something about that 🙂 I’m working on a post at the moment.

      Thanks

      • António 3 years ago

        Hello

        yes, I saw it. Already ordered one. 🙂

        Justo one question about the multiboom 16″ and the 60x90cm softbox: is it possible to tilt it completely (-90º/+90º)?

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Antonio,

          Sorry, yes the 60 x 90cm softbox will tilt the full 90º on the 16″ Multi Boom. Its right up against the stand then but it still works fine like that.

          Any larger and you would need the Manfrotto extension, or the 28′ Multi Boom.

          Thanks agian.

          • António 3 years ago

            Thank you so much for your help!

  14. Mike 3 years ago

    I’m really anticipating delivery of this product ordered on March 20th but am very disappointed by the delay. It is now April 1st and the product has not been shipped. Phottix customer service explains that they were moving office and they were sorry for the delay and that shipments would resume on Monday/yesterday. Still no email confirming this. If it is easy to take a customer’s order then it should be as easy to inform the customer of any delays. Also, such an explanation is a flimsy excuse and indicates a lack of logistics management. If a company is moving office then it would be more efficient to ship orders originating from the old location before moving inventory to a new location and then shipping from there.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Mike,

      I think you may have been unlucky on your timing there as they are usually pretty good with orders. I didn’t know they were moving office, but they are a relatively small company with everyone very busy already, so I can imagine the added hassle would not have been much fun. I noticed the website was even down as well.

      So hopefully they’re getting back up to speed now.

  15. Eric Lefebvre 3 years ago

    HOLY! I want at least 2 of these!

  16. Dima 3 years ago

    Shut up and take my money!

  17. ozan 3 years ago

    Hey there,

    Nice product. I recently upgrade my softbox 80cm to 120cm. I’m thinking about to buy this product but is it ok with manfrotto extension,long enough for 120 cm softbox ? Or i should go with new 28″ multi boom ? Thank you.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi ozan,

      Thanks for that. You could possibly squeeze the 16″ with extension, though the 28″ is really more practical if you want to be able to tilt the softbox easily, because its offset from the stand making it all more balanced, and easier to access and handle.

  18. John Wong 3 years ago

    I have one. It works like a charm with my phottix octa.
    Only issue I found was my manfrotto swivel head is very hard to tighten with the additional weight of 2 speedlights. I have to tighten the swivel very very tightly.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Thanks John.

      Yes some of the Manfrotto O26 swivels are hard to get really tight. I’m not sure why that is.

      The Phottix Varos BG swivel has teeth in the swivel joint, so it locks into place quite easily. The downside is that it then becomes a bit clunky and wobbly to adjust the tilt angle. I found this is much easier to manage with the 28″ Multi Boom though, and much prefer using the Varos BG over the Manfrotto 026 for the 28″ version.

  19. Andy 3 years ago

    I really like this unit. I’ve used it with two Godox 360 in a big umbrella.
    I must agree that you really need to use the Phottix umbrella mount with this product. I began using the classic Manfotto umbrella mount but it couldn’t handle the weight and would slip. The Phottix has a few metal teeth that keep it in place.

    I bought mine from the Phottix store and they shipped to the UK with no fuss!

  20. Guy Daudelin 2 years ago

    Hi Elvis,

    I really like this design, I think it is genius and plan on buying one really soon.

    I have a question about the coldshoes included with this setup. Is the screw holding the coldshoes a normal 1/4-20? I’m asking this because I’m using 600EX-RTs with the Arca-type RRS coldshoes, basically turning my flash setup into a Arca-clamp-and-plates setup. So I would like to use this with Arca-compatible clamps instead of the included coldshoes.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Guy,

      Thanks or that, yes we tried to make all the thumbscrews used on the bracket standard 1/4″ 20. So yes the coldshoe thumbscrew are all 1/4″ 20. Thanks.

  21. jimmy 2 years ago

    awesome design… too bad its very expensive after conversion for my currency at x3.7 ==”” only wish they sell this at half of the price in usd here…. i wonder is there a cheaper china knock off anywhere… 🙁

  22. Donald 2 years ago

    Hi Flash Havoc,

    I bought this and used it for an event. Works fine and everything, but I’m worried about wear and tear. I only used this a few times and there’s these tear marks on where you attach the rod against the included umbrella adapter… am I doing something wrong here?

    IMAGES ATTACHED BELOW
    http://imgur.com/a/mKSF4

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Donald,

      Yes that’s normal to mark in that small area where the screw tip goes.

      There’s not much that can be done about that other than to use a harder material like brass instead (and with no paint or plating etc), which wasn’t really practical for a long column like the multi boom has.

      Other than the aesthetics it shouldn’t be any practical issue.

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