Repairing Nikon SB-26 Flash units with Araldite

I love my Nikon SB-26 Speedlight Units. I still have two of them in my lighting bag which often get used on shoots with artificial. Important note: These units will not work on top of your camera in TTL or Through the Lens metering mode. You need more modern units for on camera use. The only purpose I use these legacy flashes is for off camera firing in manual mode (the same as most studio flashes). For more info on the SB-26, check out David Hobby’s post on strobist.com. They are still relatively accessible used on eBay at an affordable rate. After David Hobby wrote of these, the demand and price has remained much higher! Compared to (as of writing) the latest top of the line offering the Nikon SB-910, they have only slightly less zoom range and overall output. Outside of extreme use however they are still a great all round off camera flash. They also have build in optical slave units which makes these lights great to add to your arsenal of Pocket Wizard driven flashes firing in manual.

The only design flaw I have found with these older Nikon flashes is the hot shoe mount. The older units are all made with plastic. This has been fixed in more recent iterations with metal feet that connect to the camera or light stand. If a light stand falls over, then the weakest element is often the plastic foot. You can replace them with parts on eBay. I have done this repeatedly. Another solution I am trying is to use Araldite and mount them to metal brackets that screw into my light stands directly. You can get Araldite from supermarkets or hardware stores – another option would be super glue. I taped up the back of the metal bracket and proceeded to fill up the cavity with goo. Leave for 24 hrs and then you are good to go. Essentially a modified SB-26 that has the plastic shoe problem reduced…

View of the SB-26 with the built in optical slave unit visible as well as the metal bracket that I use to connect directly to my light stands.

A closer view of the Araldite setting in the cavity between the (broken) plastic shoe and the metal bracket + tape around the bottom to hold in the Araldite. I never take the metal brackets off so have no problem with these permanently fixed in place.

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