$50 stand, modifier, variable modeling light, and wireless remote flash

Gavjenks

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Just thought I'd share this hacked together, but very effective setup I have for a cheap studio fill light with adjustable modeling preview.

$Hpe1bqM.jpg

Flash = Holga non-adjustable flash for $17
Remote = CowboyStudios wireless trigger receiver. You get a transmitter and 2 of these for $25 or so, so I value this at around $8.
Two bulb socket holder = $12
Stand and umbrella = about $10.
Total = $48, round up to $50.

The bulb holder only had a flat plate on top, but part of it sticks over and doesn't do anything, so I drilled a 1/4" hole in it and stuck a bolt in there with a locking nut so that I could screw on the remote trigger (which has a threaded mounting hole). Then I put a 40 watt bulb on the left socket and a 20 watt bulb on the right. You can turn the bulbs on individually, so the modeling light can be adjusted from 20 to 40 to 60 watts.

For my key, I use a monolight that comes with a 70 watt modeling bulb. It has adjustable power of course, so I don't have to move either light to change ratios. To change the ratio, I just adjust the key's power and then the ISO on my camera.

In order for the key + fill modeling lights to roughly accurately preview the lighting ratio, I would then change which bulbs are on to match, which is just the flip of a switch. Both bulbs on makes the fill modeling light about as strong as the key modeling light, for a 1:1 ratio (if the two don't overlap on the face) or a 2:1 (if they do). For a 3:1 lighting ratio, I turn on only the 40 watt bulb, which is roughly one stop less than the key's. For a 4-5:1 ratio, I can turn on only the 20 watt bulb, which is roughly 2 stops less than the key's. For extreme 8:1 ratios or whatever, I just don't turn on the fill modeling lights at all.

Works pretty dang well for $50.
 

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Your genuine tin-plated, genuine brass-alloy MacGuyver Award nomination medallion is in the mail!!!! (This special alloy, well, it's made up of melted down .22 long rifle casings and old soup cans, cast into the medallion, then plated in genuine tin!!! Woo-hoo! It has a paper-clip and tie-pin mounting system on the back, and is shipped in a genuine, lucite plastic, recycled empty Tic-Tac container!!
 

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