Home-made flashgun diffusors?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Markok765, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I'm shooting club\party photography and using a flashgun. I'd like to diffuse it a bit to make the light softer. Unfortunately I don't have enough cash for a bought one so I have to DIY it. Ideas?
     
  2. cheuwi

    cheuwi Member

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    what type of flashgun are we talking about here? any specifications?
     
  3. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Nikon SB-600. not TOO powerful, so no chances of burning the diffusor made.

    GN 100.
     
  4. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    There is thousands of setups out on the internet, just google DIY flashgun diffuser and you will found, or DIY flash softbox,
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Sandpaper. Very cheap. It's rather permanent.

    You could also tape some toilet paper or facial tissue over the face of the flash.

    Shoot a test roll first.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    In ye olden dayz, a single layer of a men's cloth handcherchief over the flash gun reduced the flash-bulb output by one f/stop.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Ummm-- would that be a white silk hanky, or a red bandana? yuk yuk
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I just put a thin white paper napkin with masking tape.
     
  9. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    Just do what every press photographer has been doing for decades, point the flash straight up, put a rubber band around the flash and slip a white index card into the rubber band. The flash now bounces off the card for a nice soft fill. If you need more light, use a bigger card.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have used opaque mylar drafting film in a pinch.

    Planned ahead DIY diffuser: margarine containers that have had the ink washed off them by leaving them in the dishwasher for every load for a two week period. Or weigh them down in a bowl of bleach to speed the process.
     
  11. nolanr66

    nolanr66 Member

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    I just use a 4x6 photo (white side). I trim the bottom edges so it will rubber band (pony tail holder) to the sb600. I aim the flash straight up. If I want a bit more distance then I bend the old photo forward some or angle the flash forward a bit. It's like a cheap Demb bounce but not as good. Were talking party picture photography however. Much better then straight on flash but still only a step up. The sb600 is not super powerful and you need to watch the distance.
     
  12. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Subscriber

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  13. film_man

    film_man Member

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    A Stofen for it is $20. Since you are talking about party/club stuff I guess bouncing is not a solution. So try some white paper napkins (not too thick but not the the ultra-thin cheapo type either) loosely put on the head with some tape or rubber band to hold them on. Other contraptions are some tupperware. Just be careful not to start putting too many things on the flash head as you will strain the foot and may break it. And you will most certainly look really silly. :D

    Alternatively, go to strobist.com and see what these DIY freaks :D are doing to their SB900s.
     
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  15. sky king

    sky king Member

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    I get it. Very funny!
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Bounce the light off a reflector or rotate it to do the same. Vivitar use to have an accessory that hung a 8x10 white cardboard above the flash so you could bound off of it. Rig something like that.
     
  17. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    hmm, this seems to work well enough. the foot is metal, so there isn't really a chance of breaking it.

    Heres a photo of the setup, and one of a photo taken with it. it looks.. somewhat professional. not exactly.
     

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  18. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    A napkin might scatter the light but it wont alter the percieved size of the lightsource.
    To soften the light form a strobe you need to make it look bigger than it is. So, like allready suggested, bounce the light on a big piece of paper or cardboard or what else you have at hand. Or shoot the light through a translucent piece of e.g. plastic like a white milkcontainer or whatever. Experiment withe the distance from flashhead to bounce or translucent matter and use the strobe at its wideanglesetting to bounce the light on as big an area as possible
    Move the lightsource as close to your subject as possible to make it "look" even bigger, this also takes care of the limited effectivity of the strobe.
    And last take a look at Strobist www.strobist.blogspot.com warning: Digital content.
    Best regards
     
  19. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    But it will have a more radial or less forward focussed output and therefore light up more surrounding objects which will 'alter the perceived size of the light source'.

    But yes, the napkin would be a hotspot.
     
  20. Nikon Collector

    Nikon Collector Member

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    I've used napkins many times with success, even to the point of using yellow napkins to warm the light from the flash
     
  21. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Just noticed the OP mentioned it was going to be in a club - reasonable chance the walls will be black
     
  22. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yes and the effect is hard to control. If you are not close to a wall or similar "reflector" the effect will be minimal. For years I used the plastic diffusor made for my SB28 and offcource there was an effect compared to the naked head but even so it is not that strong and the light still is hard.
    Best regards
     
  23. T42

    T42 Member

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    Marko's got it.

    Marko,

    That's exactly what I have been doing for years. If there is a white ceiling low overhead, or a white wall to the side, they can be used also and in conjunction to deliver a soft, more natural looking lighting effect. There is even less risk of red-eye, since the illumination is even further from the lens-eye axis. There is a hint of sparkle in the eyes. Up closer, where ceiling bounce might throw more downward shadows, the paper reflector offsets that by filling.

    The flash I am using in conjunction with your idea is a Sunpak 544. It is of the sort that stands on a cylinder-handle, on a bracket, and onto which mounts the camera.

    :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2010
  24. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Roscolux #100 Frost difusing gel.

    http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/RC5100/?t=GB01&a=CA01&CAWELAID=264906340

    A 20" X 24" sheet of the stuff will cost $8.00 plus shipping.

    Cut it to the shape you want and clip or tape it to the flash gun.

    This is the stuff used on stages and in movies or television to color and diffuse spotlights. It's tough and heat resistant. A sheet of this should last a long time under the conditions you would use it.

    If you don't like this particular grade of diffusion there are dozens of other versions of the same stuff.

    http://www.rosco.com/us/filters/roscolux.asp?order=no#colors
     
  25. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    How about a layer or two of plastic milk jug material taped across the front of the flash? Helps to tone down my Holga flash. Bill Barber
     
  26. Metroman

    Metroman Member

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    I use either Scotch Magic tape and add layers or cut down a film can for the smaller flashes and attach with the Magic tape. As has been said plastic milk bottles or even plastic 5L distilled water canisters are a good source of diffusion material.

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