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Macro Getting really close

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Old 30th December 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Adapting a Torch/Flashlight for Tripod Mounting

I do a lot of macro at tiny effective apertures using fully manual lenses. This makes framing and focusing difficult, except, maybe, in bright sunlight. In dimmer light, the sensor jumps all over the place, the subject being neither still nor sharp in the viewfinder, leaving framing and focus mostly to guesswork.

The way to avoid this is to shine a bright light on the subject. So I bought a Cree 10W (“brightest in the world” etc.) hand torch. Its battery compartment/handle is very much narrower than the bulb compartment, making it point upwards when laid on the ground or on a table. On a table, it was very inclined to roll off.

So I decided that attaching it to a mini tripod would give me full control of aiming the beam and would not require handling, once set up. I purchase a Manfrotto Pixi mini tripod, which was also for Nissin (non-tiltable) flash guns.

To mount to a typical tripod requires a female ¼ inch tread. I obtained this by purchasing a 3/8” to ¼” bush adapter. I did not want to drill the torch so I purchased a selection of Jubilee Clips (aka worm drive hose clamps).

I chose a clip to fit the torch handle and set about drilling a hole to take the bush. The problem was that the external threads of the bush were about 7.5mm and the clip was 9mm wide. The largest drill bit I could use was 7mm. I then had to file off some of the external thread (which I originally intended to use to secure it), stretch the drill hole, and, finally, use pliers to squeeze and lever the adapter into the hole from the inside of the clip. This gave a tight fit, which was totally rigid when the clip was finally fitted and screwed tight.

I think the images are self-explanatory. (A tip: a single flash gives best results with these shiny metal parts).

The final image shows a typical use. Note how much brighter is the part of the subject in the beam on a cloudy day.

Harold











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Old 31st December 2018
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Re: Adapting a Torch/Flashlight for Tripod Mounting

A fine job. Other options to consider are the LED torches sold as DIY items which are flexible or hinged and have a magnetic base but I like the neatness of your approach and its always satisfying when one has produced something pratical like this.
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Old 31st December 2018
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Re: Adapting a Torch/Flashlight for Tripod Mounting

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
A fine job. Other options to consider are the LED torches sold as DIY items which are flexible or hinged and have a magnetic base but I like the neatness of your approach and its always satisfying when one has produced something pratical like this.
Thanks.

What I don't understand about such torches is that a flashing mode seems to be obligatory. This one has two, one so fast that the light never seems to go out and a slower one when it does. It is all automatic so you can't send out a Morse Code SOS.

My first chose was a much smaller torch with Cree Diode. That has one dedicated flashing mode but when it has been on steady beam for a few minutes it goes into flashing mode, useless for macro and I have to switch it off and turn on again to reset it.

What is all this flashing crap about?

Harold
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Re: Adapting a Torch/Flashlight for Tripod Mounting

I like the work on fitting that to the tripod.


You can get torches that do not flash my LED lenser P14 has no flash mode. Those high speed flash modes are generally seen as being for defence.
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Re: Adapting a Torch/Flashlight for Tripod Mounting

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I like the work on fitting that to the tripod.

You can get torches that do not flash my LED lenser P14 has no flash mode. Those high speed flash modes are generally seen as being for defence.
Thanks Alf,

It's good to know that, if a slime mould turns nasty, I can protect myself

Harold
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