December 20, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
I saw a couple of nice write-ups for some LED macro ring lights, and since I've taken some close-up shots of my ants, I figured that having the ring light would be handy.

Ring lights are tremendously useful for macro shots. Macro photography requires getting very close to the subject, and that closeness tends to block out light sources. Also, the closeness makes the flash rather worthless as it washes out the the image.

I picked up a set of twenty 3mm white LEDs on eBay for about $4, and after a bit of hot glue, some electrical tape, and a Jello pudding box, I cobbled together this prototype:

I used hot glue instead of solder because I wanted to work inside the house near my kids, and I didn't really want to have the toxic fumes in the air. It took a little while longer to secure the connections with the hot glue, but after fiddling with it for a while, I do believe I have a functioning 9-LED ring light. It's just a prototype; my next one will use all 20 LEDs and will require a larger power supply than the two AA batteries I'm currently using.

Here are some shots with the ring light:

That's a piece of balled up electrical tape. It's only about an inch across.

This is a shot of the spare AA batteries. I'm glad they didn't add any mercury in there.

This is an interesting shot of some heavy-grain kitty litter. It's interesting because the picture was taken in the dark; the ring light is the only thing providing any light.

And there we go. These aren't the best pictures; I wasn't using a tripod or anything -- that's just me holding the camera and the battery pack and snapping a shot. I am using a generic macro lens I picked up on eBay a few years back.

I'll see about constructing something more permanent in the near future.
np category: DIY


Robby said:
Very nice :) I wonder if there is such a device out there for purchase...
December 21, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
Yes - you can buy ring lights, but "real" ones are terribly expensive. This one cost me about $4.
December 21, 2007

The Conservative Manifesto said:
A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

God Bless!

December 24, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
And merry Christmas to you and yours as well!
December 24, 2007

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