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|| News Item: Posted 2011-05-15

Three Speedlights Better Than One; More Juice For My Old iPhone

By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter Newsletter

Photo by

The Lastolite TriFlash.
Getting the most out of your speedlights often means getting more speedlights into your lighting modifier.

Whether it’s to increase your power or shorten your recycle time, adding more strobes gives you more control and more options. Especially if you’re trying to over power a situation’s ambient light.

The Lightware FourSquare has done this for the softbox, giving a photographer the ability to use up to four (or more) speedlights.

I have several “umbrella stand adapters” that I use to mount strobes onto light stands, most notably the one made by Manfrotto. But it can only mount one light. If I wanted to use more than one light into something like a PLM collapsible parabolic reflector (think really cool, efficient umbrella) I’d use a Justin Clamp or good old fashion gaffer’s tape.

After trying several (badly designed and constructed) double speedlight mounts, I have finally found the solution: The Lastolite TriFlash.

As its name suggests, the TriFlash holds up to three speedlights, it’s well made, holds the strobes firmly and does not take up a lot of room in your bag.

For me the main reason to use speedlights is the ability to work quickly and pack up small. I like to get everything into my Think Tank Airport Security---cameras, lenses, 4 SB-800 Speedlights, Jack Rabbit Battery packs, cords, etc.

Lastolite’s TriFlash joins a great lineup of new cool, innovative and fun small flash tools that has come out the past couple of years.

Some call the small flash movement “Strobist” – I like to call it Speed-Lighting…small, quick and fun.

* * *

My 2 ½ - year – old Apple iPhone 3G has been dropped, bashed, smashed, sat on, crushed, mushed and as the old Timex commercial said: Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.

While I could still get my email, look up who starred in “American Werewolf In London (Michael Naughton), check how Fresno State finished in the college bowling championships and take s snapshot of my breakfast of chili verde and huevos … but not for very long.

The battery life of my iPhone had diminished to about 10 hours.

Photo by

Is replacing an iPhone battery a D.I.Y. project? Read on.
I recently recommended a fun website, iFixIt, so I decided to put my money where my mouth (or in this case my keyboard) is. I bought a replacement battery for my iPhone.

D.I.Y. is all the rage, but I’ve always felt if I can pay someone else to do it…why not? The iFixit website on the iPhone battery replacement page said “Does not require soldering” and “Difficulty: Moderate”.

Eight tiny screws, 6 tiny circuit ribbon connectors, lifting out the display and the logic board --- replacing the battery (which is secured by a strong piece of tape!) --- putting back the logic board and display, reconnecting eight circuit ribbons and eight tiny screws later, I had a beat up iPhone that now had a fully rechargeable battery!

The replacement battery comes with a #00 Phillips screwdriver and “Spudger” (plastic spatula-like tool used to open and pry up parts). iFixIt also recommends buying a small suction cup (used to lift up the display from the frame) and their iPhone “SIM card ejection tool” . If you want to spend another 6 bucks, you can add that to your order or you can use a piece of gaffer tape to lift up the display and a paper clip to eject the SIM card…

iFixIt has step-by-step directions to walk you through the battery swap and there’s also a short video that makes this look a little easier than it is.

Opening up the iPhone was easier than I thought, but the whole task takes longer than the 15 minutes the video says it takes. Also, rating the difficulty as “moderate” depends on your definition of moderate.

It is a bit scary once you pop the display out of the iPhone, my reaction was sort of like that episode of Star Trek where Dr. McCoy is in the middle of putting Mr. Spock’s brain back in his head and he realizes he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

To make things a little easier if you decide to do this --- the procedure also applies to just about any iPhone part replacement --- I recommend a few of things:
- Lots of light (I used a magnifying glass work lamp)
- Small tweezers
- A better #00 Phillips screwdriver than what was supplied
- Work on a rubber mat, with a rolled piece of tape to hold those tiny screws
(I know, I know, all of that is just D.I.Y. common sense.)

I saved a few dollars replacing the battery myself. But isn’t a D.I.Y. project more than just saving a few $$$? It’s actually doing it that counts.

Kind of a guy thing I guess.

I plan on upgrading my iPhone to a more current model sometime this summer. The battery replacement was done so I can give this iPhone to my daughter. I’m sure she’ll enjoy the phone … I hope she doesn’t mind the camera doesn’t work!

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