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Old January 3rd, 2017, 12:32 PM   #1
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Diffusing material

Hi,

I'm going to make my own softbox what what do you think would be the best diffusing material?
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: Diffusing material

What kind of light? If it's LED you can use anything you want. If it's not LED . . . get an LED! :-)
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: Diffusing material

yes, LED. I know I can use anything but what would be best?
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 09:01 PM   #4
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Re: Diffusing material

I made a DIY 3x3 frame with 1" PVC and Ripstip nylon from Joann Fabrics. For $15 think it works great!
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Old January 4th, 2017, 09:05 AM   #5
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Re: Diffusing material

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Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
I made a DIY 3x3 frame with 1" PVC and Ripstip nylon from Joann Fabrics. For $15 think it works great!
Thank you!
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Old January 4th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Diffusing material

You should be able to get a Lee Filter swatch book from your local Barbizon Lighting or similar dealer, in which you'll find a variety of diffusion choices. Some are cloth and some polyester or similar material.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 01:05 PM   #7
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Re: Diffusing material

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know I can use anything but what would be best?
There are many factors to consider when determining the best material. How much diffusion do want? How powerful is the light? A lot of LED lights just don't have enough fire power to go through a softbox and still have anything left on the other side, so the thinnest material you can find is probably your best bet. Since fabric is cheap, go to a store and buy a yard each of several candidates and try them out.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: Diffusing material

I used to purchase a large sheet of acrylic of the transparent type at home depot and bought a 4 dollar scoring knife to get the exact size I needed. I then sprayed several coats of Krylon diffusing spray to get the effect or opacity I needed letting dry between coats. I did it outside as the fumes are strong. It drys very fast. Another one is ordering from TAP plastics http://www.tapplastics.com/product/p...o_size_plastic,

they will cut to size and they have diffusing material as well and in different thicknesses too. They deliver quick and very reasonable prices. I am positive that you will find exactly what you need here.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 01:57 PM   #9
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Re: Diffusing material

Kathy, if you are making the entire fixture LED's come in different color temperatures ( light color) from somewhat 2800K (warm or yellowish) to daylight blue 5200K-6500K (bluish) and everything in between.
Once you discover that the light color is not what you have expected, you can always, instead of changing the leds, use a color correcting gel under the diffuser. I have made several light boxes to view color transparencies and found that a neutral white leds like 4000K was perfect. It is difficult diffusing leds as they are an intense point light source and I found it best if they are not too close to the diffusing material. I also made several using fluorescent tubes and they are not only cheaper but tend to diffuse better.
If you could tell me what size is your softbox, have other suggestions depending on size. Sometimes flexible and thin diffusing material works best, sometimes a rigid acrylic sheet is better.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:35 PM   #10
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Re: Diffusing material

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Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
Kathy, if you are making the entire fixture LED's come in different color temperatures ( light color) from somewhat 2800K (warm or yellowish) to daylight blue 5200K-6500K (bluish) and everything in between.
Once you discover that the light color is not what you have expected, you can always, instead of changing the leds, use a color correcting gel under the diffuser. I have made several light boxes to view color transparencies and found that a neutral white leds like 4000K was perfect. It is difficult diffusing leds as they are an intense point light source and I found it best if they are not too close to the diffusing material. I also made several using fluorescent tubes and they are not only cheaper but tend to diffuse better.
If you could tell me what size is your softbox, have other suggestions depending on size. Sometimes flexible and thin diffusing material works best, sometimes a rigid acrylic sheet is better.
Hi Arthur, I'm building these
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Old January 5th, 2017, 09:00 PM   #11
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Re: Diffusing material

I see it is a project you are making from scratch. From experience with the strip leds array they tend to be already diffused because the leds are mounted very close to each other. At distance to subject of around 3 feet or more and adding a diffuser will, at those distances only serve to reduce the brightness level or the glare for the subject. If the panel is used for close-up tabletop work ( like around 1-3 feet) then without a diffuser will cause multiple shadows to appear behind the subject and therefore a diffuser would be needed to eliminate that effect.
There are flexible diffusing materials available than can be folded/rolled etc. Just be careful that the material is not touching the leds as leds do get hot at the die surface level. I am sure that those leds are of the low wattage types and should not be a problem with diffusers. I have seen studios use rice paper or drafting sheets as well as opaque shower curtain material cut to size. Check out B&H to see what they have to offer on flexible acetates. Good luck with your project and please post back with pictures.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:15 AM   #12
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Re: Diffusing material

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
I see it is a project you are making from scratch. From experience with the strip leds array they tend to be already diffused because the leds are mounted very close to each other. At distance to subject of around 3 feet or more and adding a diffuser will, at those distances only serve to reduce the brightness level or the glare for the subject. If the panel is used for close-up tabletop work ( like around 1-3 feet) then without a diffuser will cause multiple shadows to appear behind the subject and therefore a diffuser would be needed to eliminate that effect.
There are flexible diffusing materials available than can be folded/rolled etc. Just be careful that the material is not touching the leds as leds do get hot at the die surface level. I am sure that those leds are of the low wattage types and should not be a problem with diffusers. I have seen studios use rice paper or drafting sheets as well as opaque shower curtain material cut to size. Check out B&H to see what they have to offer on flexible acetates. Good luck with your project and please post back with pictures.
Thank you. I will first build the panel and then experiment.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 11:52 AM   #13
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Re: Diffusing material

You might check out BLICK art materials. I bought a sheet of Canson Opalux 19"x25" for I think $5-6. Seems like it would work as a diffusing material.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #14
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Re: Diffusing material

That's interesting. There are some materials intended for printing backlit photographs, so they are white/translucent and available on a roll (e.g. Pictorico), however the price for a roll is probably comparable to products made for lighting like Lee and Rosco.
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