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As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Handling the BFT - Quickly

Hi - I photograph a lot of events using an on-camera speedlite, and when I do so, I always keep in mind Neil's advice " where do you want the light to come from?" I find myself pointing the speedlite in directions other than directly behind me given the layout of the location. The BFT in always om my flash with a couple of hairbands.

When I angle the flash off to my side for a particular shot, I have difficulty re-adjusting the BFT to keep any of the light hitting the subject directly, again taking Neil's advice. But because the events are fast moving, this adjustment has to be done pretty quickly so I don't miss the shot, especially with candids. The thing really won't budge easily

Anyone else have this problem, or does anyone have a solution?


  • I ran into same problem as you. I just cut out a rectangular shape from foam coare board. Then got some stickers (velcro) at Michael's art store. One to my flash and one or two on the foam piece. Whenever I need to change flash orientation, i simply slap the foam piece onto the flash.
  • I would be interested to hear how the inventor of the BFT handles this situation.
  • You just need larger dia. hair bands, I use just the one for easier manipulation.
  • Tony - I'll look for them, I thought they only came in one size. And I will try just using one of the ones I have and see.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Yup, I would agree that you need hairbands that are flat-shaped (and not round), and they slip easier around. I use two. 
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    I bought some 1/2 inch wide black elastic, 1 meter roll around $3 then cut some lengths and 'pinned' two ends together and kept adjusting until I had the right 'grip' and slid easily without being too loose that it flopped around (obviously with the BFT in place) then took it off and sewed the ends together.

    Perfect fit, and slides much easier than hair bands.
  • I (the wife) managed to find a card with 10 hair bands on in 2 sizes (at Tescos), the larger ones were a perfect fit for the 580 just the right grip but allowing ease of movement.
  • Thanks, guys. Sounds like the hairbands I have are a bit tight. I use two, but the are the round kind. I did an event last week at a place where it was close quarters, and really had to move the flash head around a lot. Well, the good news is I realized I had to move it around.
  • I've also struggled to get the right tension, especially with my Nissan i40 flash.  I think I might try Trev's idea, thanks for sharing!
  • TonyT - If you still have the card that the hairbands came on, and it's not too much trouble, could you post the brand name or a quick photo of what you have? I bought some that I thought would work, but they didn't. I actually put a piece of wax paper under between the BFT and the flash. Sort of worked. I did notice on the side of my 580EX II there is some rubber something-or-other (decoration?) that is hindering the slippage. I may have to try Trev's idea.
  • OK, let me beat the dead horse once more. The issue is the 580EX II (and maybe the other flashes I own) have a narrow strip of rubber running along each side. The foam is getting hung up on these, as rubber-on-rubber doesn't slide. Tried the 1/2-inch elastic as loose as possible, still doesn't move well. What I came up with is putting a strip of parchment paper (more substantial than wax paper) between the flash and the BFT. The strip is about 1-1/2 inches wide, and is as long as the BFT is wide. We'll see how it hangs in for a whole event. It's a bit of a pain to put together, but I have to see. I don't think Michaels would have "slippery black foam".

  • TonyTTonyT Member
    Sorry Dave just spotted this. If you still want the make and a pic I'll do that tomorrow when I'm back home but reading your post above I see your issue, that strip of rubber is causing you some problems. Can it be removed easily?
  • Tony - It's part of the flash. So, you don't have this rubber stuff on the sides of your 580? If you have a chance, I would still like to see what you purchased. Thanks.
  • I looked at my 580EX flash, and it does not have the same rubber pieces on each side like the 580EX II does. So, there's the issue - rubber on rubber.
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