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My technique
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:


My Vellum paper diffuser did cast a white color that I did not like (please compare the last two images of my thread to see the color change).


Is this the post?. The light does look odd -cold with a strange color cast. In my experience materials that are not specifically intended for photographic use will add an odd color cast, one that may not be correctable in post. Light is so critical in photography that you shouldn't have to correct for it -it should be doing most of the heavy lifting for you...
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grgh



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 327
Location: Lancashire. UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great shots.
we have always had to come up with single shot "76 years " we had none of the great gear that is available now days back then.

Thank for putting them up.
Got rid of all my Canon gear a long while back, favourite EO's 3, and the 10d,
putting a 300mm lens and battery pack hand grip, all got to much to lug around.

now settled for a iPhone.
Ive also made full prints from single shots.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1826
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalantech wrote:
zzffnn wrote:


My Vellum paper diffuser did cast a white color that I did not like (please compare the last two images of my thread to see the color change).


Is this the post?. The light does look odd -cold with a strange color cast. In my experience materials that are not specifically intended for photographic use will add an odd color cast, one that may not be correctable in post. Light is so critical in photography that you shouldn't have to correct for it -it should be doing most of the heavy lifting for you...


Sorry, I forgot to post my thread link. Here it is. The last two photos of the thread will show you the difference. The last photo reals some mild hot spots, but produce better color fidelity:
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39897

I have since replaced all ping pong ball halves with some reversed microlens reflectors with white insides removed (final result was reduced white cast at the cost of about 1/3 stop of light; I now use flash at about 1/32+0.7 to 1/16): https://www.walmart.com/ip/MINI-REFLECTORS-6-PER-CARD/16622080?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222228426955254&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=40471838672&wl4=aud-566049426705:pla-333580430386&wl5=9027821&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=16622080&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAjw67XpBRBqEiwA5RCocWhUUp7gQyKz_cTQPSkFbqocpXjDRppmwQ6BHgmGvgI1rRzx_h2W8hoCoW8QAvD_BwE

Colors of my spider photo are actually close to natural colors, though there is still room for improvement. Most of the times, I don't have color cast problem (even compound eyes came out fine with natural colors), unless subject insect is very glossy, very reflective and very dark in color (like the dried lady beetle that I used as test subject).
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grgh wrote:
...now settled for a iPhone.
Ive also made full prints from single shots.


I've seen some really good macro work done with a cell phone camera. Seriously thinking of getting into macro videos that way. I've made poster size prints on canvas with a 12MP image and had people compliment me on the details. The kind of sharpness that the focus stacking community is getting doesn't translate outside of displaying it on a monitor.

If you ever want to get back into macro with a DSLR any 1.6x crop camera + an EF-S 60mm macro lens will do. That glass loses focal length at 1x, and turns into a 37mm lens (only takes 37mm of extension to get to 2x).
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:

...Sorry, I forgot to post my thread link. Here it is. The last two photos of the thread will show you the difference. The last photo reals some mild hot spots, but produce better color fidelity...


I took a look at the photos, and have a few pointers:

1) Plastics that are not specifically designed to diffuse light for photography typically don't work very well. Either they'll add an odd color cast (because the material is designed to filter out certain wavelengths to protect the product they held) or they'll do a better job of absorbing the light instead of forcing it to spread out (diffusion).

2) Layering materials directly against each other can be a bad thing, cause you really need some space between layers so the light can spread out. The 1/4 stop white silk that I use can block over a stop -all you have to do is put one sheet of it right on top of another one. I need to redesign my diffuser so I can get a little more separation between layers.

3) You want to be able to see color and detail in the specular highlight area, and the more spread out the specular highlight the better your diffusion.

4) The angle of the light can make a big difference in the level of detail, and in the specular highlights. So if you think your diffusion is working but the light doesn't seem quite right then reposition the flash to either hit the subject at a higher or lower angle.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Thank you very much.

I may order some Lee diffusion sheets; which one would you recommend, or which one is closer to your white silk:
http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/diffusion-list.html

My Vellum paper is close to 400 LeeLux and 216 white diffusion from my Lee sample book, but slightly worse in terms of evenness. Good thing about Lee filters is that they provide data on all materials.

I will also build a Lego diffuser to separate out layers of diffuser as well.

I definitely felt the effects of your points #2 and #4 (#1 and #3 are obvious, though I used plastic for convenience prototyping and modularity).
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
...I may order some Lee diffusion sheets; which one would you recommend, or which one is closer to your white silk:
http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/diffusion-list.html...


None of them. I did all of my experimenting with this set and none of them cut the hot spot as well as 1/4 stop white silk. That cloth is just in a league of it's own. Cheese cloth might be a cheap and easy substitute, but I think that it will block more light and no idea what it would do to the color temp.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalantech wrote:
zzffnn wrote:
...I may order some Lee diffusion sheets; which one would you recommend, or which one is closer to your white silk:
http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/diffusion-list.html...


None of them. I did all of my experimenting with this set and none of them cut the hot spot as well as 1/4 stop white silk. That cloth is just in a league of it's own. Cheese cloth might be a cheap and easy substitute, but I think that it will block more light and no idea what it would do to the color temp.


Thanks! I will not buy Lee filters then, since they look similar to those that you tested and not like. I will consider white silk; it is not that expensive.

Have you tried microlens (honeycomb or compound eye shaped) diffuser lenses like this one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2PCS-PMMA-Plastic-Solar-Compound-Eye-Fresnel-Condenser-Lens-flys-eye-Projector/172776821991?hash=item283a4d14e7:m:m56oxVLbcGj3sDGDUxDgC-g

I will use it in reverse, of course. They seem to be free of color and do spread light (I looked at some microlens diffusers in front of LED floodlight s in store and like them; the problem is I would have to buy and cut off those LEDs and most of those microlenses are made of heavy fragile glass; I want light plastic ones).

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11246&highlight=microlens+diffusers

I tried a laptop LED screen yesterday, but it was a much worse diffuser than Vellum paper. I will try an iPhone 3GS screen next.

I saw your old thread as well:
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=36450&highlight=microlens+diffusers

Diffusion is much easier in studio stacking (which does not have weight and space restrictions like that of us field strobist), but just like you, I don't do much stacking either. Stackers don't understand our pain.
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:

Have you tried microlens (honeycomb or compound eye shaped) diffuser lenses like this one:


No, but it looks interesting. Gonna have to try it out.

zzffnn wrote:

Diffusion is much easier in studio stacking (which does not have weight and space restrictions like that of us field strobist), but just like you, I don't do much stacking either. Stackers don't understand our pain.


Indeed.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please report back, if you are buying/trying those eBay ones. I tried many other eBay searches but could not find anything suitable.

These 2 LED microlens diffusers look even better:

https://www.ledil.com/product-card/?product=CP14876_IDA16-WW
https://www.ledil.com/product-card/?product=CP14877_IDA16-O

I ordered one ww version (last one in stock) and 3 of C14707_IDA16-O (which is similar to the CP14877_IDA16-O) from mouser:

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/928-14707IDA16O
https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/928-14876IDA16WW

https://media.digikey.com/pdf/Data%20Sheets/Ledil%20PDFs/IDA_ProductRelease_2-19-15.pdf

I will report back after I test them. The items cost only $13.32, but shipping and tax cost $9.75.
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
...I will report back after I test them. The items cost only $13.32, but shipping and tax cost $9.75.


Please do!

I'm in contact with a sales rep at Luminit, LLC. I'll let you know if their materials work out -will update this thread.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

This micro-lens diffuser works beautifully and Mouser still has at least 80 of them for USD $2.97 each: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/928-14707IDA16O

Resulting images are very close to what I posted in the last post of this thread, with slightly less white color added (because I only had to use one layer of Vellum paper instead of two layers) and much better light efficiency (my speedlite is currently used at 1/64, compared to 1/32+0.7 previously):
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39897

My micro-lens diffusion rig is now quite similar to half of your MT26 rig, except that I use reflector instead of another flash head for the other half.

My flash is a Godox TT350 with head area of 28 x 57 mm. The microlens diffuser has surface of about 50 x 50 mm.

I basically fix one microlens about 13mm in front of the flash head, then fix a 2nd microlens about 18mm in front of the first microlens. Then I place a layer of Vellum paper in front of the 2nd microlens (this diffusion layer is necessary). That is it. I suspect only one microlens diffuser is necessary, with subjects less reflective that lady beetles.

In stead of a DIY Lego frame, I use a bigger translucent diffuser head (such as the $1 diffuser for Godox TT685: eBay 293017437914) as frame and cut off the front panel. Then I used clear tape to fix microlenses inside and on the frame.

I tried different orientations and arrangements. I believe it is difficult to avoid adding white color from diffusion to subject colors. When I removed the Vellum layer (so flash light only goes through clean microlenses), I got better color fidelity, with the penalty of harsher light. To my eyes, one Vellum layer is a good compromise. Your white silk should work better.

Please note that different microlens produces different light-spreading angle. The microlens that I use bends light to almost 90 degrees on one side (my Mouser looks almost indentical to this Ledil one): https://www.ledil.com/product-card/?product=CP14877_IDA16-O
I do not think an bending angle of less that 70 degrees would work as well.

Cheers,
Fan
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
...This micro-lens diffuser works beautifully and Mouser still has at least 80 of them for USD $2.97 each: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/928-14707IDA16O


To get them to my US mail stop would cost me over 50 USD in postage. I appreciate the info, but I'm looking into a US distributor of another diffusion plastic that will be cheaper to ship.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalantech wrote:
zzffnn wrote:
...This micro-lens diffuser works beautifully and Mouser still has at least 80 of them for USD $2.97 each: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/928-14707IDA16O


To get them to my US mail stop would cost me over 50 USD in postage. I appreciate the info, but I'm looking into a US distributor of another diffusion plastic that will be cheaper to ship.


John,

Tax and shipping to my location (Houston, Texas, USA) was less than $10. How would shipping to your US mail local cost $50?!

You can order them and have them shipped to me; then I will ship them to you (internationally). Please PM me your details and address. You would want to buy them quickly though, as I may be moving in a few weeks. Those microlenses are very light.
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
Dalantech wrote:
zzffnn wrote:
...This micro-lens diffuser works beautifully and Mouser still has at least 80 of them for USD $2.97 each: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/928-14707IDA16O


To get them to my US mail stop would cost me over 50 USD in postage. I appreciate the info, but I'm looking into a US distributor of another diffusion plastic that will be cheaper to ship.


John,

Tax and shipping to my location (Houston, Texas, USA) was less than $10. How would shipping to your US mail local cost $50?!

You can order them and have them shipped to me; then I will ship them to you (to Australia). Please PM me your details and address. You would want to buy them quickly though, as I may be moving in a few weeks. Those microlenses are very light.


I'll take another look at their ordering page. Maybe they were seeing my IP address and quoting a price to Italy (I have a US mail stop).
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