Speedlite "Grid" (as Seen on Strobist Blog)




Introduction: Speedlite "Grid" (as Seen on Strobist Blog)

A "grid" is a great accessory to constrain the output of your speedlite into a nice tight pattern. This tutorial was initially released via the Strobist Blog last fall, and is a great way to use up those pesky political signs you find laying around all over the place after election day.

Step 1: Step 1

Measure the head of your speedlite and cut a strip of political sign to match the width of the speedlite. Mark plastic corrugated in 1" segments.

Step 2: Step 2

With rotary cutter and ruler, cut 1 inch segments. Hold the ruler down very firmly, to avoid jagged or wavy cuts.

Step 3: Step 3

Trim ends of corrugated plastic to match the contour of Speedlite top. I like to use embroidery scissors for this, but your spouse/so may not be so understanding!

Step 4: Step 4

Cut black foam paper 2 inches by 8.5 inches. You can use any color of that foam craft "paper" but I chose black to match the speedlite.

Step 5: Step 5

Wrap foam paper around grids and fasten with Gaffer's tape. You can get a partial roll of Gaffer's tape from your local school theatre some times, else your local camera shop will have it.

Step 6: Step 6

Slide grid onto speedlite. The extra inch of foam paper will grip the end of your speedlite nicely.

Step 7: Enjoy!

The light is now concentrated in a narrow pattern. The edges of the light pattern seem to fall off more nicely than with my Speed Snoot. Enjoy!



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    16 Discussions

    The Vivitar 283 hood/filter holder is perfect for this. They fit many speedlights apart from the 283. Some may need a bit of velcro on the flash head for a snug fit. All I would need to do is cut to size and drop it in the holder, easy peasey eh! Now where can I get corrugated black plastic in England?

    Hi, Nice idea at first sight, but notice, that Strobist uses black snoot for one purpose - to absorb light flashing in wrong direction. White plastic will not work as good. Maybe try to spray-paint it black inside? Anyway, nice idea.

    1 reply

    I think that sprying it should make the surfaces a little matt, and you loose some light power.

    Nice! I hadn't seen it, till it compared beside my grid snoot Instructable :-)
    Corrugated plastic is easy to find in Italy, in any big toolshop, it's also black and coloured.

    Don't know about the UK, but in the US you can buy it in art supply stores. US$6 got me a sheet big enough for 8-10 grids, if I wanted to make that many.

    I bought black for better light control.

    I wonder if you were able to use black spray paint lightly over the inside to lessen the diffusion. Unless that is what you are after... :-)

    This is a nice design. However, one benefit of using black straws is that there's less dispersion of light. Using white plastic allows the light to bounce and diffuse far more than what occurs with black.

    Seems to be better than the drinking straws version. I have assembled the straws - and it took me a long time - and the doesn't seem to be nearly as robust as this version. Now I am wondering where to get an USA political sign here in the central Europe :)

    You could probably use a bunch of drinking straws cut to the same length instead of using the political sign.

    Nice idea! A bit more diffuse than a snoot, but more compact and I'd guess you lose less light.

    This is genius! I first saw the snoot Instructable, and was going to do that, but now I'm going to make this grid instead. I want to make some type of ringlight to fit around a lens for macro photos, if you have any ideas on that please share. Great Instructable

    Hey hey! Federal election this weekend - I'm going scavenging first thing Monday. Thanks for a great instructable mate.

    I agree on both parts, you have simple, ingenous ideas for manipulating light in photography. Having that control (and using it appropriately) is the difference between a snapshot jockey and a true, talented photographer. Fabulous! - Pj

    It's too bad you don't get more feedback. I appreciate the ideas. It's an excellent idea and I'll definitely copy it.