Diffuser for speedlite 430ex

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by hudsonp, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. hudsonp

    hudsonp TPF Noob!

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    I'm fairly new to the idea of a flash and diffuser, can someone please tell me if this one on ebay is the way to go, or should i be looking at something else?

    LINK TO EBAY


    thanks!
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This won't do anything other than cut down the output of your flash unit slightly. I'm amazed they still get people to buy these things.

    Softer lighting is created by having a light source that is larger relative to the size of the subject. So a diffuser (a soft box is an example) needs to make the light source significantly larger to be effective. That is what soft boxes do. As an alternative you can place the light source closer to the subject and that also makes it larger relative to the size of the subject.

    Think of daylight. On a sunny day the light is hard and shadows have high contrast. The sun (large light source) is small relative to the size of the subject. It is a point source. On an overcast day, the overcast acts like a softbox by taking the sunlight, enlarging it and, in turn, lighting the subject. Shadows can disappear completely in the right conditions.

    Beginners often think that light can be softened by putting something between the source and subject. That only works when the something enlarges the light source significantly - very significantly - many times. Take a look at the large soft boxes pros use in the studio. That is effective diffusion.

    For portable flash, the best way to soften light is to bounce the light from another surface such as a wall or ceiling if that is possible.

    This should be an image of a child made with a flash unit bounced from the ceiling and held at arms length. The effect is pretty good. It isn't what you could create in a studio with better equipment but it is about as good as you will do with a single portable flash.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    I was going to try the Gary Fong Lightsphere on my flash unit. A friend of mine picked one up and says he can't live withour it now. It looks like a tupperware container and will bounce light off of the ceiling and enlarge the flash coverage. Or so they say. My friend is convinced, and I like it enough to give it a try. The demo I saw was fairly impressive for an on-camera flash difuser. Runs about $50 so you won't really bust the bank. Just eBay or Google it for more info.
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Don't spend money on a Gary Fong tupperware product. You can make your own in 1 minute with a Wonton soup container from your local Chinese food restaurant.
     
  5. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    This is really good for a diffuser on a single flash unit. Nice job Fred!

    But what would you recommend for something that looks more professional at a wedding? I'm not sure I want to walk around with a soup container on the end of my flash unit.

    Also Matt, what is your take on the stofen diffuser cup? I considered buying it at one time, but not so sure anymore. I can see your point of not spending the money on a lightsphere, but I also want something that works effectively and looks professional.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you are worried about "looking" professional, then you are missing the boat I think. My photos look professional, and the proof is in the pudding. I think just as many people will ask me what the Gary Fong thing is, as they will ask me what my thing is.

    The wonton soup container works famously, and costs $4 and dinner.
     
  7. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Matt! You may have sold me on the soup container ;-)

    By the way, I am all for making my own products if I think they are effective. At the last wedding I went to (practice shooting only), I did my own version of "a better bounce card" (ABetterBounceCard.com) with white foam paper. It turned out pretty well, and I was happy with how the photos turned out, but I wanted something that diffused and not just bounced the light for my next venture.
     
  8. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, didnt mean to hijack your thread hudsonp.

    I hope I can help with your decision on whether to purchase the stofen unit.

    It seems to be dropping in price over the last few months, which may indicate that not many people are buying them or that it may not really be an effective tool for diffusion. I agree with Fred about bouncing the light on the ceiling and walls if they are close enough and low enough.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most flash accesories are actually meant to be using in conjunction with bounce...or at least, that's how you get the most out of them. Take the Stofen Omnibounce for example. What it does, is allow most of the light to go through it and bounce off the ceiling...and it also throws some light forward. This is important because you don't want all the light coming from directly above as it can make for dark eye shadows etc.

    The Fong Dong, basically throws light all around...which can make for softer light, if there is something for the light to bounce off of.

    Both of those don't really increase the size of the light source when there is nothing to bounce off of...they just make the flash work harder to illuminate the subject.

    The product that I purchased is the Lumiquest 80-20. It lets 80% of the light go through to bounce and redirects 20% forward for fill. It also has accesories which puts all the light forward. It increases the size somewhat, but I usually prefer to use the 80-20 function or just bare flash.

    As mentioned, the softness of the light it determined by the size of the source...nothing else. There is also the direction of the light...getting the light farther off of the camera is usually an improvement.
     
  10. hudsonp

    hudsonp TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the input everyone, much appreciated
     
  11. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just make sure it is from a premier Chinese establishment so that your customers won't mind. "Hey, look... he eats at China Palace, he MUST be a good photographer!"
     
  12. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    :lmao::lmao: good one!
     

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