UPDATE, JUNE 2024: Strobist was archived in 2021. Here is what I am up to now. -DH


Ubercheap Ring Flash: Cereal Box, Styrofoam and Foil

UPDATE: Dennis' site has been taken down, but the how-to page on the ring flash has been archived here. I am leaving the old links hard-coded into the post, in case Dennis gets his site back up.

As always, thanks for the heads-up to this situation that I received in the comments section.



What is it about ring flashes that just seems to attract supermodels to the photographers who use them?

Yeah, so maybe I did just make that theory up. But, OMG, what if it were true? And what if you could test the theory out for next to no money?

Well, of course you would.

Fortunately, Czech fashion photographer and self-described "hackmaster" (I just love that term) Dennison Bertram has a cool-beans tutorial up on how to make a super cheap ring flash housing for your speedlight.

Given that you already are synching off-camera, you may well be able to build this thing for free from scraps of stuff around the house.

And you thought cereal box snoots were cool.

This is simpler, cheaper and possibly more efficient than the Tupperware version that was blogged here a few months ago. It definitely has a rough-edges DIY look to it, too.

But you could spend a dollar or two and gussy it up some on the outside if you wanted. I am thinking that black craft bendy foam stuff. Whatever it is called.

Anyhoo, check out Dennison's website for the how-to.

And no, sadly, Czech model "Lenka" does not come with the project plans. But build it anyway and test my supermodel theory. If it works, report back ASAP.

Seriously, this guy is really thinking. He also has DIY plans for a cheap "tilt/shift" lens and a pinhole lens for your digicam. I am building a pull-down menu for the sidebar of other cool photo sites to visit, and he is gonna be one of the first entries.

I am using his ring flash model as a jumping-off point. I have already made about a dozen mental revisions that center on increased efficiency and better light distribution around the ring.

Use some of that scrap Christmas styrofoam and an empty box and build one, too. We'll compare ring flashes (and the resulting pix) soon.


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