(1 to 100 of 113 replies)
Sam | www.samuelpotter.com 5:20am, 14 December 2007
UPDATE: There's now 2 ringlights in this tutorial, the first being an on-camera hotshoe ringlight; the second is designed more for wireless triggering(and is twice as big).

1. Cardboard you took from the grocery store dumpster
2. Duct Tape
3. Aluminum Foil
4. Glue (i used a glue stick)
4. 7-8 inch diameter plate or round object
6. Serrated (steak) knife to cut the cardboard holes. (scissors work for cutting the big stuff
7. Sandpaper (optional) -good for smoothing the holes you cut.

I'm likely going to give lots of small details that aren't necessary to many of you, but I'm the kind of person who takes any part of information I can get from tutorials. If you can do things on your own by just looking at the pictures, just ignore that small details. Also, I've only been in doing photography for 4 months, so i may not have all the correct lingo, so please bear with me!

Like I said in my previous post: www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157603453570041/
This probably isn't the best design, but what I like about it is it's easy to make and doesn't require the flash to be mounted under the camera. What I did is combined a couple designs other people made: lactose.blogspot.com/2007/11/ring-flash.html

Make sure you have your supplies and sufficient food and water to keep the stress level at a minmum during the construction!
Ringflash Tutorial02

lets get started.

Portion #1 - Hot Shoe Portion

-First thing I did was measure each side of my 580EX(the Top Flash part) by laying it down on a piece of cardboard and tracing the corners of it. Im not that great at just dealing with numbers so i usually do all the measuring by tracing the actual object. Make sure the side pieces and top piece are longer(as pictured below) because the top will later be bent to 45 degrees to send the light down, and the side pieces need to be longer for connecting the other portion of the ringlight later. -After tracing out each piece I then glue aluminum foil to whats going to be the inside part of this section. There's usually a dull and shiny side to foil, be sure to have the shiny side showing to get the most reflection.
-Now you're ready to put the sides together with duct tape. I layed my hotshoe on the cardboard and formed all the sides to the size of the flash as you can see pictured below.

Ringflash Tutorial03

Portion #2: The Backside

-First you want to make the back side. take a flat piece of cardboard and lay your camera with the Hot Shoe attached faced down on it. Draw a line tracing the top of the hot shoe, and also trace a ring around your lens so you have an idea of where your lens will be coming through. then you can remake the circle larger to accommodate your largest lens, in my case a 87mm diameter 12-24 sigma.
-then take your plate or round object and draw a circle around the lens circle you made, keeping the space between where your lens is and the bottom the smallest. this chokes the light to be stronger at the bottom where there usually is the most light loss in other ringlights. this is explained in this tutorial i mentioned above: lactose.blogspot.com/2007/11/ring-flash.html however I failed to properly follow this tutorial because I didn't make the sides wide enough to really disperse the light perfectly like that guy does in the tutorial. so if i were to do it again I'd make the sides wider.
-draw lines from the top to the sides of the circle.
Heres a picture of these steps together:

Ringflash Tutorial01

Portion(s) #3 - The Center Circle and Outer Edge

-Now you need the center Circle Piece and the outer edge. I used the same size as the the side of the Hot Shoe to make everything the same depth. It'd probably be best to first cut out the center(where the lens goes through) so you don't have to eye it later (Like I did) after the foil is put down. a small serrated(steak) knife worked great for me for cutting the circle.
-I First put on the outer edge with duct tape. to make the outer edge I used a few pieces combined, but you could easily just make one long piece if you have enough cardboard. After putting the outer edge on, Foil the entire inside well and make sure you give it a sec to dry. -If you didn't already cut out the center hole, place your circle piece(which also has foil on it) where you think it should go, then tape it to the sides temporarily so you can trace THE INSIDE of the circle where you will be cutting it out. the reason you trace the inside is so the circle piece comfortably sits on the back piece, and doesn't go right through the hole. this is what the piece looks like before I cut it:

Ringflash Tutorial04

Portion #4: The Front Piece

-lay the back piece on a piece of cardboard, trace the outside, but also include an extra lip at the bottom that will be used to attach to the Hot Shoe Portion. cut it out. also be sure to trace where the lens hole is, just so you know where it is, but dont cut it out yet. im sure theres a better way to do this, but i made a mark a tad above the very bottom of the circle (where the light is choked) and measured from that mark to the center hole. I cant remember the dimension, probably an inch-inch and a half. basically make the measurement however thick of a ring you want. I then took that measurement and made a mark from the center hole circle to the outside probably 30 times all the way around the center hole so i could draw a nice even circle all the way around it by connecting the dots.
-now you can cut a hole out of the front piece from the circle you just "connected the dots" on.

Ringflash Tutorial05

-Now foil the side that will be on the inside. you can see the foiled, cut piece pictured below in the top left.

Ringflash Tutorial08


-first tape the front piece on the back piece with duct tape. (pictured bottom right)

Ringflash Tutorial09

-Then put the 45 degree angle side of the Hot Shoe Portion on the Piece you just combined and duct tape it together.




modified ringlight front

ringlight back

--Optional Additions/Mods--
-You can put a thick rubber band where it attaches to the hot shoe to help it stay on.
-Use one or multiple plastic bags as a diffuser to put over the ring.
-Cut out another cardboard piece, as pictured above, with holes to make your ring look sexy.


pat yourself on the back, make some more mac n cheese, eat ice cream, experiment on random objects in the room, set the camera on a tripod and take pictures of yourself for an hour or two (not saying I did that or anything.....)

monkey time 16mm

modified ringlight 37mm

in my room 18mm

hello ringlight 50mm

intense water drinking 50mm

naoki 50mm

another ringlight shot 12mm

If you want to get the ring-in-the-eyes look then you should shoot in lower mm, unless you have a macro zoom. the closer to the camera you get the bigger the ring in your eye is. the further you get from the camera you lose the ring but still have nice diffused lighting!

I hope this tutorial helped. If you have any questions please ask. enjoy the ringlight, God bless

UPDATE 1/14/08: Uber Cheap Ringlight 2.0 - Wireless Trigger Happy

Here's the only photo I have of the ringlight before I closed it up. ignore the tupperware in the middle(the idea behind that was to use this same flash as a beauty dish too), and it also needs the extra cardboard ring in the center that the lens goes through.
The MAIN thing you should notice is that the edges have a curve to them made w/ the foil tape, to help reflect the light out. but there is no curve on the center hole that the lens goes thru, so more light can slip by and get to the back. (hope that makes sense)
NOW Here's a closed up shot. The MAIN thing with this is to notice there is a V shape in the center hole to help send the light down the sides. i'll give dimensions later. pardon the poor pics it's 1:25am.

(1 to 100 of 113 replies)
thefierywell 11 years ago
... I knew this move would bring about something good... Cardboard boxes! Will try this once unpacked! Thank you!
i just used a medium sized box from the new reflector i bought online. you'll have plenty of big boxes to choose from, so no creases that make cutting awkward :)

hope it works out!
hallowed board [deleted] 11 years ago
Thanks for the illustrative photos. It really helps me to visualize how I am going to make my own ring flash. I particularly liked the multiple circles of light.
Christopher Vigliotti 11 years ago
this is really great
iLuveKetchup PRO 11 years ago
Do you have a one-handed backhand or a two-handed?
thanks dan and hibiscus!

iluv im not sure what you mean by backhand, like i said im new to photography, sorry!
sirap 11 years ago
awesome tutorial, I just finished mine..the results are nothing short of amazing
DonJinTX PRO 11 years ago
iLuve.. I get it!

I like the ring of lights look.. nicely done.
concerned mine [deleted] 11 years ago
I think you win the award for the most hideous ringflash to date.
Congratulations. I should make some kind of sparkly flashing ringflash gif for this.

On the other hand, it seems to work well (grabs an Exacto knife and some cardboard, disappears)
ahhh you saw my tennis bag! one handed :) took me awhile ahaha
yea, i dont think i'd take it in public looking like that! i plan on getting some black tape and covering it all once im done tweaking it.
- Lenny - 11 years ago
i tried this (and completely forgot to choke the light at the top by moving the inner ring up) and came up with a light that does this:

Kiki's Closeup

total cost: NOTHING... went to sam's and got a HUGE cardboard box, so i can make 3 more. we had tons of foil and tissue paper (for christmas presents) laying around, and it took me about 2 hours to do this... i kept getting bored and wandered off 5-6 times.
it looks like you got plenty of light to the bottom of the ring (which is usually the hard part). you could probably just add some cardboard and fix the ringflash you already have. you still got really nice lighting on the picture you took even though the ring may not be a perfect circle.
n*joseph 11 years ago
ha, i love the mac n cheese man.. ultimate college diet.. Great ringflash, I'm gonna give this a shot when I get home tonight..
deafening act [deleted] 11 years ago
is the mac and cheese optional? I don't think i have any left ;0)

great tutorial! Thanks!
cupofjoe 11 years ago
Love the goose flying overhead in the full head shot.
yes the mac and cheese (where all creativity comes from) is required :)
brents pix 11 years ago
dude..thats so ghetto..but works so awesome!

i love it

i looked at the sample pix like "no way dude!" hahaha

good stuff..i'll get my son to help me make one..thanks for the detailed steps

(will substitute ramens for mac n cheese)
thejohnenriquez 11 years ago
Great idea on the circles! but how did you ever get to experiment on yourself for those hours?? I built mine a different way. i tested it on myself on two separate nights and both nights i got headaches =(
Sean McCormack 11 years ago
I might try this with corrugated plastic..
akmetal31 11 years ago
wow, excellent job. i want to make one in the next couple weeks.
Sean, I want to see it when its done if you do! like i said, theres a million better ways to do it than mine, please innovate!
Sean McCormack 11 years ago
I have an old black portfolio case with broken catches. I was going to try Bert's Striplights with it, but as I just got 2 of the 001B nano stands and have the same boxes, I'll use them. It'll be at least the 2nd week of Jan before I get to it. Working all through new years, then it's my birthday!

I'll be sure to record all of these processes.. If I ever do complete a book on OCF (off camera flash) I'd have them for that!
Marsh Rabbit 11 years ago
I love this scrap box engineering.
disastrous toes [deleted] 11 years ago
Love it - great results too.
Thank you. If anyone made a "scrap box ringlight" (good name rabbit) post some examples :)
jack satta (fnb) 11 years ago
We don't have a template that takes into account inverse square law by now?


Tanya210 Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Tanya210 (member) 11 years ago
I made one!!!




Samuel Webster 11 years ago
Is there an optimum size for making a ringlight (the one that Samuel Potter has made appears to make quite small catchlights in comparison to what i've seen of pro ringlights)

I wonder if it's better to make it bigger or smaller? if it was bigger would that reduce the effect of the light?

I have a shoot coming up that might look great with a ringlight so i'm going to try and make one in the next week.
Samuel Webster 11 years ago
this shot:
Scott Kelly
was when i started getting a hankering for the light quality of a ring flash. I took it in a dressing room when I was on tour, one of the other guys in the band put his head up against one of those mirrors with light bulbs all the way around it.

the look is just beautiful!
clumsy bell [deleted] 11 years ago
I used three SB-600's set up in a triangle and shot through the center of them to give me a ringlight effect. I erased to of the 3 highlights in the eyes in PS.

clumsy bell [deleted] 11 years ago
Sorry, wasn't trying to rob the thread, just showing another way to get a similar effect. I need to get off my butt and make one of those!
Peter Carlsen 11 years ago
That's awesome!
Fargo Photog 11 years ago
Why'd you take out the highlights Hildozin...were they ugly? I think it would look somewhat cool...but I could be wrong...do you have a before shot to show us the "triangle" effect in the eyes?

Samuel Webster 11 years ago
with some diffuser material, the three flash thing might be soft enough not to look so much like three dots
Ramberto Cumagun PRO 11 years ago
Awesome!! Gonna have to try this myself.
Samuel Webster 11 years ago
OK - made one tonight but i'm not ENTIRELY convinced it's finished. i think the bottom of it is still too bright compared to the top, even though i've layered it 6x with diffusing paper.

guess i'll add more. I think just for stability I might add a few layers to the whole thing, and then a more solid back (plain cardboard is bending a little too much for my liking) before i double gaffa tape and paint it black (the silver cardboard i used was white on the outside)
Samuel Webster 11 years ago
sam, the picture's lighting looks great; as far as the ring goes, thats odd that it got more light at the bottom than top. If I had any loss in any of my pictures it would always be at the bottom of the ring. im not ringlight construction specialists, so i cant recommend any changes right now, maybe if i saw some pics of the setup.

hild, that shot looks great man, dont worry about 'robbing the thread' i didnt put this up for the glory, but to try to give back to the strobist community because ive learned so much since ive been in this group and i dont have much else to offer

tanya, love your pictures :)
Samuel Webster 11 years ago
sam - the reason there's more light in the bottom is that's where the flash comes in, so as the distance from the flash increases the light decreases. So the light isn't as even as it could be because of that.

but the picture above doesn't seem to be lit from underneath though so maybe it doesn't matter all that much (the catchlight is a little weird though)
internal pie [deleted] Posted 11 years ago. Edited by internal pie (member) 11 years ago
I went ahead and made another, thanks for another night on the work table ;)




james.ravenell 11 years ago
Wicked! I may try to make one now...

That catch light is WICKED!
Samuel Webster 11 years ago
here's another test tonight:

ring flash test #2

i love the ethereal glow you can get because there are no shadows
spencə 11 years ago
has anyone ever tried adapting their built in on camera flash for this? I have a 40d which still has an oncam flash. maybe I will tinker tonight. I should clean my computer and give her a tune up but this is sooooo much more fun sounding.
internal pie [deleted] 11 years ago
I think it would be cool for really close-up work but I can tell you using my one-sb800 setup outside would probably be null. These designs, though neat as hell, are really inefficient in getting light from the source to the subject. I've made two of these and am considering the Alien Bee ringlight now that I feel justified that I'd use it.
spotted rose [deleted] 11 years ago
rawcapture: You'll enjoy it. I've made several faux ringlights with SB-800s, and the ABR800 kicks some serious butt.

But I generally use it as a monolight with an MU-30 on it. Makes a very nice softbox that way.
internal pie [deleted] 11 years ago

Is it versatile outside? This is primarily where I see myself using it
raw, nice shots you got there! i'll do some outdoor testing for ya tomorrow if its not raining still. I did a few before that worked pretty well.
sam, did you edit that at all? it looks sweet, and with a nice backdrop be even better

to everyone else: I updated the tutorial with new pics, and shots of the design that doesn't look quite as trashy!

Before I had the cardboard holes just as an attachment, but i liked it so much i went ahead and taped it down semi-permanently.
internal pie [deleted] 11 years ago

thanks, here's one more:

Dark Field + DIY ring light

set-up here: www.flickr.com/photos/rawcapture/2177408116/
thats sweet, never thought of using a ringlight as a fill. the reflection on the sunglasses looks good too
xjussix 11 years ago
Very cool, must try this today!
Gotta love Ghetto!

Thank goodness I haven't made my cardboard run yet...
Auzigog Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Auzigog (member) 11 years ago
I just finished making a ringflash following this tutorial!

Here is the ringflash itself:

DIY Ringflash
DIY Ringflash
DIY Ringflash

And here are the amazing results:
Kris with DIY Ringflash
This one has the attachment with the 9 circles cut out:
Kris with DIY Ringflash
Self portrait:
Ringflash Self Portrait
osse1000 11 years ago
I buildt mine today. First shoot.

L I M B I C 11 years ago
i did too!
julia take 3 (1 von 1)
all impressive
James Kaarremaa 11 years ago
The lighting is excellent in all of them. I think a bigger one would be ideal but the results are still very good.
you guys rock, keep up the stellar results!
J Tra 11 years ago
I made one that's very similar, but with one modification - a mirror.

Did anyone ever have one of the plastic periscope toys where it was basically a long plastic tube with two 45 degree slanted mirrors in it? Well, I applied the same principle to the ring flash - at the 90 degree turn going down into the ring, I glued a mirror I took out of a makeup kit. This way, absolutely no light is lost because 1) it's a mirror, not tin foil, and 2) it's flat and points the light in only one direction, again unlike tinfoil, which krinkles.

It's half finished, and doesn't have the diffusion paper on the front, but I'll post photos when it's all done.
foshydog PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by foshydog (member) 11 years ago
I made one as well. Thanks for the inspiration,

You can see the final product here
Front of the ring flash

Read how I made it here

You can see the setup for this shoot here
manavecplan 11 years ago
mirror?This sounds interesting....diagram please!!
Anthony HB2007 PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Anthony HB2007 (member) 11 years ago
Hi, here's another version of a DIY Ringflash based on the Strobist Tutorial by Sam Potter. It also features an optional add on removable multiple hole front ringplate, it's also bigger than the original one shown in Sam's Tutorial.
The next one or the Mk:2 version has had a few extra mods done. In fact,, the white front diffuser is now made from opaque iron on heat shrink film and is drum tight. In addition, the angle of the silver foil reflector has now been altered. This is because I have found that to get an even spread of light to travel from the top to the bottom of the ringflash you must have the Initial Reflector angle correct. This new angle helps to bend the light evenly down and all the way around the Ring, so getting this Angle correct right from the start is very important!
Rgds, TB (UK)

DIY Ringflash (1)

DIY Ringflash  (2) side view.

DIY Ringflash (3) 1st firing

DIY Ringflash with the add on optional add on front plate.

1st test with DIY Ringflash.(With the optional add on front ring plate)

DIY "Ringflash" (In close up!)

Here are some early sample shots taken using it both outside and inside with vastly different settings.
"Katie" - (Family)

Someone with Attitude!  (Strobist Ringflash shot)

"The way to the stars"

DIY Ringflash (1)
ACreepingMalaise Posted 11 years ago. Edited by ACreepingMalaise (member) 11 years ago
Hey I made my very own ring light. I didnt exactly follow the instructions here.... sort of improvised.... made it out of part of an old bird feeder. just took the first test shots.... so excited!!! can't stand to wait 'till I get some good shots to post.... anyway better shots to come (I hope)!!!

turn the flash on manual and turning up the exposure a bit should help!
kafebarako 11 years ago
Hi Sam, new here. Just wan to ask, Is there a recomended FOV or subject to light distance for using the ring flash? I love using my 100 macro and I want to shoot perhaps head and shoulders and approximately any subject of that size. by the way, should the lens barrel pocked out of the ring, will it compromise the quality even with lens hood. I have two weeks vacation, I have to make me one. Thanks.
you can easily shoot head and shoulders with good light. ive even gotten good light of an entire person, but then it doesn't have as much of the wrap-around lighting effect, instead is just regular diffused light. but you'll get different lighting effects w/ a wideangle and a telephoto. ive never tried it as high as 100 so i cant say, but im sure you'll be able to get some sweet close-up eye shots w/ that kinda of zoom w/ macro.

as far as the lens barrel poking out of the ring, you can do it either way. my last adjustment was making the ringlight fit closer to the camera so the lens can get past the ring, and it seems to help, but i cant say for sure. the lens hood im not sure about either, never tried it, but im guessing that it could block light if it extends into the ringflash area. Hope that answers your questions, good luck on making it!
J Tra Posted 11 years ago. Edited by J Tra (member) 11 years ago
I finished my ringflash. A few comments on the product:

1 – Making it ultra light shortchanges its durability. The shell of mine is entirely thin cardboard (the kind reams of letterhead come in). It's nice and light so it can hang off my flash with no ill effects, but it looks like it could fall apart at any moment. The hardest part for me was the diffusion material. I used tissue paper – this stuff is hard to stretch tight and tears very easily, but it’s the best thing I could think of to allow as much light through as possible.

I also went with cardboard instead of the stainless steel Tejada bowl idea because I wanted to be able to zoom in and out or focus while the ringlight was on there. You can’t do that with a bowl over your lens, which is what I didn’t like about that design. Would have been nice to have that kind of durability though.

2 – Power. I wanted something that could be E-TTL, so I wanted it to be one flash and it had to be in the hot shoe. The design works, but I was disappointed in the power. Even on full power, I can’t properly expose a subject more than 5 feet away. Is this a problem? Will I ever use the ringflash farther away than 5 feet? Do any of you?

3 – Distance/Power. Because of comment 2, you have to get up close. Wide angle lenses, up close, do not look good on people (unless you’re going for that cone head look). I have a 30D, so there’s a crop factor with my 24-70 2.8. Would it look much better on a full frame sensor?

So if I can’t use it far away, and it doesn’t look good up close, and it’ll fall apart after a few uses because of #1, will I ever use it?

What are your thoughts on this? I'd really appreciate comments.
I haven't seen too many examples of a ringlight by itself used to light subjects further than chest and up, keep in mind the original use of a ringlight was for macro photography. My guess would be that it could be used as a fill light when working with other strobes.

to make it more durable I would just duct tape on another layer of cardboard to make it thicker.
excellent ocean [deleted] 11 years ago
Sorry, but that thinglooks U-G-L-Y. But works great :) id use it any day :)
j.d.moore. 11 years ago
great tutorial!

Sam | www.samuelpotter.com Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Sam | www.samuelpotter.com (member) 11 years ago
So I made another ringflash, and this one is POWERFUL!!

1/8 power, 1/200 f/8 400ISO on a 85mm lens in a dark room(you can tell by how huge my pupils are) plus I darkened the photo in PS3..

getting ready

I'll put up some pics of the device when i'm finished tweaking the diffusion.
joblyn23 11 years ago
i made one!

thanks a lot for the tutorial :D
caferacermax 11 years ago
Dude, you rock. I love your unfinished dinner in the first pic. Kinda like "Yeah, sorry, gotta make a ring flash really quick, will grab the last 2 bites later." Brilliant.
tim, looks good to me man, I dont think a rebuild is necessary! but if you are thinking about making another one i'd wait a few days, because I'll be putting up another ringflash design that works really well.
dariocmt 11 years ago
Im waiting for your new design too Samuel Potter :)
claytonbing 11 years ago
Samuel Potter says:
So I made another ringflash, and this one is POWERFUL!!

but you don't show your new design... can we see?
disastrous toes [deleted] 11 years ago
Great looking results..

But most importantly, the first shot involving mac and cheese is the true key to success...
James Kaarremaa 11 years ago
Yeah can we see a shot of you in a bathtub full of Mac&Cheese?
@gmharrison PRO 11 years ago
I really like the results. I have to make one of these.
I didnt want to post the new ringlight till I had enough time to test it out. I finished the design just yesterday, so i'll put some pics of it tonight when I get home (about 4-5 hours from now). it's a lot like Tanya's and its designed for a wireless setup, its not right on the hotshoe like the last design. sorry for the hype post earlier :/
Sam | www.samuelpotter.com Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Sam | www.samuelpotter.com (member) 10 years ago
OK! so I got a bunch of pictures I'm putting up because I know that when I was looking for a ringlight to make I wanted to see how it did outside, close-up, ring quality, full body(if possible), etc... FYI I'm doing this reallllly fast because I'm sleepy and have an essay to write, so if you need elaboration please ask and I can answer tomorrow! some of the elite strobist might say "this newbie tool is putting up tons of lame ringlight pictures because he wants attention" just to answer that statement, no i'll admit that you guys can ALL do these shots better than I can since I'm new to strobist and will admit I havent figured everything out yet w/ photography. None of these have sweet backdrops or multi flash setups (yet) but at least you'll see how the ringlight performs on its own. all these shots were taken at 250-500 ISO, 1/200 f/4-f/11 and flash pwr 1/16-1/4 max. check photo properties if you're wondering what the exact settings was on that shot. the only two photos I did any significant editing on was the 2 knife photos I was toying w/ b&w and aged effect.
Here's the only photo I have of the ringlight before I closed it up. ignore the tupperware in the middle(the idea behind that was to use this same flash as a beauty dish too), and it also needs the extra cardboard ring in the center that the lens goes through.
The MAIN thing you should notice is that the edges have a curve to them made w/ the foil tape, to help reflect the light out. but there is no curve on the center hole that the lens goes thru, so more light can slip by and get to the back. (hope that makes sense)
NOW Here's some of the closed up shots. The MAIN thing with this is to notice there is a V shape in the center hole to help send the light down the sides. in the second shot notice the size of the flash, i'll give dimensions later. pardon the poor pics it's 1:25am.


FIRST I'll be putting up pictures w/ the ringlight On Top of the camera w/ no wireless triggering (because i just got my ebay stuff a week ago and didnt know how to use it yet!!)

tuned in.

The New Black

NOW with the wireless trigger (that i got working w/ my 580EXII yesterday), shooting thru the ringlight.

I hope this isnt TOTAL Overkill. more so I hope this helps. any questions please feel free to ask. post examples if you make one!
GreggBK 11 years ago
Thanks to Samuel and Tanya for the inspiration. I spent my Sunday afternoon gathering the necessary supplies and then hunkered down for a few hours of cutting, pasting, taping, and periodically cursing. Still for 100 Swedish kronor (15 bucks), it's a decent start, hopefully.

dariocmt 11 years ago
I also jumped on the ringflash bandwagon and made one out of a take-out container, butter container, and tons of ducktape and elmer's :)

matt X miller 11 years ago
i made one this weekend as well
here are some images i ended up with
good stuff for sure.
thanks so much for the tutorial!!!

This is excellent tutorial, will be saving me few pounds. Thanks
pangeist Posted 10 years ago. Edited by pangeist (member) 10 years ago
My ring light made with an old cake pan:


I use a TTL cord and mount it on a stand if I need to.

A shot with it:


Read more about it here
lucky quartz [deleted] 10 years ago

I"m not sure if i did this right! But anyway, I just finished making my ring flash , super excited but I noticed that its more heavy bright at the top of the ring catchlight than at the bottom, I was actually very close to the subject with 50 mm lens. Any advice would be appreciated Thanks so much!
Roberto Eiti 10 years ago
I made mine inspired by Tanya's (thank you!).
delirious action [deleted] 10 years ago
This thread is pure genius! Thank you Samuel Potter et al for the terrific inspiration.

I have a few questions:

1. Would it help if the interior base of the ringflash were rounded? I see in Sam's revision, he curved the tinfoil at the joint where the base and side meet. It makes sense that some curve might help push the light further forward, no?

2. When using the multiple hole ringplate, what was the reason for leaving the bottom holes non-diffused? To expose more light towards the bottom of the subject? (Assuming the light that reaches the bottom is the least powerful?)

3. Clearly many of these units don't utilize the multiple hole ringplate, and diffusion material is all that is necessary, for one effect. What effect does the multiple hole ringplate provide, apart from the obvious catchlight in the eye?

4. Some images have the characteristic ringlight "halo" effect while others do not. How can you make sure you get the "halo" effect? Make sure the subject is relatively close to some background?

Thanks, again, everyone!
lucky quartz [deleted] 10 years ago
Here is one of my Newest Tests with my Flippin cool Homemade ring flash! I am so excited right now!

@Lindsey, I think your ringlight shots look great! If you want to play more with the catchlight try using vellum or any diffusion material to break it up, or put a V shape on the center circle that the lens goes through right where the flash comes into the ring to help send the light down the sides (works really well). If that doesnt make sense look at my latest ringlight design and it you'll know what I'm talking about.

@strobe_this, 1. I did it exactly for the reason you said, because it makes more sense that it would direct light out of the ring. just make sure you dont curve it on the center circle that goes around the lens because you want the light to get past to the back.

2.yes i left off the diffusion at the bottom to allow more light, and at the top I layered it differently as well to try to compensate.

3. the holes are simply for the catchlight and nothing else. if anything it will make your ringlight less powerful. I'd make it interchangeable in case you need more power for a certain situation.

4. you can get a halo from the subject being close and far from the backdrop. I had some examples up but I took them off because I didnt care much for the content of what the pictures were of. I'd just experiment on a friend when you do get one made.

hope that helps.
lucky quartz [deleted] 10 years ago
Thank you so much Samuel! for my diffusion material I used about 5 layers of Wax paper! i think I will try and cut out a couple layers of the paper from the bottom area and see what happens! OOH, you're such a thinker! Thanks! :)
delirious action [deleted] 10 years ago
"hope that helps"

You answered every question. Great help! Thank you.
Dilip Muralidaran PRO 10 years ago
Awesome work, unbelievable stuff.
mapper-montag PRO 10 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial!

This is what I got after putting mine together:
Ringflash (348)
fallingdown 10 years ago
Thanks for the ideas. Made mine and I am addicted

DYI RingFlash Experiments
mapper-montag PRO 10 years ago
Oh, and this is what mine looked like when I was finished building it:

Ringflash Construction (349)
John Wardell (Netinho) 10 years ago
Works a treat. I just need to get the freaking superglue out of my carpet now!

Rebelxtnut 10 years ago
heres my go at it
Ring Light
talishliman Posted 10 years ago. Edited by talishliman (member) 10 years ago
Ok - so thanks a lot to everyone who posted on here, i finally got round to making my own... sorry dont have any photos, but it is basically a mix between the OP's version and the angled splitter thing. I didnt have foil, so doubled up some plain white paper to act as the reflective material. Obviously not as efficient as foil, but it still works... i made a spot overlay for it out of Foam Board (would recommend using it as it is very easy to cut and is completely light sealing as well as being stronger and more resistant to tearing than card). The spots are too close together for any real use (the below photo is at 10mm and the ring is still small!) at the normal portrait mm's... on to making a second one which is bigger and better (and with foil)

Anyway - thanks again everyone who posted, i learnt a lot here. Just getting into the whole strobist thing (joined today)...

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