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Member Since 26 Jun 2009
Offline Last Active Dec 05 2017 03:57 AM

#373650 Laser guided snoot - in-line targeting

Posted by ProfF on 15 May 2016 - 07:50 PM



As a photographer and 3D printing enthusiast I created several snots. Usually I find them hard to work with and did not use them much. I recently read article/review about 10bar laser guided snoot. I liked the idea and purchased the laser unit alone for 75$. 


The laser unit is nice. It is basically a small box with a laser and a flash detector for autoshut-off. I started playing with the design of my snoot and looked at the 10bar original.



Their design has the laser unit "riding" on the snoot, and the user has an adjustable knob to adjust the angle of the laser. This means that the beam intersect the actual snoot output path only on one point. Elsewhere it will be off center (and probably off target in the thin version of the snoot).




An ideal solution for this would have the laser run through the center of the snoot, this will make it precise at any distance. I knew similar solution from microscopes using beam splitter. The idea is simple. A beam splitter is half-mirror, where  50% of the light pass through it and 50% bounce off. In this design the laser is positioned perpendicular to the strobe. The beam splitter is setup at 45degrees to both beams.




The price of this solution is reduction in 1/2 of both the laser beam and the strobe light. Since this setup is used for close macro situation, I reasoned that this will not be a big problem.


The next question was finding a beam splitter. A professional grade one is expensive (100s of $). However, I found that there is a game "Khet - Eye of Horus" that uses lasers and beam splitter.




For about ~$5 I could buy two beam splitters pieces. A quick test showed that these work fine on the laser beam and on the strobe. Removing the plastic frame, I had a nice beam splitter (and a backup one).


I designed a snoot and set out to test it. However, the laser beam was lost somewhere in the snoot. Revisiting my components I discovered that the laser beam was not aligned with its housing. The few degrees of offset were sufficient to cause problems. This required having an adjustable mount for the laser that allowed tuning of the beam.


The final design in my CAD visualization:


Snoot 45deg beam splitter v32 v25.png


The yellow object is YS-01 strobe. The blue ring is attached to the strobe and allows quick attachment of the snoot. The red box is the laser. The tip at the end is exchangeable and is held in place by magnets. (I did not take a proper picture of the snoot, but can load one later on)


Last month I had a chance to try it on a short visit to the red sea. Using the snoot with a macro lens was harder than I expected. The problem was getting the damn red point into the frame. I practiced on a pair of nudis, and finally managed few shots. 



Opening the images on my computer, I realized that the laser was visible in the image, the auto-shutoff did not work. I set the sensor on the laser to point into the strobe, and expected the bounced light to reach it. It seems that the black plastic was doing a good job of absorbing the light. Taping a piece of white plastic on the inner lower wall of the strobe solved that problem.


The next day I tried the snoot with a fisheye setup. This made it easier to find where the laser is pointing and positioning it. Two attempts:





Not perfect, but something to work with. Since my trip was short, I did not have too much time to get more experience with the snoot. Next time hopefully I will get a better sense of it. 


#337259 DIY LCD magnifier - optics question

Posted by ProfF on 21 September 2013 - 02:19 AM



With the advances of age, my near sight is going down. I realized recently that I shoot underwater with arms fully extended, otherwise I don't see the LCD in focus :-(  While this extends my reach, it does not help the quality of the shooting. 

Nauticam recently came out with an LCD magnifier that has diopter adjustment (which presumably can solve my problems) -- see http://wetpixel.com/...r-and-sunscreen


However, my housing model (NA-EPL3) is not supported for this magnifier, and as far as I can tell it would clash with some of the control buttons that are on the screen periphery (in the newer housing models they moved these further from the screen).

I am thinking of building a DIY version. Designing a shell that fits the screen and button layout was easy (and I plan to print one).




The question what type of glass to put on the viewing end (right now the top holds a 55-52mm stepdown ring (in light gray), that allows me to put in 52mm filters. One option is to use standard close-up filter (say +10). However, I am not sure how well this will perform underwater and it definitely would not be adjustable.


Any suggestions on a better mechanism? 






#323805 Print-it-yourself diopter "flip" holder

Posted by ProfF on 04 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

I have a Nauticam housing for my Olympus E-PL3. Recently, I have been mainly using a 4" wide-angle port, as it fits both the 12-50mm (multipurpose) and the 60mm (macro!) lenses as well as the 9-18mm (wide-angle) lens I originally bought it for. When using it with these newer lens, I wanted to add wet diopter. Recently, Nauticam came out with a product for this purpose (http://uw-foto.ch/im...ages/2484_1.jpg) , but I felt that shelling 220$ was a bit too much. Designing & printing my own solution was much more fun.

The final product is completely made of ABS, except for a single 72-67 step-down ring that provided the filter thread. Unlike the commercial solution, the "base" is not held by screws, but rather by a twist mechanism that locks it into place. It is slightly bulkier than the metal version, but works well. The ABS construction was surprisingly solid, and unlike the metal flip ring (which is heavy) this gadget has slightly positive buoyancy. All by all, after about 12 dives with it I am very happy.

The design can be found here - 67mm frame holder for Nauticam 4 inch wide angle port by nirfriedman - Thingiverse

If there is interest I can also upload it to shapeways and then you could order the printed version directly.

Happy Diving,


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#323551 Favourite Image Of 2012

Posted by ProfF on 31 December 2012 - 11:37 AM

This year was good, not stellar. I spent more time thinking about my equipment than actually using it :-(

Two favorite pictures, one for its esthetics and the other for capturing an amazing moment.

Happy New Year!


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