Archive for the ‘Strobist’ Category

I had posted before on the availability of a Firmware upgrade for Nissin Di622 here. The latest update as below when I wrote to them again. So looks like we have to wait for a little longer 🙂


Dear Chris

The firmware is ready for Nikon model only. But we are having problem with our update kit. Nissin HK has advised us the steps.

I shall keep you informed once the upgrade is availabe at our office.

Thank you and regards
Schmidt Marketing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd



Earlier this week, I had a chance to try out this light modifer from Joe Demb – The Demb Flipit. It’s not free and it cost me around RM1xx for 1 set (white reflector card, the hinge and the diffuser) And I have been wanting to get my hand on this after trying the Beauty Dish, bouce flash, built-in bouce card & diffuser and box diffuser.

This is how my flash look like with the Dem Flipit installed.

demb flipitdemb flipit1

The pieces in the front are 2 layers of diffusers.

demb flipit2

Sample photo of my wife using the Dem Flipit! (flash upwards with 90 deg reflector) can you see the background was nicely lid up due to the light bounce off the ceiling. The reflector bounce off a small amount of light forward to lid the face. There is a minimal level of hotspots too….as the light is quite diffused.

The only harsh shadow noticed is under the jaw, around the neck area.

**check out picture of her using DIY Beauty Dish (Demb produces a softer picture, where else Beauty Dish provide more hotspots due to direct flash)

demb flipit sample

This shot, i tried it on a ‘bear’.  Some shadow can be notices but not too harsh. My flash is set up like the picture #3 & #4 below. This is a directional lighting (to the right) and one can tell the power reflected forward is lesser than if you set up your Demb Flipit like picture #1.

BC45deg_flash 45deg_no diffuser

Some suggested positions.

I like #3 &#4 if you have to make quick changes to move from vertical to horizontal. However the cons is the power will be cut down by 1/3, so some adjustment is needed to correct the exposure.


Once again, stay tuned for more photos and experiments….

Part 3 of my flash test. This time, I have introduced a new light modifier – Homemade Flip/Bounce Card

All photos taken using Nikon D5000 18-55mm leans.

direct flash- no diffuser

direct_no filter

flash 90 degree upwards with no filter (the classical bounce)

flash upwards no filter

flash 90 degree upwards with Nissin Built-in-Diffuser

flash upwards with BIDiffuser

flash 90 degree upwards with Nissin Built-in Flip Card (medium fill)

+2flash upwards with BIFlip card

flash 90 degree upwards with both Built In Diffuser & Built-in Flip Card

Note the softer shadow….

flash upwards with both Built In

flash 90 degree upwards with homemade bounce card (light weight white envelope)

as you can see, more light are been bounced forward using a bigger piece of bounce card.

flash upwards with homemade flip card

If you missed my previous posts on lights modifier, click on here & here


(part 2, Strobist – DIY Beauty Dish)

This is a follow up from the previous post (part 1 Strobist – DIY Beauty Dish). For today, my apology as we do not have any volunteer model, so end up a piece of craft has been borrowed from my wife in this experiment.

All shots taken using Nikon D5000, 35mm f1.8 lens. I tried to use similar speed & aperture for all shots otherwise stated.

flash upwards = Bounce light + Box Diffuser (35mm lens) Nissin Di622


flash upwards = Bounce light + Built in Diffuser (35mm lens) Nissin Di622


direct flash with a Beauty Dish (35mm lens) Nissin Di622


direct flash with a Beauty Dish + Box Diffuser (35mm lens) Nissin Di622


direct flash with a Beauty Dish with adjustment made to extend the distance between reflector and flash head (35mm lens) Nissin Di622


direct flash with a Beauty Dish with adjustment made to shorten the distance between reflector flash head (35mm lens) Nissin Di622



Beauty Dish with longer distance between the flash head & reflector provide more light to the object, the difference seems to be in the centre of focus, thus further research is needed to confirm this. Beauty Dish work well compare to bouce light with or without a diffuser where the shadow are less prominent & more diffused.

Stayed tune for my next experiment…


(Part 1 of Strobist – DIY Beauty Dish)

Beauty Dish….well, its not a bowl of soup which is good for one’s skin. But ‘Beauty Dish‘ is an expensive flash accessory widely use in photography studio as part of the lightning set up (along side soft box and reflector) A commercial Beauty Dish (sample here) can cost between US$150-US$300!

So what is the different between a softbox and a Beauty Dish? Imagine bare bulb at one end of the spectrum which give you one directional light with dark & deep shadow and at the other end, the softbox with non-directional diffused light, Beauty dish is right in the middle of the two.

…..the beauty dish produces a more abrupt shadow edge transfer(contrasty light) than a soft box. Also, the degree of abruptness is more noticeable with a silver beauty dish than a white one. Whether white or silver, a beauty dish produces a more difuse quality of light than a standard reflector. I guess you can think of the quality of beauty dishes as being in the middle of specular and diffuse, in between a standard reflector and a softbox….. (DIY photography.Net)

So today since i have a whole stack of soup bowl left unwanted in my cupboard, we gonna make our own Beauty Dish.

So, here are the ingredients:

  • 1 x soup bowl (must have deep wall to reflect the light)
  • 1x cardboard
  • 1x aluminum foil, glue or double sided tape
  • 1x white or silver paint spray
  • 4x wire (10cm each)
  • you will need craft knife, scissors and a pair of pliers

1) First of all, cut a hole through the back of the soup bowl, with the size of your flash head (the hole must be able to fit your flah head)

2) Next, we will continue to make a reflector using  the cardboard & the aluminum foil. Wrap the cardboard using the aluminum foil and make sure the shape end up as round.


3) make 4 holes at the back of the bowl as well as the reflector (which is now covered in aluminum foil).

4) insert the wire through the reflector and later to the soup bowl. I find this not very secure and later i realised a better way to handle this. Wires should be tie further out to the edge of the bowl and not the inner of the bowl. I will show some pictures soon.


5) the final DIY look something like the above. Due to the set up of the reflector, it allow you to move the reflector either closer to the flash head or further away.


6) The beauty dish in action, trigged by built in camera flash.



the one on the left is fired without any diffuser while the one on the right fired with the built in diffuser.The later diffused the scene (the left one is very directional and harsh) while the one with Beauty Dish produces a softer & non-directional light. (above)

So now, tested on a live human (my lovely wife) The homemade Beauty Dish is not perfect, you can see a number of hot spots…more test is needed….



I noticed the back of soup bowl allows small amount of light fall-out to the surrounding when the flash fires. I believe this is due to the cheap & translucent materiel used to make this bowl, this can be easy solve by spray painting the back of the bowl with black. Additional to this, the inner soup bowl need to be spray painted with silver or white to give more reflection to the light.

To reflect more light back to the bowl, a mirror is required, as the aluminium foil stopped some of the light bouncing back to the bowl…will drop by local hardware store and pick one up.

And Before you leave, check out these sites…they have written article about DIY beauty Dish / Building a DIY beauty dish.

So stayed tune….will do some minor adjustment and give you an update on my next post.