alien bee modification

Adding control to an Einstein or Alien Bee

Where's the Handle?

A week or so back I wrote about helping to control your flash head on a boom arm to prevent it from slipping and spinning. Today I'm offering another easy modification to help with aiming your lights.

I've had my Paul Buff Einstein strobe head for exactly a year now and have been impressed with it. It took me only a couple of hours to integrate it into my everyday studio lighting setups as my main light and relegating my Speedotron lights for the most part to fill and accent lights. But one thing about the Einstein (and the same goes for the Alien Bee strobes) bothered me. There is no handle on it to help adjust the angle of the light when you have a heavier modifier mounted. Every other strobe unit I've worked with (a dozen or more brands) have some sort of handle either on the strobe head or on the mounting bracket that helps you adjust the angle of the strobe head.

The solution for this is extremely simple and probably not original, but it took me a few months to get frustrated enough to figure it out on my own. And you probably have everything you need for this in your home or studio. The basic fix is just a standard phillips head screwdriver. But if you want to get a bit fancy, you can find a t-handle hex wrench at some larger hardware stores.

When you have a modifier like a large softbox or octa you are not using the umbrella receptacle, so I simply place the screwdriver or t-handle into the umbrella shaft slot and tighten it down. Voila! A handle to help adjust the angle of the strobe head. When using an umbrella this is not as much of an issue, as you can use the umbrella shaft as your handle to adjust the angle.