There are a few Ring Flash Adapter “How to” posts on the web, and if you’re a bit handy with tools, i’m sure you’ve already used them.
I’m not one of those people.
The most tools I use is a stanley knife and a screwdriver. So armed with a roll of cardboard, a sheet of foamcore and a whole lot of gaffa tape, I set to work.
What you’ll need:
- Baking Paper
- Foamcore (Cardboard can be used for the backing, but it is less stable)
- Stanley Knife
- Gaffa Tape
First, I designed a circle shape. The inner circle had to be big enough to stick a lens through, and the size of the larger ring is entirely up to you. It will alter your catchlight, and overall size of the ring flash. Keep in mind that a thicker ring will probably spread light more evenly as the inner hole blocks less at the top, but you will also have to pump more juice into it to fill it. I made mine a good size for carrying around, as that’s basically the reason behind everything I use when I’m shooting. Anything (apart from a lightstand) that is bigger than a plastic bag is cumbersome.
After designing the shape, I pinned down the two halves (designed so I could print the design on a household printer A4 sized), and cut the foamcore out with a stanley knife.
And now we have a base, we need a rim. For this I got black cardboard, layered and glued it together to reinforce it, and bent it around the circle shape. Securing it with small tabs, glue and gaffa tape. The inside ring was done the same way… Then it was time to test the ring flash with some diffusion.
As you can see, the light isn’t even all the way around, which makes it a pretty useless ring flash. But the diffusion material (baking paper) looks great. Why isn’t it even? Because I used black card around the outside ring (for looks). So i painted the inside of the ring silver and the result was MUCH better.
MUCH better… it’s still not entirely even (a little dimmer on the top) but it’s probably not even 1/3 of a stop, so i’m not too worried about it. It will effect the catchlight, but I am usually doing enough postwork that if it really bothered me I could fix it up later… If you’re more fastidious about that kind of thing, just add more diffusion to the bottom half and it will be better.
This is the back of the ringflash, before painting. I took this shot to check the leak. If too much light leaks and you shoot from behind the ring, you’ll get flare on your lens. This look spretty good for me. Will be better when the white is painted black.
And the result?
Looks pretty good to me!