Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DIM(Do it myself) AAA battery case

Batteries are an essential part of any electronic items. It's so important that I keep a spare for my camera and both flashes. I bought original battery for my Nex as at that time, there wasn't any third party batteries available. Luckily I got it cheap from Uncle Chin of Studio Zaloon. A week or so after that, third party batteries was made available for RM70. Might be getting that one too. With the viewing, setting and composing all done using the LCD, it drains the batteries fast.

Same goes for my AA and AAA batteries. I use Eneloops, and it came with its own battery case to make storing easier. However, I lost the case and my batteries now lay scattered inside the camera bag. I browsed through the web and found someone sells battery case for Rm15. Quite expensive for a piece of plastic. Then, something came up, and I made myself one! I wonder why I didn't think of this earlier.

What do you need?
1. The clear disposable plastic battery holder that came with your batteries when you buy at shops - Ni-CD, alkalines or normal batteries have those.
2. A small piece of corrugated plastic sheet, cut that to match the battery holder size. You can use hard plastics too.
3. Binding tape.
4. Adhesive velcro straps. I got those from Daiso.

The procedures are pretty straightforward. Just put binding tape at one end of the corrugated plastic sheets, and adhesive velcros at the other.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Nex's Shutter priority mode

I tried this drive mode when some friends and I visited a nearby waterfall last month. Sony stated that it can capture 7 frames per second, an extra of 2 frames from my previous camera. Maybe it's due to the absence of moving mirrors. But still, it loses out to the new Sony's Single Lens Translucent A55 that can capture 10. "Benefit of Technology", a friend uttered when new cameras with better tech comes out. If not because of the Singapore trip this Sunday, I would be funding for that SLT.

However, the weather wasn't very conducive for the test but I carried on anyway. Camera was set at iso3200, 29mm, f4.5, 1/200. No editing on photos except cropping and resizing.



A bright, sunny day would yield better results as 1/200 still couldn't freeze the movements. On the other hand, moments were captured which I think is more important in a photo. Thank God the weather is getting better here in Lawas and Punang will be our next destination soon for sunset.

We're going to have a public holiday tomorrow to mark Malaysia's Independence Day! How I wish today is a holiday too, as the celebration in Kota Kinabalu would be awesome tonight.

As for Lawas, I would be more than happy if I could see some glimpse of fireworks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

DIY Softbox Version ?

For the past two years since I started this hobby, I built a few softboxes, diffusers and even beauty dishes that I lost count. Built those, tried and tested, and it will be thrown away either because it's not functioning properly or they break apart. I didn't give a name to the recent diffuser for my Nex either so I guess I'll just build anything and call it by any number after this.

Anyway, I built another softbox using corrugated plastic sheets. It has been used for my recent portraiture with Mr. Zrul. The process was simple enough, I will just show you the finished product. This time, it looked better and can last longer than all my previous ones.

The inner part. I pasted aluminium foils using white glue.

The two piece of plastic sheet on top are meant to hold the flash in place.

Closer look.

A white cloth is used as a diffuser, temporarily. :D

The size.

I used an adjustable cable tie to lock the flash.

Yeah! Glowing brightly!

Now some test shots using my ever faithful and obedient Arios.

Bright sun at the back, softbox at top left.

What do you think?

Sunset at Sepitang

Finally! The sun rises and sets without any rain in between. After a spell of dark clouds and rain almost every evening in Lawas, bright sunny days are a much welcome sight. My friend suggested that we go to Sepitang to shoot sunset.

So off we go yesterday. This time we shoot at a smaller, wooden jetty. A different jetty from which I took some sunset shots in an earlier post. This jetty was right behind the fish market. Didn't take much photos and after previewing, I found only two shots that I see are nice.

And today, I finally bought myself Flickr pro version account. I was a pro(pro here doesn't mean I'm a pro photographer hehe) previously, but my account expired a few months ago and Flickr displayed only 200 recent photos from my albums. Phew...there's thousands of megabytes of photos I've not uploaded yet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet Mr. Zrul the guitarist

After a rather successful photo session with my friend Daniel and his guitar, I thought of doing another one at home in Lawas, but this time my colleague will pose for me while my guitar will be used as a prop.

As usual the settings was in front of a rather white wall, Sunblitz on top right, shot through a softbox and the Sunpak at the left body side. Once again, I had some troubles getting the flash to fire, especially when both cannot detect the flash coming from the pop-up. Nevertheless, got a few good ones.

My friend suggested the wordings on the photo.

The Sunpak didn't fire on both of these photos, but it created a nice shadow. Maybe a bit underexposed though.

On another note, the government will give some monetary aid to all civil servants before Hari Raya. Nice! I can use that for radio triggers and a new bag. Singapore trip is just around the corner too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunpak PF20XD + Sony Nex

Yay! I bought myself a used Sunpak PF20XD to use with the Nex. Now I'm having two flash units, both fired optically. I bought it cheap for RM100. This particular flash uses 2-AAA batteries, and guess what, I bought new AAA Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries. Very reliable batteries I must say, having used the AA sets for my F58 and F42 flash units last time. This Sunpak is quite small, fits nicely on my palm, but packs some serious flash power.

Slave sensors at the front.

With the built-in diffuser pulled up.

On-Off button, Mode button for to change flash power and the flash sync selector.

So what can two flash units with Nex can do for you?

Nex pop-up covered with DIY diffuser, Sunblitz with DIY diffuser at top right and Sunpak with built-in diffuser at mouth level left.

As good as it can be, there's always weaknesses. Being optically slaved, both flashes need to see the signal from the pop-up for them to fire. And both could not work at bright areas eg sunny outdoors. As for now, I'm limiting the usage for indoor portraits and product shoot. However, as DIY spirit is still very strong in me, my next project is to get radio flash triggers. If that works, I can fire both flashes, anytime of the day at any directions! Time to shop!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sony Nex DIY pop-up flash diffuser

I'm so really into DIY mood right now. Next in my DIY list is the diffuser for the Nex pop-up flash. An alphanatics.com friend uses a film roll canister. Tried that but I wanted something bigger. So I search high and low and finally I got what I wanted to make the diffuser.

It's the 4-small plastic container from Daiso for RM5.00

Here's the steps for creating this diffuser.

Just cut at one of the bottom edges of the container to slot the flash in. The cut area must be right so that the container will stay straight when mounted on the flash unit.

I bought the silver, reflective tape at a stationary store for Rm3.80, and paste some on the cover, and covers all the insides of the container.

Another look of the inside.

How does this diffuser works? I'll show you using my simple sketch.

The light from the flash will be reflected by the reflective tape, before it escapes from the top part of the cover that is not pasted with the tape. Because the cover is not really transparent, the light got diffused more.

Here's some sample shots.

The cat, from being sleepy to restless until...

Sorry for disturbing your sleep cat. :P

Because of the multiple reflection and the semi-transparent cover, the light power was reduced significantly. This diffuser will work best with close shots. Happy DIY!