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Lets talk scrims ...
Old 09-11-2006, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey All,

I am thinking about trying to work with scrims outdoors to diffuse some of the light from the sun. I have little knowledge of how to work with them so I have some questions. 1..will it leave a shadow on the ground on "film", 2 how much on average will I lose in terms of f stops. I realize that is a broad question depending on the material. 3. Do they act as kind of a "soft box" and reduce (eliminate) shadows? 4. where can I buy one (thats not the price of my potential first born" or have any of you made one. If so can you tell me about how you made it and what you used to set it up on the beach. If any of you have any images, please post and tell me what time of day it was and how you did it?

Thanks,
Michael
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Re: Lets talk scrims ...
Old 09-11-2006, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photopro34
Hey All,
I am thinking about trying to work with scrims outdoors to diffuse some of the light from the sun. I have little knowledge of how to work with them so I have some questions. 1..will it leave a shadow on the ground on "film", 2 how much on average will I lose in terms of f stops. I realize that is a broad question depending on the material. 3. Do they act as kind of a "soft box" and reduce (eliminate) shadows? 4. where can I buy one (thats not the price of my potential first born" or have any of you made one. If so can you tell me about how you made it and what you used to set it up on the beach. If any of you have any images, please post and tell me what time of day it was and how you did it?
Thanks,
Michael
It can leave a shadow depending on size, and how you compose the shot. If you use a big scrim, then it may not make any difference. You will lose 1 or 2 stops usually but that does depend on how tranluscent the fabric is. It does act as a softbox, since it spreads out the light, (makes the light a bigger light source). To large extent the amount of softness has to do with the size and the distance from the model. The closer, the softer. I have made my own in the past using a very cheap thing white bed sheet, and constructed the frame from PVC pipe. I used plans from the Tinkertubes book by Dean Collins. Here is the link to a free copy of the book:
http://www.software-cinema.com/page/tinkertubes
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Lets talk scrims ...
Old 09-11-2006, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith
It can leave a shadow depending on size, and how you compose the shot. If you use a big scrim, then it may not make any difference. You will lose 1 or 2 stops usually but that does depend on how tranluscent the fabric is. It does act as a softbox, since it spreads out the light, (makes the light a bigger light source). To large extent the amount of softness has to do with the size and the distance from the model. The closer, the softer. I have made my own in the past using a very cheap thing white bed sheet, and constructed the frame from PVC pipe. I used plans from the Tinkertubes book by Dean Collins. Here is the link to a free copy of the book:
http://www.software-cinema.com/page/tinkertubes
Cheers,
rfs
Great advice.... Open your mind before you open your wallet... (build it yourself)
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Re: Lets talk scrims ...
Old 09-11-2006, 03:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've had this same type of question Michael, and got some good feedback in this Thread: http://www.glamour1.com/forums/photo...-101-pool.html

I've made my own diffuser with some help of a friend of mine and it didn't work out the greatest... Made a 5x5 diffuser with Conduit and Rip Stop Nylon, it works great, but is too big and too heavy for extensive use. I still use it, and it also doubles very well as a privacy screen for changing models (one section of the device has posts to push into the ground and it stands on its own) but I've found that the 40x60 reflector/diffuser disks/ovals from Amvona.com are a lot easier to maneuver, and they don't cost much if you EBay...

If you'd like, I can post up a picture of the device either tonight or tomorrow for you to check out.

-Mook.
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Re: Lets talk scrims ...
Old 09-11-2006, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can actually make a pretty good scrim using the Tinkertube concept. The one I built was 8'x8'. It is self standing but breaks down to a bunch of 4' long pieces, so it's easy to transport. The key to using it outside is to put sandbags or other weights on the supporting legs. Then it will work great and your net cost will be less than $50. Since its made out of PVC it is very light. Keep in mind that for full length shots of a model outside, you are going to need a larger scrim (40x60 will be too small). The best way to work with the 8x8' one is to have an assistant who holds it where you want it. You can use two light stands and some clamps to position it almost anywhere and the assistant makes sure it doesnt blow away. Using large scrims without an assistant is a much greater challenge since sandbags are heavy. The Tinkertube book shows how to make clamps for your light stands using PVC also.
Cheers,
rfs
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