Make your own studio equipment - any book/resource advice?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GerryDavid, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just starting out I dont want to spend $$$ on all the lighting stands, studio lights, etc, nor can I really afford it. So I want to go the cheap way and build my own stuff for the mean time, then replace it with quality stuff as I go on.

    One thing I want right now is a stand that can hold my vivitar 285 flash. So im thinking of a tripod made up of pcv tubing, but im not really sure how I would do the joints and adjustable/posiitionable arm would be done.

    There has to be some how to books out there, so I was hoping I could get some advice on what books are worth a look.
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I have built several tripods and I can tell you that it is cheaper and easier to buy one.
    But if you insist on making your own the easiest way is to use wood.
    Daylight is the cheapest light source ;-)
     
  3. Holland

    Holland TPF Noob!

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    I've seen an easy way to make a simple homemade tripod in a book. Take you camera to the local hardware store and find an eye bolt that will screw into the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. Pick up a small piece of rope and thread it through the eye bolt, then tie it. The rope should run the length of your body. To use it, simply screw the bolt in the camera, step on the end of the rope with your foot, and lift the camera up to your eye to take a picture. Make sure all the slack is taken out of the rope and lift up on the camera enough to create a little tension in the rope.

    It is still handheld, but applying a little pressure as you lift up on the rope helps keep your hands steady.

    This is very similar to how soldiers would use the strap on a rifle. They wrap the strap around their arm as the aim to shoot. Their is just enough tension in the strap to help keep their arms steady.
     
  4. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was thinking more for my flash so I dont have to hold it.

    I was in Zellers and I was looking through the hardware department for a Christmas present but I found the clamps instead. A couple of them had long parts to them wtih a hole in the end, which would be good to attach to a camera. Only problem with this is it has to clamp onto something verticle so the camera would be facing the right way. But the problem with this is I mostly want something to hold my flash, and if possble, get something to hold some bounce board in place, and my flash doesnt have a screw mount in the bottom. So Ill have to think of something to hold the flash in place. I was thinking something like a hot shoe with a screw mount on the bottom but im not sure where to get something like that. :0)

    What size of screw is the tripod mount? I dont really want to take my digital into the hard ware store, hehe.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    http://www.photosig.com/go/journals/read?id=97

    BTW: You NEED the main light to be powerful. I've tried shooting with 285 as my primary light source, it's fun but you need more light.

    You have 285. A tripod + umbrella holder + umbrella in a kit will cost you around 100 bucks. With cheap stand, good enough for small flash only. Soon you'll find that you don't have enough DOF in your portraits.

    You'll want to get a decent 300$ strobe after a week or two of experimenting. When you get the strobe, you would not want to mount it on the cheap lightstand that holds your vivitar. You'll have to get a 100$ lightstand. :)

    What else?
    You can get a lamp similar to this for 11.50 from business depot. (or office depot) [​IMG]

    And you can get an optical LOW POWER slave for about 15-25 bucks which plug into standard lamp socket:
    [​IMG]

    This gives you a low power strobe for around 30 bucks.

    Mind you... that the cheap setups suck and you'll quickly discover their limitations. :) Just get one decent strobe and experiment with it.... gonna be cheaper in the long run.
     
  6. photong

    photong Typo Queen

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    What I do is (but of course there are limitations. I cant do anything other than regular, even lighting) use light from a window. Of course I can just do still life (maybe larger work if I get real seemless paper, and use the front room window. But it don't think the room is large enough) :/ I use bristol board as seemless paper. And my bed as a table. I use black and white paper to reflect light. Or whatever other colour to add some other colour lighting. It's almost like using gels.
     
  7. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well for now this is just for still life, so I dont need a large studio light. Not that I wouldnt mind getting a few of them and all the gear that goes with it. Eventually I plan to build a light tent. Right now to buy the materials needed, itll cost me around $50 cdn which seems a bit high to have a home made one when I can get a pro one from henry's for $90 or something. If I had of thought of it when I was in the states, I woulda got some more Christmas paper to get the carboard in the center to use for the light tent. that will cut the price by 2/3's or so.

    Right now im saving up for a Canon 10d or 20d and accessories, but thats not my priority right now *wedding coming up*. So the studio stuff isnt high on the list.

    Plus the vivitar 285 has alot of power for objects that are within 10 feet away, and still be able to use a descent aperature. I dont have the scale of the flash with me right here, but using the GN forumla, I can use F11 for objects that are 10 feet away from me. And portrait work is usually done with F8 to get the background a bit out of focus.
     
  8. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    For still life you don't need flashes at all. You can use usual tungsten lights and just do long exposures.
     
  9. Youngun

    Youngun TPF Noob!

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