Diffusion panels are some of the most useful and versatile pieces of equipment one can find in a product photographer’s toolbox. They offer more flexibility and control than softboxes, they come in many sizes, and they’re super easy to transport. Unfortunately, if you’re on a limited budget and find yourself needing a number of them, buying them at retail prices can be a bit over the top ($100 or more a pop!). Luckily, making them yourself can be both cheap and easy. Commercial photographer Tony Roslund shows us how in the video below:
The materials Roslund uses to create his diffusion panels are all easy to find and together cost somewhere between $20-$30:
- Canvas Stretcher Bars
- White Gaffer’s Tape
- an ATG double-sided tape gun
- double-sided tape
- standard razor blades
- A-clamps (that you can buy from your local hardware store)
- diffusion material (Roslund uses Rosco #3008 “Tough Frost” which can be bought in rolls or sheets)
Building the Panels
Roslund’s method for his DIY diffusion panels is pretty simple:
- Construct a frame with the canvas stretcher bars.
- Cut a piece of diffusion material to fit the frame.
- Wrap the frame in white gaffer’s tape to white out the wood. This will minimize unwanted reflections in your images.
- Apply double sided tape around the frame.
- Stick the diffusion material to the frame.
That’s all there is to it. Use A-clamps to attach the panel to a grip arm, and you’re ready to start shooting.
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