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Where to buy diffusion and gels in UK


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#1 Lee Burnett

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 06:46 AM

I've got my first set of redhead lights (not the cheapo ebay ones) - wanting to start experimenting with diffusing, flagging, bouncing etc.

I've been looking around for somewhere to buy diffusion sheets in the UK but struggling to find somewhere that seems legit and sells everything.

Can anyone advise?

Also, if anyone has some advice or links to videos to help me build my own diffusion frames, that would be sweet.


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 06:51 AM

Your namesake. Lee.


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#3 Lee Burnett

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 06:52 AM

I guessed someone would say that, but after minor googling couldn't find a UK website?


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 06:59 AM

Just google for gels. Not cheap, sadly.

 

As to diffusion, I built a (nearly) 8x8 simply by buying one-inch round tube (round is stronger) and some of these clamps. This works really well.

 

I support it on stands like these, which is pretty much just the standard approach.

 

I made some clamps to hold the frame to the stand, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend my approach to that part - work something out.

 

The fabric you either have to buy or lean on a sewing-capable relative. Ahem.

 

 

P


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#5 Lee Burnett

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 07:15 AM

Thanks. I was considering making them from wood, but that makes a lot more sense. Do you disassemble them at the end of a shoot? I guess you could carry them like that and assemble them on the day?

 

As for the stands, they are (at the moment) out of my price range, so I guess there's no harm in just hanging them from a cheap light stand and then upgrading when I can afford to?

 

Thanks


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 08:20 AM

Metal is lighter for the same stiffness, but at the end of the day there's nothing wrong with wood if you happen to have some lying around. The photons won't know. I get my metal stock from these people. They're much (much, much) cheaper than, say, B&Q. I bought a cheap tripod bag from ebay and keep the parts in that. I made mine so that it breaks down in to two 1.25m sections, based on the 2.5m sections that they sell, so it'll fit in the bag.

 

You can prop the thing up any way you like, although be aware that obviously the windage on something like that is pretty fierce and it can take off quite easily, dragging stands and lighting with it. This can happen even if you're indoors and someone happens to open an outside door, even if it's not much more than a gentle breeze.

 

P


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#7 Mark Dunn

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 08:32 AM

http://www.leefilter...olour-list.html


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#8 Lee Burnett

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 08:48 AM

The thing I'm confused by is that, let's say I want to make 48" x 21" panels, these obviously aren't big enough to lean on the floor and have at eye level, so I need to find a way of holding them up at a specific level and control them.

Is there no way of doing this without C-stands? 


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#9 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 09:36 AM

The thing I'm confused by is that, let's say I want to make 48" x 21" panels, these obviously aren't big enough to lean on the floor and have at eye level, so I need to find a way of holding them up at a specific level and control them.

Is there no way of doing this without C-stands? 

 

Regular light stands really aren't robust or stable enough to hold 48" worth of diffusion securely. They're also difficult to securely shotbag. C-stands are made for precisely that purpose - I know they're expensive, but they're an investment that will last as long as you do (if you buy decent ones).


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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 09:49 AM

This DIY stand idea has been posted on the forum before, but I don't view it as a very good solution. It's probably safe enough if sensibly put together, but most of what makes the stand useful is all the clamps, screws and adjustments, and while the rest of it is quite legitimately made of nothing more than pieces of tube, the devil is in the details. Because of this, although I have found ways to do a lot of filmmaking things on the cheap, I'm forced to admit that I have not found a worthwhile low-cost solution to the stand problem.

 

The Chinese ones are much cheaper, but the real ones are so astonishingly expensive than even much cheaper versions are still some way from really being affordable - especially as you tend to need ten.

 

When I bought mine, I got a deal for buying a few at once. I have no better ideas. Small diffusion, flags and bounces can be mounted on the low-cost stands - pop-up lastolite style devices often are - but anything more than a really very small one will require more. A large part of what makes currently-fashionable photographic techniques look like they do is the creation and control of very large sources of soft light, and there is no way to do it other than using large objects.

 

P


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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:11 AM

 

Is there no way of doing this without C-stands? 

 

 

heh heh!

 

Got to be said... London again! :)


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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:33 AM

I didn't want to be the one to say it.
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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:52 AM

Some great ideas here Phil!

 

One thing I'm wondering is how the combo stands you have are in any way special. The main thing that seems to be special about the C-stands is the design of the legs whereas your combo stands seem to have fairly standard legs. This seems especially a problem in this kind of application where the legs on the c-stands might help to hold the frame up against the breeze or whatever?

 

The other thing I'm wondering is that although making the frames from metal will make them very solid which is great, it also makes them heavier. Did you try PVC pipe or were the frames just too large for that?

 

Freya


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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:32 AM

One thing I'm wondering is how the combo stands you have are in any way special.

 

They're not. They're essentially clones of things made by Manfrotto, Arri, Doughty, and others.

 

C-stand legs are designed such that several stands can be placed in close proximity.

 

I looked at 20mm diameter PVC cable trunking, but I think it's too flexible for anything but the smallest stuff. Even at 4x4', it'd probably struggle to retain any tension on the fabric, and you'd end up with slackness, wrinkles, noise, etc. And at that size, it's not really that much more work (and only a bit more money) to make it out of inch aluminium tube.

 

P


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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:38 AM

 

They're not. They're essentially clones of things made by Manfrotto, Arri, Doughty, and others.

 

C-stand legs are designed such that several stands can be placed in close proximity.

 

 

I understood that the c-stand legs were supposed to be harder to tip over because of the design.

If it's not the legs of the c-stands that are special I'm once again having trouble understanding what is special about the c-stands.

 

I understood it was all about the legs!


Edited by Freya Black, 14 February 2016 - 11:38 AM.

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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:44 AM

I looked at 20mm diameter PVC cable trunking, but I think it's too flexible for anything but the smallest stuff. Even at 4x4', it'd probably struggle to retain any tension on the fabric, and you'd end up with slackness, wrinkles, noise, etc. And at that size, it's not really that much more work (and only a bit more money) to make it out of inch aluminium tube.

 

P

 

Thanks Phil, you probably saved me a ton of hastle on the PVC!


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#17 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:54 AM

C stands are great for confined spaces, but I generally wouldn't use them to support a frame bigger than 4x4. Combos are much more stable, particularly outdoors.


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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 12:05 PM

C stands are great for confined spaces, but I generally wouldn't use them to support a frame bigger than 4x4. Combos are much more stable, particularly outdoors.

 

 

Now I'm not getting what is special about c-stands again.

I thought a big part of the advantage was that they were more stable because of the design of the legs.


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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 12:08 PM

The design of the legs allows them to be placed closer together, and to fold up more easily. That's it.

 

P


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#20 Freya Black

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 01:10 PM

Sounds like the sandbags are far more important than the c-stands, which is good because they are a lot cheaper.


Edited by Freya Black, 14 February 2016 - 01:10 PM.

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