Having seen the Light Blaster image projector, I wanted to know if I could build myself. Kinda out of pure curiosity. I wanted to know, is building a Light Blaster would be a task I can handle.
The main idea was to mimic the Light Blaster functionality and create a slide projector that could project 35mm slides with strobe and an old lens.
I started this project by making a 3d model with the necessary dimensions to use as a guide for the actual woodwork
Here are the necessary supplies
- A lens, preferably with manual aperture (I used an old helios 58mm)
- A Macro extender ring, or some kind of lens adapter, for the lens.
- A strobe (I used my trusty YN-560 III)
- 35mm Slide Mounts
- A few pieces of plywood (I used some scraps from old fruit box)
- 1/4″ to 3/8″ adapter tripod screw (I suggest buying these in bulk, because they are really useful in DIY projects)
- Transparency paper (preferably for laser printer or inkjet printer, depending on what you own)
The most important thing to make the projector work, is getting the precise flange distance. This is the distance between the lens and the film plane. In my case, I used m42 lens, that have 45.46 mm flange distance. Precise flange distance is necessary to make the projection focusable, this very similar to how cameras work, only in reverse.
When it comes to the distance between the film and the flash, I made it roughly same length as flange distance. It worked well for me when testing. The projections had a slight vignetting, which I was able to fix by pulling out the built-in wide angle diffuser.
Other than that, the design and dimensions of the device are open to interpretations. In my case, I built the back of the projector, so I have a tight fit for my flash.
In the future, I may add a Velcro strap, just for some added safety.
Now it was just a matter of gluing all the pieces together.
Now, once the projector is finished, I have to make some slides. Sure, projecting some old slide film is always an option, but it is cheaper and faster to print your own.
After printing the transparency, I cut them to the size of 35mm slides. …And voilà!
So, now that we have the projector and the slides how well does it work?
Here are some quick test shots I did in my basement:
For conclusion, here are my thoughts and recommendations
- It really works! I was surprised, that it was that easy to make. It will surely become a useful tool in my proverbial camera bag.
- It is a good idea to use wide angle lens, like 28mm, if you intend to use the projector indoors.
- When it comes to transparencies, I suggest to use transparencies, made for laser printers, because they are made for higher temperatures.
That is pretty much it, for now. If you have any questions and/or suggestions – comment in the section bellow.
About The Author
Gvido Mūrnieks is a photogrpaher and tinkerer from Valmiera, Latvia. You can see more of his photos on his Flickr stream and follow his site here. This post is based upon this article and shared with permission.