The $10 No Mod Barn Door For Your Flash
Oh, barn doors. How people love you. If you leave the front door open to your aunt’s house she may utter the timeless classic: “Were you born in a barn?” That’s always a knee slapper. But barn doors are no joking matter when it comes to photography.
If you want to learn about lighting for photography get the book Light, Science, & Magic. If you want to control light get yourself some barn doors.
In photography we use a barn door to shape the light and/or control light spill. Feature films just wouldn’t look the way they do without the use of barn doors.
Usually barn doors are used on movie sets or on large studio strobes, but a few weeks ago I came across a small barn door that although it’s not made for them, it fits perfectly on the flashes I already own. Oh, lucky day!
This thing is small enough that you should be able to fit it into your photo lighting bag with little to no effort. It folds up to a Hollywood thin 1 ¼ inches by 4 ¾ tall and wide. The mount opening is 3 inches and slips right onto a 580ex II flash as well as the Sigma DG 530 Super . I don’t have access to the Nikon flashes, so I can’t say, but my guess is they are close to the same size as the Canons. UPDATE: I have been informed that the SB-800 and the SB-600 should indeed fit as they are both under 3 inches wide.
Just slip the opening over your flash head and tighten the screw. The screw pushes against a rubber strip that presses against your flash head. This will hold it on there, but you may want to add a rubber strip or peel and stick weather stripping around the inside of the barn door mount to make it more snug. This is a decision you and your flash will have to decide on your own.
The barn door flaps are made of metal with metal hinges holding it to the firm plastic mount. It seems like it would hold up to a fair amount of abuse, though I have only just started messing around with it. These flaps move very easily, but stay where you put them. That’s important because you’ll be using the door to make sure parts of your image stay out of the light.
The price just can’t be beat. $9.95 at Adorama or
More Killer Photo Deals hand picked by Nice Photo Mag!
Unfortunately, cheep doesn’t come free. These barn doors, although they seem well made, they are made in China. I try very hard to stay away from products made in China for social, political, and quality reasons. I won’t get into the specifics as you can easily Google why not to buy products from China and then you can make up your own mind. That said, whether you buy these or make your own, if you haven’t used barn doors with your photography, you might want to give it a try. They are like a snoot that you can manipulate. Now if you aren’t using snoots… that’s another story.
If there is an interest from the readership, I’ll post an in depth article on how and why you might want to use barn doors to enhance your lighting set up. Just let us know in the comment section below.
These images were taken using a
Canon 5D with a Canon 24-105 L
and a pair of 580ex II flashes.
UPDATE: Read about availability of these very popular doodads in the post Barn Door Conundrum.
UPDATE UPDATE: Back in stock again at B&H
- The Barn Door Conundrum | Nice - a mostly positive look at the world of creative photography
- Barn Doors UPDATE Good News and Great News | Nice - a mostly positive look at the world of creative photography