Here's some photo with my cheap umbrella i mod. I can say i'm pretty happy with the result
I found a cheap translucent at Ikea recently that looks very similar to the umbrella i have which is 'design for photography'. However, this one cost only U$4 while my 'design for photography' one costed U$18. With some mod which took me less than an hour, I have manage to transform it to be used on tripod.
#1 - Top is my U$18 'design for photography' umbrella. And below is the cheap U$4 umbrella
#2 - The size are similar, but you can see the left 'design for photography' has a more shinny surface
#3 - The mod were simple, cut the top and enforce the bottom
#4 - I enforce the bottom by using a B4 pencil. The bottom shaft is starting to get out of shape after first mounted on the tripod
#5 - Well the most important is the result. The cheap umbrella allows more light. That said, it produced a more harsh shadow. However, given 1/4 the price, I won't complain on that. I would conclude that I'm pretty happy with the result.
Click on the image to view full size
#6 - A comparison without umbrella with bare flash. Harsh shadow and colour abit washed out. I suppose I need to tune down 2-3 steps, which I didn't