DSLR Pop-up Flash Diffuser





Introduction: DSLR Pop-up Flash Diffuser

About: Nothing much... I'm boring :)

DSLR pop-up flashes are very usefull when you do not want to carry your large hot shoe flash around, but are quite limited in both power and control. They tend to make harsh shadows and blow out close subjects.

To make photos more pleasing, many people use a diffuser.

You could buy one, but most people make them They are homebrewed with everything from a simple sheet of paper to plastic cards and even fancy "origami" folded papers.

This is yet another diffuser, but I think it shines by it's simplicity. It's made from something almost all photographers have in the bottom of a drawer... a film canister.

Step 1: Measure Your Flash and Cut the Canister

Well, this step is simple... pop up the flash on your DSLR and measure the depth of it's base. You need this to know how wide to make the cut on the film canister.

Then grab your canister, a box cutter or X-Acto knife and cut a slit down the side of the canister. Make sure that slit is barely wider than your flashes stalk.

Step 2: Insert the Canister and Use the Camera!

At this point you slip the canister on the flash, close it with the cap and try it out!

Step 3: Why Use a Diffuser?

You'll now find that the flash is no longer as harsh and overpowering when taking portrait photos close up, as well as macro and normal close-ups of stuff. Skin tones will also be more natural.

Of course since the ligh is diffused, this does limit the reach of the flash... but you are doing this for close up work anyways so thats not a problem.

Diffusing your flash is always a good idea when taking close up pictures to make an instructable.



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    23 Discussions

    Thank you SOO much for this...i am working on an ible that the pictures i am taking in macro, the flash keeps drowning out my photos!!!

    I called a target with a photo center and they had a bunch they were going to recycle. Anywhere with a photo center/lab will probably have a bunch to get for free.

    Ooh, I actually just completed the same diffuser without your instructable. It fits exceptionally well on my Sony DSLR A-100. A permanent marker and metal ruler are invaluable for cutting this, as mentioned before.
    A (somewhat unnecessary) addition is to fit a bit of reflective material, ex. tin foil, behind the flash to bounce back more light. Again, this may be unnecessary because the white plastic will accomplish the same thing.

    PS: I think a few more detailed tips would be helpful now that i've made the diffuser myself.  :)  It's good to have a small ruler handy.  You don't have to get it perfect, but it helps to have it measured out if possible.  I took a small metal ruler I had and used a permanent marker to try to mark where I should cut.   Of course be very careful with cutting.  It's easy to let it slip and catch your finger.  Don't worry if you don't cut on the line, but it is always better to cut too little instead of too much.  The plastic is very easy to cut so you can shave off extra plastic after you have the rectangle cut out.  My flash was almost the size of the film case, so I had to cut into the lid a bit.  I just kept the lid on and cut it right from the hole i originally made to make it fit.  Now I'm excited to go take some pictures!


    You can go to any film developer and ask for a film case.  I went to Wal-Mart, asked the developer and she just gave me one. :)  I'm about to make my diffuser now.  Great Idea, thanks!

    But where you gonna find dem ole film whatchamacallems ;-p

    I've seen/ heard of pentax dslrs but i was a bit iffy about the quality of them, are they good, worth the price for em?

    1 reply

    Excellent. I frequently find myself grabbing a piece of paper to hold in front to diffuse it. I'm going to have to make one of these and just keep it with my camera. Simple yet highly effective. Good job.

    Great, cheap, and easy. just made one in ten seconds for my d40. great ible cheers, mspark400

    actually kind of professional looking. better than last night's dinner napkin rubber banded around... lol

    Thanks, I'm definetly a Pentax fan :) I got a few of them and I also go by the same name on Pentaxforums.com

    No problem my friend, you put a new angle on it and there really can't be too many photography instructables anyways :)

    I cut a little square piece of plastic from a milk jug. Use small pieces of scotch tape to hold it in place. Works like a charm.