Let there be light
Searching for a light can be a fight, especially with macros.
There is no external flash connector at the FZ5!
Slave flashes don't solve all problems, because they don't prevent the
onboard flash from destroying our pictures.
I have won the fight with my onboard flash.
adjustable diffused and bounced light with the onboard flash.
Let's start with an example:
I wanted to have such light conditions with the onboard flash.
### Just click: All pictures can be enlarged in separate windows ###
Light from any direction: left, right, below, behind or simply diffused
(right corner) - or any combination in the macro region!
(These examples were take with the onboard flash, size of the puppet:
This is how the story started:
The well known transparent fuji film container story: enough diffused
light for distant butterflies.
Next step: Getting closer to the lens
Adjustable diffused light in the macro region.
Olympus distributed non adjustable diffusors with their excellent macro
There is enough light from now on. Shadows are reduced, the object
looks like being quite "flat".
(material: US - milkbottles, GER: AHK Spiritusflasche)
As single layer diffuser, this part helps with close portraits and wide
angle pictures too.
The vignetting in the corners can be removed too- see addon lenses
Next Idea: There has to be a ring light/(flash?)
This was my minimalistic solution: 3*AA - no resistors
I am using it in low light situations now, just to see the early
darkening viefinder in such conditions.
The pictures are extremely "flat", shadows are removed.
This is a light for dentists, I don't need it for my bugs.
A big step forward: my balloon diffusor
A bigger diffusor - adjustable!
There is a valve in the cutted and drilled film container. A cheap and
I am still using it, as long as nobody is watching me......
Larva of a dragonfly: natural light, onboard flash, ballon diffusor
Quite nice, but still far away from the results I expected.
Users of external flashes will laugh with these pictures. They bounce
against some printer paper, far away from the object.
You can get such results with slave flashes too, if you dimm the
onboard flash of the FZ5.
But I wanted to use this onboard flash alone. I paid for it and the FZ5
deserves "light weight" solutions.
There has to be bouncing: a toys story again
left pictures: diffused light right examples:
A mirror to the left
Diffusing and Bouncing, combined
left: diffused light right: combined light
I have reached my aim, there is only some work on design left!
The lightbox is enough
All parts of my solutions have to fit into this altoids box and a fuji
The container is a diffusor too, the box can be used as reflector and
will contain a mirror to look at the lcd from "unusual" direction (my
lcd can't be twisted).
These are the "final" versions:
All parts are still in the box. There are three different mirrors for
the bouncing version.
Diffusing and bouncing can be combined with the right
This one is no longer camera specific.
The diffusing part can be reduced.
The reflector can be split into separate parts.
The bouncing design was influenced by Francesco R.
The flash reaches the extreme macro region too. The peacock
was taken with this device.
Using the new universal mount for the RDS
This is a leightweight reflector, but there might be "stress"
for the onboard flash or the diffusor. This new attachment removes the
reflector from these critical points. The next picture shows the setups
for all three light conditions mentioned above.
..but all that did not help with my last difficult macro session:
The blind endemic crab of Jameos del Agua / Lanzarote.
It is very small and shots have to be taken in a dark environment
through the surface of the small lake.
I had to add two LED beams (2*6LEDs) to my equipment:
The new "lightbox" is a CD-container with all that bouncing, mirroring
and reflecting parts in it
I have added coloured papers now for artificial background. The white
and golden cards can be used as reflectors too.
a different setup:
External flash connector: FZ5
The missing link of the FZ 1,2,3,4,5,7!
This is an embedded 5$ flash sensor. The flash intensity reaching the
sensor is reduced to that point, that only the main flash and not the
measuring preflashes (I am not talking about red eye reduction!)
the external flash. Additional flashes can be cheap slave flashes.
Finally I "killed" the onboard flash.
Reverse 50mm lens, remote release and bounced flash with flash bracket:
These are my personal solutions for a light problem.
If you like them, please drop a line in the guest book.
Let me know, if you have better solutions for the onboard flash.
Professionals use many kinds of reflectors and diffusors
I felt the urge to have suchs things too, for less money as usual...
This is my solution:
- foldable sun shade for car windows
- the cloth is covered/replaced by silver/golden foil on both sides
(this foil is a part of the rescue pack in all cars here)
I am using these two version:
- white cloth for bouncing and diffusing (flash or sun light)
- silver/gold reflector - big enough to cover a face
collapsed view (size of a hand, weight: next to nothing)
This is an easy job for my sewing-machine
Without sewing the foil can be attached with sticky velco on top of
unaltered the sun shade
Thanks for visiting my pages! Have a nice
day - Sven
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update 05.may.07 20:00