The Shaolin Botol Susu Diffuser (Plastic Milk Bottle) For 1:1 Macro Photography!

Someone said I should patent it so I can become a millionaire and have a massive house like Gary Fong?

Anyway rather than buy an expensive R1C1 Macro Ring Light…..I thought I’d adapt my existing SB-800 to suite my macro taking needs. I got the original idea from Lord-V over on Flickr.

He has all kinds of cool stuff he DIY’s himself, he uses mostly Coke Can diffusers now though.

Basically what I wanted is a ‘device’ that spread the light evenly and softly across the area where my Tamon SP90 focuses and extends to during 1:1 macro shooting, I scouted around for a while for bottles and found the ideal bottle. A milk bottle!

If you want to do something similar you’ll need:

1) A plastic bottle
2) Kitchen Foil
3) Kitchen Towel
4) Double sided sticky tape or glue
5) Normal Tape
6) A sharp knife

That’s all! Less than 10 bucks as you probably have some of it already.

I decided to use this bottle as I could have the top extend our further than the bottom to cast the light downwards onto my subject, so the first thing I did was hack the top out where the handle and the opening were.

Exit Point

What you need to do next is hack a whole in the bottom slightly smaller than the size of your flash head. Then make 2 small slits on the bottom side of the whole (just a few mm deep), this will give you a small flap that will allow you to push your flash in and it will kind of catch and hang on.

Flash Head

After these two you need to line the inside with tin foil, make sure the shinier side is facing outwards. I did this with normal kitchen foil and double sided sticky tape, you can already see the foil lining the previous two pictures, here is a better angle:

Tin Foil

The last step is attaching a piece of kitchen towel over the opening. This has the effect of diffusing the light so it’s not ‘hard’ and it spreads better, this means in reality you don’t get those annoying super white highlights on Dragonflies and other shiny creatures.

Kitchen Foil

After that you just stick it on the flash and shoot away! It should look something like this:

On Flash

And it’ll give a nice even light right where you are shooting with your macro lens, you’ll get pics like this (with a bit of practise):

Close and Personal


Dragonfly Portrait

From this post – KL Butterfly Park Redux – New and Improved with Milk Bottle Diffuser!

This is what it looks like in action:

In Action

Good luck, and enjoy your macro shooting!




You can subscribe via e-mail to get my posts in your Inbox, or stalk me on numerous other platforms.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 Responses to The Shaolin Botol Susu Diffuser (Plastic Milk Bottle) For 1:1 Macro Photography!

  1. Mark September 7, 2007 at 10:02 am #

    You definitely need to get that patented 😉

    Then you can afford Jessica Claire to shoot your wedding like when she did it for Gary Foong ;P

  2. Azmeen September 7, 2007 at 11:22 am #

    Finally we got to see what the “botol susu diffuser” looks like!

    When you first mentioned it, I thought you meant a baby’s milk bottle!

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. droool September 7, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    like that also can ar???

  4. js September 7, 2007 at 6:17 pm #

    wow, that is so cool! wonder if it’ll work with a P and S camera? thanks for tip though.

  5. sweetcheeks September 8, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    wah… creativity 10 out of 10! the only thing is that.. when you snap pictures outdoor, passerby will be like “Eh.. what’s that?” haha…

    I like the first insect picture. Looks very pixar-fied. 😛

  6. rainerteh September 8, 2007 at 9:40 pm #

    wow excellent DIY BYO solution.. i’m also thinking of a flash diffuser for compact macro shots, tried using tissue paper but caught fire!

    just curious who’s the man in the left foreground in the last picture? is he your assistant? the flash diffuser looks huge compared to the camera

  7. gazard September 9, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    Cool man, those awesome photos are the results from susu botol diffuser.

  8. Matthew September 9, 2007 at 4:55 pm #

    cool, a home-made flash diffuser, now that’s we call a frugal and innovative photographer 🙂

    ever visited any of the attractive spots in Sarawak, or maybe Gua Niah?

  9. Izuan September 9, 2007 at 4:57 pm #

    @ rainer,

    Bleh that’s me, assistant??

    ST, got to go shoot more macro now, but it’s hard to find time to. 🙁

  10. rainerteh September 10, 2007 at 1:54 am #

    heh sorry izuan, didn’t know it was u 😛

  11. wongkj September 10, 2007 at 2:04 am #

    sheer genius 😛

  12. voch September 10, 2007 at 5:25 am #

    Pwnage dude! Pwnage. Creative homemade diffuser 😛

  13. Darren September 10, 2007 at 2:19 pm #

    looks kinda bulky, but the results are fantastic. I remember seeing one guy using a cigarrette box as a DIY diffuser.

  14. saifulrizan January 22, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    Thanks for inspiring. I managed to get some new way of taking photos. Thanks again.

  15. kevin March 11, 2008 at 5:42 am #

    Really sharp!!!!1

  16. Jantje November 21, 2008 at 2:35 am #

    Beautiful pictures! That monster flash extension appereantly works like a charm.

Keep up with me on Social Media by following me below - Thanks so much!