SmallRig cage rebuilt = Macro Bracket

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Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

SmallRig cage rebuilt = Macro Bracket

Post by Yawns »

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the web randomly and I came across SmallRig website .. they build parts and cages to assemble customized video rigs.. I was looking long to the pictures of this "generic" cage for DSLR and i was wondering if I could move one of the long top arms to the bottom, to replace the smal one, and make it symetric etc... that could probably do a nice arm bracket for 2 flashes to use with the Olympus E-M10 II ....

ImageIMG_20190319_180438 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

something like this
( I also bought separately a pair of tubes and tube supports planning to maybe make a support for a diffuser and a torch for night shootsing

It did not work as expected.
The cage + 2 x 15cm tubes and 2x tube supports = 95 euro in Amazon Spain.

ImageIMG_20190319_182330 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

It did not work as expected... the Olympus and the 60mm lens are very small and there isn't much room to place a pair of flashes behind the lens mouth, and leave space fr the fingers to hold the camera and the focus ring ...I was expecting that.. even with a "big" DSLR , 40 -60mm lenses are problematic because of the small barrel...

MY many assemble attempts were just frustrating .... mainly because the flashes were to far away from the lens axis. My flashes are for Nikon and I need to use radio triggers.. that adds more volume and height to the flashes.

ImageIMG_20190320_195151 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

the light was pretty poor...quite hard light
ImageP3194497 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

the day next with a fresh head and without the anxiety of the day before I got it ... I still thinking the falshes are a bit far fom the lens barrel , but the light is far far better and I have space for my fingers to hold it comfortable... I can use the Oly grip too..there's room for the grip and my fingers.
Added a quick release plate too.
ImageIMG_20190321_223742 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

and added a 16mm extension ring just to make the lens barrel longer and have more space..
loosk cumbersome but's easy to manage and not so "invasive" as it looks

ImageIMG_20190322_193400 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

the diffuser is held in place between a 46-52 stepup ring and a 52mm Cokin ring for square filter frames...

ImageIMG_20190322_193427 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

I'm happy with the light now... smooth and well distributed...
(all shot at night)
Both flashes at 1/64 ...

ImageP3200211 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

ImageP3200208 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

ImageP3200223 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

ImageP3200213 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

lonepal
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Location: Turkey

Post by lonepal »

Nice job, looks promising.
Regards.
Omer

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

lonepal wrote:Nice job, looks promising.
Used it all week at night and I like it, but meanwhile I was looking at SmallRig's parts catalogue and I think I can do one for half of the price, more simple and light .. just using cheap parts (some small "simple" parts can be quite expensive)

new parts will arrive this week

RobertOToole
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Location: United States
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Post by RobertOToole »

Hi Yawns,

I also use a few Small Rig parts but I use a rod as a base for a articulating arm and mount the flash, a godox 350TT on that.

I find they are quite a bit cheaper directly from China on eBay. Most resellers mark up the items quite a bit.

Would like to post some images of my setup if I have the time but I just got back from a 2 week trip and a 21 day trip before that.

Robert

Chris S.
Site Admin
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Re: SmallRig cage rebuilt = Macro Bracket

Post by Chris S. »

Great teaching, Antonio. :D

Let me mention something that Antonio surely knows, but many of our newer members may not. Antonio's rig provides a nice chance to point out an element in using diffusers that is simple, but widely misunderstood.

In Antonio's setup, as shown here, the flash heads are quite close to the diffuser; in this arrangement, I doubt that even half of the diffuser is illuminated, with the result that the subject is lit with much less diffusion than possible. I'm sure Antonio knows this, and chose to dial back his diffusion for the subjects shown here. For his shiniest subjects, I imagine that he moves his lights backwards, which would illuminate more of his diffusion plate, with the effect of creating greater diffusion.


Image
IMG_20190322_193400 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr



Image
IMG_20190322_193427 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

--Chris S.

mjkzz
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Post by mjkzz »

Nice work and nice results.

Just my 2 cents, to see light distribution for your setup, take a picture of the front of the disk by dialing down the exposure, ie, barely expose the image. then you will see a pattern of light distribution. [edit] with lights triggered by the camera taking the image.

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

RobertOToole wrote:Hi Yawns,

I also use a few Small Rig parts but I use a rod as a base for a articulating arm and mount the flash, a godox 350TT on that.

I find they are quite a bit cheaper directly from China on eBay. Most resellers mark up the items quite a bit.

Would like to post some images of my setup if I have the time but I just got back from a 2 week trip and a 21 day trip before that.

Robert
Thank you Robert ... please post a photo if you ever want .. it's always good to see other solutions. Sometimes you do not need to copy the entire setup, but there are details that are good ideas to take advantage of

António

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Re: SmallRig cage rebuilt = Macro Bracket

Post by Yawns »

Chris S. wrote:Great teaching, Antonio. :D

In Antonio's setup, as shown here, the flash heads are quite close to the diffuser;


--Chris S.
Hi Chris
Thanks for being so optimistic about my knowledge ... I know very little but I read a lot and mainly I experiment a lot ... I draw conclusions from what I observe

I have a big problem.. here.. geometry & mechanics :)
Camera and lens are pretty small.. the arms are not articulate .. not all the holes are 1/4 or 3/8... some are unusable to mount stuff (ballheads etc...)
I can't get the flashes more back.. unless i add more parts. Also this has to be usable.. the hands need to fit comfortable, the face needs to get to the viewfinder....

Anyway your observation was not in vain .. last night I was disassembling / reassembling again and now the flashes are higher and slightly more distant .. I also worked on the diffuser. The previous diffuser was just a sketch ...
The light and the distribution of the light is much better now .. (see post ahead)

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

mjkzz wrote:Nice work and nice results.

Just my 2 cents, to see light distribution for your setup, take a picture of the front of the disk by dialing down the exposure, ie, barely expose the image. then you will see a pattern of light distribution. [edit] with lights triggered by the camera taking the image.
Thank you Peter.. I will try your suggestion / method tomorrow night ...
What I use for myself is .. I shoot a black pin.. that shows me clearly how the light is distributed in the diffuser..I can see immediately if there are hotpots, light leaks, useless areas ...
I think you are talking about the distribution in the subject.. I will try it tomorrow.

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

I was working on this again ... and it's now much better.

as Chris remarked the light was harsh and was not working on shiny objects .. here is a shot of a black pin ... The flash hot spots / shape are very clear... almost no light in the rest of the diffuser... 80% of the diffuser is almost useless

ImageScreenshot 2019-03-26 at 20.41.31 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

the flashes are now higher and pointing down... before I was not getting enough light in the top of some subjects.. i think i have now an inch more from the flash to the diffuser.

ImageIMG_20190326_205019 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

the distribution and softness are much better
before
ImageScreenshot 2019-03-26 at 20.36.41 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr
after ImageScreenshot 2019-03-26 at 20.38.38 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

I added to the plastic dish a layers of "Dracalon" ... it's a synthetic fiber used to pad clothes, bed linen, "warm" clothes... I buy it in those shops who sell stuff for tailors (I don't know the name in English). I love it for diffusers and I use it all the time.. it's 1 inch thick. A piece of 2x1 meter costs me like 4 euros.

ImageIMG_20190326_205318 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Testing at night in the field.. JPG as is in the card

I think the light is nice now.. at least I am pleased
I have histograms "coast to coast" ... and I don't have significant "blows" keeping the highlights.

ImageScreenshot 2019-03-26 at 21.16.54 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

and a test with a really difficult (and really ugly :) ) subject... black and with glossy wings.
The histogram keeps "correct" (full range) and the shines are not white.. they are fairly grey retaining some detail...

ImageScreenshot 2019-03-26 at 20.33.23 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

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