ring a ring a ring-light

For a while now I’ve been looking for a ringlight (not flash) as with two young kids in the house most of my photographs are taken in low light, and whilst the D800 produces amazing results at high ISO, at f/2.8 it’s very unforgiving if you get anything wrong, extra light in these situations is only going to be a bonus. I have a decent Nikkor flash but I find it can be a bit harsh at times.

So I went hunting. I wanted portable, battery powered and cheap. Seems you can have two out of three but not all. It also needs to be big enough to fit over my primary lens (80mm).

The plan is, design a housing in CAD, then get it 3D printed and sent to me. Next, fit some battery powered LEDs (basically, Christmas lights) and then I’m done.

Before I go off designing, I needed to test how many lights would be needed, so out comes a weetabix box, some scissors, and a pen to poke some holes. 15 minutes later I’ve got this – it’s rough but it’s good enough to start:



So far, seems OK – time to get testing with the only subject I have available. My kids are great – they appear to be exist purely to completely destroy me, but they are great.




Initial conclusions are I’m on the right track but the lights are not bright enough – so either add more lights or, more voltage, or both. Total cost so far, £2.99

Next prototype is already under construction! I have to get the light right before I start designing the housing, so I’ll carry on with the hacking apart of plastic household utensils before I commit to any kind of “proper” design.

The end