Following a friend’s request I decided to explain how to build a fiber snoot for underwater use. On this post I will explain how to make a snoot that fits an Ikelite DS-50 substrobe.
I first saw the results of using a snoot for underwater macro photography a few years ago, when I met one of the most talented and creative underwater photographers I know – Keri Wilk. We participated in the annual Epson Red Sea competition – an underwater shootout that takes place in Eilat (Israel). Keri took some amazing photos using his snoots, and he later explained his technique in a blog post on DivePhotoGuide.
I wanted to experiment with snoots and build my own, but instead of using plastic tubes I decided to use fiber optic cables. With fibers, I can place the strobe anywhere and then just use the flexible Loc-Line “arms” to point the lights anywhere I want.
Step 1: Materials
- Ikelite DS-50 / DS-51
- Barrel Plugs/ round ribbed tubing plug to use as an adapter for the snoot. I do not know the technical name for this part, but I found a nice white plug in the plumbing department in Home Depot. The one I used has a 99 mm diameter, which fits nicely on the DS-50. You can see it here and here.
- Loc-Line parts (for snoot “arms”)
- Solid core jacketed fiber optic cables. I ordered mine from Fiber Optic Products:
- 47cm of 4mm cable (EGS4B)
- 35 cm of 7mm cable (EGS7B)
- 23cm of thick (5mm) rubber band, 1.8cm wide. We will use this piece as a spacer between the strobe and the snoot adapter
- Optional – metal/plastic nut to secure the NPT connectors. You might need to get creative here.
- Velco straps (optional)
- A small saw
- A conical drill bit that can make 12mm and 20mm holes