DIY 2L Milk Container Flash Diffuser *Tutorial*

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by azz, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. azz

    azz Member

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    Ok, a few warnings.

    If it was possible to fail art class, I would of.
    I can't cut straight with scissors or any knife.
    This is a really crap tutorial as I forgot to photograph a step.

    Now that's out of the way, on with the tutorial:


    STEP 1

    WHAT YOU NEED:

    1: Empty 2L Milk Container (The cheaper the brand, the better it will diffuse. Children touching animals on the front label makes it even better!).

    2: A pair of scissors. Handle colour must match the Milk label color, or you will cut yourself.

    3: A thick rubber band. The closer it looks to breaking, the better.

    [​IMG]

    STEP 2

    Start cutting from inside the neck of the container, down to just under that rib that runs around the container.

    [​IMG]


    STEP 3

    Now you need to peel off any labels, but leave ONE.

    The label side will become the flap that the rubberband wraps around on the back of the flash head.

    Make a few cuts here and there, so it looks something like this:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    STEP 4

    Dry out the container if it is still wet, and mount on flash head like so:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    STEP 5

    Blind people! Get in there and take heaps of test photos to piss off family and friends.


    SAMPLE IMAGES

    Top image is bare flash, bottom image is milk diffuser, both with flash at 45degree angle.
    All ISO 100, 1/200, f5.6
    Tamron 17-50 f2.8 on Canon EOS 40D with 580EXII flash.

    Straight from camera into lightroom as RAW, export as JPEG quality 80, 600x pixels. NO POST PROCESSING apart from above.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    These 2 are both with diffuser:
    (Could use some contrast ++, straight from camera as above)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    So there it is folks!

    Original thread on www.dslrusers.com that I got the idea from.

    Mine is mounted differently though, I encourage you all to try different methods and maybe even some aluminium foil a backing for more forward power.


    Please post all comments, ideas and test images!

    Regards,

    Aaron
     
  2. kini_mini

    kini_mini Member

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    Why did it change from Coles to Woolies milk halfway through? :p

    Nice example pics, I assume you were bouncing off the ceiling?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    azz

    azz Member

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    Coz I didn't change to the new one I made :p

    Bouncing off ceiling...but at 45degree angle with this diffuser you don't get as much bounce as without it.
     
  4. nxsr20

    nxsr20 Member

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    Ghettotastic!! :thumbup:

    Wouldn't want a pro photographer to rock up with one of those!
     
  5. peewee82

    peewee82 Member

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    Hahah I love the smooth transition to a Homebrand one. Here's one I prepared earlier!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    azz

    azz Member

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    Why not? If it works, that's all that should matter.

    Would someone with a bare flash, 5d and a hood on the lens be considered more pro than someone with a 20d and a diffused flash with no fancy hood on the lens?

    Too easy these days to pretend to be a "pro" photographer just because you have money to burn.
     
  7. nxsr20

    nxsr20 Member

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    I never said anything about gear. An amateur can load themselves with a 1D series with $10k worth of glass, but they're still an amateur. A pro can turn up with a 20D and <$1k lenses and churn out consistent mind blowing pics.

    I have no probs using a home made diffuser, but I'd be iffy if a wedding photographer rocked up with a couple of 2L milk bottles on his flashes.
     
  8. StuartL

    StuartL Member

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    Which is why you want to see a portfolio of previous weddings to check the quality of the shots. Gear doesn't matter anywhere near as much as ability. I'd rather see a wedding photographer with a couple of 2L milk bottles on his (or her, let's not be sexist here) flashes than (to go to the other extreme) using the pop-up flash on a compact camera.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    azz

    azz Member

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    Sorry, I didn't mean it to sound aggressive towards you personally, just that whole situation pisses me off.

    I wouldn't care what they rocked up with...as long as the photos came out as good or better than what I saw that made me decide on them :)
     
  10. metawaffle

    metawaffle Member

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    Hmm, I'd have to side with *not* taking the milk container to a paying gig shooting people. Everything else aside, you're not going to inpsire confidence with the 2L Semi-Skimmed on the top of the camera. When you need to command attention and invoke your photographic authority, you just don't need to invite ridicule :rolleyes:

    Perhaps save it for the product shots...
     
  11. EpHeSuS

    EpHeSuS Member

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    You're a photographer, you know better than the general public. To the public, big camera = good photos.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    azz

    azz Member

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    Ok ok, so it looks a bit...crap.

    The question though is not if you like how it looks, but do you think the results are worth it?
     
  13. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    Ok, the results look pretty good, to be a decent comparison though, there need to be some plain jane flash shots compared to milk diffuser flash shots.

    Unless they are already in the review and I missed the point of the comparison photo.
     
  14. islade

    islade Member

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    Yea, If i could bounce off a white ceiling, i wouldn't bother with a milk carton diffuser.

    If i'm outdoors or somewhere i can't roof-bounce, then i want a diffuser, because otherwise it's direct flash, and that's when this would come in handy :)

    Isaac
     
  15. OP
    OP
    azz

    azz Member

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    Top photo is naked flash, bottom is diffused.

    Last 2 of the females is diffused.

    Flash was same angle on camera for every photo.
     
  16. jaebea

    jaebea Member

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    Good idea, but I think the carton could do with some more less opacity (so less light let through) to get some more noticeable effect going on. The distance between the bulb and the interior surface also probably has something to do with it too.

    I'm curious though, considering you can cut strips down the side of the milk bottle, and then fold them over (kind of like making a paper cube from a cross). You can scavenge a few milk bottles for the part but I think you've shown creativity here.

    And you can always make a milk bottle look good with a bit of tape and hot glue.

    Results do the talking for me, but I can understand if people aren't comfortable going out with this compared to a Sto-fen or a Gary Fong.
     
  17. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    Makes sense now :)

    As I said, the results look pretty good. I think this is perfect for a situation where you've either lost or forgotten your diffuser, and happen to have a milk bottle handy.

    Perhaps if the bottom flap of the carton was folded over, and some silver gaffer tape was stuck on the inside of it to bounce a bit more flash up into the diffuser? Might give it a bit more oomph?
     
  18. nxsr20

    nxsr20 Member

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    No harm done. Hey I'm all for DIY stuff (my mate and I are ghetto DIY pro's :p) and props to you for sharing. I'd make and use something like that myself, but I'd never use it in public :o
    Ceiling bounce doesn't always give the best results as it leaves shadows under the eyes/neck/etc. I use ceiling bounce alot though cos it's convenient hehe
     
  19. OP
    OP
    azz

    azz Member

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    I cbf quoting everyone, but I will reply in like to some points that have been made:

    I have no problems using this in public, only issue is that it bends a bit in my bag. Though if I had a Fong ripoff I would probably rather that, more robust and cleaner looking.

    Bouncing is great, and I started with that, then moved to A Better Bounce Card method (a funnel of flexible foam) now this milk diffuser. Each time I have seen better results. More even light, less reflections.

    Also, if you saw my Warhammer thread, that is single flash with this diffuser, wireless, NOT through the tracing paper walls. Fantastic result for a single flash and lightbox I think.

    Jaeba, reflective gaffa tape is a great idea, I do think it is losing a bit of power, wasting it out the rear.
     
  20. StuartL

    StuartL Member

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    Which is where something like the Fong comes in very handy. Ceiling bounce, but also a bit of fill flash too to soften those shadows. Better the shadows from ceiling bounce with no fill, though, than direct flash.
     

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