I thought using my standard Canon speedlight atop my DSLR would let me assess whether or not the several thousand rand macro flash rings are worth it, compared to 'makin do' with what I already had.
The outcome works pretty damn well [for hobby photography]
I constructed this from a piece of 0.5mm white ABS plastic sheeting.
Materials and tools:
0.5mm White ABS Sheet, about A3 size.
Small gas soldering iron/blow torch used for bending the plastic.
superglue for a reinforcing piece
Elastic band for attaching the reflector to the Speedlight Flash.
I have also included some of the test photos taken with the following two rigs:
1. Canon 500d, 18-55mm kit lens, reverse mounted, and Canon Speedlight Flash.
2. as well as my new Canon powershot G15 and Canon Speedlight Flash.The powershot allows for accurate flash control, as well as extremely close focusing.
Step 1: Prepare the Plastic
Using a craft knife, I scored lines along the edges. This cut only penetrated about a third of the way through the plastic sheet allowing for a line of weakness where the shape can be broken out.
Step 2: Finalise the Bends.
The initial curve was not drastic enough [bad planning] so 2 more fold lines were created to tighten this curve.
After initial tests, I actually cut the last bend-line all the way through to allow for a shorter overall curve.
I superglued a reinforcing patch on the narrowest part near the flash unit.
The unit works pretty well, however a more robust development may be needed.
Furthermore the incorporation of a sheet of thin diffusion material would allow for a softer light.
I hope you enjoy the sample images!
Step 3: Sample Photos
They worked out quite well.
Its slow steps towards taking amazing photographs, and hopefully one day a couple as good as Thomas'.
At least now I know that I don't have to spend more money before taking better macro photos, I just have to get out there trek around my garden a bit more, practice and experiment.