2008-06-24

Spiderlight softbox (continued)

Well hello everyone.

Sorry it's been quite a while since my last posts about the spiderlight and softbox. I had waited a while for the parts needed to put everything on a light stand and I finally got them (like a month ago).

Now I finally found some time to take a few extra pictures as requested by a lot of people, and did a real good test out of everything. Read below for details.

First, I needed something sturdy to support this big softbox. So I went online to www.bhphotovideo.com and ordered an Impact Air-Cushioned Heavy Duty Light Stand.
Since this stand is only about 40$, I had a lot of doubts about it but when I got it I was amazed about how strong it really is. It's the perfect candidate to hold this big softbox.

Next I needed a swivel bracket to attach my spiderlight/softbox combo to the light stand and to be able to point it in the direction I want. Having looked over the official westcott website for a bit while designing my spiderlight fixture, I noticed this nice tilter bracket they made for their real spiderlite.

Westcott swivel bracket

It's not cheap (about 32$) but I wanted something of quality that could last beyond my softbox so for me it was an obvious choice. You can get it here at B&H Photo.

Since my softbox design attached directly on the spiderlight fixture (I will improve on that on my future designs), all I need to do is attach the spiderlight to the tilter bracket. Since the westcott tilter bracket already came with an insert pin, I went to my local hardware store and bought this double treaded bolt along with two nuts. One end is designed to screw into wood and the other one is like a bolt:
Double treaded bolt and nuts

So I pre-drilled a hole in the bottom of my fixture and screwed the bolt in place. Since there is no "head" on this screw/bolt, the only way you can screw it is by using a combination of two nuts. See picture below of the bolt in place on my spiderlight fixture:
Bolt in place

With tilter bracket insert pin in place:
Pin in place

All that needed to be done next is to fit everything together:
connected to stand

Overall view, with the heavy-duty light stand:
Overall view

Some people also asked me how I proceeded with the diffuser panel. Since I like when things are nice and clean, I went to my local fabric store and had them cut my white cotton fabric to perfect size and sewed a velcro around the whole perimeter. Since I was there I also bought a piece of ripstop nylon and had the same treatment done to it. She sold me a couple meters of self-sticking velcro for my softbox, so now I have two different diffuser panels that will velcro on demand to my softbox. Sweet!
Diffuser panel details

Next chapter: REAL FOOD SHOOT with the softbox!

12 comments:

hackamac said...

you need to put in a cable strain relief for that junction box. It will keep you from pulling out the wires by mistake when you trip over it. There are some for junction boxes that screw in and then you clamp down on the wire.

Safety first!

Daniel Condurachi said...

Man... you rock. You are a big inspiration to me. Because of you I just bought a speedlight and as soon as possible I'll go the building materials store to see what I can build with what I find there. Thank you so much! You inspired me and gave me hope that I can do it

Quintin Southwood said...

Where did you find the tilter bracket insert pin the little brass coupler i have build a light and have a stand i just need some way to connect stand to light and i cannot find a place that sells the coupler adapter

andydd7 said...

Great tutorial on the softbox, I just love the curved design. I'm going to have a go at this one myself soon. One question though, wouldnt it be better to install a dimmer switch onto the junction box instead of a toggle switch for 2 bulbs? that way you could regulate the power throughout the complete range with all 5 bulbs on at the same time. dunno, just a thought

camaleon said...

Andy, at least what I know, these kind of lamps do not work with a dimmer, these are not incandescent bulbs.

David said...

Correct, he had it so the switch turned off 2 bulbs, you wouldn't be able to put a dimmer switch on these bulbs. They do make florescent dimmer bulbs, but they are more expensive, require a special socket, and flicker sometimes.

I just finished my design of this and included 3 switches to as to be able to control all lights, and can have anywhere from 1-5 lights on at a time.

camaleon said...

Alex, thanks for tutorial... one more help, width size of the double treaded bolt ?

Thanks

Tim Easterday said...

Thanks for posting this. It has really helped out with my softbox construction. I ordered the Westcott tilter bracket but it did not come with the insert pin. I just wanted to pass that along to anyone wanting to buy the bracket.

grigor said...

Starting my own version of this tomorrow. :-)

I posted this idea on DIYPhotography.net, but am repeating it here 'cuz I like the idea so much ...

Instead of velcro-ing the diffuser sheet, why not use magnets to hold it in place. You've got the metal corner brackets already in place and it seems to me that magnets would be more user friendly than velcro (I hate velcro :-) You might need to add some straight brackets along the length and width to avoid sagging/gapping of the fabric.

Lastly, I notice in your pics that the coroplast seems to extend beyond the edge of the wooden frame in front. This looks like an ideal lip for mounting a grid. Have you tried making a grid from leftover coroplast? Might could add some great directionality to your light this way.

Thanks a bunch for sharing your great work with us all.

grigor said...

...like these

hope the anchor tag works...if not, you'll need to copy/paste the URL above

Anonymous said...
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Yucel said...

Anybody try different makes/wattage florescent bulbs... and to what effect?