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Thread: DIY snoot for product photography

  1. #1
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    DIY snoot for product photography

    Greetings,

    I've been looking for an excuse to experiment with a snoot for product shots and made the time today

    The subject is a Bower flash that I had up for sale. Shot with an overhead strobe and 18" x 18" softbox.



    I felt the original image could benefit from some directed light on the base of the flash and went to work..

    I cut a 7" circle out of 1/4" MDF and made an opening to accept a 13" x 3 1/2" cardboard tube which was handy and seemed to be long enough. Also made an insert with a 2" opening for comparison.

    Couple of screws to mount it to the reflector.

    ALL images are SOOC. Notice I abandoned by POS ebay graduated vinyl backdrop in lieu of seamless gray paper.








    Started shooting with the 2" opening. The object itself is roughly 24" from the front of the snoot and 24" forward of the backdrop.

    For my final shot I added some tape to the side of the opening but found it made no difference to the background at a relatively low power.





    First shot is with only the overhead strobe, 200 w/s with a 18" x 18" softbox.





    Added the snoot to a B1600 @ 1/8 power (all with the 2" opening).





    1/4 power.





    3/8 power.





    1/2 power.





    Next is a comparison of the 2" vs 3 1/2" opening. The front of the snoot and the front of the lens hood is ~66" from the 3' wide gray paper backdrop. Quick manual focus on a towel thrown over the backdrop..





    Strobe at full power for both shots.








    Same thing, 1/8 power...








    I may experiment further with a telescoping tube inside the original at a later date, at least to see how small and well defined the spot can be.


    Hope you enjoyed this little adventure, I sure did, he, he...


    Cheers, Don



  2. #2
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    Nice,
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
    Mr. Rain Cloud
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    Nice post Don! I saw a lighting test a guy did recently, where he made a crosshair pattern right on the wall, and had it marked with 1-foot increments on both the horizontal and vertical axes, and it made analyzing the beam spread of the 22-inch beauty dish VERY easy, and very graphical.

    I am wondering why there is such a hot-spot in the 17-inch wide light pattern cast by the 3.5-inch opening? IS that due to the length of the tube? Or is is because the inner part of the snoot's base is too close to the flash tube, or the inner surface is too small in diameter? Looking at a commercially-made snoot I have here--I think the triple-step design might actually lead to a more-even light output, with the inner-most large diameter "step" collecting MORE of the light from the circular flashtube, then the second one stepping that beam down, then the third step being the terminal one, casting a pretty even beam of light without much hot spot.

    Anyway...I d think the small-aperture slit snoot helped quite a bit on the shot of the flash and bouncer. Just that extra little bit of definition ads to the 3-d effect quite a bit. Sometimes, I wish I had a beautifully equipped shop like you do.
    "It's about time people started taking photography seriously, and treating it as a hobby." Elliott Erwitt

    My most recent photos posted to TPF http://www.pbase.com/derrel/recent_tpf_uploads

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    Quote Originally Posted by IgsEMT View Post
    Nice,
    Thanks for sharing!
    My pleasure

    Quote Originally Posted by Derrel View Post
    Nice post Don! I saw a lighting test a guy did recently, where he made a crosshair pattern right on the wall, and had it marked with 1-foot increments on both the horizontal and vertical axes, and it made analyzing the beam spread of the 22-inch beauty dish VERY easy, and very graphical.
    Thanks Derrel,

    I considered making a marked grid but decided I'd rather have supper

    I am wondering why there is such a hot-spot in the 17-inch wide light pattern cast by the 3.5-inch opening? IS that due to the length of the tube? Or is is because the inner part of the snoot's base is too close to the flash tube, or the inner surface is too small in diameter?
    I think it is simply because the light coming directly from the flash is going straight out the tube and the rest of the circle contains more bounced light.

    Looking at a commercially-made snoot I have here--I think the triple-step design might actually lead to a more-even light output, with the inner-most large diameter "step" collecting MORE of the light from the circular flashtube, then the second one stepping that beam down, then the third step being the terminal one, casting a pretty even beam of light without much hot spot.
    I haven't tried a cone yet but my thinking is more of the light will be reflected and focused in the three steps but will result in a larger spot with softer edges. But this is preferable if the spot is lighting a background and/or lighting a larger object.

    Anyway...I d think the small-aperture slit snoot helped quite a bit on the shot of the flash and bouncer. Just that extra little bit of definition ads to the 3-d effect quite a bit.
    Agree...

    I could have simply added a reflector/bounce card camera left but I think the snoot was more effective and allows more control, at least in this situation.

    Sometimes, I wish I had a beautifully equipped shop like you do.
    Thanks Derrel, the truth is I know of more than a few people with "real" jobs that have a better equipped shop

    Cheers, Don

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    Two more views..

    Predrill for sheet metal screws to mount the snoot to the 7" AB reflector.



    Mounted on the strobe.



    Cheers, Don

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    Watch the Birdy! Site Moderator
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    Nice! Love D-I-Y gear!

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    Nice, thanks for sharing your experiments.

    I think it is simply because the light coming directly from the flash is going straight out the tube and the rest of the circle contains more bounced light.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. With the tube having a larger diameter than the opening, you are bound to get some light bouncing off the insides of the tubes and out the smaller hole, at angles greater than the light coming directly out. To change that (if it's something don't want) you could try/use some sort of grid on the front.

    I don't have a snoot, well not one that fits the lights that I use most...but I do have a set of honeycomb grids for constraining the light from my 7" reflectors.

 

 

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