PilleVippo - Flash mirror
How to make a Flash bouncer
for Compact, Long Zoom and SLR cameras
Get more out of the built in flash, can be used together with small reflectors or
a "Light box",
good for photographing smaller objects, macro etc.
Offer several ways to
distribute and modify the light from the onboard flash.
Note: works best on short distances due to the weakness of most built in flashes.
Idea and design by Benny Johansson
- Adjustable mirror angle, control over
where the light hits the reflecting surface,
depends on the angles between the camera, reflector and photo object.
- Interchangeable mirror materials, control over how much light that goes direct or
is reflected, examples: a white semi transparent material gives you both direct (diffused)
and reflected light, a silver/aluminium (on black) material gives you all reflected light,
other possibilities: colour filter, example: a piece of yellow-tinted plastic will make the light "warmer".
- Folds flat (all models), fits easily in a camera bag pocket (see how to fold the big one)
- Low weight, only 4 grams for the small and 8 grams for the big PilleVippo.
Example of use,
most of the photos on my websites KabelHolla.com,
are taken with the PilleVippo bouncer and a "light box" ,
examples at Benvelo.com are the photos on this page and these pages: mini 2,
Comparison, direct vs. reflected light:
- with small reflectors
The photos below are taken with a Canon IXUS 95 IS
A. Silver mirror, small white reflector.
B. Silver mirror, small white
a way that blocks light from the background
C. Direct flash, no mirror or
of how to make reflectors
for use with or without the PilleVippo bouncer.
- small reflector
- big reflector/ Light box
|Image gallery - the bouncing PilleVippos
How to make it
- a piece/sheet of polypropylene plastic (PP, recycling code/number 5 )
thickness 0,7-0,8mm (700-800 micron) (I have used a piece from a cookie box
- a small rubber o-ring (I have used a ID 3,5x1,5mm for the small and ID 4,5x1,5mm for the big),
(you can also make a rubber ring from a thick piece of rubber )
- self adhesive velcro ( only for the small PilleVippo)
- elastic cord 1,5-2mm thick and 30 cm long (only for the big PilleVippo)
A. Cut out the plastic piece
(it's also a good idea to cut out a few strips to practice heat-bending on).
B. Print out the PDF template* and tape it on the plastic sheet ,
make the holes (tool tip),
needle marks and mark along the cutting line.
C. Remove the paper template and cut out the plastic part.
* PDF templates: (I have only tested with the cameras
named below but many others are
similary constructed so the
templates should fit a lot of them also)
- Small_1.pdf ( Canon Ixus 95 and likely a lot of other compact cameras ? )
- Small_2.pdf ( Canon A610 and ? )
Small_3.pdf ( Canon S90, S95 and S100 )
- Big_1.pdf ( Nikon D40 , Olympus c-2100 and ?)
A. The finished part should look like this ( the images above shows an earlier model)
B. Bend the "holy hinge" back and forth all the way a few times to make it soft
( this "holy hinge" is surprisingly durable, see my test or wikipedia about "living hinge")
C. Pre-bend at the places shown below (bend at room
make sure you bend in the right direction, the side facing down in the image below
is the side that faces the flash/camera)
A. Heat bend, use something that concentrates the heat to the bending area,
start with the pre-bent parts ( the white
becomes clear when the right temp. is reached).
how to make a simple "heat concentrator from a piece of aluminium foil).
B. (1) The mirror holders can be a little tricky to bend
(bounces back if not heated enough),
the plastic must be heated to a "butter soft" state before bending ,
( I recommend that you practice on a few test strips first ).
(2) How much to bend, the measure X should be a bit more than the velcro thickness.
(3) Reduce the height of the stoppers to about 2-3 mm.
C. Mount the rubber o-ring (using a strip of tape to pull it place makes it easier)
and the velcro, the "hook" side should be on the PilleVippo
A. Mount the soft side of the velcro on the camera, the lower edge of the mirror base
should be 2-3 mm below the flash and centered.
B. Make the mirrors.
I have made the white from plain printing paper laminated with clear packing tape on both sides and
the silver one is made by taping aluminum tape on a piece of black thin (0,2-0,3mm) plastic sheet
(some aluminium tape is so thin that it
lets light through).
Copyright © Benny Johansson