DIY LED Light ring for macro photography

The basic design idea for using an easily obtainable parasol / camping light. I removed the battery and switch from the unit then cut a 54mm hole, with a hole saw, carefully through the entire unit to make a central hole for the lens mount. The mounting was the 52mm adaptor for the cokin filters epoxy resin glued to the rear of the unit. Battery box was an old 4 x AA battery box from battery powered xmas lights. Wire into the unit observing polarity matches the original wiring. I mounted a hot shoe mount from an old broken flash gun to facilitate fitting on the camera hot shoe.
Light from the unit is about 1200 lux at 12 inches, 33cms and gives exposures of 1/6 sec f11 at iso 400. Can be softened using a opaque plastic cover from a a4 file if needed.


13 thoughts on “DIY LED Light ring for macro photography

  1. A very interesting project. I'm not sure if that specific type of light is available here in the U.S., but then lacking a patio, I have no use for a patio umbrella or lights for one. I'll have to check out the Loew's and Home Depot web sites.

  2. Thanks John, as you are probably aware white leds are really blue leds with a yellow phosphor. They are not blessed with much red light energy and hence always look a little cold. Using a little yellow filtration helps but cuts down light level ( which is low anyway) so its probably better to CC in edit and try and get back some red that way

  3. Just discovered your video, and now am interested to discover the many more you apparently have.
    I like your style and simple approach.
    It is very easy to follow you, take mental notes and get …hooked :-).
    I also liked the proof of this effort in the few images you shared at the end.
    The system works. I would touch up the color temperatures in post (PhotoShop or simpler) as I do find the light a touch cold.
    Thank you for this fine effort.
    John V.

  4. The more modern LED tend to be a lot 'bluer' but the CRI colour rendering index is generally below 90 so all colours are not reproduced equally. They are getting better and the price is comming down. See my video on the LED5006 as this can be stacked vertically/horizontally to give shadowless light and more accurate colours.

  5. @BillboTex Hi, thanks for viewing. I've found it really necessary to use a twin flash setup to capture insects as its the only way to get f16 with enough light at low iso. I did make a rig which was 2 cheap flash guns with optical slaves but I habe now the sigma ring flash unit which allows me to have each side of the flash at different power to create modelling. I have seen others just using on camera flash or on an extension cord to create some shadow. By this method you get pin sharp images

  6. Graham, excellent design, excellent video! Have you given any thought to a DIY solution the the macro photographer looking to capture those speedy bugs outside in the wind? Or is there a good commercial solution for that?

    My current setup is a Nikon D7000 with zoomNIKKOR AF-S DX 10-24mm f3.5
    and Tamron AF 18-270mm Macro f3.5 Di II VC LD.

    My next lens looks like it will be the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX DG IF HSM APO Macro Lens for Nikon, to give me a little extra "stand off" room.

  7. @MrWalkerAki Thank you. Yes i love the creative challenge that these projects can bring. Sometimes they may not look to professional but they do work as good at a fraction of the cost and when you do not use them all that often is the most cost effective way for photography


  8. 必要は発明の母

    The necessity is mother of the invention.
    If it is not possible to satisfy it with the marketed commodity, it applauds the ability of you who makes it.
    I love DIY.
    DIY can enjoy the process of thinking and making.

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