Archive for November, 2007

Amazon Ring Flash

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

OK so here’s the home-made ring flash. Ingredients:

  • One small Amazon book box
  • 2 Quantaray slave strobes
  • 2 plastic strap ties
  • 1 rubber band
  • 1 piece of random white-ish cotton cloth
  • Aluminum foil
  • Duct tape

(Credit to Pat for most of the assembly photos.)

Holes are cut in the back of the box, one in the middle for the lens and then two on each side for the strobes:

The strobes fit on the back such that the flashy part kind-of pokes into the holes. Plastic strap things hold them in place:

On the front is some cloth. It’s got a frilly pattern woven into it, but I don’t think that’s important:

The lens pokes through the back, and the box fits more-or-less snugly over the filter:

The lens hood is screwed on (yes, screwed) and a rubber band holds the cloth flaps:

Here you can see the catchlight from the contraption:

That’s all there is to it. I can shoot at 1/160, f10 to f16, depending on how close I am. That gives more depth of field than I’ve gotten with daylight. Gallery from this afternoon, immediately following the (re-)assembly of the ring flash:

(That’s a “Batfaced Cuphea” flower; I didn’t notice the aphids until I saw it on the screen.)

For Melissa, tourmaline with amethyst:


Dioptase (I think; might be diopside but the crystals seem too big):

Galena (perhaps with sphalerite but I don’t know):

Big Bugs

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Actually just the pictures are big.

These were taken with the Sigma 105 and a home-made “ring flash.” The flash consists of an Amazon book box with the flaps cut off. Through the back (well, the bottom of the box), two holes were cut so that the flash “windows” of two Quantaray cheap-o slave flash units can poke through. The flash units were strap clamped to the box. There’s a round hole in the middle of the box that just fits over the end of the lens (actually it’s over the UV filter). The lens hood holds it in place, sort-of. Then there’s a piece of thin cotton fabric duct-taped over the front (top) of the box, and through a hole in the middle of it pokes the lens hood. Maybe I should take a picture of it.

I don’t know what either of those two things are, exactly. I’ve seen that species of dragonfly a couple of times however, and I have another good picture I got with the Olympus 50mm lens.