the 15 second DIY adjustable snoot!

So I’ve done the cardboard snoot thing.  It’s cheap.  It works.  but I find they don’t last too long trashing around in a camera bag.   I really like the idea of a flexible snoot like the Honl speedsnoot, so I figured I’d try to make my own…

A quick trip down to Perl (art supply store) yielded the required materials.  2 9″x12″ sheets of “foamies” craft foam (it’s a thin, neoprene like foam material – flexible yet rigid enough to hold it’s shape) one white, one black and 4′ of velcro “wrap” (the velcro that has hooks on one side and loops on the other, so it can stick to itself if you wrap it around something)  The neat thing about the foamies sheets is that you can get them either plain or with one side covered in adhesive.   I opted for a plain black and an adhesive-backed white sheet.

total cost for materials: about $5 (the velcro was $3 and I think the foamies sheets were .59 each)

Once at home, I simply peeled the backing off the white adhesive side, and laid the black sheet on top.  Pressing firmly secured the 2 together.  They can bend and flex together without wrinkling or buckling.

I then cut 2 velcro wraps long enough to wrap around the flash head and secure it tightly.

TaDa!  instant snoot – total time to construct: about 15-30 seconds 🙂

the best part about this snoot is that it is adjustable.  For a normal throw, wrap it into a cylinder shape, and secure each end with a wrap.   If you want a tighter throw, wrap it into a cone shape.  You can get a very tight dot of light this way.

Another added benifit is that it can be used as a bounce card – simple wrap one end around the flash head pointing up, and leave the other end free.  presto bounce card.

For five dollars and a minute of work, this is something that will have a permanent place in my camera bag!

38 thoughts on “the 15 second DIY adjustable snoot!”

  1. Great idea! That looks like it’s really functional.
    I did the Strobist black straw cereal box snoot thing too but it takes up too much space.

    Do you find that it creases or holds folds if you don’t pack it flat? Or does it always spring back to flat?

  2. Richard: I generally just stick it flat into my bag. I can wrap it pretty tightly and it does spring back. I imagine if you folded it it would crease, but the beauty is that at about a buck or two a pop, you can just make a new one when one gets creased/destroyed etc…

  3. Great idea! I’m also a fan of the FREE snoot…Starbucks coffee sleeves. If one gets wrecked, I can quickly find another one. It doesn’t give you the same amount of light control, but in a pinch it does the trick nicely.

  4. Ed,

    This is super! Best I have seen! I am trying to get the neoprene in The Netherlands to make one myself, but so far I’ve failed to find it.

    Is there a way that I can order them through you? Or does your source have an on-line shop?

    Thanks, Jan

  5. Thanks so much for this information. I was pushed for time and literally bought the supplies on my way to the shoot and built it on site in 15 seconds!

  6. my personal favorite, a diffuser. if you have a cannon 550ex, its a perfect fit.take an empty plastic coffee container thats rounded rectangular and translucent. take the label off.the light shines through, but you cant see through it. the opening is tapered so it can be cut to any size opening.
    I think its from a folgers instant coffee. makes a great diffuser. I know the 550EX has a diffuser built in, but this adds a large surface area. and, your average lens fits right inside it so it takes up practically ZERO room in my camera bag. DOUBLE BONUS !!!!
    cost, FREE
    Triple Bonus !

  7. You are a lifesaver. I live in Mexico. I needed a flash snoot/hood desperately for a wedding this weekend. I’ve procrastinated buying a deflector/defuser for years but am at a point where I really shouldn’t shoot without one. And now I don’t have one. My local craft store (which has the strangest selection of everything – it is Mexico) actually had foam. I just happened to have velcro. What I was able to put together was perfect.
    Thank you thank you. thank you.

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