Flash Accessories..what do they do?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Markw, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Im thinking about picking up the Nikon SB-600 for my D90 and I was wondering what lightspheres do, also different gels. I uderstand that ceartain gels will help with tungsten lights, but what could black and other colors possibly be used for? I have given links to what Im talking about. If you could help me out..I would greatly appreciate it.

    Whats the difference between the clear:
    Gary Fong | P1 Lightsphere II Inverted Dome Clear | LS2-P1 | B&H

    And the White?:
    Gary Fong | C1 Lightsphere II Inverted Dome Cloud | LS2-C1 | B&H

    Also, here are the gels I was talking about. What could all these colors be used for?
    Rosco | Strobist 55-Piece Filter Kit With Gel Holder | | B&H

    Thanks so much!
    Mark
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    For the most part....they make money for the people who sell flash accessories. ;)
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They also fill up your toy....er...kit bag really quickly ;)
    Honestly my advice is to walk before you can run - its very easy to collect a lot of accessories which all have a sound use and application, but which will collect dust on your shelf since you don't do the right things to use them - or when you do they are still sitting on the shelf because they are not part of your common kit setup.

    Get the flash - play with it - see how it works and how you use it and then start to think about what things you want to add to it to overcome your limitations or to extend your possibilities.
    One of the fewer "essential" buys talked about is a diffuser for the flash - great for when using it pointing at or near to the subject and if your going to be flashing those lizards I would strongly recomend a lumiquest softbox for this - good for people, bugs, animals - mostly anything ;) (ok there goes my little plug - wish I got paid for it ;) )
     
  4. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ha, yes. Thanks. Makes perfect sense. I have seen people walking around with these lightspheres on and I didnt know what they were for, so I figured Id ask. The way I figure it, the more accessories I know what to do with, the faster I can know what to do if I encounter the specific problem with the flash that they happen to solve. Basically, by asking these questions, I wanted to be more prepared. I always like to know everything, the ins and outs and all the details before I get anything. Thanks alot!

    Mark
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Gels are important. I'm figuring you're not going to always be shooting in perfect light. Gels allow you to change the color of your strobe to match any ambient or any other sources you're using with your lights.

    Most flashes are daylight temp, about 5600K. Shooting with a flash and WB set to daylight inside with tungsten lamps will give you white light from the flash and orange from the tungsten lights.
     
  6. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    in my experience they usually just get lost easily, or tossed aside. i agree with the village idiot about the gels though. I USE THE CRAP OUT OF GELS
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you sure about that? :lol:

    I thought they sell them for fun.:er:


    And gels can color your background too. (i.e. backdrop)
     
  8. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    The Fong is a waste of money for the most part. It has very limited application, and honestly every thing you do with the Fong you can do without the Fong if you learn how to use your flash.

    Use a Sto-Fen ($11) defuser for the times you want to defuse the light with the flash pointed directly at the subject.

    I own a Fong Lightsphere and it was a waste of $40. I never use it. The last time I used it was to post some sample pics for another thread... and you guessed it, the $40 Fong didn't do anything the $11 Sto-Fen couldn't do.

    Get some gels and if you need a defuser, start off with the Sto-Fen.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Please tell me you are not talking about the Omni-bounce. That thing is mis-used more often than the Fong Dong.

    Simply putting an opaque plastic cap over your flash head, will not soften the light when shooting directly at your subject. If you are shooting with direct flash, the Lightsphere would do a better job, only because it's bigger than the Omni-bounce. But neither one of them is really that much bigger than a bare flash head, to make them worth using for direct flash IMO.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Does the Sto-Fen really do that much with direct applied flash? I know their main intended use is for bounced flash rather than direct flash. Since the amount of softening you get is proportional to the area that the flash light is coming from the Sto-Fen can't be adding too much to the softening effect since its head size is about the same as that of the flash - but it does cut down a little of the power output (which might be what the difference in shots is showing - at which point flash exposure compensation could be used instead).
    Something that activly increases the flash head size, would (or should) be a better option for diffusion - like a margerine tub with a covered front attached to the flash (if your cheap) or the softboxes (if you like flashy things ;) ). That is at least true for direct aimed flash at the subject - when bouncing the wall becomes the light source and thus is a far larger area of light source

    edit - Mike got there first - must learn to type faster!!!
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. fstop

    fstop TPF Noob!

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    In cases where you have no other choice but direct flash (lack of walls, cieling or other gear) what do you guys recommend to diffuse light when taking shots of a person? I see Sto-Fen noted above, is that the consensus? What particular stofen gadget?

    thanks
     

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