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Home-made orangejuice flashtube?

Published August 26th, 2011

Hello everyone,

In her comment on my picture 'Let's Dance' our fellow 500px member Jane Sleeth posted that she had no idea what my home-made orangejuice flashtube was. This is not the first time I got that question so here we go:

First of all, the 'problem' or rather 'challange' with my macro's is, in my opinion, the available light. Typical I want a small aperture of f/11 and above, even better is f/16. Together with that small aperture I want a low ISO rating to get the most out of my pictures. With my macro lens, a 90mm, I need at least a shutter speed of 1/125 to avoid shaken images, eventhough I have set my 'SR' on in my K-x body.

So summed up that's:

- f/16

- iso100

- 1/125

Do the maths, I need a lot of light!

The typical insect macro-lens is, imho, at least 90mm and has a aperture of f/2.8. That means a long lens, and that means that if I use my built-in flash, the light of the flash does not reach the object that's in front of my lens. So it's pretty useless...

I need to get that light onto my subject so I can achieve my optimal settings stated above! How do I do that? Quite simple of course, I can buy a professional macro-flash ring! That would work absolutely fabulous, but it's also very expensive. Instead of that I made, and let me say that it's not my own idea, a macro-flash from scratch.

Buy some orange juice or another type of juice you find good to drink and drink it! Then get out your scissors or stanley-knife and make it snug-fit to tour camera and macro-lens. To make the light more diffuse and somewhat tempered you can use packing material like I used but you can also use a tissue, toiletpaper, etc. The rubber band is to keep it on my camera when maneuvering it around.

Build your own and tweak your settings when shooting, you'll soon find it very easy to work with! Click on 'read more' to see some more pictures.

kind regards,



Support your juice carton on your lens with some carton with the diameter of your lens and attach it with a simple rubber band.

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28
  • 9.2mm / f/3.2 / 1/30 sec


The long juice carton makes the light from your built-in flash reach your macro object.

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28
  • 14.4mm / f/3.4 / 1/50 sec


Keep the hole on the rear end as small as possible to lose a minimal amount of light.

  • Panasonic DMC-FZ28
  • 10.4mm / f/3.2 / 1/30 sec

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Hennie Niemand  over 6 years ago

Great idea, I will have to try it.

Frank Vroom  over 6 years ago

Very nice idea, but I guess I just get a little more to try and read about macro.
I will recognize you everywhere in this way :-)

Erik Visser  over 6 years ago

Pffff and I do have a dedicated macro-flash and do not use it much......Your local "Dubbel Drink" flash works just as good (or maybe better) as a dedicated macro-flash ;-)
Tnx for sharing the story.

LYSVIK PHOTOS (inactive)  over 6 years ago

It's quit big, but reviewing the results of your photo's insects don't care. I assume the white placeholder should hold up the juice pack, so manual adjustments can be made for focussing the object.

Edzo Boven  over 6 years ago

It isn't the flashtube Chris. You still make much better macro's than I do :-(
So a hole at the back or in the bottom doesn't make the difference :-)

Chris Ruijter  over 6 years ago

Hey Edzo!

thanx for improving the blog! Thumbs up!!

Edzo Boven  over 6 years ago

It only works with a C1000 "Dubbel drink" juice pack, available in the Netherlands at the C1000 supermarkets of course :-)
I've build one too a few months ago. Very usefull indeed!
One other tip, look after a juice pack with a silver coating inside.
For my flashtube I made a little hole in it for the internal flash, so you have to fix the flashtube upwards on your camera.

Kathrine McDowell  over 6 years ago

Quite Clever! thanks for sharing!