Is DIY BS?

Village Idiot

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I've seen some DIY stuff that does look professional. A friend of mine made a grid out of plastic drainage spouting pieces and blac straw. He sprayed the whole thing black and it looks like something from Honl.

Also, people like Gary Fong and David Honl are selling products that I'd bet on them originally starting off as DIY gear that they thought was good enough to refine and sell.
 

RacePhoto

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Do You Make things, like DIY projects for your photography? I was going to start a thread but this one is here?

I've seen some DIY stuff that does look professional. A friend of mine made a grid out of plastic drainage spouting pieces and blac straw. He sprayed the whole thing black and it looks like something from Honl.

Also, people like Gary Fong and David Honl are selling products that I'd bet on them originally starting off as DIY gear that they thought was good enough to refine and sell.
Fongs diffuser from the moment I saw it, is a fruit salad container or some whipped cream packaging. Yes, nice idea and it works.

OK what I wanted to do was start posting some of mine. I'm not selling anything and I make no claim that anything is more than modified "something else" in an effort to have some fun and make some photos. I can't say I have a favorite, but this one was useful and has been loads of fun, and I still carry it in the car. (which is a Minivan, or it wouldn't fit)

I'm on the left, taking the photo of the camera on a stick :friendly_wink: which is the right half. In this case, it just happened to be a GoPro but there's a threaded mount on the top and I have put a DSLR with a Tele up there, over a catch fence at the races.


pete-bridal-viel-falls-combined-camera-on-a-stick.jpg


It's an ultimate selfie stick? No not really, it's a 40 foot hotstick, (a telescoping fiberglass pole) that I found in a dumpster. Free is good. Slightly less that 40 feet because the last section was broken off. I filled the hole with a wooden plug, which I epoxied in and then drilled and threaded a standard tripod 1/4-20, I have added a ball at times or just straight camera on the top.

No drones for me, I have the 35 foot, big yellow stick!

Still playing, not serious, this was one of the first test images. But you can see how the elevation is interesting. It is also a stitch image, which makes the 90 degree corner look like something else.

corner-3-8-30-web.jpg


And finally, an IMSA race start, with the camera on the stick, set for intervals, as photographers aren't allowed to stand at this point of the track.

IMSA-start-2019-RA-pole-web.jpg
 

Geenphoto

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I will say that I bought a lot of my stuff. One may, however, make some pretty good DIY projects. I had my wife sew some plain white and plain black fabric to make me a backdrop for small objects. I've used a work light to illuminate a large space where my speedlight would not work well and just adjusted white balance in post. My clips for hanging a quick backdrop are spring clamps from my toolbox. The pros I know won't waist money unnecessarily when a less expensive option will do just as well.

So, I vote thumbs up for DIY.
 

Grandpa Ron

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To many folks, DIY is a mind set. I rarely buy what I can build or restore.

However, time has made a significant difference in what can be DIY. I have spent decades building and using short wave radios and transmitters. Now the parts to do that are more expensive then purchacing a comercial unit.

I have built muzzle loading rifles, telescopes, restored several musical instrument that folks had discarded, restored a 1929 wood and canvas canoe that was on a burn pile. Recently I restored a 4x5 format 1910 view camera and an old enlarger I inherited. But this is the age of digital photography and trade secrets. Photography and post processing are superb, but they place you in the realm of an appliance operator.

There are things to be gained by DIY.
* The feeling of accomplishment.
* The savings, if any.
* Once it works, cosmetics become far less important.
* Once you have built it, you become fearless when it comes to taking it apart for repair or modifications.

And oh yes, all those funny tools you had to buy to complete the project; will often prove usefull on your next project: once the DIY bug bites.

Good Luck
 
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RacePhoto

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Good replies and more ideas. Thanks

Next? The Rail for macro. I can't say this is a success, because I was disappointed. But most of that is my lack of ability and stacking with free software. I think I can do better.

Controlled by Arduino, the stepper motor can make very small incremental movements. Maybe too many and too small. I need to learn better how many shots I really need and how to space them.

the-rail-test-jan-2020.jpg

100mm Macro Lens. Eventually I did mount a microscope optic on the camera, and also a bellows with a lens.

Move the camera or move the subject? Each has advantages and flaws. From someone who knows, who advised me, says moving the camera, means the lighting stays the same. Easier to control exposure.

Moving the subject means the camera doesn't have any movement from the shaking.
 

petrochemist

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Some DIY projects have rubbish outcomes, from bad designs to poor skills/materials or unsuitable tools...
Others are improvements over the kit available to purchase. In my case I usually resort to DIY when I can't find a manufactured bit of kit for the job. Photographically this is most often for adapting lenses in non standard mounts.

Much depends on the person doing it themselves. Quite often the results are crude but functional - a large reflector might fall in this category it doesn't look particularly smart, but it's not in shot & it lights the subject better than a $100 foldup reflector...

Some of the 'professional' solutions available are little different from DIY operations.
 

mrca

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I made a snoot out of a 10 cent piece of foam (the kind that looks like construction paper), some duct tape, and a hair elastic. It works really well.
Some of the most versatile items that every studio should have is cinefoil and gaffer tape along with some A clamps and c47, ie wooden spring clothespin. Cine foil and gaffer tape are re useable. Flags, snoots, can be formed from cinefoil to the exact size you need and they are light weight. Gaffer tape can be used to attach them, or mark subjects mark on the floor. It can tape up a seamless bg with the roll on the floor. A clamps can hang black cloth to block windows or diffusion materials over a window to make beautiful soft light. But beauty dishes, or soft boxes, not my cup of diy tea. However some diffusion material hung from a boom be it cloth or plastic, can be shot through and used to soften light with easy set up/tear down. If you are a pro, most clients don't know what "professional" gear looks like but if it looks like diy, it reflects on you as a pro. Of course, a beat up piece of foam core is a standard reflector or flag in most studios.
 

Sharpshooterr

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DIY rocks!!!
Back in the day when I couldn't afford Canon L lenses, I simply made my own! LoL
I made an L lens and it worked quite well.
Actually I did a project and wanted to use a lens with lots of imperfection. So I used to cardboard tubes that telescoped into each other. I used a 3" magnifying glass that's about 3/8" thick in the middle for the front element and a cut out body cap on the other end, both hot-melted on.
It actually worked really well and creates a very soft-like image with lots of fringing! It's very cool.
SS
 

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RacePhoto

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I use any of my bodies + Nikon's 105 macro + HĂ©likon Focus.
HĂ©likon Focus - nope never heard of it, and just a fast read, it looks very nice. I have no professional needs right now, but if I did, that looks like the solution. I'm just playing with macro and stacking for the experience.
 

RacePhoto

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Thanks for the lead, I might not have seen it without that. Although, maybe someone already pointed me that direction and I got distracted, making the rail, and not spending money, so I forgot. I am a Senior! :encouragement:

But after only a little reading, Helicon Focus software looks really we written and if the results for myself are anything close to the example, I'm be over the top happy. What do I do with the rail? LOL

Going to an estate auction tomorrow that has what appears to be a medical microscope. The top is missing and so is the light source, but if I'm right, the three objectives will be high quality. I'm hoping the resale and antique people, aren't interested. I can try some of those for really close up, image stacking macros.

This is wrong, but it works. I later created a direct mount, instead of on the end of a lens. 4 x 200 inexpensive off eBay.

microscope-on-lens-2020.jpg
 

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