Posted on Jan 31, 2009

DIY Popup Flash Diffuser

personal kcup stand

I’m not a professional photographer, but I do notice that when shooting with the popup flash on my Canon EOS XTi, the light can be a little harsh. Most photographers would be quick to recommend buying an external flash, but given my budget I decided to try and find a way to soften the light. After some research, I found one commercial solution by Gary Fong. Even though it’s only $20, many reviews complain about the build quality. Additionally, there are many tutorials on instructables, but here at protodojo, I decided to make my own.

I used SketchUp to measure and design the adapter to fit into the external flash mount on my camera. The design is very straightforward and I cut it out of a sheet of steel using a metal nibbler. It uses velcro to attach sheets of vellum to diffuse the light. For a side by side comparison of how well the vellum works, check out the gallery to the right.

To make your own, download the Google SketchUp Design here. (PDF)


  • Bob says:

    You really used a piece of metal stuck into the hot shoe? Really?!? Did you use anything to isolate it from the electrical connectors?

    • digitaljoven says:

      Excellent observation Bob! For the prototype, I actually ended up placing a piece of electrical tape on the metal. I haven’t posted an update to this project (didn’t think anyone was interested, haha), but later prototypes are laser cut from various plastics. The new version is aimed to be like a credit card that can be stored flat with velcro corners that fold up to hold the filter. I will update this post with photos soon. Thanks!