Light Painting With The Kit Lens As A Snoot

You can do light painting with a flash that can be set to manual power. How?

First, turn off all your lights!

Put the camera on a tripod with a 10 second timer so you have time to grab the flash and start painting. I set the flash at its maximum zoom (105mm for my Sony HVL-F58AM) at 1/8th power and pressed the Test button around the subject, pretending to be stage light.

50mm F8 ISO800, 25 seconds.

Whoops that’s overexposed – let’s stop it down a bit more.

50mm F11 ISO400, 25 seconds.

Ah, that’s better! However, I accidentally got the flash head in the shot. Supposing I wanted to simulate smaller stage light, I’d need to snoot the light (in other words, shrink the size of the light.)

50mm F11 ISO400, 25 seconds.

How did I snoot it?

Using a Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 DT kit lens with a rubber hood attached! Alpha mount lenses by default close down the aperture blades when not attached to a camera. Thus, when the lens is at 18mm, it is at its darkest aperture of F22, where its opening is 18mm/22 = 0.818mm wide!

If you’re using a different mount lens, make sure it has an aperture ring so you can set the aperture manually. Canon EF/EF-S lenses have electronically controlled apertures so they cannot be used.

I hold the snooted flash with the rubber hood in my left hand, and my right hand on the flash to press the Test button.

You may want to experiment with different power settings on your flash as well.

8 thoughts on “Light Painting With The Kit Lens As A Snoot

  1. Albert Ng Post author

    flysheep: Thanks man!

    david: Will soon (a bit late, later lah LOL.)

    Ewin: You can do it too! 😀

    Bowdacious B: Good luck! And post results!

  2. Albert Ng Post author

    rook_1e: Heh come to think of it… but it’s also the one you’re most likely to carry everywhere. 😀

    dk: I commented there a long time ago already lah. 😛


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