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New DIY Gel Holder & Straw Snoot Combo

FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 23 Apr 2009 (Thursday) 20:01   
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SYS
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I never liked the idea of placing something like a velcro strip or a tape onto my 580EX flash, so I decided to come up with the following gel holder to be used for the flash and the Roscolux Swatch Book of gel sampler. Luckily, while I was shopping for a suitable material for it at a local Lowe's, I found an item that, just with one $2.97 piece, allowed me to create a gel holder as well as a straw grid snoot. But first, some finished product images:

Detachable Gel Holder & Straw Snoot Combo

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3646/3468868161_efe164f381_o.jpg

Attached Gel Holder & Straw Snoot Combo
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3485/3468868149_58de76377a_o.jpg

Gel Holder with Sample Gels
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3632/3469680696_619fb71025.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3654/3468867993_3da13446bc.jpg

Material:

DIY Snoot: Severe Weather 2"x3"x5-5/8" Downspout Coupler

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3561/3464767116_edeab5fb9a_o.jpg

This downspout coupler is just perfect for a project like this, because it's as light or even lighter than an empty macaroni cheese box and yet hundred times stronger. This coupler gets cut in half about 1cm below the first (going from larger to smaller) crease, the larger end to be used as the gel holder and the smaller end for the straw grid snoot.

Roscolux Swatch Book Sampler and Self-Seal Laminating Pouches

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3548/3468868067_3a1e95f4b9.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3638/3466755345_f236f1d73f.jpg

You can also use an 8x10 laminating sheet and do several gels at the same time...

Post #1, Apr 23, 2009 20:01:33



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SYS
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Process:

The downspout coupler, once cut up in half as described earlier, gets sprayed painted with dull black. I used an inch width industrial strength self adhesive black velcro (soft side only) to line the interior where the flash gets inserted.

As seen in these photos, use a thin saw to make an incision from the top down about 5cm after the first crease. Downwards, the incision is only for about 6-7mm...

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3587/3469680648_c9d4bb3a2f.jpg


IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3492/3468868051_db9dc2310b.jpg

Place a gel (after cutting off the ugly hole from the Swatch Book) of your choice inside the self-sealing laminating pouch along with the gel ID, laminate them, taking care to avoid air bubbles, and cut to the measured length so it can slide down the downspout's incision gap...

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3512/3469680750_bbaea8ebb6.jpg


IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3530/3469680772_e73e6de07e.jpg

These then slide down the holder's slit (it can comfortably fit 2-3 gels stacked together, if needed):

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3479/3469680634_4dc06d9560_o.jpg

Post #2, Apr 23, 2009 20:01:55



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SYS
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Now onto the straw grid snoot...

Process:

I couldn't find black straws anywhere, so I simply used the same black spray paint and cut them up one inch in length. I used the straws with the diameter of about 4mm.

The other end of the downspout coupler was velcroed inside with its soft side for non-damaging flash insertion. This leaves about an inch on the other end of its interior for placing all the cut up straws.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3490/3468868095_75f2dbff0c_o.jpg

I also used a black foam to cut it up for the tighter tunnel effect... The light adjusting foam goes inside the tunnel, on the opposite side of the straws...

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3547/3468951805_d4b00438b3_o.jpg


When the finished products are combined with a gel, it'd look like this through the tunnel...

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3546/3468868131_d3ce23e11a_o.jpg

Post #3, Apr 23, 2009 20:02:18



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Some quick tests...

The straw grid snoot without gel...

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3567/3468868227_b7fefa56e8_o.jpg

The straw grid snoot with the light adjusting foam inside, plus the blue gel...
IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm4.static.fl​ickr.com ...68951815_dbe16665a8​_o.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


EDIT: Corrected Flaw...
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These were just quick test shots, and I'll share more as I play with these... All constructive criticisms are absolutely welcome as usual... :)

Post #4, Apr 23, 2009 20:29:55



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Familiaphoto
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That is an impressive DIY. Well done!!!

Post #5, Apr 23, 2009 21:44:57


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eric.brown
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Awesome job. We were just looking for something like this...now I have some ideas to make my own :)

Post #6, Apr 23, 2009 21:50:54


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Naturalist
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Excellent DIY post!!!

Post #7, Apr 23, 2009 21:52:36


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lazer-jock
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Is there a reason why the blued snoot spot is not round? My understanding is that the snoot should give a nice round spot of light regardless of the overall shape of the snooted light source.

Post #8, Apr 23, 2009 21:53:17


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SYS
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lazer-jock wrote in post #7792269external link
Is there a reason why the blued snoot spot is not round? My understanding is that the snoot should give a nice round spot of light regardless of the overall shape of the snooted light source.

Yup, that's something I'm going to figure out before the weekend's over with. It's most likely a light bleed somewhere inside. I know it's some small minor adjustment that's needed. For today, I was mainly concerned with the overall light size and the quality.

Post #9, Apr 23, 2009 22:09:41



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Thanks, Paul, Eric and Doug. :)

Post #10, Apr 23, 2009 22:10:41



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Peacefield
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I've been looking for a way to get both of these done and have not yet found a DIY approach that I thought was appealing. But this is the one! Thanks.

Post #11, Apr 24, 2009 06:32:44


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lazer-jock wrote in post #7792269external link
Is there a reason why the blued snoot spot is not round? My understanding is that the snoot should give a nice round spot of light regardless of the overall shape of the snooted light source.

SYS wrote in post #7792392external link
Yup, that's something I'm going to figure out before the weekend's over with. It's most likely a light bleed somewhere inside. I know it's some small minor adjustment that's needed. For today, I was mainly concerned with the overall light size and the quality.

The spot of light produced by a grid will hold the overall shape of the light source but still be filtered & changed by the shape of the individual chambers of the grid. In effect you'll get something in-between the two shapes, in this case an extremely rounded rectangle.

Post #12, Apr 24, 2009 06:47:51




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Impressive! I am going to give this a try!

Post #13, Apr 24, 2009 07:18:17


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I like your DIY but I find it time consuming and a little complicated. I live about 10 minutes from Home Depot, but 10 minutes is already too much time for a DIY for me. Lol. So, I created a simpler solution for holding gels. I used an acetate film and created a little pocket/open envelope with it. That way, all I have to do is slide the gel inside. The acetate film acts as a gel holder and as a gel extender so that I can strap it on to the flash head with a rubber band that's always there.

But I like the idea of laminating the samplers. That way they last a lot longer and much easier to store in your gear bag.

Post #14, Apr 24, 2009 07:21:47


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SYS
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seanzky wrote in post #7794430external link
I like your DIY but I find it time consuming and a little complicated. I live about 10 minutes from Home Depot, but 10 minutes is already too much time for a DIY for me. Lol. So, I created a simpler solution for holding gels. I used an acetate film and created a little pocket/open envelope with it. That way, all I have to do is slide the gel inside. The acetate film acts as a gel holder and as a gel extender so that I can strap it on to the flash head with a rubber band that's always there.

But I like the idea of laminating the samplers. That way they last a lot longer and much easier to store in your gear bag.

I've seen a lot of DIY gel holders in the past several years in this forum alone with many different ways of making it. I say kudos to all of them! Whatever works for each individual with his or her unique preference. :)

One of the things that I wanted to accomplish by laminating the Roscolux gels is precisely to prevent the common problem of them getting warped due to flash heat after some use, so the lamination provides the necessary protection to withstand the heat. I don't think I'll need to worry about "oh, I'd better wait some time now to let the gel cool..."

Another benefit of having the Roscolux gel identification tag inside the lamination is not just the identification of whatever the gel I'm using but the extra top allows me to handle the gel without smudging with the finger oil all over it.

Lastly, whether the DIY was time consuming or complicated really depends on what one wants to accomplish and what sort of quality stuff one wants to create for future long-term use. The only thing that was actually time consuming is cutting up them straws and gluing each one on top of each other.... Made me feel like back in elementary school working on a craft project... :)

Post #15, Apr 24, 2009 08:12:51



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