Adapting the Imalent MS18 to mount on a tripod or to mount a carry handle

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whiteheat1963
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Adapting the Imalent MS18 to mount on a tripod or to mount a carry handle

Hi all,

The following adaptation has two applications.  The first is related to tripod mounting.  The second is related to mounting a handheld carry handle.

There are certain flashlights which I understand to have quite wide bodies.  So wide in fact as to make handholding them quite a challenge for some people and can induce hand and wrist strain in other people.  I have managed to find a couple of solutions to easily operate flashlights of body diameters at 50mm (5cm) or greater without any problems of ergonomics or causing hand or wrist strain.

First Application

First up, I did an unconventional review of the Imalent MS18.  Whilst being an impressive photon emitter of substantive power, I found it to be unwieldy for someone with hands my size.  I believe I have average sized hands but I found the MS18 body to be too large for comfortable holding even for a short period.  Further, the balance was not all that great.  If I was having these problems then it is quite likely that others would be having similar problems.  So, what could be done?

MS18

MS18 carried around in Lowepro Lens Case

Lowepro Carry Case

Having more than a passing interest in photography, I had in my possession a couple of items which I found to be useful - namely a tripod, tripod head and a lens tripod collar.  The first answer I thought of was to mount this particular flashlight, the MS18, on a tripod.  Indeed, any such large, heavy or unwieldy torch can be tripod mounted.  Unfortunately, many such torches do not come with a useful carry handle or do not have a tripod mounting socket.  So, some ingenuity is required if an adaptation is to be implemented.  I managed to do exactly that and this is how I did it.

First, you will need to acquire the following items:

  1. A tripod
  2. A tripod head
  3. A lens tripod mounting collar
  4. A length of leather, a strap or old belt should do

 

Fancier FT-6662A Tripod

Fancier Tripod

Manfrotto 234RC Tilt Head

Manfrotto 234RC Tilt Head

Sigma TS-21 Lens Tripod Collar

 Sigma TS-21 Tripod Collar

Tripod Collar Open

Equipment notes:

Almost any tripod will do but I would recommend one that reaches a minimum of 140cm in height without the centre column extended.  I used a cheap “professional” Chinese branded tripod which was just perfect for this type of application.  Tripods can be had for under $100, especially used ones but top of the line branded tripods can go to many hundreds of dollars, so choose wisely.

I used a Manfrotto 234RC tilt head, which is not particularly expensive but cheaper ball heads can be had and could serve equally well.

The lens tripod mounting collar I used was the Sigma T-21.  Other tripod mounting collars (for telephoto camera lenses) could also be used.  However, just be sure that the mounting collar is wide enough to accept the torch haft (body) with a length of leather wrapped around it.  Also, make sure the mounting collar is the hinged type, which will make fitting the torch and leather combo much, much easier.

Here’s my method:

  1. I had to find a suitable strip of leather from an old belt. In this case I cut a 40 cm length which I paired back after continuous testing.  The leather was tightly wrapped around the torch haft and then the tripod collar applied.  The initial length of leather was tested in this way.  If after applying a reasonable amount of pressure, the tripod collar locking mechanism managed to snap in to place, then I knew that the length of leather was correct.  If the collar locking mechanism cannot close with a reasonable amount of force, then the length of leather needs to be paired back.  The amount of leather required is going to vary depending on the diameter of the torch in question and the thickness of the leather.  So application and testing of the length of leather required needs to be done on a trial and error basis.

    Leather belt

  2. Once the suitable length of leather has been created, the mounting collar can be locked in place around it. When the mounting collar is being positioned around the leather, make sure that the torch operating button is still easily accessible, that is, it is not facing the mounting collar foot where it will be really hard if not impossible to operate.

Leather strap tightly wound around the torch haft allowing the mating of tripod collar to the torch

Leather used to mate tripod collar to the torch

  1. Then screw the quick release plate in to the bottom of the tripod mounting collar.

Quick Release Plate

QR Plate

  1. Then simply clip the quick release plate in to the tripod head. Voila, there you have it, one tripod mounted heavy torch.

Torch mounted on tripod

 Torch mounted on tripod

Second Application

The second application involves the mounting of a carry handle to the lens collar.  There is nothing much to this adaptation as the difficult part has already been covered in the first application section.

First, mount the tripod collar to the torch.  Simply follow the previous method steps 1 and 2 to mate the tripod collar to the torch.

Next, you will need to acquire the carry handle.  The one I found that works really great is the SmallRig Long Lens Carry Handle, model 1701.

SmallRig Carry Handle 1701

Now simply screw the carry handle in to the tripod collar foot

SmallRig Carry Handle mated to torch

Carry handle mated to tripod collar

You may need to adjust the handle so that the centre of the carry handle is lined up with the torch’s centre of gravity.  Essentially, that’s it.  Previously unwieldy, over large and heavy flashlight can now be handheld with ease and with no risk of hand or wrist strand.

Edited by: whiteheat1963 on 12/03/2019 - 07:59