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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 14 Jul 2017 (Friday) 04:29
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Macro ring light low cost solutions?

 
Archibald
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Jul 31, 2017 09:55 |  #16

Tom Camilleri wrote in post #18415273 (external link)
Thanks for sharing. This is brilliant; very cool and elegant! As a bit of a gear head, it makes me flush a bit. What kind of paper did you use? Do you find not using a hood at all problematic? How far would subject typically be when using this rig? I have the older f/2.8 macro which has a longish filter. I guess I could extend the upper panel and place the collar around the end of the hood.

Tom, there are many materials that you can use for the fan-shaped diffuser. I started out using writing paper, then moved to vellum, and now use a translucent plastic stationery sheet sold by Staples. The latter is great because a sprinkle of rain doesn't bother it.

If you are thousands of miles away from home and lose your diffuser, you can make a new one out of writing paper.

"Not using a hood?" I don't use a lens hood when shooting macro with the 100 L. I always use a hood in other situations, but not with this. The hood would seriously encroach on limited working distance. Anyway, it is not needed to control stray light here.

Since I made this, it has evolved. Instead of a reflecting panel on the flash head, I now I use a snoot. It is just a larger panel but with a bit of a wrap-around shape. Its front touches the edge of the diffuser and is attached to it using bits of Velcro. This stabilizes the setup and gives it a fair bit of resistance to a mild breeze. The snoot is made of flat plastic sheet with aluminum foil glued to it with contact cement.

A picture tells a thousand words and I will try to upload a recent pic of the rig soon.

BTW, I always use the 100L with a Kenko 20mm extension tube. That gives me around 1.2x to 1.3x magnification, which is nicely useable for hand-held shooting like this. AF still works OK if a bit balky at times. With more extension, the AF is not very good.

Working distance is around 15 cm (6").


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Tom ­ Camilleri
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Jul 31, 2017 10:16 |  #17

Archibald wrote in post #18415388 (external link)
Tom, there are many materials that you can use for the fan-shaped diffuser. I started out using writing paper, then moved to vellum, and now use a translucent plastic stationery sheet sold by Staples. The latter is great because a sprinkle of rain doesn't bother it.

If you are thousands of miles away from home and lose your diffuser, you can make a new one out of writing paper.

"Not using a hood?" I don't use a lens hood when shooting macro with the 100 L. I always use a hood in other situations, but not with this. The hood would seriously encroach on limited working distance. Anyway, it is not needed to control stray light here.

Since I made this, it has evolved. Instead of a reflecting panel on the flash head, I now I use a snoot. It is just a larger panel but with a bit of a wrap-around shape. Its front touches the edge of the diffuser and is attached to it using bits of Velcro. This stabilizes the setup and gives it a fair bit of resistance to a mild breeze. The snoot is made of flat plastic sheet with aluminum foil glued to it with contact cement.

A picture tells a thousand words and I will try to upload a recent pic of the rig soon.

BTW, I always use the 100L with a Kenko 20mm extension tube. That gives me around 1.2x to 1.3x magnification, which is nicely useable for hand-held shooting like this. AF still works OK if a bit balky at times. With more extension, the AF is not very good.

Working distance is around 15 cm (6").

Thanks again. Will be very interested in your v.2 model when you get around to posting a pic, but I think I pretty much got the idea. I'm definitely going to experiment with it. A minimalist approach seems a great way to learn about lighting.


40D, Digital Rebel 300D; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS, EF 28-135 IS, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 85mm f/1.8, 28mm f/1.8, Speedlite 380 EX, Sekonic L758DR w/target, Manfrotto 3021 w/3030 pan-tilt head & quick release plate, POTN Strap

  
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Archibald
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Jul 31, 2017 16:08 |  #18

OK, here is my current rig.


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I usually shoot with the flash on manual, at 1/4 to 1/8 power. That gives a short duration flash that helps stop motion, and gives fast recycle times.

Here is an example shot taken this morning.


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Archibald
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Jul 31, 2017 16:10 |  #19

Couple more, also from this morning...


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TeamSpeed
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Jul 31, 2017 16:11 |  #20

Have you considered using something reflective for the top piece coming off the flash? Any light shooting out of that paper now is lost, I would believe, so the more light you can get to go around the lens through the 2nd diffuser and around it, the better? Nice DIY, I was just doing the typical "is there anything I would add to that" thing that I do.


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Archibald
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Jul 31, 2017 16:40 |  #21

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18415687 (external link)
Have you considered using something reflective for the top piece coming off the flash? Any light shooting out of that paper now is lost, I would believe, so the more light you can get to go around the lens through the 2nd diffuser and around it, the better? Nice DIY, I was just doing the typical "is there anything I would add to that" thing that I do.

The snoot is lined with aluminum foil. You can just see some of it in the pic. It does improve the brightness of the fan-shaped diffuser.


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Post edited 8 months ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 31, 2017 16:50 |  #22

Archibald wrote in post #18415710 (external link)
The snoot is lined with aluminum foil. You can just see some of it in the pic. It does improve the brightness of the fan-shaped diffuser.

Okay, then I was thinking along the correct lines. I tried this before, I used my DEMB reflector on the flash, but then attached a large white cardboard liner on top of that and angled the sides and front down over the 100mm. It works pretty well, but the light is perhaps a bit too harsh. I can change the angle since the DEMB reflector is on a hinge.

What you have produces a softer lighting which is nice. DEMB has some new options but none that would work well here, I don't think, I have the old classic flat flip-it.

http://www.dembflashpr​oducts.com …flip-it-flash-reflectors/ (external link)


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Jul 31, 2017 17:13 |  #23

I'm always interested in possible improvements to the diffuser. Suggestions welcome.

I have already tried a Fresnel lens as diffuser. The Fresnel was the usual sheet of plastic with concentric prism-like grooves. The thinking was to concentrate the light. The diffuser shown in the photo scatters light all over the place. Refracting it towards the subject should help. What I found was that it only increased light intensity slightly. I guess it's because the Fresnel sheet is not very efficient, losing light by absorption and scattering.

The behavior of the Fresnel sheet depends on its focal length. Using a double layer halved the focal length and worked much better for concentrating the light. With the double Fresnels I was able to shoot the flash at 1/128 power, and get bursts of 20 and more shots before the flash quit.

But the flash intensity varied a lot with small changes in distance, and also with the exact lining up of the flash and Fresnel sheets. The subject needed to be where the rays focused. It was too fussy, and I gave up on it for now.

Not sure you needed to know all of this, LOL. :-)


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Jul 31, 2017 17:17 |  #24

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18415716 (external link)
Okay, then I was thinking along the correct lines. I tried this before, I used my DEMB reflector on the flash, but then attached a large white cardboard liner on top of that and angled the sides and front down over the 100mm. It works pretty well, but the light is perhaps a bit too harsh. I can change the angle since the DEMB reflector is on a hinge.

What you have produces a softer lighting which is nice. DEMB has some new options but none that would work well here, I don't think, I have the old classic flat flip-it.

http://www.dembflashpr​oducts.com …flip-it-flash-reflectors/ (external link)
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by TeamSpeed in
./showthread.php?p=184​15716&i=i40896107
forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by TeamSpeed in
./showthread.php?p=184​15716&i=i30376154
forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

Interesting - I will have to have a look at that DEMB (Demb?) stuff when I get a chance. I'm just on my phone now.


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Jul 31, 2017 18:10 |  #25

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18415716 (external link)
Okay, then I was thinking along the correct lines. I tried this before, I used my DEMB reflector on the flash, but then attached a large white cardboard liner on top of that and angled the sides and front down over the 100mm. It works pretty well, but the light is perhaps a bit too harsh. I can change the angle since the DEMB reflector is on a hinge.

What you have produces a softer lighting which is nice. DEMB has some new options but none that would work well here, I don't think, I have the old classic flat flip-it.

http://www.dembflashpr​oducts.com …flip-it-flash-reflectors/ (external link)
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by TeamSpeed in
./showthread.php?p=184​15716&i=i40896107
forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by TeamSpeed in
./showthread.php?p=184​15716&i=i30376154
forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

The coins look great.

What I have learned is that different subjects call for different light modifiers. I don't have simple solutions, but it is clear that my rig gives too harsh a light for some subjects (like shiny ladybugs), and maybe too flat a light for some other subjects. One size does not fit all. What you did with the coins worked very well.

Wow, a reminder that you still have pennies in the States. :rolleyes:


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Jul 31, 2017 18:26 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #26

We have to have something to put on the train tracks still for the kids enjoyment!


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Tom ­ Camilleri
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Jul 31, 2017 20:54 |  #27

Archibald wrote in post #18415686 (external link)
Couple more, also from this morning...

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./showthread.php?p=184​15686&i=i48388597
forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

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./showthread.php?p=184​15686&i=i151333017
forum: Flash and Studio Lighting

Excellent shots. Thanks for the pic of v.2. Really neat, very creative flash modifier. Proof is in the pudding. The lighting in your shots is excellent.


40D, Digital Rebel 300D; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS, EF 28-135 IS, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 85mm f/1.8, 28mm f/1.8, Speedlite 380 EX, Sekonic L758DR w/target, Manfrotto 3021 w/3030 pan-tilt head & quick release plate, POTN Strap

  
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Jul 31, 2017 21:26 |  #28

Playing a little more with my "awning macro" light... :)


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Archibald
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Aug 01, 2017 01:40 |  #29

Another example from this morning.

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TheDocAUS
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Aug 04, 2017 04:10 |  #30

I finally found that link I mentioned earlier, of the cheap flash macro set-up for the Canon user: https://photofocus.com …canon-macro-flash-set-up/ (external link)


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Macro ring light low cost solutions?
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