An LED ring light for jewelry photography
I came across this post on how to make a LED ring light for a camera and I thought I'd make my own for photographing jewelry and the like, instead of working up a more traditional three-point lighting setup. I ordered the same rings from dealextreme.com (90mm and 120mm), they took about three weeks to arrive and cost about $14 shipped. Then it was just a matter of getting out my dial caliper to take measurements and creating tool paths in Illustrator. From Illustrator I export to svg and then use Blender and custom code I wrote to generate g-code, which I run in EMC2 under ubuntu.

The scrap plywood I used has a very thin veneer face and it chipped a bit in one spot during milling. Oh well. The holes in the rings are for passing through the LED ring wires.

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My camera (Canon Powershot S3IS) takes a barrel for lens attachments, so I used that to mount the ring. Simple friction fit. It can still take filters and lenses and the like.

The LED rings need a 12v power supply, which I got from an old, non-functioning DSL modem. I also desoldered the power jack from the PCB, CA'd it to the back of the wooden ring and soldered the LED ring wires to the lugs.

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With no diffusion the LEDs show up as points of light. A piece of paper held over the ring doesn't do much to change that...
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...but held a short distance away it does a nice job. I'll probably make another ring to hold a diffuser. Of course I'll cut the center out silly! Oh, there's a color difference between the two LED rings, which is pretty clear to see in these photos. Not ideal, but workable.

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A couple of test photos. The first one looks a bit surreal, like it's been photoshopped, but it hasn't. The white balance was on the wrong setting though.

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Cat hair? Really? I swear it gets everywhere.

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Anyhoo, I've got to work on my camera technique but I'm pretty happy with how the ring light working.


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