Thursday, September 18, 2008

DIY Project: Flash Grid

I introduce you, my humble DIY Flash Grid !

I was on medical leave today. Not chronic sickness, but some little fever which make me dizzy for the whole morning. I've seen the doctor, and had slept for the whole morning over the noon. After a long nap, I felt better. Instead laying on bed doing nothing, I started getting up and headed to my so call photographic-cum-workshop room to do some DIY stuff. This time, I want a Flash Grid.

What is a flash grid ? A flash modifier that restrict the flash beam to a certain area as shown in the photo above.

I have lot of corrugated sheets leftover after I've completed my DIY softbox. Why throw away if I wanted to do something with them ? Since they are corrugated sheets, they are the right material for a grid. So, for the materials, I have the corrogated sheets leftover, some cloth tapes, glue, a knife, a ruler and a pen. Hey, I need to measure and do some simple calculations.

As usual, everything start from sketch.

Then, start moulding and cutting out all the parts. The grid box was the first part to be constructed. Corrugated sheets were cut to size and stacked to the thickness of my F42 flash head.

The sheets are stick together with glue. Left it aside and let it dry.

The bracket is the next thing to do. With corrugated sheets as well, cut out the bracket parts according to the dimension of my F42 flash head.

Then everything was set in place with cloth tapes, layers of cloth tapes, and walla, my Flash Grid is completed !

Pretty simple, eh ? No need special skill, everyone can do it. Of course I've seen people constructing a flash grid by using corrugated box paper. But I prefer a more solid one, and this plastic corrugated sheets are solid and yet light and easy to work with.

The sheets are arranged in the way that the flash beam will only travel at one direction only as you can see from the above photo.

My F42 with my flash grid.

So, how does it works ? How it compare to snoot ? Here are the comparison :

This is the flash spill of a snoot. The flash spill is shape accordance to the shape of the snoot I use. In this case, my snoot is a rectangular paper box made from the box of Charlie Toothpaste. You can see the flash spill is more concentrate to a rectangular shape.

And now this is the flash spill from a flash grid:

To my surprise, it's a diamond shape ! But the spill is small and more controllable. This is good when I need to concentrate my flash beam to a certain area only so to highlight one small part of my subject. I would expect the flash spill from my grid would be a rectangular shape, but seem like I was wrong. Anyway, I'm happy with this, and now I have more control on the flash beam in my future project.

This is the comparison between a snoot and a grid flash coverage. Should I throw away my snoot ? Not of course. In fact, I wish to upgrade my snoot to a better one.

My next project, would be GoBo!


JO said...

let me be the first one....great job.....although i only know a little bit about the flash, i know the big fun of DIY.....haha

Templar Tan said...

Welcome jo !

Yeah, it's the process of DIY-ing it. I do enjoy the process of constructing things. The end product that work as what I wanted it to work is an added excitement to me. :D

h0cmun said...

interesting, but i wonder how much heat can that grid tahan? will your flash burn because not enough ventilation..... ?

Templar Tan said...

Hmm... so far I have not do long hour flash with this grid. In fact I am using very low power level (at 1/8 max) if I shoot with this grid; I just need to add some small touch of flash into my subject.

With low power level and considerable long cooling time, I don't face flash over head problem. :D

Unknown said...

4x8 corrugated plastic sheets is high transparency, light weight, anti impact and waterproof, which is a kind of excellent packing material, widely used in advertisement printing, industrial packaging, and product protection industries
4x8 corrugated plastic sheets

Jade Graham said...

much better than the aluminium frames so often used in similar products such as mini cold frames.

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