Create Your Own Diffusion Panels For Under $30

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:

Supplies

The materials Roslund uses to create his diffusion panels are all easy to find and together cost somewhere between $20-$30:

Building the Panels

make-your-own-diffuser

Build a simple frame and cover it with gaffer’s tape.

Roslund’s method for his DIY diffusion panels is pretty simple:

  1. Construct a frame with the canvas stretcher bars.
  2. Cut a piece of diffusion material to fit the frame.
  3. Wrap the frame in white gaffer’s tape to white out the wood. This will minimize unwanted reflections in your images.
  4. Apply double sided tape around the frame.
  5. Stick the diffusion material to the frame.
DIY Light Diffuser

DIY Diffusion Panel

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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One response to “Create Your Own Diffusion Panels For Under $30”

  1. David Halver says:

    Good advice. In the same vein… another indispensable item for the beginning Shooter is to have some (cheap) “Shiny Boards” or reflectors. These are far easier to make: Get a couple of sheets of 1/4″ foam core from Walmart or your local Art Supply vendor. Keep one as-is for a “white” bounce light. On another one, use spray adhesive to cover one side and then (while it’s still tacky) cover it with aluminum foil to create a low-budget silver reflector. Called a “Shiny Board” in the Film Industry, the Studios have been using 4’X4′ versions of this (using 3/4″ plywood) since the early Silent Film days when it was impractical to get Lamps & Power into remote locations.

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