DIY On-Camera Flash Diffusers

Written by melody gould
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DIY On-Camera Flash Diffusers
Don't pay high prices for a flash diffuser when you can make one for very little or no money. (digital camera age image by Steve Brase from

One attractive feature of current digital cameras is built-in flash. However, one drawback of on-camera flash is that it can cause harsh lighting and shadows. There are many options on the market if you are going to purchase a flash diffuser. For those who cringe at the cost of a camera flash diffuser, with a little bit of recycling and do-it-yourself spirit, you can have a flash diffuser for little to no cost.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Camera with pop-up flash
  • Ruler
  • Opaque white 35mm film canister
  • Pen
  • X-Acto knife

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  1. 1

    Open the flash on your camera. Measure the width of your flash just under the light with the ruler and make a note of the dimension.

  2. 2

    Remove the lid from the film container. On both the open end and sealed end of the film container mark the dimension you noted in step 1.

    DIY On-Camera Flash Diffusers
    You want to use an opaque white canister from 35mm film. (roll of 35mm film with can image by PeteG from
  3. 3

    Cut out a rectangular piece from the film container. The cut is going to be the entire length of the film container, starting at the open end and continuing to the closed end. It is going to be as wide as the measurement you noted in step 1.

  4. 4

    Slide the film container over your flash. Place the lid back onto the film canister.

  5. 5

    Cut away a bit more of the film canister if it is too tight. Add a bit of tape, or make another one, if it is too loose. Enjoy your "new" camera flash diffuser.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have any opaque white film canisters laying around, ask the clerk at your local photo lab if you can have one or two.
  • Always use proper precautions when working with X-acto knives to avoid injury.

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