DIY Diffusion Panels.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by K_Pugh, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    After watching Dean Collins 4-DVD box-set I was left feeling much more educated and inspired to start using diffusion panels myself - So I built a few.

    It's the same old basic design really.

    BOM:

    • 8x 3metre lengths of 21.5mm PVC pipe.

    • 16x Right-angled couplings.

    • 2x 180cm x 180cm shower curtains. (I actually bought one white, one semi-translucent)
    I basically made one cut on each 3m length of PCV pipe. As the shower curtains are 180cm wide I cut the PVC pipes to 185cm (allowing for space and insertion into the right-angled pieces).. and that left 115cm length for the top and bottom lengths.

    I then laid out the shower curtain, laid the 185cm PVC length on top, glued the edge of the curtain onto the pipe - I then did the same at the other end of the curtain. This eliminates any cutting of the fabric and you just roll the fabric up onto the pipes - It's also very good for adjusting tension on the fabric, as you just twist the pipe once assembled to get desired tension.

    Next step was to assemble the panel. Once assembled i laid the whole thing down on a flat surface (the floor) to make sure the right angled pieces were flat, then I glued in the shorter PVC pipe ends into the right angled pieces - this keeps it from bending/flexing out of shape so much. *Don't glue the longer pipes with the fabric onto the right-angled pieces as you wont be able to adjust tension or disassemble!. (for good measure i taped over the glued joint, i also put a little tape over the longer PVC pipe to get a snugger fit.

    To attach two panels to make them freestanding I used 2 tie wraps, one top, one bottom, they work fine, no need for special clips.

    2 panels (4 complete panels) assembled (2 separate freestanding "double panels"):
    [​IMG]

    The whole thing disassembles quickly and easily, the fabric rolls onto the two pipes its attached to like so:

    1 panel (2 complete panels) disassembled:
    [​IMG]

    So that's that! I will need some black material to attach to the two "blank" supporting panels to use as a flag/negative fill - they'll be glued and attached like the shower curtains were so they can be rolled up in the same way..

    I'm also going to get a silver reflective material which i'll be able to attach behind the diffusion panels by using velcro pads onto the shorter pipes - i'll have velcro on both sides of the silver material so i can use it either behind the diffusion curtains for a softer reflective fill or use them alone for a harder reflective fill.

    Oh yeah the shower curtains are great, no lines in the material etc.. I'll just need to lay them flat and iron the creases out.. i'm hoping they wont get creased when they're rolled up either!
     
  2. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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  3. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    I love DIY! So thanks for posting & I look forward to seeing a few test shots.

    -Shea
     
  4. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1 1/3 stops on the white one.
    1/3 stop on the more translucent one.

    Just out of curiosity, how many stops do the "real" ones lose?

    I did try a quick test shot today, overcast day and the light just coming in the window like the first photo.. i used the more translucent panel... 5 foot from window, 1 foot from subject.. it took out the harsh shine no problem.. first exposure without panel was 1/80th, shot with panel was 1/60th. I'll give it a good test with my strobes at some point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  5. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    I don't know but I would assume it has to be less than a shower curtain while providing an equal amount of diffusion.
     
  6. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Does it matter how many stops of light? Just up your light source to compensate to get the shot you want.
     
  7. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well I plan to use them outdoors to diffuse harsh sunlight.. How much light they eat can be important if you want to key-shift and by how much. These ones don't eat that much light so i may buy another white curtain so i can attach it with velcro if i need more diffusion.
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Pretty cool idea. Light weight and transportable. :thumbup:
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You tested that out and it's fairly accurate? That would be as good if not better than normal diffusion material. The only concern would be that the shower curtain would not be as long lasting, but at the price that the come in at, that's no problem at all.

    As far as wrinkles, thats nothing to worry about, it will not affect the end result.
     
  10. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I've done a few tests with it Jerry, different lights at different distances etc.. seems to be 1/3 to 1/2 stop.

    I've no idea how long they'll last but they don't look like they'll rip/tear easily, bit if they do they're easily replaced without going to a specialist store.

    The wrinkles I was wanting to take out in case I was going to use them to provide a specular highlight in glasses etc.. haven't tried to iron them out yet.

    There's only one problem i can think of that shouldn't affect me as i use small strobes - Heat, it may discolour the material or melt it if the lights are too close i think.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True, it may... but if you think about it logically, you are not going to want your flashes closer than 2-3 feet so that the apparent light source is large/diffused, and not small with potential hotspots... so your one concern is not really a concern. :)
     
  12. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True enough... I was just thinking along the lines of studio lights with mega watt seconds.

    They may blow over in the wind!.. can weigh them down and take some tension out of the material I suppose.
     

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