I am not big macro freak I don't buy a macro lens to not use it. Sometimes it's handy but that's all for me. Instead of a macro lens I bought three close-up+ filters for my 85mm lens with the filter thread 67mm diameter. First I took some macro shoots using my super bright LED torch, but later of course my brain started to clicking to make a LED macro light.

 I am not competing with those cheap plastic, I just wanted to do something by myself. On the market there are several LED macro lights to buy. The only thing what I don't like in most of them, that they have those converter rings screwed on to the filter ring of the objective and that ring slides in to the macro light frame.
 Most of the cheap versions are not stable at all. Slipping, turning around and not to mention about the weight and force what that poor, mostly plastic filter thread has to take because of that macro light. Depending of what kind of lens you use it might give unwanted pressure and force to the optical element, which is not good at all especially for zoom lenses with a moving front element.

 My version is attached to a particular lenses lens hood, which holds very strong and it is attached to the lens housing not to the optical elements. 

 So lets see what I had to start with:

Step 1: Necessary components

  • camera with the lens, in my case Nikon 85mm f1.8 with 67 mm filter thread,
  • close up+ filter set,
  • 36 pcs.  bright white 5mm LED,
  • 3 mm clear acrylic,
  • 3 mm opal acrylic,
  • 8 mm black acrylic,
  • 3 mm black acrylic,
  • an old flash unit to disassemble,
  • battery
  • wires

Tools I used: laser cutter, circular saw, glue, sandpaper, soldering iron, drill.

The most important thing is to have the correct measurement of the lens hood which will hold the ring. 
Two important diameters needed to make the light ring body, one on the end and one 8 mm higher, just because my ring body is cut from an 8mm thick acrylic.

This lens hood is cone shaped therefore it's easy to place this ring without worrying that will fall off.

I wanted to find a cheap lens hood to fix permanently but unfortunately I could not find any, that is why I have this solution. These lens hoods are rather expensive, I did not want to damage the one what I have.

Your design looks great. &nbsp; However you left out any electronic wiring info.<br> <br> Anyone with no electronic know how might be lost wiring it together.<br> <br> If all LED's are in parallel you need approx. 1/3 to 1/2 Amp and would run down batteries faster.<br> <br> If you use a voltage boost circuit similar to a &quot;Joule Thief&quot; with about 18 volts out and put all LED's as 2 series/parallel circuits the current could drop to around 60 miliAmp total. (2 series groups of 9 in series in parallel with each other, for each switch)&nbsp;&nbsp; 6 volt battery pack would easily get 18 volts from a Joule Thief, 8 volt is doable from 1 1.5 volt battery.<br>
Here is a basic start on a schematic. &nbsp;&nbsp; The SuperCharged Joule Thief here with the lamps LEDs should offer a schematic starting point.&nbsp; It offers 80 -90% efficiency compared to the usual Joule Thief 40 - 50%. &nbsp; &nbsp; Though i have not yet bread boarded it the circuit should work.<br> <br> REF&nbsp;&nbsp; Supercharged Joule Thief&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://rustybolt.info/wordpress/?p=221" rel="nofollow">http://rustybolt.info/wordpress/?p=221</a><br> <br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; How a Joule Thief works&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GVLnyTdqkg" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GVLnyTdqkg</a><br> <br>
Yes, indeed. I will update the article soon. However it does not have any serious electronics. LEDs and 2 switches and the battery pack, that is it.
Nicely designed light ring. These macro shots are awesome, especially the human eye and what I assume is the camera iris with a reflection of the light ring surrounding it.
Yeah that is an other lens with the reflection of the LEDs inside.
Nice job and write up!
Thank-you, I'm going to used this on my milling machine as a spindle light. <br>Mike.

About This Instructable


225 favorites


Bio: Hungarian guy in The Netherlands. Check my website for nixie clocks!
More by zorwick: DIY Permanent Infrared DSLR Camera Raspberry media player casing LED macro light - DIY
Add instructable to: