Sunday, May 8, 2011

Easiest DIY Infrared Filter

If you have a popup flash that can act as a wireless flash commander but want to block the popup from contributing to the exposure, there are a few options out there such as the Nikon SG-3IR infrared panel (which can also work for Canon with some modification).  You can also create your own infrared panel using negative film that has been exposed and developed.  But the easiest DIY version is to use a floppy disk.

It's a little hard to find a 5.25 inch diskette, but 3.5 inch disks can still be found every now and then.  Try thrift stores and dollar stores.  Once you find some, it's easy to take a disk apart even without tools.

What I then do is to fold the magnetic disk into half, then half again to 1/4th its original size, then wrap it around the popup flash with tape. Voila... an instant DIY infrared filter.

With this filter, the visible light from the popup flash will be reduced significantly, but you'll still be able to trigger other flashes optically.


  1. A much easier tip than the gels one, I will try this one and make a follow-up post, I am also eager to try the HSS one but I don't have enough time.

    For those who weren't following from the start, this was the original problem:

  2. It didn't work so well for me, the flashes don't trigger every time, beside I doubt it will work well outdoor because of the power reduction. I can block the flash with my hands or place a white card in front of it and it will bounce of the walls and work, the solution is easier indoors.

    However high speed sync worked brilliantly for me.

  3. Great DIY and money-saving tip! As a new photographer, I'm always on the lookout for clever, money-saving tips like this. I'm happy to report that this worked perfectly for my D90. I trimmed a 2.5cm x 1cm rectangle piece of the disk and taped it over the clear pop-up flash window. It completely covers it, looks great, and does not interfere with the pop-up function. So now it's always in place and ready to command my off-camera flash. Thanks again! Will definitely share this with my friends.

    1. Thanks James. BTW Aokatec now also makes an IR filter (similar to the SG-3IR).

      Best regards,

  4. Thank you so much for writing this! I've spend the past three hours looking for an alternative to this method of flash because I didn't want my on camera flash blinding my infant. You just saved me a nice chunk of change!


Thanks for your comment. It will be published as soon as we get a chance to review it, sorry for that, but we get lots of spam with malicious links.