Flashlight Reflector Re-Silvering

The beam from my Veleno Designs E-Series LED drop-in my Surefire E2E had a green tint. I replaced it with a neutral tint Cree XP-G LED and the beam still had a green tint. Some people commented that the green tint was caused by the stock Surefire reflector.

Instead of buying a new E2E head, I removed the factory reflective coating on the head with solvent and tried using “chrome” paint to re-coat it. The Krylon Metallics Bright Silver (1401) paint was not reflective enough to be used as a flashlight reflector. With the E2E reflector six feet away from a white wall, the bulb just threw a giant white circle with no hot spot.

Next I tried Mona Lisa Silver Leaf. The leaf material comes in booklets of 25 (5.5″ x 5.5″) sheets. I used Gold Leaf Adhesive Size on the E2E head before applying the leaf. The size is a water-based adhesive that dries to a light tack before the leaf is applied.

The silver leaf is so thin that picking up part of a sheet will tear it. I just tried to get a large enough piece to cover the reflector then I burnished it lightly. There were some creases in the leaf, but since I wasn’t trying to get an absolutely mirror finish, the imperfections weren’t a problem. The reflector with the silver leaf has a nice hotspot. I’m not sure how the size (adhesive) will hold up to the heat.


Beamshot

eBay Product Photography

My cousin Cassie asked me to about photographing stuff for eBay, so I looked at a couple of lighting kits on the web. The Photoflex LiteIgloo seems to be the best for someone who wants to get decent photographs of small to medium (breadbox) size objects for eBay listings.

It’s relatively inexpensive, compared to what a professional photographer would spend in a commercial studio. It comes with white and blue (for chromakey) sweep backgrounds, to give you that “floating” image without any extraneous background.

I’ve used Photoflex reflectors and softboxes – they are used by many commercial photographers. The reflectors have a spring steel frame that allows them to collapse and pack to smaller sizes – this seems to be the same design the LiteIgloo uses.

Photoflex has very good instructions and a tutorial on using the LiteIgloo.

If you are going to use your Coolpix 4500, you’ll need to use lights that are mounted off the camera. The easiest thing would to be to buy the LiteIgloo Product Kit if the 19x19x19 size is large enough for your use.

Don’t use a skinny extension cord to plug in this setup, it will overheat. You would probably get better results setting the color balance to Incandescent: Shooting Menu – White Balance – Incandescent.

  • A single light is not going to be optimal, but you can try using your Nikon Speedlight. (I don’t remember which Nikon Speedlight you have on the N80 but I know the 4500 can use SB-80DX/50DX/28DX/28/26/25/24/22s). First you need to turn off the pop-flash from the Shooting Menu – Speedlight Opt – Speedlight Cntrl – Internal Off. Then you need to connect the flash to the camera with Nikon SC-18 or SC-19 cord, which are not inexpensive. Then you need a light stand and an adjustable head to aim the light. You can see how it gets complicated.

You can try positioning the single light above and to the left or right of the camera. See the above tutorial for more suggestions and to understand why it gets complicated.