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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 09 Sep 2017 (Saturday) 05:43
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New conical diffuser

 
JasonC007
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Sep 09, 2017 05:43 |  #1

I've also been working on this new conical diffuser which will be compatible with the MT-24EX. This is in the very early stages and the below image is only a 3d render but I hope to get one printed in the next couple of days. I have actually completed the adaptor ring attachment and that fits well. The adaptor uses magnets to attach the diffuser and I already have other addons planned that will fit this adaptor.

The diffuser itself will be part direct and reflective but it will be limited due to the small heads of the MT-24, however I will creating an LED light strip version and maybe a ring flash version which should work much better.


IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/36306407123_e603b580f8_b.jpg

Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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SteB
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Post has been edited 7 days ago by Lester Wareham with reason 'Off topic items removed'.
Sep 10, 2017 19:42 |  #2

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1427/4552446000_cf08bcf78a_o.jpg
https://flic.kr/p/7Wht​Ah (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3012/4552445322_8ff854fa69_o.jpg
https://flic.kr/p/7Wht​oA (external link)

There's some background here.
http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​324499

This diagram explains how this type of diffuser works. It was part of a long running thread/article I wrote when I was then the moderator on the macro forum on the then Juza Nature, explaining how light and light modification worked in the macro region. This version of Juza Nature is no longer on the internet, but each of 3 articles got well over 7000 views and all subsequent versions of what I called concave diffusion were derived from this. I'd been using this diffuser for a few years before I wrote about it.

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2800/4429480716_93ddf2ab88_o.jpg
https://flic.kr/p/7Kqf​ib (external link)

This is just a further suggestion for this type of diffuser. The perfect type of material for making the diffuser part itself is diffuser gel. Firstly it's designed for light diffusion, and you can get different thicknesses and diffusion strengths. It's also got excellent light transmission. I only mention this because this type of diffuser loses a fair bit of light because of the light which bounces of the top, and I've found with quite a few plastics it cuts out too much light. So one option is to make a plastic base as in your neat design, but make it so the diffuser part itself is made from diffuser gel.



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JasonC007
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Post has been edited 7 days ago by Lester Wareham with reason 'Off topic items removed'.
Sep 11, 2017 05:57 |  #3

My main reason for creating these and my other diffusers is that they look a lot more professional than a piece of flappy plastic or paper hanging off the end of your camera! plus the fact I am a CAD designer and I also have a 3D printer. Then I thought that if I can make them good enough people who don't have the skills or can't be bothered to make there own would like to buy some already made. It's not like there is much choice in the macro diffuser market! And in fact if someone else had produced some good looking diffusers that worked well I may have bought some and not even got to this stage, but the only other ones I have seen on the market are some by another person who has access to a vacuum forming machine (which are no longer available) and some other 3D printed ones by Macroscopic solutions which are an extortionate price.

If you are planning on 3D printing some yourself, then depending on what software you will use to design them I could provide you with the 3D files to give you a starting point?

There is some uniqueness to my designs in that I am making them as modular as possible, meaning that the attachments of the diffusers, diffuser bodies etc will all be uniform so add-ons can either be made by anyone or by myself when I make them available. You can basically just snap attachments on and off making it much easier to use in the field. And on my other diffusers I have created face shapes, diffuser extensions etc which I've not seen done by anyone else afaik (see bottom image).

Thanks for the tip on the diffuser gel, I have not tried this yet but, I imagine it is like most other materials in that is is flat, meaning that if you look at it head on and activate the flash, there is a bright spot in the middle? On my other diffusers I have created graduated diffusion faces which eliminate the central hotspot completely, then as you move out towards the edges of the face the material is thinner, creating a smooth face of light. I am going to try and replicate this with the above diffuser but it will be much trickier so the gel may be the only option! we will see. This part of the diffusers is my own design and I've not seen this done by anyone else, although I'm not saying it hasn't been done!


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Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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SteB
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Post has been edited 7 days ago by Lester Wareham with reason 'Off topic items removed'.
Sep 11, 2017 06:56 as a reply to JasonC007's post |  #4

Thanks for the response Jason. I think it's great that you are making modular diffusers, and it's always been inexplicable to me why the camera manufacturers have never looked into this. When I made my first cup diffuser it was quite ridiculous how I totally transformed the light from the very expensive Canon MT24EX with a simple vending machine/water cooler cup. It told me straight away that no one had ever really thought about macro lighting modification. This is what led me to do a big empirical investigation into how light actually works in the macro region, which is different than flash or continuous lighting theory than at normal distances. The important two elements are relative distances and the inverse square law, which means small differences in distance can create big differences in light intensity. Unfortunately the article/threads where I laid all this out are no longer on the internet, although there are still links in some blogs trying out these principles. And some is retrievable with caches from the past.


IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4033/4428714205_b5bf3a86b6_o.jpg

In my diagram blue stands for well distributed light with no hotspots. Red stands for a brighter part, but where highlights will not usually be blown, and yellow stands for an intense spot, where highlights are likely to be blown.

When I first came up with this proposed light modifier I'd not even been able to make a prototype because I couldn't find any suitable domes. I sort of live-blogged my search for them, and then developed them, which you can see on this archived web thread below. To access this archived thread click on the blog below, and click on the link "Concave Flash Diffuser Test".
http://www.davidkennar​dphotography.com ...iffusers-comparison.xhtml (external link)


I was certainly aware of the need, ideally, for different thickness plastic to eliminate hot spots. However, what I'm surprised with is that no one really understood that the inverted plastic dome concave diffusers completely re-shape the light as they act like a lens. Therefore the light is re-distributed even though the thickness remains the same. Ideally the plastic of the dome would be thicker at the apex where it is nearest to the light source and thinnest furthest away. I outlined this at the time.

The reason I'm telling you this is that it would be possible with 3D printing to produce an ideal inverted dome. I don't think the dome would have to be that deep. There are a number of ways these domes could be implemented. Ideal the whole flash head and reflector design would be altered to accommodate it, and I can't believe how lazy Canon have been with their new MT26EX. It would be possible to design a much, much better macro flashgun from scratch. No new technology needed. It's just lazy to take reflectors and tubes designed for normal flashguns and to just shrink them down as in the twin flashes on the market.

As per diffusion gel it's very easy to just build up different layers so there are multiple thicknesses where the flash head is closest to the diffuser space, and it's thinnest at the edges as in your 3D printed diffuser face. My suggestion for diffuser gel was that you should be able to make a clip at the base for holding the diffuser gel. Then you can make different custom lengths for different purposes. I've already been doing this for many years with a modular design. I tend to used self-adhesive velcro for attachment, not being concerned with looking professional. I have different lengths because the longer diffusers can be difficult for photographing things like Springtails on flat surfaces. So you can use a short one. I also have it so I can use multiple layers depending on how much diffusion I want. The idea with the multiple layers with a gap is that the first layer diffuses and spreads the hotspot from the flash head, so by time the light hits the second or even third layer, there isn't much of a hotspot.

The only reason I haven't got round to 3D printing any is mastering CAD software. It's really overkill for the quite simple shapes I want to produce, and it's not really designed for just making simple shapes. Plus for the last few years I've had very poor concentration due to an anxiety condition I developed after the death of my sister. It makes learning anything new difficult at the moment. Also it's more difficult for me to do some of the more demanding macro photography I used to do. I had seen the potential of 3D printing for this years ago. As I said I think it's good that you are finally doing what should have been done for a long time ago.

Good luck with your designs and projects.



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JasonC007
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Sep 11, 2017 07:45 as a reply to SteB's post |  #5

Hi SteB,

Firstly I'm sorry to hear about your Sister :( I lost my Dad not long ago and that was tough enough. It does affect you more than you expect and things you normally do tend to take a back seat. Hopefully time is helping but it's never the same is it :(

To be honest, I've never really looked at the extreme technical aspects of light like you have, I've just made diffusers and then tried them to see if they work ok or not, which in most cases they have.

I will also never understand why Canon never made a decent diffuser, maybe they think us macro photographers just enjoy making things! I don't know.

What about if I help you design your diffuser? You can then have the 3D file and get it printed, or I can print them for you. I actually did a quick drawing of what I think is close to your design so what do you think? This is just attached to my current diffuser body. I think I could actually print the dome very thin but it would have to be done as a separate part, I could easily design how it attaches though.

If this is of interest just let me know.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4405/36975433716_4e7954c84a_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4434/36328559814_1a73441d43_b.jpg

Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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JasonC007
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Post has been edited 7 days ago by Lester Wareham with reason 'Off topic items removed'.
Sep 11, 2017 08:18 |  #6

All I want to do is create nice looking diffusers that work well, it just happens that I have the skill and equipment to do this currently (3d design and printing) and hopefully it will help others, particularly the ones that can't or don't want to make their own.

There's no denying SteB and Kurt are probably the most talked about when it comes to macro diffusers, and they has made many different types, so at some point there is bound to be someone who comes along with a similar design that is professionally made by either an individual or a company. Companies have far more resources so could create injection moulded, accurate models which would be good, but will they bother? In fact I could send my models to a factory to be injection moulded but the cost would just be way too much to be worth it.


Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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TeamSpeed
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Post has been last edited 11 days ago by TeamSpeed. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 11, 2017 08:37 |  #7

I look forward to the final design. Please keep the other flash heads in mind like the Godox line, etc.

I did the typical bubblegum/ductape/pape​r concave diffuser for my flash and my AD200s, but without really seeing what was on the web, but really given my experience with the Fong design a decade ago, etc. Having something more pristine, functional, and professional would be nice, than my large foam boards and rubber bands and tape stuck to my flashes. :)


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JasonC007
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Sep 11, 2017 08:42 as a reply to TeamSpeed's post |  #8

I've had quite a few requests for diffusers to fit the Yongnuo YT24 so they will be done within the next week or so. The problem is I've had to buy the flash to take all the measurements and test the prototypes! I will take a look at the Godox flashes, not really seen much of these.


Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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TeamSpeed
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Post has been last edited 11 days ago by TeamSpeed. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 11, 2017 09:06 |  #9

Possibly design a modular flash head mount, or something that generically attaches to a multitude of heads? Even if I have to use an elastic velcro strap to hold the units onto my flash heads, that would be fine. I would rather have one unit that could go to 3 different flashes then 3 different mounts.

As to your concave domed diffuser 3d rendering, we had Fong diffusers a decade ago, I don't think there is much a market for something like that any longer.

https://www.amazon.com ...fRID=WV80NGG108YK4E​CDC9XP (external link)


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JasonC007
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Sep 11, 2017 10:05 as a reply to TeamSpeed's post |  #10

Funny you should mention straps as I've just designed some which will be on my next version of diffusers, see below pic. They won't be Yellow though! These are made of TPU which is a super strong flexible material.

Currently I've designed the bodies around the flash head shape but, I guess I could split those up and have different mounts for each flash then have a universal body which could swap between flashes. Once my Yongnuo flash arrives this week I'll take a look at seeing if this would be possible.

I've actually just designed a MT-24EX ring adaptor attachment which means different things could be attached to that, such as the diffuser I posted at the top of this thread. I've also had requests for just a sun shade which could also be attached to this, oh plus flashlight holders for better focusing.

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4376/36330893894_06f453046c_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4333/36353097373_4bfb12834a_b.jpg

Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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Lester ­ Wareham
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Sep 11, 2017 12:40 |  #11

The only thing I would say is if you are planning to sell these please observe the forum rules and use the for sale forum.


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JasonC007
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Sep 11, 2017 13:09 |  #12

Lester Wareham wrote in post #18449430 (external link)
The only thing I would say is if you are planning to sell these please observe the forum rules and use the for sale forum.

Will do. I'm not going to do that yet though as I may not be able to keep up with demand due to the fact they take many hours to print, and not all the prints work 100% every time so they have to be re-printed!


Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
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SteB
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Sep 11, 2017 13:23 |  #13

Lester Wareham wrote in post #18449430 (external link)
The only thing I would say is if you are planning to sell these please observe the forum rules and use the for sale forum.

Whilst I have had plans to maybe design and sell diffusers and other macro flash accessories, it wouldn't be until final designs were finished, and personally I'm just discussing diffuser design here, and wouldn't try to promote or sell through this forum.




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SteB
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Sep 11, 2017 13:56 as a reply to JasonC007's post |  #14

I might take you up on this offer because I've not got to grips with CAD software yet. This is the overall sort of design I was thinking of, but my visualization of it is slightly different. Yes, I'd aim to make the diffuser separate from the housing so it clicked into place. The idea of this is to increase the modularity. The overall design I'd like to achieve for a twin flash is a sort of curved teardrop shape. What I mean is a flattened end so the two diffusers could meet in the middle, tapering down to a thinner end on the outside. The idea of them meeting in the middle would be so with jumping spiders etc, you would see a more or less a continuous crescent shaped reflection in the eye.

There's a couple of things I'm not certain about with this design and only testing prototypes could confirm whether it works, possible problems. First I'm not sure how this would effect how these diffusers modify the light. Also as the intention would be to make them modular so they fit various twin flashes it would be necessary to check whether they would meet mounted on different flash heads and brackets. It may of course make designing, printing, manufacture more difficult. At least I would be looking for an oval with the apex in the middle flattened off so you could get the flash heads closer together.

I think it would be best if possible for the domes to have a thicker base tapering down to thinner walls on the opening. A good idea would also be to make a cap of a thin diffuser material like diffuser gel which could slide or clip on and off. The diffuser gel on the end makes the light much softer, but it reduces the light output a lot, and sometimes more directional light may be advantageous. As these inverted domes focus the light the efficiency is very high. With my uncovered concave diffusers the light output is similar to that with the bare flash heads. This gives very fast recycling times and short flash duration. Also for some unknown reason with the MT24EX and my old Canon 40D it gave very accurate metering, far more so than with the bare flash heads. With the MT24EX and the Canon 40D and some other Canon bodies, if the subject didn't fill the frame and the background was so far away that it was black, there was a tendency in E-TTL for the flash to wildly over-expose. It was quite unreliable and difficult to judge when this would happen. But as I say, for some unknown reason this didn't happen with the uncovered inverted domes. But the moment you put any extra diffusion on the end of them, the metering would be more unreliable.

Overall this is the advantage of these inverted dome concave diffusers. Very high efficiency and a relatively small footprint so less likely to scare off insects.

I've also thought about having a telescoping tube in the housing so you could extend them for use on a 90mm or longer focal length macro lens so you could get them closer to the subject. With these diffusers the inside of the housing as a reflective coating to increase efficiency.

My own personal plan would be to use 3D printing to create the prototype and then get a plastic fabricator to run off a batch once the design is right. It's some time since I looked into this but the main cost involved used to be getting the prototype made. I haven't checked this but I thought that 3D printing could bring the costs of this down.

I also have a Yongnuo YN24EX and some digital callipers, albeit cheap ones, so I could give you the head dimensions. The shape is quite different to the Canon MT24EX and the new MT26EX, more rectangular. It's probably easier to fit a housing to.

I'll have to think a bit more about this because I tend to hold the ideas in my head and just haven't been thinking about it lately.




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SteB
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Post has been last edited 10 days ago by SteB. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 11, 2017 15:15 |  #15

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18449181 (external link)
We have had concave flash diffusers well before 2010. So it would be hard for any one person to state that they created some concept of this or prove it is their concept, especially in 2010, when concave and convex diffusers were already marketed and sold years prior. In many places, the patent laws are "first to file" as well, not sure in the UK though. Many times, ideas are refinements of somebody else's ideas, and unfortunately without IP filings/patents, it is hard for any one person to claim anything at this point.

Looks like an interesting design though, very well executed! Am interested on where this goes, I could see some uses for the AD200 flash unit for macro work as well.

I'm no expert in patent law, nor know much about it and how it would be interpreted. My intention was never to patent it, but to give the ideas to talented macro photographers to further develop themselves for their own needs. In other words when I first started writing about the principles and diffuser designs my intention was to start a collaborative project to improve macro lighting. I was not interesting in bragging about my diffusers being better than someone else's.

However, whilst there were a few concave shaped diffusers for ordinary flashes about they did not work the same as the ones I designed, and they were not for macro photography. As I tried to explain with my unfortunately now lost articles/threads, light behaves a bit differently in the macro and close-up region, than at longer distances. This is because of relative distances and the inverse square law. Very close up you can halve or double the distance, in centimetres. These differences in distances from the flash in macro photography can greatly increase or decrease the intensity of the light.

The only diffuser designs I was aware of with a concave surface, which was never described as such were the Gary Fong Lightspheres. However, they worked and were designed to be used entirely differently to my concave diffusers. Much or most of the light from the Gary Fong Lightspheres comes through the translucent housings. And some of the concave end pieces are opaque. Whereas my inverted concave diffusers have reflective material in the housing and all light is channelled through the concave end.

After a number of people started claiming that they had invented the idea first, tried to claim their designs were registered designs, I made a big internet search to see if anyone had used the term "concave diffuser" for macro flash diffusion, or if there were any images of similar diffusers before I wrote about this type of diffuser, posted photos, diagrams. I couldn't find one single image on the internet of a flash diffuser likes these posted before I described this type of diffuser and the principles of how they worked. All references to "concave diffuser" with regard to macro flash, or indeed any flash, all come from after the point in time when I first coined the term and wrote about them.

I have been completely open minded that other people might have independently used diffusers like this or had ideas about concave diffusion. If they did they never wrote about it or posted photos of their diffusers or their rigs. What is more people immediately started asking questions about my lighting as it was entirely different to how most other macro photographs were lit at the time with flash. The only 2 people who I know for certain were either using end of lens diffusers before me or at the same time were Alex Wild and John Hallmen. Whilst John very generously credited me as the inventor of curved end of lens diffusers, I know for a fact that John was using one before I described it.

I'm putting this in as an edit. I have had this discussion countless times with people falsely claiming that my diffusion principles for macro photography, the use of the term "concave diffuser" was not my original idea or term, and that others came up with the same earlier. Yet the facts say different. I can find no reference on the internet to the use of the term "concave diffuser" as regards macro flash diffusion, prior to my coining the term. I can't even find it with regard to ordinary flash photography. Nor can I find any photographs or illustrations of curved end of lens flash diffusers prior to me describing them, with the exception of Alex Wild's diffuser, which was not really a tightly curved one, and nor was it further developed by anyone else to my knowledge. I had also been using curved end of lens diffusers of various designs for a long time before I described them. Also the photographs of the cup diffuser on my Fickr Photostream dates from June 2009, and photographs taken with it are from an earlier date. I had also described it to people on the internet well before this date. I only put photos up because people were having problems visualizing what I described. Note Peter Kinowski's comment from 8 years ago "So that's what you meant", proving I had been describing it earlier.
https://flic.kr/p/6ykg​QD (external link)

I put a lot of effort into describing these methods and principles to advance macro lighting and shared the ideas with other influential macro photographers to spread the ideas. Many people appear to mistakenly that think other photographers all came up with the ideas independently of me, despite the fact that these other photographers mistakenly credited by others as coming up with these diffusers, clearly credit me as the inventor of these diffusers in their descriptions at the time. I can assure you that these ideas were not described or obviously used by anyone prior to me describing them. Please find references if you dispute this. I cannot find any reference to anyone using the term "concave flash diffusion" before my use of the term, or describing out it works.
https://flic.kr/p/8zXP​va (external link)
http://orionmystery.bl​ogspot.co.uk ...iffuser-quick-update.html (external link)

As I say I keep an open mind on whether anyone else had the ideas earlier, but the fact is I can't find any references to this, and nor can others when I have challenged them about this claim. This is not about me claiming patent rights or other. And it is because previously others have tried to claim that their diffusers are registered designs, despite clearly being copies of the diffusional principles I first designed.

This is the problem. You insinuate my designs were just "refinements of somebody else's ideas". NO, I went back to basics to understand how light worked in the macro region, and then created light modifiers based on these principles. There is no record of people describing this before.




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