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Daniel Meier

Ressources on diving into Diffusion Materials

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You guys know any good websites where I can learn about diffusion materials and their distinguish looks and effects?

After all I want to be able to distinguish between Frost, White Diffusion, Grid Cloth, Tough Spun and the like.

 

Some best practices or examples of usage on real lighting setups would also be warmly welcomed.

 

Or maybe even you guys can talk about your own experiences.

 

Cheers,

Daniel

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Just lit yourself to three strengths for starters and you'll learn -- mainly you'll learn that you can live with three strengths. The subtleties between some of them are pretty hard to describe, meaning that they are often interchangeable, plus in the real world, you have variations in distance between the lamp and the diffusion and the subject, and variations in the lamp itself, that modify the effect also. And you can always add an intermediate frame of diffusion to further soften a light.

 

My main point is to not worry so much about this, you'll play with different diffusions over the years and start to settle on certain preferences.

 

You can look at Stephen Murphy's tests here:

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There's always a variety of diffusion materials on the grip truck, but honestly, I always use the same few types. LEE 250, 251 & Opal for just about everything 4x4 and smaller. Light Grid and Half Soft Frost for 6x6 and bigger. There's a fair amount of redundancy between all the different types. As David suggests, you should pick a few and work with them until you figure out what you need and don't need.

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Mostly I use Opal, 250, and 216 on 4'x4' frames and smaller, and Half Soft Frost and Light Grid Cloth on larger frames. Sometimes I use Muslin, but more for bounces, and sometimes a Silk on larger overheads frames outdoors, though rarely. Occasionally Full Grid Cloth on large frames but I'm more likely to just double-diffuse, like use a large frame of Light Grid Cloth in front and a 216 or 250 intermediate if I need to spread the light a little more to fill the large frame.

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I use the ones that Stuart and David talked about plus Depron (very useful for Kinoflos / Divas / Selects / etc), in fact, 99% of the times I use a Kinoflo / Select / etc it has depron on it.

 

I also carry Leelux / Rolux, just in case I have to fill a small to medium size window completely with light and I only have a small light or a kinoflo.

 

Have a lovely day.

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I use the ones that Stuart and David talked about plus Depron (very useful for Kinoflos / Divas / Selects / etc), in fact, 99% of the times I use a Kinoflo / Select / etc it has depron on it.

I love the quality of light from Depron. It's just difficult and expensive to source here.

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I love the quality of light from Depron. It's just difficult and expensive to source here.

 

Is it??

 

http://www.rcfoam.com/depron-and-epp-foam-suppliers/depron-foam-sheet/

 

There you go!! :)

 

I think that it is the same price as in Ireland.

A bit cheaper in Spain.

 

In Ireland lighting rental houses don't stock it, in Spain they do and they bill it as a consumable (does that word make sense?) as an expense anyways! same as diffusion rolls and etc.

 

Have a lovely day!

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Is it??

 

http://www.rcfoam.com/depron-and-epp-foam-suppliers/depron-foam-sheet/

 

There you go!! :)

 

I think that it is the same price as in Ireland.

 

Thanks Miguel, but you'll notice that all the thinner sheets are out of stock, and have been for months. I've heard that Depron no longer supply foam for hobbyists, but that could just be a rumor.

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Miguel, if you don't mind me asking: how much light loss is there from this 3mm Depron material?

According to my meter, it's 1.5 stops, but it will vary according to lamp placement.

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Thanks. How are you finding the Depron so far? I've somehow never heard about it until now.

It's not that widely used in film. It's actually a building insulation material, which is also used by RC aircraft modelers. That may be why you've never heard of it.

 

It's basically a styrofoam type material, available in a variety of thicknesses. The expanded cell structure of it seems to work very well for diffusing light when you're using 2 or 3mm thick sheets. It is quite brittle, and easy to damage, but the quality of soft light from it is very nice.

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Thanks Miguel, but you'll notice that all the thinner sheets are out of stock, and have been for months. I've heard that Depron no longer supply foam for hobbyists, but that could just be a rumor.

I never checked that! My apologies!

 

You need to come back to Europe, we have all the Depron you might want over here

 

Vladimir, the 3mm Depron is the one I use, usually curved when on the lamp or on a 1 meter x 1 meter diffusion frame.

 

Have a lovely day!

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I also like depron and use it in front of some open face Lowel's (you have to keep it from getting too close to hot lamps as it will melt). It is a bit of a light hog and I see at least a stop of light loss when using it, but it has a very nice diffused quality that I like. I had never seen it used or heard of it until last year. Fortunately I was able to get a few sheets of the 3 mm. I didn't realize they had discontinued selling it. Does anyone know of any other source or if RC will bring it back eventually?

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I have seen a very experienced DP using polyester fibre (couch stuffing material) hung close in front of a large source, a 6k or 10k HMI, then further diffused through a 12x12 silk at a fair distance from the subject.

 

Has anyone ever seen this being done? Is there a really amazing effect that this polyester stuff creates? The image certainly looked very soft and flattering, yet still somewhat directional.

 

I can safely say that neither Lee nor Rosco have that sort of diffusion in their arsenal ;)

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I have seen a very experienced DP using polyester fibre (couch stuffing material) hung close in front of a large source, a 6k or 10k HMI, then further diffused through a 12x12 silk at a fair distance from the subject.

 

Has anyone ever seen this being done? Is there a really amazing effect that this polyester stuff creates? The image certainly looked very soft and flattering, yet still somewhat directional.

Polyester fiber sounds like it might have a similar effect to Tough Spun.

 

DPs use all kinds of materials to diffuse light. I've used $2 shower curtains from Ikea on KinoFlos in the past, as well as bubble wrap once when we had nothing else. Anything translucent will have some effect on the light. The problem is that it's often not safe to use non professional materials with hot lamps.

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On the set of Labyrinth, I saw Alex Thompson BSC use a sheet of thin polystyrene as diffusion !!.. about 6x6 I guess.. as in through it.. not bounced .. !!!

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I am 99% sure i did that too in college (by mistake) with some 1Ks, and kept it mostly because I liked how it looked lol.

 

haha.. this was some huge light.. one of many..18k or more... bashed straight through a ploy board !!.. a thin ish one.. but I,d never seen it before.. as foreground fill in a forest set ..

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