US 3867019 A
A light reflector is formed from a flexible sheet which can be rolled up when not in use to form a relatively small package for storage or transportation. The surface of this sheet is embossed to form a plurality of light reflecting optical elements which scatter the light impinging thereon to provide smooth and even lighting which simulates natural "north lighting." The reflective sheet is supported on a break-down frame assembly which in turn is supported on a collapsible stand. The reflector member, and its associated support structure, thus form an assembly which can be broken down into a compact package for transportation and storage, the reflector unit providing optimum lighting for photographic purposes and being adjustable to satisfy various lighting requirements.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Eyerman 51 Feb. 18,1975
1 4 PHOTOGRAPHIC REFLECTOR  Filed: June 22, 1973  Appl. No.1 372,527
 US. Cl 350/295, 343/915, 350/288,
350/109, 350/129, 135/2  Int. Cl. G02b 5/10  Field of Search 350/117129.
3,781,093 12/1973 Grabijas ..350/288 Primary ExaminerRonald L. Wibert Assistant ExaminerMichael J. Tokar Attorney, Agent, or' Firm-Edward A. Sokolski  ABSTRACT A light reflector is formed from a flexible sheet which can be rolled up when not in use to form a relatively small package for storage or transportation. The surface of this sheet is embossed to form a plurality of light reflecting optical elements which scatter the light impinging thereon to provide smooth and even lighting which simulates natural north lighting." The reflective sheet is supported on a break-down frame assembly which in turn is supported on a collapsible stand. The reflector member, and its associated support structure, thus form an assembly which can be broken down into a compact package for transportation and storage, the reflector unit providing optimum lighting for photographic purposes and being adjustable to satisfy various lighting requirements.
4 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENIEI] FEB I 81975 SHEEI 1 BF 2 PHOTOGRAPHIC REFLECTOR This invention relates to photographic reflectors and more particularly, such a reflector which can readily be disassembled to form a small package and which has a reflector member comprised of a plurality of optical reflector elements] In professional and skilled amateur photography, portable reflector elements are generally utilized to optimize the lighting of the subject. Most reflector elements now in use utilize flat-faced reflectormembers which reflect the light back in the nature ofa plane mirror. This type of reflection provides relatively hard lighting which often gives the subject a rather harsh appearance inthe photograph. It has been found that a reflective surface which is embossed to form a plurality of intended optical reflector elements converts power sources of light into a myriad of specular reflected points and thus provides a scattering of the reflected light which simulates northern sky natural light. This type of lighting has a scintillating sparkle which eliminates hard shadows and harsh highlights which appear with plane mirror reflections. In utilizing photograph reflectors in the field. it is important that the reflector assembly be portable and preferably break down into a relatively small package to facilitate its transportation and handling. Many prior art reflector devices leave much to be desired in this regard.
The device of this invention overcomes the aforementioned shortcomings of the prior art in providing a reflector assembly which is highly portable in nature and which can be broken down into a very compact package for transportation and storage. This end result is achieved by means of a reflector member formed on a flexible sheet which can be rolled up and which is suspended on a disassemblable frame, which in turn is supported on a collapsible stand. The reflector sheet itself is embossed so that it comprises a plurality of separate reflector elements to'provide a lighting effect simulating that of north light.
It is therefore. an object of this invention to provide an improved portable reflector which simulates north light.
It is another object of this invention to provide a reflector of simple and economical construction which affords an optimum lighting effect. 7
It is still another object of this invention to provide a photographic reflector which is highly portable in nature, which can be disassembled to form a highly compact package.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds in connection with the accompanying drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along the plane indicated by 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view ofthe preferred embodiment:
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the preferred emhodiment;
FIG. 5 is a view taken along the plane indicated by 55 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along the plane indicated by 6-6 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken long the plane indicated by 77 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane indicated by 8-8 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane indicated by 9-9 in FIG. 7; and
FIG. 10 is a side elevational view illustrating the operation of the convexity adjustment of the device ofthe invention.
FIG. 11 is a plan view of a corner section of a reflector screen.
Briefly described, the device of the invention is as follows: A reflector member is in the form of a sheet of flexible material which can be rolled up into a cylinder. This reflector member, which may be formed of a flexible plastic substrate having a reflective metal deposited thereon. is embossed so that its reflective surface is formed by a plurality of separate reflector elements. These reflector elements scatter the light incident thereon to provide in effect simulating north lighting." The reflector member is supported at the corners thereof on a collapsible frame structure which comprises rod members which extend from a central mount. The central mount is supported on a collapsible stand which has means thereon for adjusting the reflector member in azimuth and elevation. Means are further provided on the central mount to adjust the reflector screen so that it has a predetermined degreeof convexity.
Referring now to the Figures. flexible reflector screen 11 has washer members 12 attached to the corners thereof. Screen 11 is suspended on support frame assembly 14. Support assembly 14 is formed from a central block shaped mount 15 from which four support rods 17 extend. Rods 17 are removably fitted into apertures 18 formed in the block shaped mount and bottom against screw 20 which is used to attach support block 15 to stand 25. Each of rods 17. as best seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, comprises an end piece 27 which has a hook 27a formed at the extremity thereof. End piece 27 is fixedly attached to intermediate piece 28 which in turn is slidably mounted in support tube 30. A spring 32 is mounted in tube 30 with one end thereof abutting against pin 35, which is fixedly attached to the tube and with the other end thereof abutting against the end of member 28. Member 28 has a slot 28a formed therein. Pin 36 which is fixedly attached to the wall of tube 30 rides in slot 28a and restricts the slidable movement of member 28. As shown in FIG. 7, member 28 is fully extended with pin 36 abutting against an end wall of slot 280.
Thus. it should be apparent that screen 11 is mounted on support assembly 14 with book portions 270 engaging washers 12 with the spring actions of spring 32 urging members 28 outwardly so as to provide support for the screen 11 at each of its four corners in a taut manner. It should also be apparent that screen 11 can readily be removed from support assembly 14 by manually pushing rod portions 28 inwardly against this spring action; rod 17 then being removable from support block 15.
Support stand 25 has a collapsible tripod assembly 35 from which support tube 37 extends. Telescopic sections 38 and 39 are successively mounted in telescoping relationship on support tube 37 and can be extended to any desired positions and then tightened in such positions by means of screws 41 and 42 respectively. Adjustment in azimuth and elevation for the screen is provided by means of adjustment assembly 44 3. which includes adjustment knob 48 for elevation adjustment and adjustment knob 49 for enabling adjustment in azimuth. Support block is attached to adjustment assembly 44 by means of screw which threadably engages block 15 at one end thereof and threadably engages assembly 44 on the other end thereof; nut member 57 being utilized to lock screw 20 in position.
It is to be noted that adjustment assembly 44 has an aperture formed therein, into which shaft 55, which is attached to tube member 39 extends. Thus, adjustment member 44 can be rotated on shaft 55 until the desired azimuth position is reached, whereupon knob 49 can be utilized to tighten the assembly against the shaft. It is further to be noted that end portion 53 of assembly 44 is pivotably attached to portion 58 thereof such that portion 53 can be adjusted in elevation relative to portion 58 and when the desired elevation position is achieved, knob 48 can be tightened to hold this position.
Referring now to FIG. 10, reflector screen 11 can be bowed or made convex as indicated by lla, by adjustment of push member 60 which has a head portion 60a supported on a base portion 60b. Base portion 60b has a threaded bore which threadably engages bolt 65 which is fixedly supported on support block 15. Thus, member 60 can be adjusted to bow screen 11 outwardly as desired to achieve various optical effects for particular application requirements.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 11, the surface of the reflector screen of the invention is illustrated. The surface of the screen is embossed to form a plurality ofdish shaped optical elements 67, each of which provides a scattering effect of the light incident thereon. Reflector screen 11 may be formed of a flexible backing material, such as Mylar. which has a reflectivc metallized coating thereon, such as might be achieved by vacuum deposition of aluminum on' the surface thereof. For certain applications a gold colored coating might be called for. Mylar is a particularly suitable backing material in view ofits light weight flexibility and durability. For most application requirements, an aluminized coating is highly suitable.
Thus it can be seen that the device of the invention provides a highly efficient reflector which affords the illumination advantages of north light in optimizing the illumination of the subject. Further, the device of the invention is of simple and economical construction which is adaptable for field uses in that it can be readily disassembled into a small package for transportation and storage. Further, the device of the invention provides adjustment features for adjusting the reflector screen, not only in azimuth and elevation. but also as to the convexity of its surface configuration. thus enabling various illumination effects as may be desired.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it must be clearly understood that this is intended by way of illumination and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation. the spirit and scope of this invention being limited only by the terms of the following claims.
1. A photographic reflector comprising:
a flexible reflector screen. the surface of said screen being embossed to form a plurality of separate dish shaped reflector elements, said screen having aperture means at each of the corners thereof;
a collapsible support frame for supporting said screen, said support frame comprising a central mount in the form of a block shaped member having a plurality of apertures spaced thereabout and a plurality of rod members which are removably fitted in said apertures and extend radially outwardly from said central mount, each of said rod members having an end hook portion for engaging a separate one of the aperture means of said screen and including means for resiliently urging said hook portions outwardly whereby said screen is tautly supported on said frame to form an overall flat screen with said embossed reflection surface; and
stand means for supporting said frame for adjustment in azimuth and elevation.
2. The device of claim 1 and further including adjustment means on said central mount for positioning the central portion of said reflector screen a predetermined distance outwardly from said central mount so as to give said screen 'a convex configuration.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said rod members each comprises a tube member having a spring mounted therein and a rod member to which the hook portion is attached, said rod member being slidably mounted in said tubemember and resiliently being urged outwardly from said tube member by said spring.
4. The device of claim I wherein said aperture means comprises a washer member at each ofthe four corners thereof, there being four rod members. the hook portion of each of said rod members engaging a separate one of said washer members.