RadioPopper PX + Lastolite EzyBox Hotshoe

Lastolite makes plenty of nifty lighting accessories and the EzyBox hotshoe is one of them. I’ve been shooting with softboxes for sometime but they were studio lights requiring AC power. Needless to say, they aren’t easily setup or transported. Plus they need the all-important AC socket. Sometimes, those AC sockets aren’t easily available and I’ve a daisy-chain-able extension cord and sockets. In some cases, you don’t even have AC power so Lastolite’s EzyBox hotshoe comes to the rescue. Some samples here from Louis Pang. It basically allows you to use your flash in a softbox.


RadioPoppers – well, they’re those god-sent help for wireless remote flash triggers with full e-TTL (or i-TTL) capability. Don’t understand? Well, it allows simpletons like me to use the camera’s brain when calculating flash exposure when the flash is not sitting on the camera but hanging from a Justin clamp several meters away. Better yet, several flash units all over the place.

So what’s the problem? I want to use my Canon 580EX II with my RadioPopper PX reciever inside my EzyBox Hotshoe. Here lies the problem. I’ve searched, posted on Facebook and Twitter to no avail. I’ve asked a couple of other people here in Malaysia but still no go. Brick walls are roadblocks but any roadblock is surmountable…

Read further for the solution…
The RadioPopper PX Mount has a 3/8″ threaded socket. It mounts nicely on my Manfrotto 1051BAC light stands (review) or tripod quick-release plates but the EzyBox comes with a cold-shoe mount (flash hot-shoe without the electrical contacts). How now? The EzyBox works with my super-long Flash Zebra e-TTL cable because it has a cold-shoe mount. I could rely on the Speedlite’s wireless flash system to trigger the flash but I’ve to constantly take note of where the sensor is pointing as the speedlite’s wireless flash system is strictly line-of-sight. Basically, I want to “potong” (or CUT) the wire to paraphrase an advertisement from a local wireless network provider. After a bit of fiddling and thinking, I think I’ve got the answer!

What do you need?

Just one little gadget. The Manfrotto 015 adapter 1/4″ to 3/8″. Here’s how it looks like on the right. A simple little brass piece. If you find a better option, do share it in the comments.

And these are the parts you get with your EzyBox Hotshoe. Mine’s the 24″ size. There’s a washer (a), screw (b), spacer block (c), cold-shoe (d), soft-box bracket (e) and flash-bracket (f). Basically, what you need to do is to reuse most of the parts except the screw and the cold-shoe mount obviously.

Flip the spacer block around and mount it from the underside. Use the Manfrotto 015 to lock it onto your RadioPopper PX mount. In the case of the Canon 580EX II (your mileage may vary), you may need to mount the flash at an oblique angle to allow space for the RadioPopper to clear the EzyBox bracket and still align the flash head to be directly centered into the EzyBox. There are few options which I was tempted to try, including using my dremel to allow the flash to mount head on. Anyways, enough talk, let me show you in pictures…




Here’s how my EzyBox looks like my 580EX II mounted with the RadioPopper PX. All you need to do is mount your EzyBox on a light-stand, tripod, whatever and you should be good to go! Hope this helps you. If you’re looking to buy the Manfrotto 015 adapter in Malaysia, drop by EngTong and they should get you sorted out for less than a price of a small latte from Starbucks.

And, yes, while I really love my RadioPoppers (I have another pair including a pair of JrX receivers enroute in October), I can’t wait for Canon to put the following patent (or read here) into a real product!

Disclaimer: while this particular setup works for me, if you flash falls off or the mount breaks or something bad happens, you’re on your own. Also, I’ve only tested this on the Canon RadioPopper PX Mount. If a Nikon user would try this, do feedback. I take no responsibility for you following the above instructions. They are after all, using/mounting the EzyBox in a non-Manufacturer approved manner.

Update: Works with Canon EX430/580, Nikon SB600/SB800/SB900…

13 Comments to “RadioPopper PX + Lastolite EzyBox Hotshoe”

  1. I would be interested to join in sometime, especially if there’s elements of media involved too. Love the outdoors, and don’t get enough of it.

    What exactly do you do for the orang asli? If Grace and I can be involved, we would certainly be keen. I don’t know if she’s free on the 28th, I think she may have a shoot on already.

    Do keep us informed on your trips.

  2. Eugene Khoo says:

    If you’ll like to volunteer a videographer… 🙂

    We used to do basic resupply and trying to impart new skills such as farming, education, etc. They’ve now progressed beyond the basics so we’re focused now primarily on health care. Their life expectancy is usually in the late fifties so that’s our focus for now. Typically I do the media but it’s difficult if you’re also driver, rescuer (other guy is stuck) or the victim (stuck myself)!

  3. {edit: should have been published yesterday morning — got stuck in draft mode} Like I blogged earlier about 4×4 adventuring for a cause, there’s still a lot of preparation behind the scenes. While as a group, we’ve gone in faith that the Good Lord wil

  4. Just last weekend, we spend a day among the Temuan tribe in the rain forest of Pahang with the CSR team from Sanofi-Aventis. The day started with our quick drive up the Karak highway to a little sleepy village called Sang Lee. The primary economy of t

  5. Ken Sandberg says:

    Very creative solution! This was a big help to me. I did the same thing with a Nikon SB800. Works great.

  6. You’re awesome! I’ve been looking for a week to figure this out!
    I appreciate you posting this.

    Manny

  7. Eugene Khoo says:

    Great news! Looks like it works with Nikon too then!

  8. Eugene Khoo says:

    You are welcome Manny. Glad to have been able to help.

  9. The Lastolite EzyBox hotshoe is a great piece of portable flash modifier. After being introduced to it, I must say that it’s one of my favorite photographic accessory I carry around frequently. My only complaint is that it doesn’t mount a RadioPopper PX f

  10. Ron says:

    Dude, I love you. I won’t tell you how I rigged this at the last wedding (or how many rubber bands I used…). I used this solution on my 24″ EZBox, Nikon SB-900 and RadioPopper PX.

    Just some fyi interesting info…with the SB-900, the flash can be perfectly mounted at 90 degree angle to point into the softbox. It can also be mounted at 180 degrees for a somewhat slimmer profile, but then the controls on the flash are harder to reach (since they face backwards towards the EZBox). But sweet in either case.

    I had a bunch of the Manfrotto 015 and just never thought to try it this way.

  11. paul says:

    Thanks you so much for the advice!!!!!

  12. paul says:

    How about this. It’s a hot shoe mount with a 1/4 screw.

    http://www.amazon.com/HDE-Tripod-Screw-Shoe-Adapter/dp/B005005EEM

    1. eugene says:

      Haven’t tried that though.