Lastolite Cold Shoe Mod for Nikon SB-900

Lastolite Cold Shoe "Mod" for the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

Any photographer using the Nikon SB-900 speedlight knows that flagship flash has a problem playing well with others. Specifically, Nikon changed the clearance between the flash body and the foot of the flash, such that the flash doesn't fit into the cold shoes with a fatter design. Here's a super easy mod I did to make the stock coldshoe of the Lastolite Ezybox softbox fit the SB-900.

In the above photo, you can see all the pieces you'll need for this modification – namely course and fine-grained sandpaper.

Required Tools:

  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 320-grit sandpaper

I think that you could get away with a medium-grit sandpaper only, but these two grits worked perfectly for my needs.

Directions:

  1. Lay the 100-grit sandpaper on a flat surface and place the coldshoe top-down on the abrasive
  2. Sand the cold shoe evenly with frequent checks for fit with the Nikon SB-900
  3. When the flash foot is very tightly accepted a third of the way into the foot, switch to the 320-grit sandpaper and sand until smooth

I found it easiest to hold the sandpaper in place and then move the shoe back and forth. Overall, this mod takes just about five minutes of dedicated work, since you're basically shaving off a fraction of a millimeter of material.

Here are photos of the finished “mod” to the cold shoe.

Lastolite Cold Shoe "Mod" for the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

Lastolite Cold Shoe "Mod" for the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

Lastolite Cold Shoe "Mod" for the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

Lastolite Cold Shoe "Mod" for the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight

The Lastolite EZYbox Softbox

ezybox_photo

With this five-minute mod, it's perhaps worth noting a bit about the Lastolite EZYbox softbox. I have the 15″ x 15″ version and have loved the ease of use for location work.

The softbox is compact, folds for easy transportation, and it throws out a nice light. For location works, these are all excellent selling points. Here are a few examples in which I used the EZYbox as the key light.

Portraits: Slayer, for Rolling Stone

The New Heathers (Redbird Records)

Warped Tour Portraits:

End Notes:

While the ideal solution to the Lastlite cold shoe is probably to buy a Stroboframe-style clamping shoe, this is super simple DIY solution that costs next to nothing and lets one use the Nikon SB-900 with the original hardware. This tiny DIY project is much cheaper than Lastolite's replacement shoe that solves the same problem, too.

Of course, the new Lastolite softboxes come with a modified shoe that readily fits the SB-900, this mod only applies to the older style shoes.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D850:
I use two Nikon D850 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all DSLR with amazing AF, fast response, and no shortage of resolution.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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