Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-06-2018, 09:55 PM - 3 Likes   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 41
What does the ideal macro flash diffuser look like?

Hi all,

Looking for some inspiration! Macro flash diffusers must be one of the most common DIY projects that photographers undertake. Everyone has their own ideas as to what makes an ideal diffuser, I'd like to see yours/hear your thoughts!

I've been tinkering with 3D printed diffusers for a while now, I'd like to try and perfect the design more.

I've attached a few photos of what I've been working on-
Flash mounts are interchangeable.
Option to mount Lume Cube as a focus assist light.

The smaller diffuser is for my brothers micro four thirds setup. I found it too short for my Pentax DSLRS so designed something a little longer to overcome the prism hump/longer lens of my setup.

Attached Images
     
11-06-2018, 10:25 PM   #2
Journeyman Cat Wrangler
Loyal Site Supporter
SSGGeezer's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Maine, U.S.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,433
Very cool job on the hoods. Some guys here just built a long rectangular box with reflective insides and a diffuser on the end where it is cut at a 45 degree angle so the light is reflected down towards the target.
Also I have seen Pringles cans modified the same way for a less elegant solution. Yours is very spiffy and professional looking. What are you doing for a diffuser? Your package has great potential if it is light enough.


I either shoot macro with the normal flash or a screw in LED ring that can stay on or be triggered by the hotshoe. (Manual output only as it is a cheap Ebay purchase.)
11-06-2018, 11:05 PM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 41
Original Poster
Thanks SSGGeezer, appreciate the input.

Diffuser of choice at the moment is ~2mm thick piece of foam.

Weight is certainly a concern- especially with the awful plastic mount on my pentax AF-540 flash. They weigh in at about 250 grams, another 100 grams with the Lume Cube. My brother has been using his setup, complete with the Lume Cube for about a year now with no issues regarding weight, even on tiny flashes like the nissin pictured.

Do you diffuse your light at all? I imagine the LED ring would be too dim with diffusion?
11-07-2018, 02:43 AM   #4
Pentaxian
swanlefitte's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: New Orleans
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,624
I suggest adding a way to adjust extention to it. Make it work for different length lenses and lenses that extend. It also would allow for changing where the sphecteral highlights are. These are the 2 things that I find most problematic in my macro lighting.
A cool design. I think it will work well.

11-07-2018, 03:15 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 41
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I suggest adding a way to adjust extention to it. Make it work for different length lenses and lenses that extend. It also would allow for changing where the sphecteral highlights are. These are the 2 things that I find most problematic in my macro lighting.
A cool design. I think it will work well.
Adding adjustable extension would be amazing, I'll need to think about how that would be possible. A simple spacer could be easily done but much less convenient.

Could you elaborate on the sphecteral (specular?) highlights, and how one would go about changing them?
11-07-2018, 04:54 AM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
k1man's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Si Chiang Mai. Nong Khai Province
Posts: 258
just a question but does anybody think Penta/Ricoh will ever bring out a new model Ringflash, ian
11-07-2018, 05:45 AM   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 41
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by k1man Quote
just a question but does anybody think Penta/Ricoh will ever bring out a new model Ringflash, ian
I can't imagine it being a priority. Is the AF-160FC discontinued?
11-07-2018, 05:53 AM   #8
Pentaxian
swanlefitte's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: New Orleans
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,624
Specular highlights tend to obscure detail on shiny insects with all the round parts. By moving the light I can keep it off the most interesting parts like eye color while still defining shape.
With that said adding small grooves to allow a small black sheet to partially block the light could also be useful. It could slide in or out to control the light.

11-07-2018, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #9
Pentaxian
Thagomizer's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: London Ontario
Posts: 527
Great job on that diffuser!. The Lumicube for continuous illumination is a nice touch. Lighting my subjects for focus and composition is often a challenge. Looks like you've found a good solution.

I use a Pringles tin extender with diffusion on my K-S2's built in flash, with the end angled at 45 degrees as suggested by SSGGeezer. I use a two section arrangement, allowing a bit of telescoping to accommodate longer macro lens set-ups. The closer you can get your light to the subject and the larger the diffuser, the softer the light is, reducing harsh reflections and reducing deep shadows. One of the reasons I like the Pringles tin (apart from its cheapness and lightness) is its round shape. On the occasions when I shoot jumping spiders, the reflections of the diffuser in their big front eyes are round rather than square or ring shaped. A small thing, but I like it.

I've experimented with repurposed plastic food containers on auxiliary flashes on articulated brackets, but I find that combination a little unwieldy for the tight spaces I often push my camera into while searching for macro subjects. I'm often shooting at greater than 1:1 at very close range: the built-in flash's power has proved sufficient, so far.
11-07-2018, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #10
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Nass's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The British Isles
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,386
Some of my experience at Spreading the light with extreme macro diffusion - also look at related links at the bottom.

Often it's a compromise between maximum area from the pov of the specimen and being able to manouevre the dam thing into small spaces.

This worked really well for me for field stuff. The point is actual size doesn't matter, what matters is light breadth relative to specimen. Small, close is same as large far away, so for manoeuverability I went with small

11-07-2018, 07:40 AM   #11
Pentaxian
Thagomizer's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: London Ontario
Posts: 527
Googling "macro flash diffusion" gives you an idea of what others have done. Checking methods where actual results are on view will show that it actually works! Diffusing my flash represented the biggest improvement in my own macro results.

Here are some of my results with the Pringles tin. Diffusion is provided by a single layer of paper towel.

Show me your insects - Page 289 - PentaxForums.com

Show me your insects - Page 291 - PentaxForums.com
11-07-2018, 07:45 AM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 34,798
Nass really knows his stuff when it comes to macro at all magnifications. As he points out the materials, shape, etc. can be almost anything. Two things are most important: 1) the light source should be (much) larger than the subject; and 2) so far as possible the intensity of the light should be nearly uniform across the source (=the diffuser). Hot-spot light source rarely gives satisfactory illumination for macro.
11-07-2018, 07:57 AM   #13
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 34,798
My home-made diffuser in the first image, which I like because it is so small & light, easy to attach, easy to fit into a camera bag. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a new source for the plastic sheet that I used. In the second image, a classic folding light-box for on-camera strobes, and the device I called the "Vello sock" which I find just as good if not better, and again, easy to carry and as easy to install - held by an elastic ring which is not satisfactory if the strobe is too tapered.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
11-07-2018, 08:02 AM   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 41
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Specular highlights tend to obscure detail on shiny insects with all the round parts. By moving the light I can keep it off the most interesting parts like eye color while still defining shape.
With that said adding small grooves to allow a small black sheet to partially block the light could also be useful. It could slide in or out to control the light.
I understand now, thanks for the clarification!

---------- Post added 11-07-18 at 08:07 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
Great job on that diffuser!. The Lumicube for continuous illumination is a nice touch. Lighting my subjects for focus and composition is often a challenge. Looks like you've found a good solution.

I use a Pringles tin extender with diffusion on my K-S2's built in flash, with the end angled at 45 degrees as suggested by SSGGeezer. I use a two section arrangement, allowing a bit of telescoping to accommodate longer macro lens set-ups. The closer you can get your light to the subject and the larger the diffuser, the softer the light is, reducing harsh reflections and reducing deep shadows. One of the reasons I like the Pringles tin (apart from its cheapness and lightness) is its round shape. On the occasions when I shoot jumping spiders, the reflections of the diffuser in their big front eyes are round rather than square or ring shaped. A small thing, but I like it.

I've experimented with repurposed plastic food containers on auxiliary flashes on articulated brackets, but I find that combination a little unwieldy for the tight spaces I often push my camera into while searching for macro subjects. I'm often shooting at greater than 1:1 at very close range: the built-in flash's power has proved sufficient, so far.
Brilliant, results with your pringles tin are surprisingly good!

---------- Post added 11-07-18 at 08:10 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Some of my experience at Spreading the light with extreme macro diffusion - also look at related links at the bottom.

Often it's a compromise between maximum area from the pov of the specimen and being able to manouevre the dam thing into small spaces.

This worked really well for me for field stuff. The point is actual size doesn't matter, what matters is light breadth relative to specimen. Small, close is same as large far away, so for manoeuverability I went with small
Nass, this is some of the best lighting examples I've seen, thanks for sharing. I really like your idea of getting the flash closer, rather than having an enormous diffuser. I'll definitely model and 3D print something similar to try.

---------- Post added 11-07-18 at 08:11 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
My home-made diffuser in the first image, which I like because it is so small & light, easy to attach, easy to fit into a camera bag. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find a new source for the plastic sheet that I used. In the second image, a classic folding light-box for on-camera strobes, and the device I called the "Vello sock" which I find just as good if not better, and again, easy to carry and as easy to install - held by an elastic ring which is not satisfactory if the strobe is too tapered.
Goes to show you don't need to get too fancy to get good results, thanks for your input WPRESTO!
11-07-2018, 10:25 AM   #15
Journeyman Cat Wrangler
Loyal Site Supporter
SSGGeezer's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Maine, U.S.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,433
The cheapo ring flash I have has the batteries mounted in a box with a hotshoe and can be triggered by the camera or just lighted up at any where from 1/64th power to max. I generally never go over 1/16th since it is pretty bright. And I have shot lenses with this ring light and you can see that the illumination is from a ring light. I also have a couple of "vello socks" like WPresto uses, but I have not tried them for macro.

With my Yongnuo 685 I will flip the close range diffuser down and confuse the flash into thinking we are under 20mm lens length. If I have nothing else available, I will wrap two layers of a facial tissue over the flash. (gets warm if you shoot much though!) The tissues do help though.
Good conversation with some folks who get good results from their macro lighting.
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!
bright, camera, diffuser, diffusers, flash, light, lighting, macro, macro flash diffuser, photo studio, post, pringles, reflections, round, setup, shape, spaces, specimen, strobist, subjects, thanks, tin
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Homemade macro flash diffuser for 35 macro Ltd pjsaure Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11 06-20-2018 11:22 PM
Portraiture Gary Fong Diffuser/Flash Modes or does anyone actually do this? BruceBanner Photographic Technique 14 11-15-2017 11:19 PM
$2.75 omni-bounce-like Flash Diffuser for YN-560 geekette Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 8 06-12-2011 10:24 PM
The Sony 50mm 2.8 Macro is ideal for macro work martinkhoa Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 14 08-22-2010 04:33 PM
Macro Yellow dung fly (Vivitar 55/2.8 1:1 macro + macro flash diffuser) Rense Post Your Photos! 15 04-15-2010 06:53 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:26 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