Need help making a diffuser

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Need help making a diffuser

Post by smimo »


I'm looking to make a shoot-through diffuser for an on camera twin flash setup but every diffusing material/contraption I've encountered either is too frail or requires DIYing that I'm not quite sure is safe for me. The materials I've reviewed are:

Office paper - Much too floppy/frail.
Thin Styrene Foam - My first impression is that it's too floppy unless I adhere thin plastic to it, in which case the adhesive will likely be spray on and thus unsafe for my lungs, especially since my house is small and poor ventilated, and because the air outside it is hot and stagnant.
plastic beads/pellets - not sure how safe melting plastic inside the house is, and I don't have a mold on hand.

If I got anything wrong please let me know, because honestly -if any of these materials are viable- that would save me a ton of time. If not, I'm wondering what else I could do, or if I could order a custom plastic diffuser that attaches to the front of my lens (or a filter ring screwed into such) or something. Since my set up involves twin flashes I'm not sure a lot of the conventional solutions will work, though as aforementioned I would love to be corrected if I'm wrong. If anyone knows of anything that happens to work even better than the conventional shoot through diffuser that would be also great.

As for why I sprung for a dual flash setup, I'm hoping it enables more dramatic/variable lighting without the need for a light stand/umbrella etc. I do already have a single flash arrangement ready to go.

Forgive me for anything ungrammatical/verbose, I'm pretty incoherent and need to sleep soon.

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Re: Need help making a diffuser

Post by MarkSturtevant »

There are a number of diffuser set ups. I don't know what twin flash you have, so I'm not sure what specific design would be best. For now...
> Here is this facebook group: ... j_approved (sorry to suggest joining facebook). Once in, keep scrolling. Mostly single flash designs, but many can be used for dual flash. And there are dual head diffuser designs in there.
> The great Thomas Shahan had reviewed an earlier model of the Venus dual flash: and you can see a very simple but effective diffuser that he used. This diffuser can be adapted to a dual flash that is attached to the end of the lens.
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Re: Need help making a diffuser

Post by rjlittlefield »

smimo, perhaps you have already read some of orionmystery's articles about concave diffusers. If not, then I suggest to do some internet searches on "orionmystery concave diffuser", and start reading. Those articles will perhaps complement some of the excellent material in Thomas Shahan's video. (The shiny ball test should be used more often. I'm very happy to see Thomas popularizing it.)

A lot of the concave diffuser designs are made using fairly fragile foam, just as Thomas Shahan's demo is done with tracing paper in a plastic sheet protector.

However, similar designs can be made from matte finish plastic sheets that are often sold for use as kitchen cutting mats. (Search Amazon for "frosted clear cutting mats".) Those are significantly more durable than paper or foam packing material, though correspondingly more difficult to get assembled in the first place.

If you need to make permanent bends in the plastic cutting board material, then I expect that can be done in a warm oven, draping the material over a form made of crumpled aluminum foil. Toxic fumes should not be a problem as long as the heat is low enough to just soften the plastic.


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