I finally got a chance to meet Peter Geller, of California Sunbounce, at PDN's Photo East shindig up in NYC last week. He had all of CSB's toys strewn out in a way that is very unfair to those of us looking to escape the show with our wallets intact.

Their system is totally comprehensive and can create just about any light-modifying setup you could possible imagine -- if you have the moolah. But if you are a dirt-broke college puke (or perhaps a former Lehman brothers executive) you may have more time than money at this particular point in your life.

If that is your situation, you might want to take a look at this DIY version of the CSB Micro Mini, which is proving to be popular enough to be in a backorder situation on the accompanying flash mounts.

(And check out "we-knew-him-when-he-wasn't-famous" Bert Stephani starring on the Micro Mini webpage, too...)

Back to the DIY. Thanks to reader John Gibney, if you have a little patience and know your way around a sewing machine you can try out a DIY version to see if all this bouncing stuff is right for you. He gives pretty detailed instructions on his blog -- even how to include a 5/8" stud for mounting a flash or sticking the bounce in an umbrella swivel.

(Thanks much, John!)



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Blogger Chris Cornelius said...

Oh well, looks like you just blew another sites bandwidth out of the sky again.

DH, you should really warn these poor folks beforehand :)

October 29, 2008 1:09 AM  
Blogger David said...

Dude, he's on Blogger. There is not enough traffic in the world to blow Google's bandwidth...


October 29, 2008 1:31 AM  
Blogger RGM Photography said...

Think they were referring to the CSB MicroMini site....
Bandwidth was exceeded when I checked. Iowa Sunbounce viewed perfectly!

RGM Photography

October 29, 2008 2:00 AM  
Anonymous hivewasp said...

I saw them at the Photokina in germany, love their ideas... but almost all of them can be made in DIY for much cheaper than the price they are asking. The one I'd rather not try to build on my own:

October 29, 2008 7:33 AM  
Blogger Joel Wires said...

From a fellow Iowan; Well done sir. I think there is one of these in my near future. Found your blog by way of the posting.

October 29, 2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous FX said...

David, do you know if the flash bracket for the micro-mini will work with a SB-900 shoe?

And how could you mount the micro-mini-with-flash on top of a pole?
Thank you!

October 29, 2008 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats the point of building one of these for 20-30 dollars, when you can get a comparable one that *gasp* - folds up,- for the same price.

October 29, 2008 2:48 PM  
Anonymous james said...

anon, what system are you referring to (for the $20 fold up)?

October 29, 2008 3:26 PM  
OpenID Paul said...

@ Anonymous: These are much sturdier when used outside, and since they've got mounting hardware built in, you don't have to get out the extra arms and other junk associated with holding a folding circular reflector.

October 29, 2008 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG TNX!! BFF!! :)

October 29, 2008 4:43 PM  
Blogger Walter said...

hmmm I must have been in this game too long - this is Dean Collins stuff resurrected again!

October 29, 2008 5:54 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Did this one also, quite a while ago actually, but never got around to posting it.
not PVC but alloy broomsticks are used and with flash attachment, post on my site:

happy diy'ing ;)



October 30, 2008 6:08 AM  
Blogger cliff51 said...

Iowa, huh?
Suddenly I'm seein' a whole mess of cars pullin' up in the Dudes driveway. Field of Dreams stuff. "If you build it, DIYers will come" Cool!

October 30, 2008 3:51 PM  
Blogger tiburcio said...

...maybe one should add that this isn't a new idea at all. In fact it is pretty old (1982) as you can find out in this pdf provided here:

IMO the blogger should usually admit all his sources because I suppose that the author adorns himself with borrowed plumes here...

Nevertheless it is well documented and a good help.

Cheers, tibo

October 31, 2008 12:02 PM  
Blogger David said...


Apples and oranges. This design's strength is that it is one-hand-holdable. That's what makes CSB so cool, too. The real stuff is much lighter than the DIY, and stronger. But that is the cost/time DIY vs pro tradeoff.

FWIW, I first linked to the tinker tubes over two years ago. No plagaristic conspiracies here today...

October 31, 2008 12:27 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I'd disagree with david's comment that the diy's are heavier, the tinkertube system probably is heavier but mine aint...

November 04, 2008 9:31 AM  
Blogger system operator said...

That's really neat craftmanship! I like all these DIY stuff:)

I made a softbox, light tent and also a very neat diffuser from IKEA materials.

Don't want to spam or anything, but if interested, it's here:

November 12, 2008 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Pat said...

I've long looked at the California Sun-bounce and all other lighting gadgets (e.g. whale tail, etc.) and knew that, while some were certainly useful, they were never worth the price. I made my own multi-functional version of the sunbounce, that has more uses, and costs way less. The "how to" i on my blog:

November 15, 2008 2:49 PM  

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