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DIY Strobe Snoots for Ikelite DS160s (From Keri Wilk's Article)

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Many of you have probably seen Keri Wilk's article on UW Snoot Photography. I found it persuasive enough to make a trip first to Home Depot and then to Lowe's to copycat. The good news for owners of Ikelite 125 or 160 is that there is a readily available piece to pop on and off your strobe without hardware, even underwater, and it seems quite snug once in place.

 

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A 3" to 2" flexible coupling piece will press into place and give you the desired size reduction too. From there you have lots of off-the-shelf options. I added another coupler and a 38 cent coupling piece and a telescoping 3/4" piece. You can use with or without the telescoping piece, and the telescoping lets you further narrow and focus the beam.

 

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Pull it out and you get a very focused narrow beam.

 

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I tried it in the pool and it seemed a good route, and it’s fairly easy to mount and adjust underwater. Yet... kind of heavy in the luggage. So I looked for a lighter weight solution still based on the first snap-on 3” to 2” piece, and came up with these routes for 2" and 1.5" tubes:

 

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Resulting options shown below mounted on the strobes. I can do a bit of trimming to reduce excess plastic / weight. The black plastic tubes, cheaper and lighter than PVC, and even easier to cut, can be used in various lengths and diameters to control focus. For those skilled in snootonian physics (heh), there are probably equations of length and diameter, but the empirical approach seems adequate to me. All snooted up and ready to shoot:

 

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A little tip: teflon tape (PTFE Thread Seal Tape) costs about $1 for 520” in ½” width. A few winds around a tube can make a smoothly sliding but tight seal.

 

I plan to take at least one setup with several tubes on a liveaboard through the Banda Sea next month. It seems to provide an appealing spotlight effect from side or top, with a little front fill optional with a second unsnooted strobe.

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Technique question...

 

Is it possible to make a set of some type of cap (like rubber chair leg caps) that fit over the end of the tube with different size holes in them to hold different sized smaller tubes and just change the caps? Would that work?

 

I too spent some time at Home Depot and Lowe's a few months ago before a trip. Just didn't have time to put it all together.

 

Andy

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Is it possible to make a set of some type of cap (like rubber chair leg caps) that fit over the end of the tube with different size holes in them to hold different sized smaller tubes and just change the caps? Would that work?

Andy

 

I too have been looking at this

 

I'd been looking at whether something like this Spaghetti Measure might work to produce a variable aperture. http://www.onthetable.co.uk/product.php?sproductID=1198.

 

I suspect that:

 

1) even the dark coloured one doesn't block enough light and

2) the aperture doesn't close down far enough.

 

I have one at home I keep meaning to cut up though to see if I can resolve issue 2 - but issue 1 might be a deal breaker anyway....

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I too have been looking at this

 

I'd been looking at whether something like this Spaghetti Measure might work to produce a variable aperture. http://www.onthetable.co.uk/product.php?sproductID=1198.

 

I have one at home I keep meaning to cut up though ....

 

Cool idea! :notworthy:

 

Maybe replace the internal blades with thin black-plastic blades made a little larger as to allow smaller opening when dialed to max? Is this made from silicone or plastic?

 

Love these DIY "McGyver" approaches.

 

Bo

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