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Need help with fiber snoot technique!


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#1 Marjo

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:24 AM

I built these fibersnoots a while ago and they worked absolutely wonderfully - at the kitchen table. Yesterday I took them out to my favorite macro critter spot to finally give them a whirl. I was all pumped up, fueled by inspiration from watching Keri Wilk's and other beautiful snooted macro images. My setup was a 100mm macro withh a Canon 500D diopter on a Canon 7D. I had set it to manually focus. The stobes were two Ikelite Ds-125 with the fibersnoots. Well, once I hit the water I was also hit with reality that I had no fruitloopin clue how to aim those snoots! I probably poked more blennies than I saw through the viewfinder. Pretty much at no point did I manage to aim the snoots in the right place. Normally cooperative critters fled at the mere sight of me before I even got to settle down to start aiming at them. The only fish that seemed to enjoy the orderal was a 10ft green moray that kept shadowing me, totally using the mayhem to his hunting advantage. I feel discouraged. Can someone who actually has some success with fibersnoots help me with some pointers or point me to some great resources to help me out?


Edited by Marjo, 10 February 2014 - 06:26 AM.


#2 blibecap

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:16 AM

Can you post some detailed pictures of what you have created? 


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#3 dpaustex

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:09 AM

One thing I had noticed, when using a snoot before, is that it is indeed different underwater. The refractive index is different, for one.

 

On the "aim" part, try to get someone to help you. I have found to use a "focus rod" (really just a gauge of how far the focus point is away from the port) is a big help. Get in an open spot, put something on the sand, then work your snoot arm(s) until it fires in the right "spot" (i.e. in focus zone). 

 

If you're using fiber optic end glow, then you need to put the snoot in front of the object (unless you're going for backlighting), as the light comes pretty much straight out the end of the cable.

 

If you're using a diopter, you'll quickly find how little light you're getting to your sensor. Not sure of your camera setting, but you might want to try slowing the flash down (below 1/160th). I shoot around 1/160, f22 with a +10. I have found just being a little off makes for a horrendously underexposed pix. You might try a fixed setting, then dialing up your ISO, first, and see if you can get a shot to "turn out", just so you can see where the light from the snoot actually is. Then you can re-adjust, and dial back the ISO, once you get your lighting right.

 

Just a thought, but hang in there!


Edited by dpaustex, 10 February 2014 - 09:19 AM.


#4 Marjo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:31 PM

Thank you dpaustex. After a week on brooding on this and not even going ontp the water this weekend, I think i'll have another go at it but without the diopter. Not sure I can get my hubbybuddy to help (as he recently got a new housing and probably will be off minding his own shrimpness), but Im thinking of fashioning some sort of tripod for strobes. Blibecap, I honestly dont even have one image from that last dive that I would feel comfortable showing even for giggles, I was completely out of my element with that fibersnoot. New try...

 

#5 blibecap

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:34 PM

I was asking for a picture of your fibersnoots. 


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#6 Aquatic

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:31 PM

Gorillapods work great for remote strobes. The all aluminum ones work best. You can put a UCLS ball mount on it to attach the strobe or a short arm then the strobe.

 

 

 

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#7 Marjo

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:25 PM

Thank you Dan! I think that is exactly what I need!

 

Bilbecap, oh, ok. I will take a picture of snoots and post.



#8 Marjo

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:33 PM

OK, here's a picture with one of the double-snoots. Please don't laugh too hard. I really enjoy DIY projects, hence there is usually loads of ductape, plumbing supplies and insulation foam mixed into my setups.

Attached Images

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Edited by Marjo, 28 February 2014 - 06:34 PM.


#9 bvanant

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 04:41 PM

I think you will find that trying to shoot anything (even a lettuce leaf slug) with the strobes on the camera will be nearly impossible. Putting the strobe and snoot on the tripod and moving from two to one snoot arms will make starting this out way more easy. If your aiming light from the strobe works, then doing this at night will also be a lot easier.

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#10 Alison Perkins

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:07 AM

Gorillapods work great for remote strobes. The all aluminum ones work best. You can put a UCLS ball mount on it to attach the strobe or a short arm then the strobe.

 

Is there a particular UCLS ball component that can be purchased that connects to a GorillaPod?


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#11 Interceptor121

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:38 PM

 

Is there a particular UCLS ball component that can be purchased that connects to a GorillaPod?

The tripod screw of the gorillapod is a 1/4" 20 TPI and as such should fit the AD -1420 female version


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#12 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:09 AM

I use Inon Z240 strobes, so not sure if this helps for you, but I use the focus light on the strobe to help with aiming the fibre snoot (does the DS-125 even have a modelling light? Sold mine a long time OK, I can't remember!). It requires a bit of care when putting the snoot on the camera, to ensure the fibre ends are in the correct place for the focus light, light coming out of the fibre isn't massively bright, but if ambient isn't too bright, it suffices.


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#13 Interceptor121

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:30 AM

Not being an expert in home made snoots I would observe that your strobe has the lamp in the central position and you instead have two snoots on the sides that would need a lens or a diffuser on the back to spread the residual light.

I would think a single snoot in line with the bulb on the strobe would make things much easier.


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#14 dpaustex

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:00 PM

I would say to definitely get a "pre-focus" point, as I earlier suggested. Find out where the strobes are firing, and adjust accordingly.  It does take a whole lot of trial-and-error on getting the aim correct.

 

You can also put one of your strobes on a gorilla-pod (get the heavy one). You can get a ball mount and kind of "force" it to fit the base of the tripod. Go with a ball on the strobe, then a double ball clamp.  Next, put a remote trigger on the strobe. Use the second flash on the camera to trigger the remote.  I have found this helps quite a bit.

 

And the Ikelite flashes have a circular tube. Do not put any type of diffuser on. One thing that REALLY helps is to make sure the first portion of the loc-line is lined up straight, for the first few beads, before bending it. This ensures the fiber optic cable is perpendicular to the flash tube, and allows it to get a "straight on" shot from the flash unit, vastly increasing the transmitted light.


Edited by dpaustex, 22 May 2014 - 06:02 PM.


#15 Marjo

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:57 PM

Thank you so much for your ideas and help. Gorillapod is coming along on next dive!


Edited by Marjo, 29 May 2014 - 06:57 PM.


#16 jxo

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 01:36 PM

OK, here's a picture with one of the double-snoots. Please don't laugh too hard. I really enjoy DIY projects, hence there is usually loads of ductape, plumbing supplies and insulation foam mixed into my setups.

Marjo:  reviving this thread.  and not laughing, nice job with this.  I am building the same fiber optic snoot for one of my Ikelite 125s.   What product did you use to cover the strobe and screw the loc-line into?   Is it adhered or screwed to the strobe in any way?

 

Btw, how's your technique now?   some good results?   advice?