DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

Started May 19, 2006 | Discussions
Brendan H Contributing Member • Posts: 696
DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

Thanks to the helpful people here, I combined ideas from 2 threads for creating a flash diffuser.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=10645209
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=18308364

I bought some Fun Foam or Craft Foam from the dollar store and cut it out based on the template in the first thread above. I applied velcro strips to the flash and foam. That's it. Simple, cheap (~ $2.00), portable. 20 minutes to do.

The template design adds stability to the diffuser because of the side flaps. For this reason, you do not need to add an extra layer of foam or sandwich cardboard, or anything else between it, as suggested in the other threads. One sheet of foam works great.

Here are pics of the finished product.

And a sample pic taken with it... Pretty good light from a manual, 20 year old flash - Vivitar 285HV. (Taken with D50, manual mode, 1/60s, f4.5, flash set to f4)

TheronFamily Forum Pro • Posts: 19,983
onboard flash

thanks brendan, gonna try this out.
any thoughts on one for using the onboard for macro shots?
is onboard strong enough with a diffuser for macro?
cheers
--
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Kevin
.photoholic. - incurable -
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some pics: http://www.rootminus1.com/freepics/index.php?cat=10032

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fretless Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

very nice!
have to get my tools out tomorrow!

fretless

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Jose N. Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: impressive

Great results! Have you had the chance to try this in portrait orientation where the flash is off to the left side of the camera? I have a flash that gives poor results when trying to bounce at orientation. Any diffuser design that would help a sideways flash work better?

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Jose N. - Digital since Jan 2003 oly c-3o2o / c-8o8o & fuji s51oo

OP Brendan H Contributing Member • Posts: 696
I bought a cord

for portrait mode since my flash head doesn't swivel. Having the flash off camera gives you more flexibility, less red-eye, and can be mounted on a tripod/stand. However it is more difficult to use in candid situations, although I have seen several people use corded flash while walking around.

The other option for a non-swivel flash is to get a bracket, something like a stroboframe. http://www.tiffen.com/Stroboframe_ProRL_page.htm

Jose N. Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: I bought a cord

Well,

I was hoping not to go the big bracket route. Whenever I use bounce flash, the normal landscape orientation, bounce off ceiling with good results.. but when on it's side, any tilt-swivel aimed to bounce off ceiling gives very uneven lighting.

I will try various diffusing designs and was wondering if anyone had one that works.

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Jose N. - Digital since Jan 2003 oly c-3o2o / c-8o8o & fuji s51oo

mike m Contributing Member • Posts: 609
try this design

The two design shown here work great in portrait and landscape orientation. Plus the angle of the bounce is adjustable for maximum control.

http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/1427850

Give it a try. Mike

Jose N. Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: cool!

Great. That looks like it would work. Now to find that foam material they use.

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Jose N. - Digital since Jan 2003 oly c-3o2o / c-8o8o & fuji s51oo

OP Brendan H Contributing Member • Posts: 696
You need swivel flash for portrait mode...

If you have that it will solve your problem. If, like me, your flash does not swivel you have to use a cord, a bracket, a new flash, or shoot landscape and crop later.

Auforte Regular Member • Posts: 210
thanks for the great ideas ....

I will buy the material and try it out.
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Auforte

MH0 Regular Member • Posts: 174
Isn't the light passing through this foam?

An you loose some light?

mike m Contributing Member • Posts: 609
Re: Isn't the light passing through this foam?

Yes, it is. A little. If you wanted, you could use just a white layer of foam and allow for more bounce up and behind.
-Mike

djmonkeyboy New Member • Posts: 4
Re: DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

Wasn't sure where to post this, but did a take on the DIY flash bounce based on versions like the one on this post. The foam paper I ended up using was Darice brand FOAMIES purchased at Michaels craft store. Although a little sloppy I sewed the white and black together to make it hopefully last longer. However, I think 1 white sheet would also have worked.

For flash connection I just used military elastic and placed velcro patches on it. Then the main bounce foam has velcro on its base and wings to interface to the elastic.

With the shape I chose I was able to adjust the wings to go from fairly straight up bounce to a very curved forward bounce. Although probably not a big deal, there is also almost no gap between the wings. Despite not being shown, this shape also works fine with a sideways positioned flash.

giraffe Senior Member • Posts: 2,486
Another real simple idea and is even easier to build

Check out this web site. Not sure where I found it. It might have been on this forum. I have been using it and it works real well.

http://www.abetterbouncecard.com/
--
Bert D

mike m Contributing Member • Posts: 609
sewing

Good job with the sewing. This is one of the more professional looking diffusers I have seen. Place this side by side with "abetterbouncecard" and people will like assume that the betterbouncecard is some kind of joke.

-Mike

Wayne Larmon Forum Pro • Posts: 10,476
Bracket

Brendan H wrote:

If you have that it will solve your problem. If, like me, your
flash does not swivel you have to use a cord, a bracket, a new
flash, or shoot landscape and crop later.

If you get a bracket, make sure to get one where the camera rotates. A lot of brackets rotate the flash, which means that the flash will be sideways when the camera is in portrait mode. Which isn't good if you have a bouncer mounted on the flash. See this thread

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=20539746

Wayne

Bakul Vyas
Bakul Vyas Senior Member • Posts: 1,822
Thanks for sharing

Good video
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a_shepler New Member • Posts: 23
Re: DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

I went to Michael's today and noone could help me find this material. I probably wasn't describing it very well. Do you remember what area of the store it was in?

jrscls Veteran Member • Posts: 6,390
Re: DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

I made 2 of these (similar) and I'll post the info later.

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martinto Regular Member • Posts: 468
Re: DIY Foam Flash Bouncer

Its called Foam sheet and it is over by the small pieces of colored felt. It comes in 12" by 18" pieces and different colors. I would recommend buying both black and white and sewing them together as in another post on this subject/ It adds to the stiffness and keeps the flash bounce forward. I didnt want people behind me bothered by the flash and it works well.
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Tom

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