Yoshizen's Blog

Simple Arithmetic (2)

Was that the nature of Chinese electronics, I’m not sure, the LED ring light on a Z-light arm stop to work less than a month = switching control unit has brake down. Still, connecting the USB power direct, LED light itself can be light on. —– Then wait a moment. LED power is 5V, the Ring light was said to be 8W = its mean this lighting unit was designed somewhat for less than 2A (8W / 5V = 1.6A) (and anyway, the USB adaptor was 2A Max).

Connecting USB 5V direct to the LED light can be used though, it will be an over current to both LED and USB adaptor = soon they will be burnt out. To save the broken LED ring light, it is necessary to take a measure to limit the current = need to connect a resistor. To limit the current to 2A with 5V, we need a 2.5 Ohm resistor.

So, I connected 2.2 Ohm resistor (this type of resistor is getting harder to find though) (Why the wire of resistor was not cut short was, it get hot = need to disperce the heat) ( Note, for a sake of clarity, the photo was taken before applying insulation tape. )

With some improvisation, the LED light was rescued (though, without the brightness adjustment) —– I noticed that now, we can get the same LED light on Z-light arm for as cheap as £14 ! —– some of them may not break down. —– or am I expecting too much for £14 ? 😀


LED ring light + 8150 Story

While looking around the Ebay, I noticed that the Chinese LED Ring Light is very cheap now = could be even cheaper than a homemade.

So, I bought one 24W-Variable, 5500K, 20cm Ring Light for £12 ! —– it came with a mounting fixture still not perfect for a photographic lighting. —– for photo-light, it needs to be mounted on the many kind of lighting stand etc, in order to have a freedom of the positioning and lighting angle. = A sort of good compromise was a Z-light arm on a flexible lighting stand, which may allow the position poised setting under one hand adjustment.

With this idea, I have collected quite few Z-light components etc, etc — then I realised that, to build a Z-arm, balancing springs are the most troublesome components I need to get hold (but who supply them etc )

And, I was convinced that instead of struggling building Z-light myself, why not to buy a readymade LED light with Z-arm = when such light comes as cheap as £18 !

So, I ordered and waited the item delivered. Then, I received a delivery notice of Tracking Code GV085180518GB, which said that the parcel was dropped off : 28-Dec 14:04 GMT. —– But, very parcel was seen nowhere.

—– As I knew the tracking number was completely that omen of 8150, I thought it could show the big trouble. (The parcel was not dropped to the neighbour either and no notice was left) So, where has it gone ? Was that one stolen ?

So the enquiry to the Royal Mail — etc etc. — ? ? ?

Then it was delivered on Monday by a Chinese Post woman.

Now the system of main light and the Aux / Ring light on Z-light arm were complete.

On this 8150 case turned out to be not necessary so bad for the New Year 2020. But the question was, ——— Why the Omen Number 8150 which can be read for Ha-I-Go-Rei in Japanese (mean the Spirit Behind = Guardian Angel, keep following me ?) Leave me alone. (Or, the heaven is giving me the sign = that I have to fulfill my role ?)

Then the twist came 4 weeks later = The LED ring light on Z-light arm which I bought for £18 from China brake down. (Can be modified or cannibalised to use only its LED ring-light and the Z-light arm) Seemingly, as it was chiep, the quality was just accordingly. —– Same as the Korean, Chinese might have thought that if they copy Japanese product using the same production machine and the component fron Japan, they can make the same though —– they don’t know the “Now-how” = how to use that machine. = Quality and the reliability couldn’t be copied. (That’s why I only buy small mechanical components, such as adapter ring from China)

And the heaven might know this situation long before, and that’s why the tracking number (085180518) appear to be that’s “8150” omen number = so, the product has come with a warning.

Then, the following story was funnyier. I try to get hold the said broken switching unit (asking the seller to replace the parts and try to contact the manufucturer of the switching unit —– without success ) Then, I realised that apparently the same ring light (with the same switching unit but without the magnifier lens nor Z-light arm ) was on the market for as cheap as £6.70, which could be even cheaper than the cost to get hold the electronic circuit from the manufacturer. = So, I ordered the two of them. (One to replace the broken switching unit and the other to use on my homemade ring light) = Now, my LED ring light on the Z-light arm is in a working order.


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Sweet image (2) — aren’t they rather Goth ?

The photos here were taken by the DD-Pinhole with a LED ring-light.   Pinhole mean, there is no grass optics which may block the light of shorter wave length (Blue to UV) and the LED used were very cool day-light type (recycled from a discarded cheap work light — there is a high quality LED which got exact 5500°K but with the cost)  = resulting to produce very blueish photos. (I should have set the camera’s White balance to somewhat 8000°K in advance)

You may say, they are not pretty sweet kind but more likely a Goth taste !   

I agree, but, is there anything wrong ?         Ha ha ha.   😀

Nevertheless, I like this approach / technique.   Anyway, the photography chose the subject.   If it doesn’t, it mean, it IS a kind of general photography, not worth bothering to. —– if you say, there are numerous impressive photos in the field of general photography —– Are they ? If you look it again, you will realize, it is impressive because the subject WAS impressive = not the photo.  Photo was just a good copy of such subject.  Nothing else. = you can send a robot to do a copy.  = It is not a photography but a listing up, curation of the subjects.   There is an occasion, as if the subject was almost placed there to be photographed.   Photography is a very heavy activity in the life.


Flower flower = x3 Lenses

Suddenly many flowers started to open. (The above seems to be a Plum flowers) — So, I’m capturing them with a lots of lenses (?) — above, by Sony E 3.5 30mm Macro.

This is rather early though, Somei-yoshino Cherry by Sony lens.

And this year again, the early Magnolia by Sony lens.

The same flower by homemade Mag-lens.

Yet another shot by the Double-density Pinhole.

The same flower by the same DD-Pinhole but with LED lighting.

Cherry flowers by Sony Macro lens = straight shot.

Then by the Mag-lens.

A bit too messy though, by the DD-Pinhole.  (Being as a Pinhole which is pan-focus, messy back grownd become very prominent.)

So, how about with added LED Ring-light. (Hoping the back mess going into the dark)

By the Mag-lens.  (Only the far back grownd showing funny coma aberration.)

By the DD-Pinhole.

DD-Pinhole with LED Ring-light.    Good evening Sir.

And they are the Lenses(?) and the camera — Sony A7R with E 3.5 30mm Macro, DD-Pinhole and  a homemade Mag-lens (A lens originally from a magnifier, mounted into a lens barrel from other compact camera = equivalent of 40mm F2.4)

Flower flower(14)-DSC05530

Well, this is an extra addition = Yama-zakura (see its brownish leaves come out with the flowers) taken by the Fun camera lens.


Still, Flower Patch — with Gaudy Lens + LED Ring Light

1-A09A1661-002When I walked through a side of that flower patch in the evening, I found

there still quite a few flowers.   As it was already the dusk, I decided to go

there again with my camera and the LED Ring Light on Gaudy Lens.   🙂

Goudy + Ring F' -2-001

Goudy + Ring F'-3-1-001

Goudy + Ring F'-4-2-001

Goudy + Ring F'-5-3-001

Goudy + Ring F'-6-4-001

Goudy + Ring F'-7-5-001


Gaudy + LED Ring Light-1-A09A1717I’m not convinced that this

combination suites for the subject.

(some shots were done while the

LED Ring Light was not fixed on

the lens-front but held separately,

aiming from above.) — This Ring 

Light was the same one I’ve made  

for the 100mm F2.8 Macro Lens,

and powered by 3 x 2500mAH-AA

battery (through a 5.6 ohm register) = it can work more than 120 min’ continuously !

= Not too bad !


Make LED Ring Light (2)

While staying in my place to do some MAKE activity, still I couldn’t be house bound.

I needed to have an eye-test to make eye-glasses. (They said, it takes full one week to make it

—- Joking ! ) and I had to take my smashed camera to Canon = it was a long journey 😀


So, I’ve been making yet another LED Ring light. This one is for 24-70mm F2.8 Lens.

I’ve shown those photos before.  A fish-tin which got right diameter has been cut and its bottom

has been cut to take 77mm filter screw (by which, it would be fixed on front of the lens.)

A Chinese room ornament which got color-changing LED light has been chosen to

make this Ring light’s outer housing. —> So, it was cut to fit fish-tin inside.

And two were Epoxy glued together. (photo middle)

And a Phenol Plastic board with copper-foil has been cut to fit inside of the housing —>

then the LEDs will be mounted to this ring. (photo right) === all those cuttings were done by

a half-round file = primitive and simple work though, it was a typical  Zen practice =

make the hand almost like a machine = no-mind (Mushin) = tool’s movement exactly match the

character / hardness of the material = Hand, Tool, Material are all in one rule = Ichijo (oneness).

To fix the Ring light on front of the Lens, instead of using its Lens-hood fixing bayonet (such as

I did on the previous Ring light for 100mm Macro Lens) was because of this lens front extends

when the Zoom was set to wide-angle (photo middle) = If the Ring light was fixed on the bayonet,

when it was zoomed to wide angle, the extended lens front would block the light in the middle.

—– And this (photo right) is the (almost) finished product.

Almost mean, I’m thinking to put power or intensity control etc.


This LED Ring light draw 700mA current from 4xAA, N-MH Rechargeable battery

(fully charged 2500mAH battery would last more than 3 hours) through 2.2 ohm register.

= It’s mean, this Ring light has nearly 3W power = With ISO 400, and 3m distance,

the exposure would be F4 and 1/15th Second (for average subjects).

—– not too bad for a product which cost only few pounds. (without the cost of LEDs which I got

free from another equipment —– I think 30 or so LEDs wouldn’t cost more than £10 to buy).


Through those “Make LED Light” posts, you might be realized,

how easy to make something and it would cost so little.

On top of it, you might be amazed, how anything could be utilized from fish-tin to card-board paper.

= Just remove an idiosyncratic idea and open your eyes = anything can be done by your

hand and to be creative. (Though, never expect to succeed in the first attempt = to fail first is our

nature, still we have to start from there)  😀

Be courageous. —– And Just Do It.   It would be a fun = I’ll guaranty you.

(Zen is not requisite element to make a thing.  Though, while making it, you may learn it.  🙂 )


Make LED Ring Light

While hiding in my cave (:-D ) I found the time to do building work (Since, as

I don’t have a habit to watch TV (I don’t have a TV 

nor able for streaming video signal on USB dongle 

connection) or DVD,I have to DO something 😀 ).

From other project where I changed White LED to 

Color LED I got mountain of White LED, I decided

to make LED Ring Light which can utilize

those LEDs in number.

Ring Light can create (almost) shadowless  

image, or having faint shadow surrounding the  

subjects, some says, it is the Holy Grail in the Lighting effect. 🙂


Funny situation these days is, we can get the LEDs from the products,  

such as an LED Work Light from Lidl which is using 40, 60 LEDs inside,

as cheap as £15 = much much cheaper than to buy LED itself from an

electronic supplier = hence disassemble and use them to make such as

a Ring Light can save a cost a lot. (advantage is, that the LEDs has been

selected and tested already by the maker and the Lidl, hence there is little

chance to get old type dead-stock from unknown supplier in the Net  🙂 )


Basically, all about LED Ring Light is “How to mount a ring around the

lens front” — other than this, everything else are straight forward =

just put a lots of LEDs and connect it to the battery.

—– Sound easy though, the trouble is, not like in a good old days when

most of the lenses from one camera maker has only one or few filter sizes

(such as for Pentax = 49mm, Nikon = 52mm, Canon = 58mm etc), but

now as the role of filter is diminishing (now most of the visual effects were

created by Photoshop), lens doesn’t need to have the same filter size =

in the other words, to make a ring light capable to be used on many lenses

is nothing but a headache. 🙂

To make the situation even worse is, the use of Zoom lens is the norm now

and as the lens starts from wide-angle, it is necessary to make ring light NOT

vignettes (not cut off the corner of the image by the additional protruded edge)

= it got to be much larger than a front element of the lens.

On the other hand, some lenses especially on the smaller camera is getting

even smaller and many of them has even no filter thread on the front at all.

= it mean, the ring light got to be designed and made for the individual purpose

and the choice of lens. —– (hence, better to do DIY 🙂 )


I decided to make one for my 100mm macro and other for 24mm~70mm Zoom.

So that the first sample here is to make it for my Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro (not 

the latest L type — it came to the market only two months later, but this one is

pretty sharp as well, and I like its smaller front lens which would cast less shadow

when we close to the subject and easier to give a lighting.

(in extreme close-up, large front lens allows only side-lighting. 

And I don’t see much of help from the so-called Image-stabilizer = if it helps two

or three stops, why not just set higher ISO speed.  And having very delicate lens

shifting mechanism which is suspending the lens element in the air by the

magnetic coils or ceramic motors, it would make the lens even more sensitive to

the shock.  🙂 )

[A ring to mount the LEDs can be made from a Phenol plastic board with copper

track for electronic circuit, to even just a card-board paper (if it is just for an

experiments, 1 mm thick card-board paper would be good enough) or to mount

the LED from the the back (through a hole) = Art-mounting-board is a good choice.

(Still, precisely drilling 30, 40 holes, this work needs to have a good Zen mind.)  😀

Which ever the material, you need to find the diameter of the ring and cut the

material.  ( I think the photos here are self-explanatory. )

Use caliper to find the diameter under the bayonet to mount lens hood. 

If no caliper in hand, use right-angled paper.

Then draw the circles of its mounting diameter.  I’m using a sharpened needle

mounted on the compass to cut the paper as well.  And cut the Phenol plastic

board, I’ve clumped a cutting blade on the compass.

A paper ring cutted with diameter of the lens  and outer diameter was placed

under the bayonet and the shape of it was taken.   (To place this paper ring /

template, under the lens bayonet, the ring needs to cut on one place to open)

Then the shape of the ring and the bayonet craw was copied on the card-board paper. 

( On the card board paper, two additional circles has to be drawn, + 6 mm larger

than inside diameter and  + 8.5 mm ) — To plot the position to put LED, divide 

+ 8.5 mm circle to 8.  Then, within a semi-circle of 1/8, find equidistant point to

put LEDs — In my case every 11 mm and the holes to insert LEDs are pierced

(Photo above middle)  If you put too few LED you will have ugly multiple shadow,

or if you put too many, the battery will run-out rather soon.  It is a compromise.

(sort of the standard is, put the LED at every 8~12 mm distance )

In this design, I’m connecting all the

LEDs in parallel, and you can see

the different way to connecting them.

Left Top = if the LED came from

another device and having already

trimmed leg, you have to make sure

to insert all of them keeping the same 

direction (inside of LED you will see

narrower pin (+) and the broader pin (-),

you have to insert LED all in the same orientation, say (+) = outside of the ring.

And connect them using a wire such as from telephone cable (better polish it 

before soldering) by running it inside and outside of the LED leg alternative way.

Then you will have two wire ring on the board.

Photo Middle = If you got newly bought LEDs (assuming all of them are having 

the same color and the brightness — some are more blueish 🙂 = the cheaper you

pay, you will have headache — To insert LED’s to the board keep longer leg (+)

outside, then you just bend each leg to touch next LED and cut excess, then

solder each leg next by next = you will get two wire ring on the board.

Photo bottom = If you don’t have soldering facility yourself, and no one to ask, 

don’t worry still you can do !  = Insert all the LED to the board (such as photo

above) always keeping longer leg outside, then bend the leg towards the next

LED and twist the leg wire to next one. Then bend next one’s leg to third LED’s

leg and so on (connect last one’s leg to the first one, need to insert the leg-wire

to the gap between the board. = you needs to have a bit of work.

Use a narrow-headed pliers or tweezers would be a good help.

When you got the board, with all the LEDs were connected together, then

connect the power wire to each wire ring —> and connect to the 4xAA battery

through 2.2~10 ohm 1W register. (this is the MUST ) = If LEDs weren’t light up,

connect the battery other way round. (Change polarity )   2.2 ohm register will

give you brighter light but shorten the battery life = 20~30 LEDs will drain the

power nearly 1 A from 4xAA battery it would last less than 1 hour, but with

10 ohm, it would not be as bright though, in an intermittent use, your battery will

last much longer = it’s depend on how you are going to use it. (Put a switch to

select High and Low would be an good idea).

( The register may get hot though it is normal = pay attention to the layout and

the design for this heat problem.)

(For serious video shooting, use 2.2 ohm and 4xD battery, and make others envy.)

If only a part of the ring was lighten up, it is the point where your connection was

loose = check the connection and tighten it up. If one or two LEDs were not

lighten up, it’s mean that LED was dead and needs to replace (it’s an awkward job

= it’s better to check all the LED before hand ).

Then, fix the power cable to the ring, tie it with strong thread like the photo above

right, or use heat-gun glue.  (I’ve covered the end of the cable with heat-shrink

tube for better protection)

When everything went well, end result should looks like this.

= Voila, LED Ring Light !

(In fact, I’ve used paper one for a template to make it on a Phenol plastic

circuit board.) —– Further to this, such as where to keep or mount a

battery case is largely depend on you.

And I’ll show you my final product in the coming post.


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