Diffuser for a Pop-up Flash





Introduction: Diffuser for a Pop-up Flash

A quick-and-relatively-easy diffuser for a pop-up flash. I was getting tired of using an old translucent film canister, so I came up with this. I've seen someone selling a diffuser which fixes on the hotshoe but I believe it's constructed in a different way.

It's made out of a plastic ring binder. The one I used cost $2.20 but it will make about 8 of these diffuser. It could even be cut out of an existing binder which could still be used afterwards :-)

This won't work with cameras where the built-in flash is deactivated by the presence of something in the hot shoe. The Canon G7 behaves in this way, for example.

[Edit] The diffusion will only be noticeable at reasonably short distances, given that the effective size of the light source still isn't so large.

Step 1: Find Suitable Material

I used an A4 binder made of translucent plastic. Other reasonably stiff, easily workable and flexible material would also do.

Step 2: Cut Out the Required Shape

This very much depends on the flash head that it is supposed to fix. The "tail" end of the diffuser is the most critical. It needs to slide into the flash head and still have enough friction to stay in place. It should also extend about 1cm (1/2") behind the hotshoe so that the other end has something to fix on to.

Step 3: Attach to Camera

Fit the tail from the front of the camera, through the hole in the pop-up flash and into the hot shoe.

Take the other end of the diffuser (the end with the two slots), pull it over the top of the pop-up flash and feed the end of the tail through the two slots.

Fire away!



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    12 Discussions

    So.....I tried this.....went out and bought the binder and everything....followed the instructions exactly....and it didn't diffuse my flash at all. I was very disappointed, seeing as it seems like it SHOULD work....but it didn't. :(

    5 replies

    Given the size of the diffuser in relation to the size of the flash, the effect is only going to be noticeable when the flash is fairly close to the subject. Too far away and it will still appear to the subject as a small light source. I'll have to try some more test shots.

    I tried both--tried taking pictures of myself, and pictures of my kitchen (also did a control shot without the diffuser), and it didn't make any difference for me :-/

    could be that you need thicker plastic. you could try doubling up the plastic in front of the flash. also, if the plastic is too close to the flash, the effect is minimized; try giving it some space. & maybe you can change the intensity of the flash in your camera's settings.

    Hi jumpfroggy ... check out sagarmothra's comment and my reply. I decided the effect wasn't so much so I improved the design. Details and before/after shots are on Flickr.

    Yeah, I saw your flickr.  Looks like a better version with the tissue paper, and the results look nice.  Thanks for posting!

    2ndly......dood! you should scan this and let us get the dimensions...thats really a nice shape.