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[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.

 

post-713-1231764414.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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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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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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Wow Alex - that's great! Did you make it out of a tupperware bowl (aka sort of opaque bowl)?

 

Cheers

James

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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.

post-713-1231772911.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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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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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.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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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!

 

post-713-1231773903.jpg

 

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

 

Alex

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Hi guys,

 

Here it is painted and mounted on the port.

 

post-713-1231778663.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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And here it is on a housing - short sections of old wetsuit sleeves stop light spillage from Inons.

 

post-713-1231779415.jpg

 

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

 

Alex

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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.

 

post-713-1231780012.jpg

 

Alex

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

 

James

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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

 

Scubamoose

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

 

I'll be photographing ducks in the pool!

 

post-713-1231773903.jpg

 

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

 

Alex

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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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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

post-5742-1231820237.jpg

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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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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

post-713-1232332073.jpg

 

F13

post-713-1232332108.jpg

 

F14

post-713-1232332145.jpg

 

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

 

Alex

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Took it in the water on the final dive today. Performed really well. Main impression was how easy it was to use. No fiddling with strobes. Just high quality light, shot after shot. Really easy to change between landscape and portrait orientations. Excellent for lighting in difficult to reach places.

 

I wouldn't want to use it for every macro dive - because ring flash light gets a bit boring after a while, but it works and it certainly has a place.

 

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post-713-1232420765.jpg

 

post-713-1232420788.jpg

 

post-713-1232420800.jpg

 

post-713-1232420817.jpg

 

Alex

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Looking very good Alex. I suppose that you are pretty limited with lighting whilst using the ring. meaning that you are only able to light the subject from the front. the lighting seems to be well balanced though and coming through the ring evenly. its funny as every thing i look at now i think " what could i use that for ". safe diving, happy drinking. Stew

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Looks very nice Alex; are you taking orders? I have a name - Magic Flash. :)

Send my regards to the folks there with you particularly botso (bassim) and his lady Lisa.

Edited by loftus

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Thanks guys.

 

Basim is down next week, Jeff. He's on week 2 - when I actually have everything figured out!

 

Here are some pictures of the ring-flash in the pool on Sunday. The one with me in, was taken by Julian Cohen.

 

post-713-1232505704.jpg

 

post-713-1232505717.jpg

 

Alex

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Here are a few more. Having done a two more dives with the ring flash - I am pleased that it works reliably. But it does seem to cost quite a bit of light. Only over sand can I get up to F22! The main downside is that the style of lighting is very repetitive. Certainly wouldn't want to use it on all my dives.

 

post-713-1232650839.jpg

 

post-713-1232650873.jpg

 

post-713-1232650794.jpg

 

post-713-1232650814.jpg

 

post-713-1232650898.jpg

 

Alex

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