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Rig II - 'Bamboo' [The Build]: Using flash instead of LEDs?

 
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GemBro



Joined: 20 Aug 2014
Posts: 261
Location: Surrey [UK]

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Rig II - 'Bamboo' [The Build]: Using flash instead of LEDs? Reply with quote

Related thread links for the new rig ... called Rig II: Bamboo ...

Tri Stacker: Design & Build:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=159545#159545

Tri Stacker: Quick Test Run #1 [Subject: Hard Drive Head]
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=159529#159529

Tri Stacker: Quick Test Run #2 [Subject: Woolly Bear]
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26082

Rig II: Bamboo - Design, Build & Test - Designed around a Bamboo Chopping Board, this is the new rig
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25391


Rig II - 'Bamboo' [The Build]: Using flash instead of LEDs?

Well I may of proved to myself that using flash is the way to go, for me at least, for the moment ... due to my newly built Rig II - Bamboo ... but I may go back to the classic Ikea LEDs before long Very Happy ...

The Ikea LEDs just don't seem to cut it (not even 3 of them), for me at least ... not enough light from them with my current setup ... it could be me though ... to make things worse I'm frustrated by some of the brilliant shots on here using LOMOS and Ikea LEDs ... mine are the 3W versions with a 'clip-on' ...

As you can see, with this new stack (which I'm now happy with) made using the new Rig and by using a flash (for the 1st time) it's definitely brighter ... I've added a reflector on the opposite side which fills in the light there too ... the image is obviously sharper (than my previous LED stacks) due to faster shutter speeds ... and by using a flash it also cuts out any vibration that may be present (specimen and Rig) ... looking at the dust trails/hot pixels, the grouping is a lot smaller than with LEDs (which was due to slow shutter speeds I know) ... hopefully, once my new Rig 'Bamboo' is finished (photo below) and properly secured, the grouping will be even smaller ... at the moment I still need to lock down the camera a bit better, as it's only sitting on a 7" Magic Arm (need the height) ... but that's not the real issue I'm talking about here ... it's the lighting and I suppose some vibration ...

How are others getting the subjects lit brilliantly with LEDs? ... my current setup is the same for the LEDs & flash but without the reflector or using the flash obviously ... do you over expose by 2-3 stops? ... take RAW images then increase the EV by the same amount? ... the LEDs are perfect for setting up the shot and getting the focus ready for the stack but I need a little help on getting the overall brightness increased with the LEDs ... I may go brighter as in the wattage ...

Example of a good image using Ikea LEDs and a LOMO Objective: Omid Golzar's Horse Fly:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/79532995@N07/15144490143/

Once I get this all sorted, to an aceptable tolerance, then I can justify spending a bit of money on some nice glass ... I've already spent nearly £400 on building the Rig, including some lenses but the beauty here is if I get so wound up with this at least I can make use of all the gear for my normal photography sessions ... Very Happy but i aint givin' up yet ...

BAMBOO RIG SETUP:
Canon 550D (T2i)
EOS Ext Rings (2 lots to get 150mm from camera sensor plane) (with DIY light baffles inserted)
LOMO 8x 0.20 Obj
Olympus CH-CHC focus block (2.5µm ticks - 200µm per revolution)
X-Y Stage (for specimen control)
Canon 430EX II (held by 11" Magic Arm)
2x Ikea Jansjo 3W LEDs (raised to get height - didn't realise desktop version is a lot longer)
Styrofoam reflector (opposite side of flash) (held by 11" Magic Arm)
Styrofoam reflector (beneath specimen)
Laser printer paper diffuser
Bamboo chopping board (46cm x 30cm x 3.5cm) (with 4 rubber feet)
Reverse Arca/Swiss mounting system, screwed to chopping board

LACEWING:
(shot with the new Rig and using a flash instead of LEDs)



Bigger version: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8536/15171084964_4ec8bbd7da_o.jpg

Gem
_________________
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Optional Arduino based Stepper Focusing system (being built)


Last edited by GemBro on Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:28 pm; edited 12 times in total
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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1428
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: [Lacewing] Well Flash it is then, for now - LEDs not upt Reply with quote

GemBro wrote:
QUESTION: (to other LED users)
How are you getting the subjects lit brilliantly with LEDs?
Well...you control the exposure. Change your ISO and shutter speed to compensate. I take a few test shocks through the stack range to evaluate my lighting (flash or when I used LEDs). RAW will give you a little more freedom when converting to TIFF or JPEG if you overexposed or underexposed.

The sample image you linked to is a very good image. Could be variation in the lens' quality. I'm not familiar with the LOMOs so can't say what's an acceptable level of detail. If you keep at it maybe you'll get surprised one day. Like I said, it happened to my with the Canon FD 20mm f/3.5. I just have no idea what made that one image so much better than all my other previous attempts. Very Happy

Do you have a bellows to try yet? Didn't someone mention that the step down rings could be introducing a lot of reflections? Check your local classifieds. They come up cheap. I have a Pentax M42 bellows that I could send you. (shipping might get costly though). You would need to buy the appropriate adapters to get your lens/camera to mount. Which is easy, but will take time if ordering through ebay.

Your image look good. I am glad you are happy with it. By the time your rig is done will you still be able to find subjects? We're snow covered already. Pickings will be slim. );
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GemBro



Joined: 20 Aug 2014
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Location: Surrey [UK]

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:22 am    Post subject: Rig II - 'Bamboo' Reply with quote

Thanks Ab Pho ... I will amend the 'setup' above as I did make 2 light baffles to put inside the Ext rings ... could still be a problem I suppose ...

Ha ... what I also meant to say above was "without changing the ISO from 100" as I want to keep the noise right down and have the best quality possible ... I understand the ISO/shutter speed scenario ... but increasing ISO will just give a faster shutter speed with the 'same' brightness but with more noise ... yep RAW is the way to go there ... it will reduce vibration also but I was really on about lighting & brightness being the issue Wink ...

As for vibration, I still have the camera to secure properly as it's still sitting on a 7" Magic Arm and the flash eliminates the majority of vibrations ... I do have bellows and I will try them soon, as I'm going to connect them to the neck of the microscope stand (a la ChrisR's dovetail to M42 adapter) so that end will be pretty secure ... and when the camera is secured properly the other end, that end should also reduce vibration even more ...

I've got this far with a better result, so I'm sure I'll get an even better one if I keep locking down the vibrations and getting the light right ... as you know, I've only been doing this type of photography for a few months now and it's very different to my standard photography I'm use to Smile ...

Here's a quick photo of Rig II - 'Bamboo':
Don't have a heart attack with the 'cable ties' holding the focus block, they've been replaced with M10 (50mm x 80mm) U-bolts that fit perfectly without sawing off anything ... that puppy does not move at all now ... that is one thing less to worry about and ticked off the list ... Wink ... and don't laugh at the Pink Ikea LEDs I got them both (NEW) for £13 inc p+p off eBay ... Very Happy



And here's the parts list (£312 - minus camera):

COSTINGS:
2nd Hand:
1 x Olympus CH-CHC microscope focus block (eBay) - £114
2 x Ikea Jansjo 3W LED lamps (clip-on version) (eBay) - £13 (for the pair)

New:
1 x U-Bolt - M10 50mm x 80mm - £14 (for a pair)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400796015942?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

1 x Chopping Board (Bamboo) 46cm x 30cm x 3.5cm - £15
(NOTE: mine hasn't got that little 'milled out' corner because I bought it from the high street shop, which I was pleased about)
http://www.robertdyas.co.uk/rdyas-butchers-chopping-board

1 x 35cm Arca/Swiss quick release plate (Chinese clone) - £19
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/35cm-Quick-Release-Plate-f-Camera-Tripod-Ball-Head-iShoot-Telephoto-Lens-Support-/111328690123?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item19ebb4ffcb

5 x PU-50 Arca/Swiss quick release plates (Chinese clone) - £4 (for a pair)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-New-50mm-Quick-Release-Plate-PU-50-For-Benro-B2-J1-Arca-Swiss-Compatible-/221592544374?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3397f1e476

10 x Arca/Swiss quick release clamps (Chinese clone) - £4.60 each
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Clamp-For-Quick-Release-Plate-Compatible-Arca-SWISS-Tripod-Ball-QR50-NEW-/221593870651?

2 x 27cm Flexible Metal Tube (goosneck) with 1/4" - £7 each
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/27cm-Flexible-Metal-Tube-1-4-1-4-Adapter-Screw-for-Flash-Holder-Bracket-Mount-/111162105186?pt=UK_Photography_Flash_Brackets&hash=item19e1c71d62
NOTE: After actually using these I'm not too happy with them in tight areas, as you need space to really bend them into postition properly ... I would suggest getting 2 more 11" Magic Arms instead

2(4x) x 11" Magic Arms - £7 each
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LS7AMLG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

1 x 7" Magic Arm (cheaper to buy another 11") - £9.99
http://www.amazon.co.uk/XCSOURCE-Articulating-Friction-Microphone-mounting/dp/B008H3XY28/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1416074891&sr=1-1&keywords=7%22+Inch+Friction+Articulating+Magic

2 x Huge bull Dog type clips (very strong) - £7 each
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271087207883?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

4 x Small rubber door stops - £1.50
http://www.robertdyas.co.uk/select-rubber-screw-in-door-stop-black

No. 8 black self tapping screws (1") - £1.50 (for 20)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/370921262275?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&var=640135268923&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

No. 8 black cup washers - £2.22 (for 20)
(used 1 screw & washer per PU-50 and 3 for the 35cm plate)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291209680425?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&var=590363742452&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Total (rounded off ) cost = £312
All inc postage & packing. Prices as of Nov 2014.



Gem
_________________
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Optional Arduino based Stepper Focusing system (being built)


Last edited by GemBro on Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:23 pm; edited 13 times in total
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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1428
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LO.oking good. I'm smiling. I might have to look into some of those components. I think it's time I mount everything to a common base. Cheers mate.
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rjlittlefield
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've added your setup to the usual FAQ list.

Quick question: can you provide links to those "Chinese clone" Arca/Swiss and magic arm components?

--Rik
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GemBro



Joined: 20 Aug 2014
Posts: 261
Location: Surrey [UK]

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik ... thanks ... list above has been updated with links ...

Gem
_________________
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Optional Arduino based Stepper Focusing system (being built)
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super -- thanks!

--Rik
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minor details:
Yes, though anodized black, those "Chinese" tubes are quite shiny inside. A black paper tube sprung into place, or an annular mask at the camera end, helps
If you put tubes onto what would normally be the top of the microscope arm with a dovetail adapter, and an objective in the normal place, you will need black paper in there, too.
This is I think a BH2, but illustrates the shiny tube:

A CH has 2.5µm "tick" marks. The BH is 2µm. Both are 200µm per revolution though.
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GemBro



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Location: Surrey [UK]

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chris ... yes I would rotate the stand 180 degrees to accomodate the bellows setup to the neck ... black rolled paper in a tube, great idea so simple ... doh! ...

My 2 DIY baffles did take a while to make Confused ... they are basically thick card with black (sticky back) flock stuck to it ... then a 3cm square hole cut out then black permanent marker to finish off the edges ... the beauty is they held in place when the rings screw together and so do not rock about ... but I shall get some black craft paper ... oh I forgot about the chrome ends Laughing ...

And thanks for the extra info ... Very Happy

Just an acknowledgement
I did pick this idea from daemonoropsis when I saw his chopping board Rig (before his current cheese-board setup) ...

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19124

but as you can see with my setup, I have used spaced out PU-50 plates instead of using 2 longer plates either side, to reduce cost ... I can always add a few more PU-50s in between the others later ...

The 35cm Plate:
I can have longer plates at either ends of the Rig at 90deg if needed, so I can do panning shots (for other photo shoots) ... what you probably can't see, is, the 35cm long plate is TWICE the height of the normal PU-50 plates ... that means if I do have a plate at 90deg (at the ends of the chopping board) the clamps will clear that plate and roll onto the 35cm plate no problem Wink ... advance thinking there? ... no, pure fluke really ... I realised after I purchased the longer plate that it is in fact a double sided plate (hence the thickness) so it can be used either way up (as seen on the eBay page) ...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/35cm-Quick-Release-Plate-f-Camera-Tripod-Ball-Head-iShoot-Telephoto-Lens-Support-/111328690123?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item19ebb4ffcb

Gem
_________________
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Optional Arduino based Stepper Focusing system (being built)
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GemBro



Joined: 20 Aug 2014
Posts: 261
Location: Surrey [UK]

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:28 pm    Post subject: Some construction photos of Rig II - 'Bamboo' ... Reply with quote

Here are some more construction photos of Rig II - 'Bamboo' being put together ...

The main Rig layout - On a Bamboo Chopping board:




Nice Black screws & cup washers finishes it off:
(needed pilot holes - that Bamboo is like screwing into Oak)




The Huge U-Bolt clamping the Scope Stand to a thick metal plate:
(the metal plate (from cheap macro rail) has a groove so the Arca/Swiss clamp can be bolted to the plate underneath)




An Arca/Swiss quick release bolted to the Focus Block, to take the camera:
(I will remove the 'black stage' lump, once I can get a quick release clamp bolted to the focus block plate)




Underneath to show where the bolt secured the Arca/Swiss clamp:
(the slot was already there for the bolts that secure the stage control block)




The U-Bolts clear the Stand and the metal plate just fine and slides along the 35cm plate also:
(hindsight: half the guage would do really, say M5 bolts but same dimensions)




Compression spring to prevent backlash from the (gravity driven) Focus Block. Works a treat (not too strong):
(came off a big push switch, from one of my Daughters broken toys, thanks Jess. Works the full travel length)




The 'X-Y Stage' specimen platform (re-drilled & tapped 1/4" hole for 'ball head' fixture):
(removed 'microscope slide clamp' setup and used double sided pads to secure styrofoam reflector)




The Flash setup - Olympus T20's (x2) triggered using Yongnuo's YN-622C (x3):
(the Olympus T20's have a trigger voltage of 5-7v - nice and safe. On manual they take a while to recharge. May need hacking)

The PU-50 plate, opposite the focus control knobs will hold the Stepper motor housing in place. This will rotate the 'fine focus' control.




Gem
_________________
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Optional Arduino based Stepper Focusing system (being built)
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