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M Brown

Modifying A Deluxe Hotshoe Adapter For Nikon Pin-lock Flashes

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I went a few years without having any shoe-mount flashes, but now that I have an SB-800 and SB-80DX, I needed to get some hotshoe adapters for off-camera use. I went with the deluxe hotshoe adapter from Flash Zebra (supplied by Sonia in India)...




...but was disappointed to find that my flashes would not lock into the shoe because there was no hole for the locking pin to fit in. This wasn't really a surprise because the locking pin is a Nikon proprietary design - however, I really wanted to mod the adapter so it would hold my flashes on securely. I figured I could drill a hole in the shoe to give the flash foot's locking pin something to grab onto.


The Nikon pin hole is metric - somewhere in between 1/16" and 3/64", so I went with the bigger size. I put a small dab of black paint on the flash's locking pin, slid the foot into the shoe adapter and then set the flash foot to 'lock', thus lowering the locking pin and marking the hole placement on the shoe surface with the paint. After that, I used a hammer and steel punch to make a little dent for my drill bit. I used a 1/16" bit and drilled down about 1mm through the spring plate and into the aluminum. The spring plate just pops in and out if you have tweezers or something. It can be removed and replaced without any damage as long as you don't bend it out of shape. After that, both my flashes locked in tightly. Here are some after photos...





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