DIY Canon 550EX flash grid

A grid is the light modifier that you’ll use when you want to focus or narrow your flash beam of light, and let it be concentrated in one strong beam.There

is a way to narrow and control the flash light beam by using the manual zoom angle control (this option is available with the Canon 550EX flash unit and in many other flashes) but with the DIY grid you’ll be able to really control its width and power to a maximum.

This project is an easy one and all you’ll need for it is:

  • Piece of bristol paper ( you could use any type,I used a folder that I got in a Google convention).
  • About 40-50 straws.
  • Ruler.
  • Canon 550EX…
  • 20 minutes


Let start:

The first steps will be to take measurements of the Canon 550EX speedlite width and height:

measuring the 550EX width


measuring the 550EX height


Now you’ll have to mark your bristol shit with the dimensions you have just took.If you are doing the DIY grid for the Canon 550EX speedlite it should look something like that:


You’ll have a piece of bristol that will be marked like the image above.If we see there are 5 segments (from left to right) flash :height – width – height- width- spare to glue it up.

Make the last segment shorter than the first segment!

Now you will have to cut the straws .Take in mind that the longer you cut them, you’ll narrower beam and concentrated light source.try to cut them as equal as possible as you can.After you cut the straws you’ll get a pile of short straws.I tried to keep their length about 2cm-3cm:


The next part is the more “difficult” part and most “time consuming”, gluing it all together:

you’ll have to glue one line of glue,order the little straws ,add another glue line and place the straws again and again as you get to the height you need.






After gluing the straws to the height needed its time to glue it all together, glue the sides of the bristol piece and the sides of the straws, close it all together with some tape and let it dry.If you did it the right way you’ll have a simple and easy DIY grid for small flashes.


Keep in mind that you can adjust this tutorial for any flash model that you have, just change the widths and heights.

[slide width=”400″ height=”300″]

Enjoy and share your thoughts with us!

9 thoughts on “DIY Canon 550EX flash grid

    1. Yep
      The longer part is the straws cutting, you have to cut them as equal length as possible in order to make the light spread evenly.
      Thanks for your comment!

  1. I’d definitely like to try this DIY!
    I wonder if using black straws would change it up a bit.

    (Also, ooops typo? “Now you’ll have to mark your bristol sh…”


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