How to Make Your Own Ring Flash for Less Than $20

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  By Blagoja Martinovski
How to Make Your Own Ring Flash for Less Than $20

Ring flashes are used for macro photography we have seen them on the CSI series, or you can use it for shooting portraits. You can get one on eBay which will cost from 50$ up to 250$. Have in mind that most of the cheapest are not the full circuit. Forget that we want to be full, and what’s the best it will cost you 20$ or less. These ones will fit your camera perfectly- it will no shake or be loose, it will not put stress on your camera hot shoe, it will be light weight, and it is unbreakable. So let’s begin, the only thing you will need is a cobra flash.Needed materials:

  • So the next thing you will need a plastic bowl whose bottom diameter is not less than 8 cm. Try to find one that is not too thick or too firm.
  • A pipe that is 5 cm long and 8 cm wide. PVC material will be the best choice in terms of weight and toughness.
  • Aluminum foil
  • Duct tape
  • A cutter
  • And glue

Making the ring

Put the pipe on the bottom of the bowl, and use a pen to draw a circle. Take the cutter (or if you have a very sharp knife you will cut the costs for the fabrication) and remove the circle that you previously were drawn. This can be tricky, try to preserve your fingers and do not push very hard if it is a firm plastic it will eventually crack and you will have to go over again. After this process put the head your flash on the side of the bowl and draw it, then you cut a perfect rectangle that you have just drawn. Now we are down to the aluminum foil. Take the foil and cut some sheets from it and glue them inside in the bowl. Read the specifications of the glue in case you are not sure that will keep together the aluminum foil and the plastic that the bowl is made of. Repeat the same for the PVC pipe wrap the outside with the foil and put it in the hole low the bowl. Glue it together so it wants to come off. Now you are going to have to put all of the components together. It might get tricky because the aluminum foil is not a material that is rough resistant so be extra careful not to tear it apart. Here is what I did, and it works great. Put the pipe inside the bowl, and then put pieces of the duct tape from the inside to the outside of the rear of the bowl. This will prevent the pipe to move, and it will support its own weight, plus the weight of the pipe. Take a good look of it because you are done. But don’t be disappointed, it’s not a beauty but it will do the job. Plus you have a flash ring that it will keep your food in the fridge (lol), and how many of the rings bought from eBay or a store can do that?So how we are going to use it? Put the flash in the rectangle hole, not too far inside. Use a remote wire, or use the wireless TTL for your flash. Or you can insert your lens inside the bottom of the bowl.For those of you that don’t owe a cobra flash there is another solution that will raise the price of your flash ring, but not for the price of a cobra flash. For this kind of ring flash, we are just going to add a tape of led lights which will cost additional 5 dollars (if you get a good one), a battery adapter for 4 AA or AAA batteries, and a wire to connect them. So what we are going to do? We are going to put the led lights in the middle of the PVC pipe and the bowl, creating a perfect circle, and connect them with the batteries to have a source of energy. This way we are going to have constant light. You can put the adapter in your pocket, just be sure that you have enough cable to operate without limits. Remember that the aluminum foil remains in the same place to have a better reflection. If electricity is not something that you know, maybe you should find somebody to make the connection for you. I don’t want you to electrify yourself beside it’s not that much of an electrical power in 4 batteries.   Now that we are done, all you have to do is to enjoy the magical effect of the macro photography and especially the portraits taken with the flash ring.Hope that this tutorial will come handy. Warm regards.

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