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40 Degree Eggcrate for Controllable Softlight


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#1 Brian Wells

Brian Wells
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Posted 05 March 2006 - 04:28 PM

Enthusiastic is not exactly the word I would use to describe my reaction to the cost of 40 degree louver's made for the film industry. $(@#! is more like it. So, I've been thinking about making one myself out of poster board. It was a rainy day today, which gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Using the dimensions on the vendor's website for the 40-degree spread, I cut five strips of thick black paper 24" long and 2" high. Then, I cut some shorter strips about six inches long with slits in them half way through the paper spaced 1.7 inches (rounded up from 1.68) across. There were also slits in the longer strips. Then, I put it all together. Assembly took about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I added some velcro strips to attach the eggcrate onto the light.

Here is my paper eggcrate:
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Many of the cuts were "eyeballed" and not perfect. Still, I am confident that if I took the time to properly measure and cut each piece that this eggcrate would not be as crooked! Even with all the kinks, it appears to be quite effective.

Here are the results:
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I know this paper eggcrate will not last forever, but I don't think a fabric eggcrate would be much better. And, with less than a $1 in materials, I can build several hundred of these for the same price as one fabric eggcrate made by someone else.

I suggest anyone looking into fabric eggcrates for their softlight to consider making one yourself before buying the expensive pre-made ones. Instead, put the money you would have spent into something that matters, like retirement!
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