What to do with an old tripod? :)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Don Kondra, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Greetings,

    Long story, short.

    I'm pretty well set up with continuous CF lights for product shots and needed to satisfy my curiousity about strobes :)

    I thought I would start out with a relatively inexpensive 2 x 200 w/s kit off ebay but before it arrived I lost my mind and ordered a Alien Bees B1600.

    In order to explore one light work I decided to make a large reflector out of parts I had in stock.... an old Velbon tripod with ball head, a 4' x 4' sheet of 3/16" plastic hollow core panel, some light angle iron and counterweights from fence parts from a commercial table saw.

    This is the result...

    [​IMG]

    It ain't pretty but it's sturdy :lmao:

    I doubt the hollow plastic panel will be very "reflective" so I plan on spray painting it.

    Anyone have thoughts on that ie. flat latex, shiny oil base, white, gray, etc. ?

    Cheers, Don
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Do you want it very reflective or softer? For reflectiveitiy use a high gloss or reflective silver paint. Ask for a custom mix to reach 255,255,255. Then it will also double as grey point, and wont affect flash settings. For softer use an eggshell coat of an ivory paint, with a warmer color, to give a beautiful look to portraits.
     
  3. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    Alex has great suggestions about the color, I just wanted to add something about the material. Either spray with a primer designed for plastics or use paint designed for plastics.

    While I admire your creative use of a tripod, I'm thinking you might move this around a bit and would hate to see this scratched.

    -Nick
     
  4. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. But why not use a light stand?
     
  5. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    Why use a light stand? I don't mean to answer for Don, but if you have the ability, time, and equipment to duplicate something else, why not? All told, what's this going to cost him? I'll bet a whole lot less then the same setup from a local camera shop.

    -Nick
     
  6. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Quite right.

    Although a light stand has a wider range of height adjustments, that's really not an issue with something this large. My thinking is the tripod has a larger footprint, is more stable and the arm will allow me to tilt the face to a forty five degree angle.

    Cost was $0, all parts are recycleable and if it is as handy as I expect I may invest in a more elegant solution, ie. a boom arm for an existing light stand :)

    As I said, I wish to explore the effects of "one light" plus reflector(s) and actually See the differences between a brolly, shoot through umbrella, reflective umbrella and 2' x 3' softbox.

    Then I can introduce the smaller 200 w/s strobes as fill, back and/or top light and see if they will be good for anything other than small product shots.

    I'll have to think about using gray paint and in effect using it as a gray "card"....

    Cheers, Don
     

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