Quick cheap ring flash


Here’s a great example of a cheap mod that gets professional results. This ring flash cost roughly $14 all together, and they got to eat some fruit salad in the process.  The parts list is pretty easy and can almost be figured out just by looking at the picture. A plastic bowl, an aluminum can, some foil, and a lens adapter. This is very nice and much easier than our last ring light post.


  1. Monster says:

    I’m sorry, but something like that can’t be complete without some use of duct-tape.

    brilliant work guys

  2. raged says:

    Would it be better to use the bowl as a smooth surface and spray it with some high reflective metallic paint or do you want the ripples from the foil?

  3. sarsface says:

    @raged: the wrinkles aid in light diffusion… but they also reduce reflectivity, so i dunno. i think a flat surface would make for hotspotting

  4. jimsmithkka says:

    maybe a white satin finish with heavy use of primer to make an as close to true white inside on the bowl instead of both the tin foil or metallic spray.
    or a high reflective spray with a satin clear coat on top. both add cost but may increase quality.

    just shooting out ideas

  5. blackspyder says:

    no example shots?

  6. kimster says:

    If you used a chips-n-dip bowl, maybe you could do away with the tin can in the middle.

  7. Wwhat says:

    Yeah the missing samples shots are a bit – er – missing, guy says in the comments that he didn’t make many shots with it but some macro shots he made were very good, while the room was dimly lit they came out great, but no samples, he says that on flickr, with no samples.., in the same breath of typing that he could have uploaded a sample, but no.

    Looks OK theoretically but I’d not call it good until I saw samples.

  8. Aki Korhonen says:

    My ring flash I did over a year ago, looks quite the same but has a diffusion material over it for softer light:

    DIY ringflash finished, with camera

    And step by step work flow:

    DIY ringflash, workflow

    And the same things are also on my website of course:


  9. jim says:

    they should have photographed the fruit salad

  10. strider_mt2k says:


    exactly, or a bunt cake pan.

  11. Sparr says:

    This doesn’t seem like a very uniform light… The top of the circle (where the flash is) and the bottom (obscured from the flash by the can) would emit almost no light, while the sides would emit the most at the top and little at the bottom.

  12. no example shots?

  13. Metin2 says:

    no example shots?

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