Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-17-2015, 07:54 AM - 3 Likes   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
UserAccessDenied's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Maryland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,674
My Temporary Diffuser (using built-in flash)

I've been stuck inside most of the day due to the foot of snow outside...

I'm waiting on my Yongnuo 560 IV to arrive, but I think due to the weather I will have to wait another day or so.


Having the day off work and a new extension tube to play with; I have been tinkering with flash alternatives and this is what I have come up with.
Using only household items and the built-in flash.

1 toilet paper roll
1 paper clip
small sheet of parchment paper/ or wax paper/ or tracing paper...
tape
aluminum foil

Picture attached of the flash diffuser is taken with Droid Turbo (camera is not that great, being 21MP... But that's a different discussion to be had..)

I simply traced the width half way up my K-30 built in flash, onto the toilet paper roll. Cut out a small rectangle so the roll could slip on and off the flash without the need for rubber bands or tape or anything. It fits snug and I can shake the camera around and it will not fall off...

Lined the inside with aluminum foil carefully so it wouldn't rip and poked a hole in the end closest to the lens with the paperclip.
The paperclip hooks around the parchment paper cut out to size. This allows me to spin the parchment paper on and off for different light intensities, as well as slip addition pieces of paper on if less light is needed.

All in all I know there are better ways of doing this, and yes I have the pringle-can diffuser setup as well. But this was just a fun little thing to do when I'm bored stiff waiting patiently for my proper flash...

At the bottom are some macro shots I took with this. Along with my Rikenon 50mm F1.7 + 49mm Extension tubes. Entire setup minus the K-30 was under $30...
There is dust on my sensor which I need to address when the flash comes (rocket blower is in the same box...)

You can be critical of my work, I don't mind. And I don't expect professional grade photos with toilet paper rolls and a $30 macro setup. But this just shows you it can be done with very little money.
You don't need a $500 lens and $300 flash to achieve results. Atleast to achieve the results for a hobbyist...

Regardless, I am waiting on a $70 flash and a $200 macro lens. This is because I still do want to have proper gear and I have experimented with what I have at hand and I'm ready for an upgrade.


Let me know what you think!
Thanks!




Attached Images
 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
02-17-2015, 09:45 AM - 1 Like   #2
Forum Member




Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hayes, Virginia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 96
You should be ashamed of yourself, results like that should only come from expensive accessories and lenses! How will the gear makers and retailers stay in business?

I only have 8" of snow but I did go out last night and take a few street shots (public displays of toilet paper rolls are probably prohibited by our HOA, so none were used).

+1 for resourceful, +1 for simple, +1 for results. Thanks,

Lee
02-17-2015, 10:06 AM   #3
Veteran Member
mrNewt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON, RH
Posts: 2,170
All you need is an extra toilet paper roll with a cut in it so you can bend it to 45 degrees (or so) - so you can bring the light right in front of the lens .
02-17-2015, 11:28 AM   #4
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,561
QuoteOriginally posted by Quirky Quote
+1 for resourceful, +1 for simple, +1 for results. Thanks,
Plus one.

02-17-2015, 12:06 PM - 2 Likes   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montréal QC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,208
Nice setup and results! Looks like you're on your way. For me, one of the joys of macro is "hacking" together solutions, trying combinations of lenses, flashes and diffusers and seeing what works and what doesn't. I agree with mrNewt's suggestion to add a roll and cut the end at an angle. FWIW, Pringles cans can be used in a manner very similar to what you did, and they have a reasonably reflective interior...


Last edited by Doundounba; 02-17-2015 at 12:14 PM.
02-17-2015, 01:22 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
UserAccessDenied's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Maryland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,674
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Nice setup and results! Looks like you're on your way. For me, one of the joys of macro is "hacking" together solutions, trying combinations of lenses, flashes and diffusers and seeing what works and what doesn't. I agree with mrNewt's suggestion to add a roll and cut the end at an angle. FWIW, Pringles cans can be used in a manner very similar to what you did, and they have a reasonably reflective interior...
I made a pringle can into that exact design actually, lol. I also made another one from the half-size cans, leaving the plastic lid on with parchment paper sections... This way if I need more light I just remove a sheet of parchment, if I need less light, add another sheet and pop the cap back on!

Strange as it sounds, the setup you picture was too much light for the pictures I posted above.

Perhaps the lighting was just off in my apartment. But with that 45 degree angled diffuser, there is no way of me adding and removing light without taping extra pieces on or cutting into it.

Maybe I need to engineer a way to make layering in that design!
Back to the drawing board! hahaha

I love seeing the 'hackers' getting results with as little $ possible.
02-17-2015, 02:37 PM   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montréal QC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,208
QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Strange as it sounds, the setup you picture was too much light for the pictures I posted above.
What f-stop are you using? Also, why 1/25s? At that setting, you'll get quite a bit of natural light on top of the flash. That may or may not be what you want...

Is the K-30 onboard flash's power output adjustable? Might not be with a manual lens... One of the improvements on the K-3, I think... (Maybe I should try shooting with onboard again - haven't done that since the K-01.)

BTW, the setup I posted a picture of is a telescoping, two-can diffuser (see the two pieces here). (The front is a white plastic cutout from a 4L water bottle.) I used this for very long lens setups, but in practice I'm no longer using it very much because I don't like to have a super long lens "contraption" on the front of my camera. What's pictured above (Tamron 90 at MFD, plus 50mm of tubes and a Raynox) is practically the longest that I think is tolerable, and you can see the diffuser is at its shortest length in that photo.

Last edited by Doundounba; 02-17-2015 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Remove note about sensor dust - OP is aware.
02-17-2015, 03:36 PM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
UserAccessDenied's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Maryland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,674
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
What f-stop are you using? Also, why 1/25s? At that setting, you'll get quite a bit of natural light on top of the flash. That may or may not be what you want...
^ I'm at F11 for each photo. I just realized that photo of the aloe leaf is 1/25s... Not sure why... I'm usually maxxing it out at 1/180s since the onboard flash only allows you to go that high. I guess I kept slowing it down to get the shot just right?
Maybe a should have removed a sheet of paper for that one! lol

QuoteQuote:
Is the K-30 onboard flash's power output adjustable? Might not be with a manual lens... One of the improvements on the K-3, I think... (Maybe I should try shooting with onboard again - haven't done that since the K-01.)
^The onboard flash can adjust -2.0/+1.0... But I don't see a difference. I'm also new to the DSLR world so I may have no idea what I'm talking about


QuoteQuote:
BTW, the setup I posted a picture of is a telescoping, two-can diffuser (see the two pieces here). (The front is a white plastic cutout from a 4L water bottle.) I used this for very long lens setups, but in practice I'm no longer using it very much because I don't like to have a super long lens "contraption" on the front of my camera. What's pictured above (Tamron 90 at MFD, plus 50mm of tubes and a Raynox) is practically the longest that I think is tolerable, and you can see the diffuser is at its shortest length in that photo.
That's an awesome setup! I thought about cutting it down the side and re-taping it so I could slide one can inside of the other like that... I might just have to try it out.

And yeah that picture you posted - That's alot of lens!
I'm waiting for my 105mm Sigma. When that comes I'm gonna try it on the tubes and it will probably look ridiculous, but I'm curious!


I'm thinking for my next contraption: I'm gonna split three cans and make them like a "Y" coming from the flash so they can hit the left and right of the lens with 45 degree cut-offs. It will probably be too much weight to be practical, but at $1 a pringle can, if they don't work out I just bought a snack and called it a day!

02-17-2015, 07:05 PM   #9
Veteran Member
GeneV's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,825
Silly question, but why is this better than just putting some toilet paper over the flash head?
02-17-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
UserAccessDenied's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Maryland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,674
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Silly question, but why is this better than just putting some toilet paper over the flash head?
Couple things to consider here.

The flash generates heat and needs to be able to 'breathe' in a sense... A friend of mine once put a credit card flush against the onboard and hit the shutter (not sure why exactly) but there was a loud pop and the credit card burned in a rectangle matching the outline of the flash...
It smelled like burnt plastic for a week everytime he used the flash.

Also the tube lined with foil/reflective material, will redirect the light closer to the subject itself rather than just spreading in all directions like a shotgun. This is the rifle approach!

Lastly. I'm not sure TP itself can diffuse light well... Maybe it can? But the tube of cardboard is impenetrable, forcing the light to exit in one direction (as long as the back is sealed with foil as well)
02-17-2015, 09:23 PM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Photos: Albums
Posts: 337
QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Couple things to consider here.

The flash generates heat and needs to be able to 'breathe' in a sense... A friend of mine once put a credit card flush against the onboard and hit the shutter (not sure why exactly) but there was a loud pop and the credit card burned in a rectangle matching the outline of the flash...
It smelled like burnt plastic for a week everytime he used the flash.

Also the tube lined with foil/reflective material, will redirect the light closer to the subject itself rather than just spreading in all directions like a shotgun. This is the rifle approach!

Lastly. I'm not sure TP itself can diffuse light well... Maybe it can? But the tube of cardboard is impenetrable, forcing the light to exit in one direction (as long as the back is sealed with foil as well)
Toilet paper works great! I taped some to a flash light to do some light painting (flash light alone was too harsh). Here are the results:

02-18-2015, 06:02 AM   #12
Veteran Member
GeneV's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,825
I have used toilet paper as well. Its big advantage over a credit card is that it does breathe.

It just seems to me that carrying a Pringles tube around is about as unwieldy as an external flash or two (depending upon the size).
02-18-2015, 06:16 AM   #13
Veteran Member
mrNewt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON, RH
Posts: 2,170
Another very good reason for the "pringles/toilet paper tube" (or any other setup that re-directs light in front of the lens) is that if your lens setup is rather long, the flash will not clear the lens and light will never reach your subject or sometimes only half of the frame is properly lit. Remember, for close up macro, sometimes the "subject" is almost touching the lens and the on-board flash will never actually reach it.

Is always good to redirect the light right in front of the lens - there is a reason why most of the "pro" gear out there are built to be set on the lens.
02-18-2015, 06:32 AM   #14
Veteran Member
GeneV's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,825
QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Another very good reason for the "pringles/toilet paper tube" (or any other setup that re-directs light in front of the lens) is that if your lens setup is rather long, the flash will not clear the lens and light will never reach your subject or sometimes only half of the frame is properly lit. Remember, for close up macro, sometimes the "subject" is almost touching the lens and the on-board flash will never actually reach it.

Is always good to redirect the light right in front of the lens - there is a reason why most of the "pro" gear out there are built to be set on the lens.
How does a cardboard snoot redirect the light? Unless you line it with foil, it seems like it mainly cuts off light going in other directions, That is good if you need to make sure only a small area is lit, but that is not really the issue, is it? I do see some benefit from getting the diffusion nearer to the subject.

Post script: A Pringles can might be a good deal better at redirecting light than a toilet paper roll, because the inside of the Pringles can is reflective.

Last edited by GeneV; 02-18-2015 at 06:38 AM.
02-18-2015, 06:38 AM   #15
Veteran Member
mrNewt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON, RH
Posts: 2,170
QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
How does a cardboard snoot redirect the light? Unless you line it with foil...
I believe that's what he did with the toilet paper tube since one of the tools mentioned is "aluminum foil" (and yes he will need to do that).
And the pringles tubes are even better since inside they are reflective already and there is no need to use aluminum foil.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
cardboard, day, diffuser, diy, flash, lens, lighting, macro, paper, photo studio, roll, setup, strobist, toilet
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-r: built-in flash stopped working after using external flash wedge Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 7 01-12-2014 07:57 PM
Need to disable in-built flash when using off camera flash Molly Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 18 03-27-2013 04:12 AM
Using Built in Flash in Wireless mode with External Flash i.e AF-360fgz disco_owner Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 7 05-16-2012 07:41 AM
Metz 50 AF-1 using the wide angle diffuser and built in bounce card weaponx525 Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 2 01-03-2011 04:22 PM
built in flash diffuser sabarrett Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 3 06-17-2008 02:08 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:06 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top