The Headphones Pop Up Flash Diffuser
In this article Mohamed Talal shows us how to make a simple diffuser for a DSLR pop up flash.
There are three things that separate this diffuser from other diffusers we have featured before. The first is the total cost – this one really costs nothing. The second one is the size of the diffusion panel. By using this method you get a nicely sized diffusion panel. Lastly, a quick mod will turn this diffuser to a ring flash.
It is called the Headphones diffuser, but don’t feel obliged to use headphones casing, you can use GI-Joe’s casings, Transformers casings, or just a nice pieces of transparent material.
- headphones empty box
- Any diffusing material (like white tissue paper, silk you, know, diffusion…)
- Rubber thread
Start with the box of headphones, I got a Chinese headphone (from creative). The cost was 2.5 $. Again, you can use any leftovers from ay other “blister wrap” or semi hard transparency sheet.
Split the pack for 2 Pieces the front piece and the back piece
Cut a round hole from the front piece. This hole is where the diffuser will mount on the camera.
Now make two holes as shown on the sides of the curves.
Here is the genius part. Place the rubber thread through the two holes as shown
This is where the glue comes in. spread some glue on the surface side. Make sure you spread it nice (but thin). Once you have the entire surface covered, attach your diffusion material to the plastic. (We used printed paper in this tutorial, but you can use less absorbing material).
This is the time to use the back piece. Apply glue and attach the foil. The foil will make sure you are “wasting” any light. Any light reflected from the front will be bounced back to it by the foil.
Attach the front and back together. If you used anything other then head phones “blister pack”, attach your two parts together. Use tape or glue to make the two parts stick together.
Mounting The Diffuser
Ok, we have made the bubbly thingy, but how can you mount it on the camera?
First, open your built in flash. Then, put the rubber thread under the viewfinder as shown in the picture below.
Now, place the diffuser on the flash as show in the image below. The rubber thread from the previous step will make the diffuser hold on to the camera.
Since we are absorbing a huge amount of light here, I suggest going manual and using 1/2 or full power. (Depending on your ISO and aperture, you may want to experiment a bit.
Here is a sample with pop up flash
… and with the diffuser on
Creating a Ring Flash
Wait, there is more! You can make a ring flash as well. There is one more additional step to convert this diffuser into a ring flash.
Use a round piece of foil and glue it to the diffuser. See the picture below for details.
Here is an image with the bare diffuser
…and here is an image with the ring flash attached.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.