This article has been hi-jacked from : www.fring.we.bs – The article on that page did not have optimized images so the page was killing browsers accross the land. This article does not do that.
This is a fibre-optic flash extension for your DSLR’s popup flash. Totally easy! Works great! Durable!
Designed specifically for K20D with 100 2.8 DFA lens but adaptable to other lenses (see Tamron Adaptall 90 2.5 example at the end.) Build your own!
Easy step-by-step Fring assembly instructions:
(Build and use at your OWN RISK. Don’t run with scissors. Pop-down flash before storing gear.)
1. Go to your local dollar store (with $5 and probably a bit more for tax) and buy:
2. some balloons (black preferred)
3. a bag of cable ties
4. “groovy” fibre-optic novelty lights
5. Next, brush your teeth regularly and use up a 75 mL tube of toothpaste. Most tubes seem to be shiny inside (you need one that is shiny inside.)
6. Then go to your local bicycle shop and kindly ask for a scrap mountain bike inner-tube for a “craft” project. (Don’t try to explain – they will just give you confused looks.)
7. You need scissors and cellophane tape (other tape is likely also fine – I just had cello tape handy.)
You can modify this plan to work on other lenses. Here is a modified version for a classic Tamron Adaptall 90mm f2.5 with the 2x converter. The end of this lens does not rotate when focusing.
– bundle only the longest and second-longest fibres
– longest go to bottom left and right, second-longest to top left and right.
-instead of a toothpaste tube, use a more shiny and longer tube (or for greater precision, aluminized cardboard open-ended rectangular prism) – made from lid of take-out container.
– cover reflective tube with inner tube, leaving a “hood” to put over the pop-up flash.
– insert main fibre bundle into the reflective inner tube
– as you focus the lens, the fibre bundle slides inside the tube (with the Pentax 100 DFA – sliding isn’t necessary as the length of the lens doesn’t change when focused.)
I haven’t tried this – but if you are using a regular 50mm and close-up filters, or if you are using a macro lens with a lens-hood that turns during focus you could try this modification:
– use the same plan shown in step 34
– smash the glass out of an old polarizer filter (with the rotating double ring)
– thread the filter ring on your lens, put your hood on the ring, and your hood should be able to rotate as you focus (I expect you would need to do gentle manual focusing.)
– or make a contraption that allows an arm to extend below from the tripod thread and/or above from the hot-shoe to support a floating ring around the end of your lens
If the movement of the focus ring is impeded by the fibres of the Fring — build up a wider rim on your lens hood so that the fibres are further away from the barrel of the lens.
Here are some sample shots from the Classic TAMRON 90mm 2.5 lens (and the 2X dedicated converter) using the Fring:
Nice even lighting. Above images are not cropped. This is a great lens (just manual focus and a bit heavy compared to the Pentax I replaced it with.) Here’s a cropped close-up of the fly picture:
Here is a small gallery of shots from the Pentax DFA Macro 100 2.8. Unless stated, no cropping has been done. Flash used in “P” mode at 200ASA equivalent setting. Hand-held (waiting for my macro rail to arrive – then will try focus-stacking.) At first glance, I think I may have had better resolution with the Tamron 90… aargh…
Sample Images from Pentax SMC DFA 100mm 2.8 Using the Fring in the Shade
This how-to is dedicated to all the other poor souls with good intentions and too much time on their hands who have created similar DIY’s on the internet. (Many thanks to the guy who showed me how to rewire my old SF1 cable-release to work on my K20D, and to all the people sharing DIY digital projector projects. Thanks in advance to all of the people posting their macro-photography techniques — which I am looking forward to learning from.) I don’t claim that any of the ideas here are particularly original. I do think that this design is a good low-tech and low-cost macro flash solution that almost anyone can build without special tools beyond a pair of scissors. I particularly liked a brilliant “origami” cardboard ring-flash that I saw somewhere on the net. I made a more primitive version of it that worked – but was too bulky and fragile to store in my gadget bag. I think the designs on this page should have very good durability and are quite ‘crush-proof.’ This page was completed on 11 August 2008. Eventually, someone will probably make a commercial version of this plan – but I think I’ll stick with this $5 solution. This page is slow-to-load because it is one big page — I’m more interested in improving my photography than I am in improving my web-design. Hope it was worth the wait while it loaded.