Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Larson 4x6 Softbox Modification

If any of you have used the Larson 4x6 softbox, then you know how amazing the light is coming from the front of this beast.  Throw a monstrous light source in front of anyone or anything, and you can make them look amazing.

However, if you've used this beast, you also realize how big it is to use, and how much weight it can add to the front of your studio strobe.  I've only used it a couple of times, and it's already slipped off the front of my White Lightning studio strobes.  There is alot of weight cantilevered off the front of the strobe head.  I thought to myself: "Wouldn't it be nice if I could mount the soft box...the biggest, heaviest part of the whole apparatus...right on the light stand, then mount the light to it"?  Well, now I can.

After a quick trip to my home-away-from-home...some of you refer to it as Home Depot...I came a way with a very inexpensive solution.  Everything I needed was in Aisle 8 Plumbing, the official sponsor of MacGyver Corner here at Luke Photography.

Here are the ingredients to this recipe:

  •  1/2" galvanized floor flange
  • 1/2" to 1/4" galvanized bushing
  • 1/4' elbow
  • 1/4' x 2" steel pipe nipple

You'll also need 1/4" steel machine screws, lock washers and nuts to fit the floor flange to the softbox mounting plate.

Assemble the pipe components together as tightly as possible, then lay the assembly on the softbox mounting plate (disassemble the mounting plate from the softbox first) so you can determine where to drill the holes in the mounting plate.  When the holes are drilled, mount the new apparatus to the mounting plate using the screws, lock washers and nuts.

Re-assemble the softbox and mount it on the light stand.  Then mount the studio strobe into the mounting plate as normal.  The only thing left to add is a safety strap to keep the strobe from dislodging from the mounting plate if it gets bumped too hard.

Making this modification solves two issues:

  1. It brings the center of gravity of the light stand several inches closer to center of gravity of the softbox, making it more balanced.
  2. It takes most of the stress off the spring-loaded mounting clips on the front of the strobe, thereby prolonging it's life. 

It also opens up the possibility of mounting any strobe....think Quantum or any hotshoe this huge softbox.  For all you Strobist fans, did you ever think you'd be able to throw a 4x6 softbox on a Nikon SB speedlight?

It only took about $7 in parts and 15 minutes...and now I can make anyone look amazing....safely.


  1. What time of connection do you have on your stand? I picked up one of these softboxes and would love to try this.