My DIY lightbox (first setup) inspired by the Strobist:
Built from an LG vacuum cleaner box, cut to about 12x12x12 inches. Holes cut in sides and top, and covered in tissue paper. I painted the inside white with poster paint, but I don’t know if that helps.
I set the D40X to ‘M’ with aperture at f/16 and experiment with shutter settings. I view each image on the LCD with the highlight setting, to find the point at which just the background is blown out. I trigger the shot with my Nikon remote control to avoid camera jiggle (ML-L3, available separately).
I have an updated set-up here.
This image has been used in the Shapeways blog.
I’ve been using a spindle to prop up my macbook, but today, i decided to make this. it also helps hide a lot of cables, which is useful.
Shower board sheet from Home Depot, $12. 24 screws, ~$2. Not paying over $200 for a giant whiteboard? Priceless.
More and more owners of Canon PowerShot cameras have found CHDK, which is a firmware hack that allows users to add a lot of additional capabilities to their cameras. The capabilities include faster and slower shutter speeds, addition of RAW format, increased aperture range, better histograms, battery monitors, and user control scripts. I’m not going to discuss how to install CHDK or any scripts here. The links in these instructions (and the discussions in the Canon PowerShot S5 IS Group provide lots on good information on how to do that.)
UPDATE: (31 August 2008) The newer Juciphox Build of CHDK allows for the remote to work without additional scripts. In my initial testing, this version is much simpler to use than the older script-based technique.
One of the scripts available to CHDK users adds the capability to remotely trip the shutter using the camera’s USB port. Before you read any further, please note that while most things that you can do with CHDK cannot harm your camera, applying too much power to the USB port on your camera can cause major damage that Canon will charge you an enormous amount of money to repair. This is a fairly easy hack if you own a multimeter and a soldering iron, but if the thought of wiring a homemade device into your beautiful little camera and risking the possibility of causing it go KABLOOEY makes you feel uneasy, then this may not be the project for you. IF YOU FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.
There are some great webpages that explain the process of building and using a USB remote trigger, including the script itself. Since a remote trigger is great for long exposure and macro photography, I decided to build it for myself. I followed the instructions, but it didn’t work. I could trip the shutter by running the script and connecting the camera to a laptop via the USB cable, but not when my trigger was connected. I tested and retested it, but nothing would make it work. Finally, I found this page that indicated that unlike the S2 IS and S3 IS, the S5 needs at least 3.7V to trigger instead of the 3V that would trigger the earlier cameras. So, I rebuilt the remote to use 4.5V (using a 3V CR2032 watch battery and a 1.5V “Type N” alkyline battery) , and it immediately worked like a charm.
I bought all of the components at Radio Shack (and the part numbers listed below are their part numbers, this isn’t an add for them, they are just the only place in my small town that sells this type of stuff). The case is a 270-1801 Project Enclosure ($2.29), which is 3x2x1 inches (7.5x5x2.5 cm). The momentary push button switch is part number 275-646 ($2.49). It is mounted in the case with a 1/2 inch hole. I also routed out a small hole with a Dremmel tool on a corner opposite the switch so that the USB cable could exit the case once the lid is screwed back on.
I cut a spare USB extension cable with "Type A" ends (i.e., with a plug on one end and a receptacle on the other). I stripped back part of the cable on the receptacle end and found the wires corresponding to pins 1 and 4 using a multimeter.
To generate enough power in such a small enclosure, I ended up using both a 3V CR2032 battery and a 1.5V “N” alkaline battery. The battery holders for these are part numbers 270-0009 for the CR2032 ($0.99), and 270-405A for the N battery ($0.99). I soldered the black wire from the N battery holder to the “+” connector post on the CR2032 holder. I then soldered the red wire from the N battery holder to one post of the switch. I then soldered another length of red wire to the other post of the switch, and a length of black wire to the “-” post of the CR2032 holder.
I attached all of the battery holders to the inside of the case using double-sided tape.
FInally, I soldered the red wire from the switch and the black wire from the CR2032 enclosure to the wires corresponding to pins 1 and 4 respectively on the USB receptacle cable that I cut earlier. I then taped up these soldered connections with electrical tape and packed them into the case as neatly as I could. After screwing the cover back on, I tested the switch with a multimeter to verify that pins 1 and 4 of the USB receptacle showed approximately 4.5V (but under no circumstances more than 5V !) when the button was depressed.
Once this was done, I connected it to my camera with a Type A to Mini-B USB cable, turned on the camera, started the remote shutter CHDK script, and my new remote worked perfectly!
I chose to use a Type A receptacle with a short cable on my remote. Some may prefer wiring a Mini-B type plug directly, but this method provides me with more flexibility. The short cord makes it easier to carry and store, and allows me to connect a short USB cable (which I carry in my bag), or a long one (which I don’t) depending on what I’m going to do. It’s also a lot easier to test the contraption during construction with the larger end than it would have been with the Mini-B.
I built this remote for about $6.75 (plus about $8 for the batteries!). I was also able to use a USB cable that I already had. Local businesses were all really proud of their USB cables, but they can be purchased pretty inexpensively on the web.
Finally, if you don’t want to use an “N” battery, any 1.5V battery will work. AA or AAA batteries would work fine, but I didn’t have room in my case to use them.
UPDATE (15 September 2008): I have now built a second trigger with a larger case that uses three AAA batteries and that has a larger button for use by people with limited manual dexterity.
This is my recollection of using a piece of film to pull out the film leader from inside a 35mm canister. I read this somewhere but I can’t remember where. Please let me know if you do.
The arrow is pointing in the direction you’re going to insert this into the canister. The hooks were cut into the sprockets to catch the sprockets of the film leader. This is just an illustration, you should cut more notches.
Once you have enough of this film puller in the canister turn the spindle counterclockwise (if you’re looking at the canister with the spindle pointing towards you) until you feel the hooks catch. Slowly pull the film puller out. If things work it should drag out the film leader. You may have to try more than once.
I don’t use this anymore since I just went out and bought a two dollar commercial film puller.
While conceptualizing another photo I decided I wanted to use fake ice cubes to eliminate condensation and keep the melting ice from diluting the color of the liquor (and my freezer makes terribly ugly ice). I looked all over town for these things, but couldn’t find anywhere. I even tried Spencer Gifts to get those joke ice cubes with flies in them. I figured a little Photoshop would fix that, but no luck, so I made my own.
I’ve decided to make my Moleskine useful by following Mike Rohde’s directions for creating a custom weekly planner.
New Flickr Profile Found At www.flickr.com/davegruentzel
for the light i used some 250w work lights that i found on sale for $4 each, killer deal. but be careful, they do get hot.
the box was made out of two sheets of white 20inx30in foam core, about $3 per sheet. if i was to do it again i would use foam core that has white on one side and black on the other so i dont have to use the black duck tape.
the stand is PVC and is adjustable in hight, about $6 for all of the PVC.
i used 3/4” and 1” thin wall PVC.
and the box can tilted because i used a flag holder, bout $3.
not my original plan to mount the box but works better!
the defuser part i use some fabric i found at the store. i don’t know what kind exactly it is but it works great! i think is a form of rip-stop nylon. bout $5.
so for both softboxes i spent about $50. not bad for what i made. now i can use that money i saved and get me some glass :)
they do get HOT. but not to the point of starting a fire. i had them on for 5+ hours and had no problem. when i was making it i had that in mind.
nothing is really touching the foam core except the top. the light had a stand that screwed in, so i used it to mount it to the flag pole mount. so basically the light is floating in the middle of it. i recommend not using duck tape but some heat resistance tape. when the duck tape gets hot it smells a little at first.
but i do keep my eye on it just in case.
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