How To Use Frosted Scotch Tape To Create a Simple Diffuser

If the light from a flash or lamp is too harsh, then a diffuser can be used to make the light less intense. A diffuser is a filter which scatters light and makes it less concentrated. These diffusing filters can be purchased for many lights and flashes. They generally clip over the light and work by making it less powerful.

Diffusers are fairly simple to look at, but they are actually quite expensive. A diffuser is also something that is very easy to misplace which is why you could choose to make your own. There are many things that you can use to make diffusers with, one of the easiest is scotch tape.

Step 1: Measuring the Light

The first thing that you should do is measure the size of the light that you want to use scotch tape as the diffuser. Measure both dimensions so that you can choose the size of roll that you want to purchase. As scotch tape only comes on rolls, one of the dimensions will be limited.

Step 2: Choosing Tape

Choose the best tape to fit on your light. This will need to be at least as big as the plastic filter on the lens at the moment. Remember that the width of the tape will be fixed, which is why you need to choose different widths of tape to fit your light. The length will, however, be pretty much unlimited and it's unlikely you will ever need more than you have on a roll.

You will probably want to choose the frosted tape, as this will provide much better diffusion than the regular scotch tape which is basically clear.

Step 3: Preparing the Tape

If you're lucky, then you will of managed to find tape which is pretty close to the size of your light. This means that you will only need to cut it down in one direction. If not, you will need to be even more careful to cut the tape in two directions. It's a good idea to leave the tape slightly longer than the lens on your light and then fold it over itself. This will make it easier to remove the tape if needed.

Step 4: Applying the Tape

Clean the lens on your light to make sure that it's free from grease and debris. Then, carefully apply the scotch tape onto the lens trying to avoid any bubbles. Bubbles would cast shadows and could damage the quality of your film. If you do get bubbles, simply pull the tape back off and try again slowly.

Step 5: Removing the Tape

If you took the suggestion of folding a section of the tape over, then removing the diffuser will be easy. Otherwise, it will be difficult to do without damaging your flash or light. If you remove the tape after a couple of hours, then it probably won't leave any residue. However, leave it longer and it's likely that there will be sticky residue on the lens. To remove this, use some lens cleaning solution and polish it off.

The scotch tape will need to be discarded as it should not be reused. Next time, you should cut a new piece.