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I am doing some experimentation with a compact lighting kit to use for capturing textures, hence some constraints.

I am using a high-intensity flashlight like the Acebeam X80-GT placed at a 1-3m distance from the target (Yes I need that much light). This flashlight consists of multiple adjacent LEDs which can generate a non-even light over the hit surface. I am looking for diffuser material, that I can cut into a circular filter to attach to the flashlight, which can even the light while losing a little as possible. The light will be on for 20-30 minutes, and the website does not specify how much heat the flashlight generates, therefor a heat resistant material is best. Preferably the material would be available on Amazon.

I understand that what I am asking for is hard to achieve, but what would be the closet option to this.

I appreciate your help and guidance.

Note, do you think getting a Rosco Diffusion Filter kit, and trying which filter works is worth it?

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In addition to the Rosco kit you mentioned it might also be worth taking a look at LEE filters. They offer a visual comparison of their diffusion materials.

There is also a quite useful comparison of different bounce and diffusion materials by Matt Porwoll.

While these demonstrations are mainly intended for larger-scale photographic and cinematographic use, they should give you an idea of how they will perform in your situation. For starters a filter set with some ranges of white diffusion and frost will get you started and it's useful to have them in general.

There's also white diffuse acrylic glass, which would probably be a more durable solution.

Be aware though that the relative size of your light source will influence the characteristics of your lighting, so you should make sure that the 20-30cm diameter is sufficient for your subject (as a rule of thumb, to achieve „soft“ lighting your light source should be at least the size of the area you intend to light, and that's assuming you are up pretty close to the subject. Usually you'd want to move away from the subject to reduce light falloff, which means you'd need to scale up your light source as well to achieve the same shadow characteristics).

As a side node, in still photography you might get higher light output from a flash.

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  • Thank you so much, that's a lot of things I didn't know. Size and weight are a limitation, so maybe I can try to make a small lightroom, to get a slightly bigger area. though id the light response is constant, couldn't I level it in post, like a vignetting filter? – Joseph Azzam Jun 2 '20 at 19:32
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    Could you provide some details on the subject? That would help with making recommendations. – Graumagier Jun 2 '20 at 19:41
  • It's mostly to capture environment textures, like rocks, walls etc So I want to try to have a uniform light to equally light the parts facing the camera – Joseph Azzam Jun 2 '20 at 22:59
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    @JosephAzzam This seems to be an X→Y problem. You may be better off asking what is the most efficient way to get to what you want (uniform light of area x in size from a distance of y with a brightness of z), rather than asking how what you think may be a good solution needs to be modified to get the end result you want. In most cases, a strobe flash will give you much more light for a lower cost. – Michael C Jun 3 '20 at 5:14
  • If you want uniform light (not sure that would be the best for emphasizing textures) then consider a ring flash. – BobT Jun 3 '20 at 12:33
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Diffusion evens light out by scattering the light (so that it mixes together), which inherently spreads the light out, which inherently reduces the light density (power). Diffusion also absorbs/blocks some light... It is quite probable that you will loose 50% of the available power (1 stop) in order to even such a light source out; it's quite likely you will loose more IMO.

Diffusion also reduces contrast (hardness), which is what is required to bring out textures... but from some of the comments I'm not sure you are wanting fine textures; and it's extremely unlikely you could make such a small source a soft light for a large scene anyway.

I think your best bet with such a light source is to project it into a textured parabolic reflector through a wide angle/refractive type lens/filter. The lens/filter will allow you to fill the reflector w/o loosing much light, and the texture will help cause the light to additionally mix within the reflector. With the source at the focal point of the reflector the light leaving will be parallel, if you move the source closer to the reflector the light leaving will spread out, and if you move the source farther from the reflector the light will converge/focus.

(also, if you want to bring out texture you need to light it from the side; not from the front)

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