Instructables

DIY Flash Diffuser

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Picture of DIY Flash Diffuser
This is a simple flash diffuser that is quick and easy to make :)
Instructions here will fit on a Nikon SB800 or SB600.
Alter dimensions accordingly to fit other flashes.

***Update 8th Jan 2008***
Just came across a commercial product that is similar:
http://www.uneed-hk.com/product/podketidea/magiclight/magiclight.html
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
List of materials:
1. Rationell Drawer Mat (from Ikea) - the diffuser
2. Cutting Mat - for cutting the drawer mat
3. Metal Ruler - for cutting the drawer mat
4. Pen Knife - for cutting the drawer mat
5. Marker - for marking out
6. Rubber Band - for securing the diffuser on the flash
7. Flash for fitting

Step 2: Dimensions of the diffuser

All you have to do is to cut out a 250 x 110mm piece from the drawer mat.
This will fit a Nikon SB800 or SB600.
For other flash, maintain the 110mm width.
For the 250mm dimension, just ensure that the mat is long enough to overlap on the smaller side of the flash.

Step 3: Attaching the diffuser

Picture of Attaching the diffuser
All you have to do is to wrap the diffuser as shown and secure it using a rubber band.
That's it :)

Step 4: Comparison

1. Direct flash
2. Direct flash, pointed upwards
3. Direct flash, pointed upwards, with built in bounce card
4. Light sphere
5. Light sphere, with dome
6 Ikea Diffuser

As it can be seen, results of the Ikea flash diffuser is similar to Light Sphere.
But would you carry a bulky vinyl bowl or a flat piece of mat and a rubber band :)
Cheers!
johnxy8884 years ago
Would bubble wrap work? IKEA is rather far from where I live =/
You can buy this product at Lowes too in the shelves and storage area.
simtse4 years ago
I believe you can modify this a little more on the top by making it a little wider, add some velcro and make an inverted or rightside up dome. Would require more work, but I think it is possible. That way, you have something that resembles a GF Lightsphere.
zonewarrior5 years ago
So let's get this straight- the ikea diffuser is open ended and you effectively pointing the head at the roof - hence the center of the flash beam is still being 'bounced', with some side fill coming from the beam edges striking the diffuser right ? I still prefer the 'stofen' style diffuser...as simple solution
Phauxtoe6 years ago
Please remember that this will Reduce the effective power and useful distance of the Flash.
ark19 (author)  Phauxtoe6 years ago
I guess all diffusers would reduce the flash power. Thanks :)
KIlroii6 years ago
I've used a tissue just propped on top of the flash or waved my fingers in a pinch!! kilroi
ark19 (author)  KIlroii6 years ago
Hi Kllroii, yup tissue does work :)
j_man516 years ago
I too have used bubble wrap as a quick and easy diffuser and have been amazed with the results. In fact, i recently made diffusion boxes for halogen work lamps while working with a green screen. The effects were amazingly good!
ark19 (author)  j_man516 years ago
Hi j_man51, this was made using a plastic mat with dots on it. Can bubble wraps withstand the heat? Cheers :)
j_man51 ark196 years ago
what I did was actually did was use a cardboard box as a sort of frame, and mounted the bubble wrap to that. I found that about 15cm away from the lamp itself was the perfect location, as it provided the correct amount of light and did not melt the bubble wrap. With the frame design, I was also able to interchange the material depending on how much light was required for the particular shot (such as a heavier cloth or mildly translucent paper). Perhaps i'll do a an intstructable on it!
ark19 (author)  j_man516 years ago
Cool :) Would be great if you can write an instructable on it :)
john917v6 years ago
Great instructable! I will have to make one.
ark19 (author)  john917v6 years ago
Thanks john917v :)
Nice job, nice pictures, easy steps to follow, great pictures. What kind of camera do you have, I must know. Or it's probably your skills.
ark19 (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
Hi GorillazMiko, thanks for the comments :) I used a Nikon D200 + 50mm f/1.8 + SB800 (with the diffuser)
bhunter7366 years ago
Very nice scientific approach with all of the photos at the end. I love the comparisons. You have sold me on bubble wrap! I have to wonder if a sheet of plain white paper would attain similar results if applied the same way? I will have to try it. Thanks for the great idea!
ark19 (author)  bhunter7366 years ago
Hi bhunter736, its actually a plastic sheet with "dots" on it. Used for laying drawers :) Bubble wrap might not be able to withstand the heat from the flash. Tracing paper might work better than plain white paper :) Thanks for the comments. Cheers!