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Homemade ring-flash


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:49 AM

[EDIT - THIS THREAD WAS IN THE TEAM WETPIXEL AREA - I POSTED IT THERE BECAUSE I CONSIDERED IT WORK IN PROGRESS, NOW I HAVE TESTED THE RINGFLASH MORE I AM HAPPY TO MOVE IT TO THE PUBLIC FORUMS 25th Aug 2009, Alex]


Yesterday I built a ring-flash - that is powered by a pair of Inon Z240s. Its not really a ring flash - more a ring-shaped soft box - but the lighting effect is the same.

I decided on this approach - as it makes it lightweight - so it can be taken on a trip with no weight penalty - and could be taken off during a dive if necessary. Plus there is no need to water proof it.

Anyway - much to my surprise - it works really well. On land, that is. Gives lovely light for flower photos and only costs about 1-1.5 stops of light compared to straight strobes.

ring.jpg

Alex

p.s. I thought I'd post this in the Team Wetpixel area - as this is work in progress. I have no idea how it will perform in the ocean. It could be a total failure. But I am off to Cayman on Friday - so updates soon!

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:50 AM

As you can see from the photo - I still need to work on the strobe shading a bit.

Alex

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#3 MikeVeitch

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:01 AM

you could have bought an Inon ring flash for $700 :D

nice job, hope it works. good thinking outside the box

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#4 loftus

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:02 AM

He, he, I can just see you now travelling with a trash can and a broomstick with bicycle cables / break lever.
Good job you tight Brit you!
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#5 james

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:37 AM

Wow Alex - that's great! Did you make it out of a tupperware bowl (aka sort of opaque bowl)?

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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:09 AM

Yeah. I actually used quite a thick plastic bowl - rather than a thin tupperware one - because I wanted it to be reasonably strong - even with the holes in it.

Here is a shot of it on the housing during the testing.
DSC_0094.jpg

I have just pained the outside black - so it looks a little neater - so I'll post a picture after the second coat is on and dried in a couple of hours.

Inside it is painted chrome, and then covered in tinfoil. The paint is there in case the tinfoil comes off!

I'll reiterate that it has yet to be tested in the water...

Alex

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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:15 AM

you could have bought an Inon ring flash for $700 :D
nice job, hope it works. good thinking outside the box


The idea is quite a common one in land photography DIY circles. So it was more copying outside the box!

I like the Inon Quad and also the Sullivan Edge "ring of light" which is popular here in the UK, but neither offer manual powers and will only TTL with Nikon film cameras.

Alex

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#8 Steve Williams

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:20 AM

That looks like fun Alex, is that the 105 port you made it for? So I'm guessing next week won't be entirely about W/A right? Looking forward to seeing what you can do with it.

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#9 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:25 AM

That looks like fun Alex, is that the 105 port you made it for? So I'm guessing next week won't be entirely about W/A right? Looking forward to seeing what you can do with it.


I'll be photographing ducks in the pool!

cay08_am_10879.jpg

If it works I think it could be very good with secretary blennies.

Alex

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#10 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:45 AM

Hi guys,

Here it is painted and mounted on the port.

DSC_0096.jpg

Steve, it will only fit on Subals (old style ports too), but I am happy to lend it out on the workshop if it works. Of course, it may not. In which case it can be obtained for free from the nearest skip.

Alex

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#11 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:57 AM

And here it is on a housing - short sections of old wetsuit sleeves stop light spillage from Inons.

DSC_0097.jpg

Not the best picture - hard to see detail in black on black, I know.

Alex

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#12 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:08 AM

And here is one of the test shots. The ring flash has lit the front of this complex, three dimensional structure of this cactus with flat light:

F16 with strobes on F8 - about 1/4 power I think.

DSC_0885.jpg

Alex

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#13 james

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:45 AM

I like how you've used the handles on the bowl to hold the strobes and the wetsuit sleeves Alex. Great little DIY there!

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#14 Scubamoose

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:19 PM

Great job Alex!
I tought how the strobes stay put with the sleave's, but James just cleared that out :D
Can't wayt to hear how it works in the water!

Wondering can I build something similar to a smaller lens... :D

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#15 segal3

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:24 PM

Lots of drainage holes, I hope?
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#16 herbko

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:43 PM

Careful Alex. You'll hear from the rubber ducky rights people for this one. :D

I'll be photographing ducks in the pool!

cay08_am_10879.jpg

If it works I think it could be very good with secretary blennies.

Alex


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#17 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:27 PM

Lots of drainage holes, I hope?


Just one top and one bottom - to let the air and water out, respectively - depending which way I am travelling through the surface! As mostly they go in and out through the big holes where the strobes shine in.

Anyway, next update from Cayman!

Alex

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#18 stewsmith

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

Great work there Alex. I hope it works. Mind you if it doesnt it hasnt cost the earth. I just hope you told the other that her bowl is now yours. I dont know if you ever got one of these but you sure do deserve one.

Have a great trip to Cayman, Stew

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#19 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:00 AM

Thanks for the BP badge Stew!

Actually I think that Eleonora is rather pleased - because when we dive together she uses the INONs and I use the Subtronics.

Alex

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#20 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:30 PM

And it works in the water too! These are from today - only had it in the pool so far. It does cost a bit of light but I was still able to shoot at F10-F14 without a problem.

F10
Cay09_am_10503.jpg

F13
Cay09_am_10505.jpg

F14
Cay09_am_10510.jpg

I hope to try it in the sea either tomorrow or the following day.

Alex

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