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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cut One Light Off, Three More Grow Back


Macro shooters take note: For not a lot of money and a little DIY work, you might not have to buy a second flash to do some cool, multi-light photos.

Marcell Nikolausz, of Leipzig, Germany has been experimenting with fiber optics and the same Loc-line channels that are the staple of Gorillapods and the like.

The result? The octopus-like contraption you see above...

I start to get all kinds of ideas in my head looking at this, as well as a few hurdles that would have to be overcome.

On the hurdles, the biggest would be the fact that there is one, homogenous light source powering the whole thing. I'd tackle that with ND gels over the appropriate tentacles to vary the intensity.

But still, possibilities abound for light-walleted macro photographers everywhere. Marcell's "fiberstrobe" is a work in progress. You can see more images from the contraption in this Flickr set, or follow his exploits in his blog.


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20 Comments:

Blogger Scott E. Detweiler said...

Pretty slick idea. Looks like I finally have a use for those Barbie sized modifiers I have laying around :-)

March 17, 2011 12:45 AM  
Blogger Dirk said...

I've been wondering about a similar setup--including a reversed 'collector'--for optically-triggered wireless flash systems.

Seems to me it would make HSS actually work in the blinding ambient it's useful for if one could (a) direct some on-camera flash in the right direction and (b) help receivers, well, receive.

I seem to recall that fibre optic collectors are a bit more involved than radiators, but an effective point-to-point transmission solution for native wireless systems would be worth quite a lot otherwise spent on cables, exotic radio systems, studio-grade strobes, etc.

March 17, 2011 3:53 AM  
Blogger Dirk said...

I've been wondering about a similar setup--including a reversed 'collector'--for optically-triggered wireless flash systems.

Seems to me it would make HSS actually work in the blinding ambient it's useful for if one could (a) direct some on-camera flash in the right direction and (b) help receivers, well, receive.

I seem to recall that fibre optic collectors are a bit more involved than radiators, but an effective point-to-point transmission solution for native wireless systems would be worth quite a lot otherwise spent on cables, exotic radio systems, studio-grade strobes, etc.

March 17, 2011 3:55 AM  
Blogger MeruWarrior said...

Long live German ingenuity ;-)

The HydraLight? :)

March 17, 2011 5:03 AM  
Blogger FOTOGRAFIA EROTICA said...

Wow!! I really enjoyed the visit, and now realise that iv stax to learn about the art of lighting and including light!

March 17, 2011 5:27 AM  
Blogger Beau eRomantica said...

I have a similar design - I thought this was one of my prototypes!

Have a look at my sketches at http://www.dawnimages.com/optistrobe.htm

Beau

March 17, 2011 6:37 AM  
Blogger F Stop Warrior said...

I am buying the heck out of this thing!

March 17, 2011 8:49 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

The fiber snoot has been used for underwater photography for about a year now and is in production. You can see it at reefphotovideo.com.

March 17, 2011 11:37 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

The fibersnoot has been used for underwater photography for about a year now and is already in production. You can find it at reefphotovideo.com.

March 17, 2011 11:39 AM  
Blogger Ansgar said...

Would it actually be necessary to incorporate ND gels into the design? Since we're talking about macro scale here, simply moving the fiber optics a few centimeters back and forth might already do the trick.

Granted, it's less precise and you change the effective size of the light, but it makes the design so much simpler ...

Ansgar.

March 17, 2011 11:48 AM  
Blogger cruzer said...

Very cool little modifiers attached the tentacles. I saw a discussion like this a few years back with few examples of DIY fiber optic macro lights. Homemade Macro Flash

March 17, 2011 1:04 PM  
Blogger Apolinar Fonseca said...

But can it predict the next winner of the World Cup?

March 17, 2011 2:03 PM  
Blogger Marcell said...

Hallo,

First of all, many thanks to David for writing a post about my creation, the "fiberstrobe".
It's not a surprise that there are some similar concepts I've been aware, and some I've just learned (optistrobe from Beau eRomantica). There is still room for improvement and I will be happy to see some better versions from others. Suggestions are also welcomed. Right now I'm thinking how to add polar filters to use the "cross polarisation" technique.

Cheers

Marcell

March 17, 2011 2:47 PM  
OpenID damnuglyphotography said...

Guys like this freak me out.....I mean, he's amazing!

March 17, 2011 2:57 PM  
Blogger Edge Photography said...

I can't resist. This looks like the kind of light that would GRAB me.
Sorry.

March 17, 2011 3:14 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Very cool.

March 18, 2011 7:27 PM  
Blogger William said...

This is just plain scary... but kind of cool, haha.

March 21, 2011 1:12 PM  
Blogger muellerworks said...

That is THE funniest blog title. Ever.

March 21, 2011 2:06 PM  
Blogger Valle said...

Oh boy! That's exactly what I've been looking for - how to use fiberoptics to transfer my strobe's light efficiently. Mostly I want to use the applications for portait photography instead of macros for some DIY cheaper solutions but here's a lot to learn from. :)

March 22, 2011 11:05 AM  
Blogger GrumpyOldMan said...

So I am about a year too late with my comment, but that aside...

I haven't tried it, as I am a newbie hobbyist in photography, let alone macro, and have not tired to build one of these devices, but since the arms are movable, couldn't you just use fall off to vary the intensity of the light, instead of NDs?

Or is the problem with that the light would not be focussed enough if you move them back to drop the intensity?

February 04, 2012 5:36 AM  

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