Published on March 19th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Deep Beauty Dish for flash photography

Materials: Foto (discontinued lamp shade), – vice grip/ clamps – hammer – drill & drill bit set – hack saw – metal cutting snip (offset cutter) – Grinder power tool (to cut metal ). wrench, ratchet set, hammer, vice grip, drill, hacksaw, metal cutting snip. grinder, nuts bolts, wingnuts, screws, aluminum strip, reflector

Bought the ‘Foto’ aluminum lamp shade from Ikea two years ago from the ‘As-is’ section. Must’ve been discontinued, but I picked it up for $5!

The rest of the parts such as, an aluminum strip, threaded rods, 1/4″ screws, wing nuts and bolts are from Rona & Home Depot. Bought a 5″ metal plate from a dollar store and it used as the reflector in the center. The plastic tubing you see is just leftover tubes used to hook up residential sinks and bathtub faucets.

Tools used:
- vice grip/ clamps
- hammer
- drill & drill bit set
- hack saw
- metal cutting snip (offset cutter)
- Grinder power tool (to cut metal )
- wrenches or ratchet set

I think this is pretty straight forward project for photographer feeling a bit savvy. What I like about Do-it-yourself is trying to figure out what works best, that’s where I get my high.

I designed it to accommodate the much larger Nikon SB-900, But I used a Nikon SB-800 speedlight encased with a Velcro strip for this setup.

The works:
This is a deep Beauty Dish, so all I can say is light fall-off is very dramatic and contrast it creates is high. I often have to use white reflectors to pick-out the shadows on my subjects. If only I had any opportunity to use commercially-bought beauty dishes, I would have comparisons. But nope, this is a poor man’s hack. :)

See more of the Beauty Dish.

~ Chun Wu

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

5 Responses to Deep Beauty Dish for flash photography

  1. Anonymous says:

    BTW, the Foto lamp isn’t discontinued, I just bought one yesterday in Atlanta (7/19/2012). It’s much cheaper than anything out there for an industrial looking oversized lamp shade. They do however need a better packaging and shelving method, because the aluminum used is so thin that over half the lamps in the bin had dings, dents or were very seriously squashed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I built this something similar to this!

    This design works great with Nikon Speedlights in CLS mode! Just swivel around the speedlights to have the flash sensor facing adjacent to the camera & master flash or on-board commander.

    And the handle grip (that plastic tube)is great for handheld or voice-activated light stands! haha. Wouldn’t worry too much of the first two comments either!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cool idea. Might give this a try myself.
    And don’t worry about those who said others are better.
    Yours works well and keep posting! :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    A) Ikea still sells this lamp.

    B) Nice try on design, someone did better flash mounting about year ago, do a flick search “ikea diy beauty dish”

    C) By better I mean the flash bracket.

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