Clever flash diffuser

KleenexDiffuser2624bA flash diffuser is often very helpful, especially for some of the closeups of hardware I take.  The better-than-nothing hack I’ve used dozens of times is a couple of folds of Kleenex over the Canon SD600’s built-in flash.  It’s free and available, but not great.  Sometimes it flops in front of the lens, sometimes it covers the auto-focus helper LED, and based on some color shifts, I suspect sometimes a finger gets involved.

FrontView0792I recently ran across a great DIY flash diffuser on the Cameta blog.  While much more involved than a piece of Kleenex, the materials were still free, and since almost all my technical pictures are taken in the shop, it’s easy to keep it nearby.  It even SideView0797manages to leave the focus helper LED clear.

Built mostly of cut and folded white card stock custom fitted to the camera, its main clever feature is the use of a reflector near the tiny flash to illuminate a much larger diffuser.  Some aluminum foil tape provides the reflective surface.  This side view shows it best.

WholeThing2583To hold it all to the camera while aligning the tiny flash in the tiny PlasticIndex0799hole in the back of the reflector cavity, I taped some scavenged 17 mil clear PET packaging plastic to the back of the diffuser.  Between a hook over the side of the camera body and careful fitting of the top to butt up against a raised place on the top of the camera (under my thumb, not visible), it’s pretty easy to register accurately and hold in place.  For a little card stock, tape, and some time fiddling with it, I think this will become a valuable, standard part of my photo arsenal.

DiffuserDemo2615For the requisite with/without pics, these shots from the return duct cleaning project are about the best I have right now.  They show some improvement, but don’t really do the diffuser justice.  Maybe I’ll update them later.


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