JULY 2015

Beginners Built-in Flash with Basic Diffuser

If you are just starting out and only have an entry level camera (it doesn't matter if it's only point and shoot) don't be afraid to use the built in flash. Modern cameras are so good at TTL exposure, all you need is a bit of translucent plastic stuck to the front of your lens and you're good to go. There are a million variations of this, above are a few that I've used in the past. I'm still extremely happy with the results I achieved with this rig, check the examples below if you don't believe me!

  • Canon Eos 1000D Rebel

    A folded piece of translucent white plastic with a hole cut in it diffuses the on board flash nicely. I was lighting a match and taking photos with this setup.

  • Corflute Diffuser

    A plastic material used in the sign industry for temporary outdoor signs. This one is about 3mm thick with a hole for my lens. It was a little too thick for good light penetration from the built-in flash but might be good for a powerful external flash.

  • Sony a65

    This was my favourite setup for a long time (I later added a light guide, see the next photo). This is the excellent Tamron 90mm lens on a full set of Kenko extension tubes.

  • Sony a65

    I used this a lot and it's responsible for the sample photos. it's a phone book cover folded and lined with foil that sits over the flash to guide the light. Adding the phone book gave me at least an extra stop of light. The front piece is my favourite translucent plastic diffuser material.

Built-in Flash with Basic Diffuser in Action

Built-in Flash with Cardboard Tube Diffuser

  • Canon Eos 1000D Rebel

    A cardboard tube fitted over the built-in flash with diffusion material on the end. This was not the best build - I think the tube was too long.

  • Canon Eos 1000D Rebel

    I used a full set of Kenko tubes and the cheap Canon 50mm lens.

  • Canon Eos 1000D Rebel

    From the front. A cardboard tube with diffusion material.

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