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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 16 Mar 2008 (Sunday) 17:32
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My Own DIY Diffusion Panel

 
SYS
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Mar 16, 2008 17:32 |  #1

Here's my first ever light modifier that I just put together. I only copied others before me, so nothing new here. I'd say the only new and different here is that I used a couple of metal clamps to hold the two panels together rather than the "double C" clips. The clamps work remarkably well. If I want to do anything more to this would be to get some velcro strips to place them in the midpoint of each PVC pipe to stretch the fabrics a bit more.


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The view from behind showing the elastic band and the metal clamps holding the two panels together.

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Mar 16, 2008 18:58 |  #2

Let's see some picts:)


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SYS
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Mar 16, 2008 19:18 |  #3

scorpio_e wrote in post #5128902 (external link)
Let's see some picts:)

What pictures? I only made this in order for my kids to play hide and seek.... (just kidding, even though my kids were doing just that!!). I'm ordering some missing links to my whole set up tomorrow... and will post some results. :D



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Mar 16, 2008 19:21 |  #4

Are you just using bedsheets? Did you sew the elastic straps on? I'm assuming the black to use as a background while placing your light behind the white?
Sorry if these seem like simple questions I would just like to do something similar and I'm trying to figure this out.

Eric


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SYS
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Mar 16, 2008 20:11 |  #5

Eric&Susan wrote in post #5129056 (external link)
Are you just using bedsheets? Did you sew the elastic straps on? I'm assuming the black to use as a background while placing your light behind the white?
Sorry if these seem like simple questions I would just like to do something similar and I'm trying to figure this out.

Eric

The fabric that I used for both the black and white is called "Denier Flag" nylon. I was looking for what is called "Sport" nylon" but no local stores carry anything by that name, so I decided to use what amount to the same, I believe, except the name.

Yes, I did sew the elastic straps. That was the easy part. Hemming without any sewing machine was a pain and the most time consuming part of the whole project. Not knowing what I was up to, my wife wasn't all too sympathetic to my project so I had to learn how to sew basically over night. When she saw the finished project, she became... well... sympathetic.... a bit too late!! :D

The black panel is there to avoid lens flare and spills....

Once I get my lighting system by next week, I'm going to see if these panels could also work as backgrounds. If they also work as backgrounds, then I just wasted my money on black and white paper backgrounds that are on their way.



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Mar 16, 2008 21:07 |  #6

Good job.

...then I just wasted my money on black and white paper backgrounds that are on their way.

No, you didn't. ;)


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Mar 16, 2008 21:12 |  #7

PhotosGuy wrote in post #5129750 (external link)
No, you didn't. ;)

Did you mean by this that the panels can't double as backgrounds?



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Mar 16, 2008 21:22 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #8

Nice job SooYoung. Glad you got it worked out. I found that having a black panel on both sides helped when I needed optimal isolation. This way the black panel closest to the lens blocks any flare and the black panel furthest from the camera blocks stray light from reaching the background area. When you really want those black backgrounds black and don't have a heck of a lot of space between your subject and background you'll find that extra isolation to be invaluable.


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Mar 16, 2008 21:43 |  #9

Thanks, Robert. Your own experimentations with the same project was my inspiration. Now, I'm on to adding another black panel!! :D



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Mar 16, 2008 22:01 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #10

You may also want to play with a silver or white lining on the inside of the black panels. It gives greater efficiency and more even light. Adding a second layer of diffusion material to the front also works great.


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Mar 16, 2008 22:18 |  #11

TMR Design wrote in post #5130070 (external link)
You may also want to play with a silver or white lining on the inside of the black panels. It gives greater efficiency and more even light. Adding a second layer of diffusion material to the front also works great.

When you say a "silver or white lining," what material did you have in mine? I thought I read everything you posted on the subject, but I didn't come across this one!! :)



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Mar 16, 2008 22:34 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #12

If you wanted a white lining it would be the same type of thing as with a a white translucent umbrella with a black backing. Simply place a layer of white ripstop on the inside of the black panels. As Curtis N recently demonstrated in another thread, the black panel absorbs a great deal of light and it's not the most efficient way to go.

I've seen silver reflective 'blankets' on ebay that you can throw around and use a portable and flexible reflectors. You can also use those thermal blankets sold in camping stores. You can even hang white foam core from the PVC and use it on the inside of the black panels. This gives you really soft reflected light and the foam core doesn't allow the light to reach the black ripstop.

I've done a lot of experimentation since the original pictures and posts about my large diffusion panel. Experimenting is the key but just think of it as a softbox, how it's designed, and how it works. The whole idea is to get the most even light from center to any edge or corner.

Whether the light is soft and the amount of contrast is not the issue, as you can always change that. Getting it even is the hardest part (assuming that's important to you).


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Mar 16, 2008 22:42 |  #13

Okay, Robert, I need some time to absorb all this.... First thing, though, for tomorrow's project.... I forgot to ask one thing about the additional black panel. The one that I have now is 3' wide. Should I make the second black panel with the same width, or wider...?



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Mar 16, 2008 22:47 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #14

Hi SooYoung,

That would be entirely up to you, your space, the distance and angles you'll be using in your setups. The secondary black panel is merely a suggestion. You may find you don't need or want it. I'm just throwing ideas out to you based on my own experimentation and use of diffusion panels in my small home studio.

Since the materials are inexpensive and readily available I would say to just go slow, start with a simple panel, use it to create various lighting setups and look at the results. If you have problems then you can assess whether the problems can be corrected with different placement or quantity of light, or whether an addition or modification to the panel is in order. You may want to make another panel that can clip on when you need it and leans against the wall when not in use.

The most important thing is to control the light and to create great images. No matter how you get there, if you're doing both those things, then you're rockin' :D


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Mar 16, 2008 22:57 |  #15

Sound advise, Robert. I should play with what I have now and continue to experiment and go from there. After all, I have yet to fire a single shot through what I got!! ;)



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My Own DIY Diffusion Panel
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