Pop up flash mods!

Started Jan 12, 2013 | Discussions
davect01
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Pop up flash mods!
Jan 12, 2013

When I had my original 3, I had a ping pong ball and reflective bounce card mods that were very effective.

[url=http://davesnex-3photos.blogspot.com/2011/01/mods-to-camera.html]photos NEX-3: Mods to Camera[/url]

Now that I have my F3 and the built in flash, I tried the ping pong ball with great results.

Additionally one of the nice functions is to be able to push up the flash for a bounce effect.

Here are the results.  Shot from about three feet away.  (Sorry about the bad Focusing)

Straight on, no flash.

Ping Pong Ball

Pushed up Bounce

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ntsour
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to davect01, Jan 12, 2013

I also use a lot the bounce trick. It was actually one of the pluses in favor of bying a nex 6 vs an OMD. There had to be an advantage in living in the low-ceiling apartments common in Spain.

What I am trying to figure out is a portable way to make the pop up flash of the 6 stick in the "bounce position". Angle control would also be nice, but vertical is sufficient.

I'll report if i found a decent way to do it.

Thanks for the ping-ping difuser mod. I'll give it a shot.

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davect01
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to ntsour, Jan 12, 2013

ntsour wrote:

I also use a lot the bounce trick. It was actually one of the pluses in favor of bying a nex 6 vs an OMD. There had to be an advantage in living in the low-ceiling apartments common in Spain.

What I am trying to figure out is a portable way to make the pop up flash of the 6 stick in the "bounce position". Angle control would also be nice, but vertical is sufficient.

I'll report if i found a decent way to do it.

Thanks for the ping-ping difuser mod. I'll give it a shot.

Love the simple mods!

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j450n74y
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to davect01, Jan 12, 2013

for the nex 6..if you still have the hot shoe plastic insert.. the way i used was to pull a bit of the plastic out so its not all the way in..and used a toothpick and stuck that under the plastic insert and all the way to the flash when its pointing up. the toothpick will hold the flash in place...

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Sonyshine
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to j450n74y, Jan 12, 2013

Right.....lets go hunt a toothpick and a ping pong ball.....:-P

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foody1000
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to ntsour, Jan 14, 2013

I found this trick to be VERY effective and convenient in keeping the flash in the "bounce" position.  There are 2 metal hooks that lock the flash in place when the flash is in the "closed" positiion.  Cut a small trapezoid (with 0.5 inch base) from a piece of hard plastic (like an old credit card), and wedge it between the hooks and the front of the flash compartment.  There is a little raise line that keeps the plastic in place.  Look at the flash compartment and you'll know what I mean.  I found that the ping pong ball messes with the white balance and it's also hard to take the ball with me without crushing it in my pocket.  I this this is a more convenient solution. Good luck.

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CosmoZooo
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to foody1000, Jan 15, 2013

foody1000 wrote:

I found this trick to be VERY effective and convenient in keeping the flash in the "bounce" position. There are 2 metal hooks that lock the flash in place when the flash is in the "closed" positiion. Cut a small trapezoid (with 0.5 inch base) from a piece of hard plastic (like an old credit card), and wedge it between the hooks and the front of the flash compartment. There is a little raise line that keeps the plastic in place. Look at the flash compartment and you'll know what I mean. I found that the ping pong ball messes with the white balance and it's also hard to take the ball with me without crushing it in my pocket. I this this is a more convenient solution. Good luck.

I found that a good way to prop the flash up with those metal hooks is simply using a paper clip. Un-bend the paper clip so it forms a 90 degree corner with a straight pick on on side and the round (still bent) part on the other. Stick the straight part under the two hooks so it lock the flash in place.

Probably similar to the toothpick method except a bit more sturdy and you have a little handle to easier take it out or prop it back in. After trying it though, I've decided that I'd rather do it with my finger...I am a little worried about messing up the pop-up mechanism and just don't feel like propping it every time...just a fair warning.

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ProfHankD
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Giving your flash the finger (not that finger!)
In reply to CosmoZooo, Jan 15, 2013

CosmoZooo wrote: After trying it though, I've decided that I'd rather do it with my finger...

Absolutely! The trick is how you hold the camera. Here's how I do it (as shown in my Instructable):

Note which finger is being used to press the shutter button....

It takes a little getting used to, but it's quite effortless after a little practice and even allows adjusting the tilt for each shot. A little more forward for subjects at greater distance in front of the camera gives less light loss, and it's easy to aim at specific ceiling areas to avoid objects up there that could give a color cast, etc.

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jmwong754
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to CosmoZooo, 1 week ago

If one has a left over ADP-MAA flash adapter for converting the old Sony flash hot shoe to the new one on the NEX-6 or A6000, a suitably bent paper clip as shown here can be used to keep the pop up flash pointing toward the ceiling.  If different flash angles are needed just make a few more bent paper adapters with slightly different bends at the flash head.

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Mister Roboto
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Re: Giving your flash the finger (not that finger!)
In reply to ProfHankD, 1 week ago

CosmoZooo wrote: After trying it though, I've decided that I'd rather do it with my finger...

Absolutely! The trick is how you hold the camera. Here's how I do it (as shown in my Instructable):

Note which finger is being used to press the shutter button....

It takes a little getting used to, but it's quite effortless after a little practice and even allows adjusting the tilt for each shot. A little more forward for subjects at greater distance in front of the camera gives less light loss, and it's easy to aim at specific ceiling areas to avoid objects up there that could give a color cast, etc.

This is how I doing it too or you can use the pointing finger of the left hand too to hold the flash.
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davect01
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Re: Pop up flash mods!
In reply to jmwong754, 1 week ago

jmwong754 wrote:

If one has a left over ADP-MAA flash adapter for converting the old Sony flash hot shoe to the new one on the NEX-6 or A6000, a suitably bent paper clip as shown here can be used to keep the pop up flash pointing toward the ceiling. If different flash angles are needed just make a few more bent paper adapters with slightly different bends at the flash head.

Just love the inventiveness of determined folks.

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fotowbert
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Another pop-up flash bounce mod
In reply to davect01, 1 week ago

Here is a DIY pop-up bounce bracefrom the NEX-6 era.  No hot-shoe adapter required. 

  • John
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jmwong754
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Re: Another pop-up flash bounce mod
In reply to fotowbert, 1 week ago

I also realized later in the day that the ADP-MAA adapter was not needed.  Here is my much improved second attempt at a paper clip bracket.  For this modification I used a large size paper clip that was plastic coated which is much more rigid and less likely to bend out of shape by accident in transport.  The larger diameter wire used in the clip with the plastic coating also fits well in the A6000 and NEX-6 hot shoe receptacle with practically no play.  The plastic coating prevents any possibility of shorting out the any electrical contacts in the hot shoe receptacle where it is mounted.  I made the portion of the clip bracket that fits into the hot shoe receptacle not too deep so that insertion and removal would be very quick and easy and also to reduce the maximum width of the bracket clip so as to take up less space during transport.  Lastly, when completely seated in the hot shoe receptacle, the bend at the end clip prevent the clip bracket in the hot shoe receptacle from twisting slightly and altering the angle of the flash.

This clip bracket took about 20 minutes to make by hand using a pair of 5mm wide pliers and consumed about half of the paper clip.

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Mister Roboto
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Re: Another pop-up flash bounce mod
In reply to jmwong754, 1 week ago
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jmwong754
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Re: Another pop-up flash bounce mod
In reply to Mister Roboto, 1 week ago

I saw this earlier yesterday.  I looks like it is more for diffusion of the forward flash rather than for bouncing off of ceilings.

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TJ61
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Re: Another pop-up flash bounce mod
In reply to jmwong754, 1 week ago

I made something very nearly like this paper clip approach, but haven't really gotten much use out of it for one reason or another.

But, what I am interested in coming up with is a way to redirect the a6000 flash when I'm using my 18-105 lens, which otherwise blocks the light on the lower half of the frame. Full bounce mode (i.e. pointing straight up) helps, but the flash isn't really strong enough to provide enough light this way, and depends too much on surroundings (ceiling height, color, etc.).

I've been trying to design a kind of periscope contraption that either directs the light up, then forward, or maybe just far enough forward. The final aperture needs to diffuse the light again. Whatever I come up with has to be much less fiddly and much more portable than my YN560, or I'd just use that.

Anyone else solve this particular problem? Or have any ideas?

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jmwong754
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Re: Another pop-up flash bounce mod
In reply to TJ61, 1 week ago

You could probably place an vertical aluminum foil-lined tube over the extended flash to collect all the light through multiple reflections in the tube and then redirect it through a forward-facing hole in the side of the tube near the top.  The redirected light, however would need a diffuser to disperse the light evenly out of the tube hole.  To minimize light loss the top and bottom of the tube should also be plugged with aluminum foil as well.  The redirected flash would be rather weak due to muliple reflections in the tube light absorbed by the diffuser used to disperse the light.

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jmwong754
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Re: Solution to your problem
In reply to TJ61, 1 week ago

Here is the solution to your problem:    After applying the clip bracket to direct the flash upward you must attach a reflector above the flash head as shown in the picture.  The reflector should be a  highly reflective thin aluminum strip cut as shown and attach it to the back of the flash head using adhesive backed velcro to make it easy to attach or remove.  The aluminum strip should be curved to reflect all the light emitted from the flash head and reflect it forward to you target.  As shown the reflector increases the height of the light from the flash by at least an inch.   I mocked up this design using a thick aluminum foil for the reflector on my A6000 and with the 18 -105mm F4 Sony lens it produced very good results with no lens shadow in any pictures taken with the lens at 18mm.  As you know already the 18-105 will produce a strong lens shadow in all your pictures until you zoom to a focal length above about 40mm if no pop up flash mods are used.  Because aluminum is such a good reflector, I noticed no light loss color temperature changes in any of my test pictures.

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TJ61
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Re: Solution to your problem
In reply to jmwong754, 1 week ago

jmwong754 wrote:

Here is the solution to your problem:

Those are the two approaches I've tried so far...I wasn't getting what I wanted with the first one (reflectorized tube), but looking at the second option I'm starting to get some more ideas now.  What I like about it is that the parts can store flat.  Now that I have a bona fide flash, that ups the ante for the convenience requirements of whatever I come up with.

Thanks for helping rekindle my interest!

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jmwong754
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Re: Final Reflector Design
In reply to TJ61, 1 week ago

I found almost the ideal material for my add on reflector to the pop up flash.  As it turns out the pull off lid from a can of Spam is almost idea..  The lid is approximately 2 inches x 3.75 inches with rounded corners and is made of a very springy thin light weight aluminum material that is white plastic coated on one side.  In about 10 minutes I was able to cut the exact shape I needed for my reflector with tin snips.  I did, however, spend a few dollars for low-profile self-adhesive Velcro for the reflector attachment to the back of the pop up flash.

As shown in the attached pictures, my paper clip bracket  holds the flash pointing upward and the reflector is attached with Velcro to the back of the pop up flash.  Some light, however, is lost bouncing the light off of a white surface instead of a polished aluminum one; but not much.

The main advantage of this reflector is its small size and weight (about 2 grams), easy to  attach and remove, and the ability to lay flat for storage but will spring back to its intended curved shape when in use.  Installation of the bracket clip to hold the pop up flash pointing upward and attaching the reflector takes less than 10 seconds.

The only minor problem I found is that the Velcro I used adheres more strongly than I needed.  However, this can be fixed by trimming some of the fuss off of the fuzzy side of the Velcro.  Note that there wasn't much I could do with the embossed design on the original lid.

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