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The Duct tape DIY snoot


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#1 MikeVeitch

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 07:51 AM

Ok, after many folks have asked, here is a couple shots of my snoot. Sorry about the lens choice for the photos, was too lazy to go get a wider one :wacko:

Its basically a 1.5 litre water bottle cut in half with two slits cut down the side to fit over my YS120 strobe, the opening of the bottle is where the light comes out. I then duct tape it in place and all over the bottle to ensure no light comes out. The opening that you see on the end of the it is actually a smaller bottle that i have cut and slid onto the end of the water bottle and then duct taped in on there as well. The opening is approx 1cm across, quite small. Good for snooting a pygmy actually as the water bottle opening itself is too wide. I can take the smaller bottle off underwater if i want a larger beam. It may look ugly.. but it works and the duct tape holds forever as long as it doesn't get banged. There is no snoot on the second strobe so i can use that if i need a full powered shot.

Total cost.. $3 maybe?!

However, don't try to use it with a 105mm and 2x teleconverter on a pygmy when there is a lot of surge in the water.... hahaha.. that was 45 mins of endless frustration this morning :goodpost:

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#2 TheRealDrew

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:23 AM

Great job, gotta love duct tape and you are recycling also :wacko:

#3 Beach Bum

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 10:39 AM

Red Green would be proud!
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#4 harrym

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 05:35 PM

Is this a sex toy or photographic instrument?

If it's the former, I won't ask. If it's the latter, I will ask. What's it for?
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#5 Pfuller

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:11 PM

Ok, after many folks have asked, here is a couple shots of my snoot. Sorry about the lens choice for the photos, was too lazy to go get a wider one :)

Its basically a 1.5 litre water bottle cut in half with two slits cut down the side to fit over my YS120 strobe, the opening of the bottle is where the light comes out. I then duct tape it in place and all over the bottle to ensure no light comes out. The opening that you see on the end of the it is actually a smaller bottle that i have cut and slid onto the end of the water bottle and then duct taped in on there as well. The opening is approx 1cm across, quite small. Good for snooting a pygmy actually as the water bottle opening itself is too wide. I can take the smaller bottle off underwater if i want a larger beam. It may look ugly.. but it works and the duct tape holds forever as long as it doesn't get banged. There is no snoot on the second strobe so i can use that if i need a full powered shot.

Total cost.. $3 maybe?!

However, don't try to use it with a 105mm and 2x teleconverter on a pygmy when there is a lot of surge in the water.... hahaha.. that was 45 mins of endless frustration this morning :)

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DIY gold! :wacko: Have you got any sample images you've taken with it attached? How do you go aiming it correctly? Do you use a guide light or anything?

I've been thinking about making something similar to photograph nudi's, but the logistics just seem to compilated. For example, if i was shooting a 20mm nudi with a 10mm opening, then you'd have to position the strobe cleverly to light the whole nudi or get the effect you want. But what if i only see 5mm nudis for the whole dive? Apart from some control over the background, it could essentially flood the whole critter with light anyway.

#6 Steve Williams

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:58 PM

Is this a sex toy or photographic instrument?


Knowing what little I do about our friend Mike. It's probably both

It's a mother beautiful thing Mike! :wacko:

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#7 MikeVeitch

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:04 AM

Harry, its fine for that subtle lighting in leaked internet celebrity sex videos.. :wacko: Steve knows me well :)

For aiming its more of the point and hope more than anything.. ie: 1 keeper in about 8 images to be honest. Unfortunately i use old YS120 strobes which do not have an aiming light so i can't use that. I actually end up hand holding the strobe. I take the whole arm off and then hold it with the arm, sometimes with the back of the strobe depending on how close i am to the subject. When holding the back of the strobe i can take a photo and take a quick look at the image to see where the light landed, i can then incrementaly adjust the position until it is in the right place. Not easy..

The snoot in the picture is in two parts really, i can take the smaller portion off if I want to use the larger diameter hole from the water bottle itself like i was doing today. With smaller subjects such as nudis I use the smaller hole.

Lots of trial and error for sure. You can also get a larger or smaller cone of light by holding the strobe closer or further from the subject

Here are a couple of examples

Small opening

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Big opening

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#8 davichin

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:16 AM

I have one exactly like that! :wacko: Yes, I also hate duct tape for not being able to adapt to round surfaces....

I also have a detachable "insert" for a narrower ray of light.

My friends make fun of me and call it the "astronaut helmet", but it works (sometimes...) although is very hard to point
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#9 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:40 AM

Mike makes an important point - that the size of spotlight you need depends on the effect you are after and the size of the subject. A much wide beam is required for an effect like this on wide angle:

Posted Image

This is the snoot I used for the photo with James W above:

DSC_0839.jpg

Which is a lot easier that the fine beam Mike is using - which takes some real dediction. For macro I use a Nikon pen for the final attachment - (I am still waiting for someone to ask if it is an official Nikon accessory) - which is on the same size funnel as the photo above:

_ATM0173.jpg

That said, I feel my current design is loosing too much light. I am looking for a more light efficient solution (will report back if and when I get a break through).

As a general comment I have posted before - I think when people start using snoots they tend to try for images that really show the "effect", but often the most interesting shots are actually from a much more subtle use of the snoot. I think that often snoots are best used to give strongly directional light, rather than the spot light effect:

Posted Image

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#10 MikeVeitch

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 06:06 AM

ooooo..... a pen :wacko:

I like that idea.

And i agree with you about losing some of the light. Even with my small hole i still find i get leaks by having strobe spill over from where i am aiming. I quite often use "direct from the left" lighting and it sometimes spills over a little bit much.

I also agree with you about your last comment, the "cone" effect can certainly create some nice images but i am more interested in controlling just exactly where the light goes and avoiding lighting up the background, similar to the frogfish shot above, to really separate the main subject.

Here is an interesting one from today, not sure if it works for others, but i think it looks pretty cool, no cone, just a kiss of light on the important part of the subject. It may not be a saleable image but i like it :) Its the small opening.

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And a second one going the other way... slow shutter and a touch of light on the main subject just to give it some colour and using the big opening.

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#11 Hidroj

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:57 AM

One question: Should the inner side of a DiY Snoot be white? Or better not?
I thought that with a white interior the light would maybe reflect better forward..., but maybe not.
Has anyone tested the difference? Or is it a silly idea?
Thanks to everyone!
Jordi

#12 DuncanS

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:49 PM

Read Keri's article and loved the images.

Headed off to the local 'plumbers merchant' and in my finest arabic whipped out my laptop, pointed to the picture of Keri's setup and said 'Same, same?'

Man says 'what for?'

'camera'

'NO'

Point again and say 'Same, same? No camera...'

'Yes'

Oh the joys of Egypt....

Anyway, head off to the back of the shop and watch the chap shin up the shelving and starts throwing things down at be from the ceiling, Jackpot!!!

A series of drainage pipe reducers that will stack into each other allowing the opening to be varied. Only downside is that they are a little heavy duty!! But the walls are thin enough that the outer edges can be shaved down.

With then all stacked they have a nice interference fit and no light seems to spill from the overlaps. A tug and a twist and its removed. The entrance for the strobe needs to be opened up a few mm for the strobe to slide in but looks promising. The final diameter also fits poly-pipe so different lengths cam be accommodated.

So 1 m polypipe and enough sections to kit out 2 strobes = 48 egyptian pounds (3 1/2 beers) about 6
snoot.jpg
snoot_2.jpg

Will try and fit it properly tomorrow and go out and play....

Thanks Keri, you picture of your setup was far more effective than the usual 'crayon' method of ordering parts..........
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#13 yahsemtough

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:16 AM

Here are a couple of my first snoot examples from back in December. Based on working with it I have many new ideas and a few based on Keri's work. I used a similar snoot to what Walt Sterns posted. No competition quality shots here just some examples.

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Posted Image

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#14 Tjsnapper

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:24 PM

So Duncan, where are the snoot shots? :) I look forward to seeing them. Hope you are keeping well.
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#15 DuncanS

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:07 PM

So Duncan, where are the snoot shots? :) I look forward to seeing them. Hope you are keeping well.

God damm it, had to actually work......finally got out with them and had a real blonde day.....

I ground down one of the plastic parts to fit the strobe and then picked the wrong one up.....managed to tape the other one on thought....also had taken the arms off housing to touch them up with a bit of paint and forgot to take them with me...so 1 strobe hanging from the arm off my weight belt and a housing minus arms in my hand...pita!!!!

So tried hand holding camera and strobe, absolute nightmare! moved to a patch of sand where i could lay strobe on sand and fired of a couple of shots before i noticed a bead of water on the inside of the housing.....had a look at the housing and has about 2 teaspoons of water inside.....aaaaaaaaagggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

I have not swum so far so quick in a long time!!!! ThANKFULLY Camera stayed dry and port oring is now in the bin!!!!

So, limited to a couple of shots but this is straight out of camera, 60mm on crop sensor @1:1, as Keri sugested beam is still a little wide....snoottest.jpg snoottest_2.jpg

All good out here TJ, how are the house renovations going?
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#16 Tjsnapper

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:26 PM

God damm it, had to actually work......finally got out with them and had a real blonde day.....

All good out here TJ, how are the house renovations going?


Hi Duncan,
It looks promising, shame about the awkward set-up, but I am sure you will have that sorted soon :)
House is still in the hands of the Architect!!!!! we will get there soon.
I look forward to the next installment.

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#17 ralphy

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 06:47 AM

One question: Should the inner side of a DiY Snoot be white? Or better not?
I thought that with a white interior the light would maybe reflect better forward..., but maybe not.
Has anyone tested the difference? Or is it a silly idea?
Thanks to everyone!
Jordi


I'd be interested to hear opinions on this too.

I've just obtained two 'trap bowls' - the thing that collects the debris under your washbasin - as they are a perfect fit onto my YS-90's! They are plastic, thick enough to contain/exclude light but white inside; would it be better to blacken them up somehow?

R