Macro Flash Reflector

Introduction: Macro Flash Reflector

About: I am a qualified Industrial Designer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and UK Citizen. I currently am working as a researcher, Industrial Design Lecturer, and direct a registered Industrial Design Company.

I have not searched through Instructables prior to making this reflector. I got the idea while watching this youtube video where Thomas Shahan discusses macro photography. If there are similar instructables already online, thats lekka. 
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

I sketched a rough size and shape of the reflector, using a dry-wipe marker. I used a piece of newspaper to help with getting the shape symmetrical.

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 edges of the curve were bent up in the same manner as the first two tabs.
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

I have tagged which camera was used for the different photographs.
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.


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    2 Discussions

    wow, the lighting looks great! you need extra light for macro photography right?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Ja. If you dont have a flash, you either need a very high ISO, or extremely bright light to be able to get a motion-blur free image. The flash helps a lot!