DIY snoot for product photography

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Don Kondra, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Well-Known Member

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    Greetings,

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

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

    [​IMG]

    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.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    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.


    [​IMG]


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


    [​IMG]


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


    [​IMG]


    1/4 power.


    [​IMG]


    3/8 power.


    [​IMG]


    1/2 power.


    [​IMG]


    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..


    [​IMG]


    Strobe at full power for both shots.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Same thing, 1/8 power...


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    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
     
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  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT Well-Known Member

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    Nice,
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel 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.
     
  4. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure :)

    Thanks Derrel,

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Thanks Derrel, the truth is I know of more than a few people with "real" jobs that have a better equipped shop :)

    Cheers, Don
     
  5. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Well-Known Member

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    Two more views..

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

    [​IMG]

    Mounted on the strobe.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Don
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Nice! Love D-I-Y gear! :thumbup:
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Nice, thanks for sharing your experiments.

    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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