Reflectors

Discussion about cameras, microscopes, stains, and gadgets, along with useful tips for preparation of fungi samples
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Chris Johnson
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Reflectors

Post by Chris Johnson » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:42 am

I noted that Mike (Lancashire Lad) made mention of a Lastolite reflector in a recent thread. I wondered if Mike, or others (Leif perhaps), could recommend a particular model for field use?

Regards, Chris

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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Reflectors

Post by Lancashire Lad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:14 am

Hi Chris,

I use Lastolite circular reflectors a great deal, as I don't use flash at all.
They weigh next to nothing, and fold up quite small. I consider them to be an essential part of my kit.

There are several makes on the market, including some "5 in 1" types that, as the name implies, have five possible colour variations.
All of them are much of a muchness as far as reflecting light, but I decided to stick with Lastolite because of the good quality of manufacture.
They come with a good quality zipped sleeve (which is obviously included in the price - and which, in my case, gets consigned to the cupboard, never to see the light of day again! :lol: ).
However, they do come with a lifetime warranty on the spring steel rim - I've had mine for about eight years, and they are all still as good as new.

If I'm specifically out for photography, (with the Nikon/Sigma macro lens, etc.) I will take the 50cm diameter ones with me.
If I'm out more for finding/recording fungi, I generally just take the Fuji Finepix HS10, and use a couple of 30cm reflectors.
I also use a Lastolite diffuser - same principle, but very useful for shading subjects that are situated in blazing sunshine.

In the case of the Green Earthtongue shot it looked obvious (to me) in the final image, that some sort of additional lighting had been used - so I decided to spill the beans!
I was reflecting full sunshine onto the subject, and unfortunately, I'd left my Sunfire/White one back home, so had to use the Gold/Silver one that's more suited to hazy sunshine. (In full sun it gives a harsher result).

The different colours of reflector have markedly different effect on the image produced, which is why I usually have both colour variants with me. (Apart from when I forget one! :roll: ), Sometimes it's the one that wouldn't be considered favourite, that gives the best result.

The 50cm ones fold to about 18-20cm, and the 30cm ones fold to about 10-12cm
The two types I use are "Sunfire/White" (the less harsh one that I use most often), and "Gold/Silver" (the one I used with the Green Earthtongue).
Typical Sunfire/White model: - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lastolite-30cm- ... or+sunfire

Regards,
Mike.
Common sense is not so common.

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Chris Johnson
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Re: Reflectors

Post by Chris Johnson » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:23 pm

Hi Mike

That's very helpful, thank you.

I did visit this subject quite some time ago and decided that it's too windy here to be able to control the reflector. However, I'm rarely alone exploring so can enlist some help.

I did invest in a micro ring-flash some years ago but was never satisfied with the results so, like you, now don't use it.

Regards, Chris

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Re: Reflectors

Post by Chris Johnson » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:41 am

Leif wrote:I have a small lastolite circular folding one. The fabric splits ove time revealing the steel rim. I normally use homemade reflectors. I cut some thick cardboard into rectangles, then tore off some aluminium foil, crumpled it up, uncrumpled it, and glued it to the cardboard. They are not tatty but useable. The reason for scrumpling the foil is to make sure the light is a bit more even, and less directional. I started out in film days, and film has poor dynamic range, so it was essential to avoid hot spots. But I'd still recommend scrumpling it.

I happen to prefer a more diffuse lighting, and avoid direct sunlight, but it really is according to taste. Fill flash is worth trying too, -2 stops relative to ambient works well, but it depends on the camera/flash. With fungi they are so close to the camera that flash metering is not always as good as usual.
A bit tardy in replying as I've been on the Scottish mainland for a few days.

Thanks for your thoughts and DIY models. I'll assess the info and options before making a decision.

Regards, Chris

EDIT (Lancashire Lad 02/09/15) In order not to side-track away from the discussion of reflectors, subsequent posts on carrying knives etc. when out foraying, have been split away into a new topic. For those posts, see :- viewtopic.php?f=5&t=452

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