DIY $8 Ringlight Folds Flat in Your Bag

Photographer Tommy Huynh has what may be the coolest adaptation of a DIY ringlight I have seen yet.

It is small, light, cheap and folds flat for easy portability.

He has instructions on how to make it, with some neat-o example pics of the look it gives. But I still think I need a drawing, or a guts shot, or something to help me better understand how it goes together.

So, the final product appears to rock. But the instructions need... a little more cowbell. He doesn't have his comments function turned on, so I don't see how to ask for a drawing or... something.

But maybe he'll see the post here and beef up the instructions a little bit. Then, being a guy, I can print them out and throw them away, as I am genetically required to assemble stuff without reading instructions, anyway.

If you are late to the DIY ringlight party, check out this one or this one, both of which were discussed earlier.


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Anonymous Padu said...

So have you actually shot one of the alienbees ring lights? What are your impressions?
I'm a satisfied user of their monolights, and I couldn't justify the extra cost yet...

May 23, 2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great this one seems more easy to do than the "wok" version!

Everyone wants more cowbell!!

May 23, 2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger Haskins said...

Sweet! I almost burnt the house down with mine....but it works nicely!

May 23, 2007 4:58 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

If you want to spend some money, check out ringflash adaptor for Canon 580EX and Nikon SB800

May 23, 2007 6:29 PM  
Blogger Marcel Boudreau said...

From the blog pictures, it looks like the foldable ringlight is just two pieces of flat plastic cut to shape (it looks like the front and back pieces are the exact same shape) with silvered cloth connecting the two. Think of an old fireplace wood and leather bellows, the kind used to blow air into a struggling fire - except the pointy end spreads apart further than the rounded end.

An extremely neat idea and since it uses a speed light (and we of course have several already in our bags), the extra weight is truly negligible. Man this is brilliant (pardon the pun).

Now to find a local plastic source...


May 23, 2007 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to contact him, just look at his Blogger profile to discover his email.

I'll suggest him to read your suggestion for the DIY tutorial, but I think that your real voice has a good influence on him. ;-)

May 23, 2007 9:06 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

I've been lusting after the alien bees ringflash but I'll try this out if the instructions get expanded

May 23, 2007 10:29 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Neat design but it appears as though the viewfinder is blocked by the ring itself. Certainly a problem unless you have live preview on the LCD. Or am I missing something.

May 24, 2007 10:10 AM  
Blogger Bach said...

How can it block the viewfinder ?? You're viewing TTL on and SLR and it slides over the lens hood

May 24, 2007 12:22 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Looks good, and easy to make if you have the access to the right materials.

The back plate is a single piece of silvered acrylic, and the front is identical except of clear polycarbonate which has been attacked with a sander to make it translucent. Obviously the front that wasn't the sanded ring was see through, but he's stuck a piece of reflective film (mylar) on the front to reflect the light back. The unit is given depth using the reflective material, which is also how it can fold flat. You could do an identical thing with standard issue Tin Foil and Cardboard, it just wouldn't stand up to being folded/unfolded, the foil would tear.

May 24, 2007 1:37 PM  
Blogger Tommy Huynh said...

Wow, thanks for the mention, I was wondering why my traffic peaked! :) Sorry for the crappy documentation, as mentioned in the latest entry, I'm away from home but will try to give more cowbell when I get back to Tex. Comments should be enable now too, still trying to figure out this blogging thing, that was my 2nd blog entry ever:)

Marcel and Richard, you guys got it spot on. It's a lot like a bellows (never thought of it that way before though!). If you are in San Antonio, I got my stuff from Plastic Supply of SA on Josephine, nice people.

If you guys got any questions, feel free to post them over there and I'll try my best to answer them.


May 24, 2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

yea to early for me to be commenting, lol TTL !!!!

May 25, 2007 9:05 AM  
Anonymous allergy usgab said...

Very nice work & creativity...

May 26, 2007 12:48 AM  
Anonymous patrick said...

I built one loosely based around this design.

I used a 25cd packaging top for the front of the light, and tinfoil and duct tape for the rest of the body.

It turned out great, it doesn't fold up nice and neat like the one above. However, it cost me virtually $0 cause it's just stuff I had laying around and it seems to work really well. I can't wait to use it.

May 27, 2007 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

i just finished my version of this.
i am fortunate enough to have a CNC router so the cutting was easy.
i used reflective metal tape to coat the inside and i rigid 2 inch wood veneer ring in the middle. not as portable, but impressive none the less.

May 31, 2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Tommy Huynh said...

Well I finally added more cowbell to the instructions, hope this helps!

July 25, 2007 3:05 AM  

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