Flash diffuser???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Photog38, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Photog38

    Photog38 TPF Noob!

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    I am thinking of buying the Canon 430 EX II flash for my camera. So many of the people that I have seen using a flash have some kind of diffuser attached to the end of their flash. I am assuming that a diffuser is a worthwhile investment. Would something like this work for general purpose shooting:
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Sto-Fen-OMEW-Omni-Bounce-Diffuser/dp/B000CLNHXY/ref=pd_bxgy_e_img_b"]http://www.amazon.com/Sto-Fen-OMEW-Omni-Bounce-Diffuser/dp/B000CLNHXY/ref=pd_bxgy_e_img_b[/ame]
     
  2. Joe&Caroline

    Joe&Caroline TPF Noob!

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  3. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the same diffuser on my 430EX and it works great. I was hesitant when buying it thinking $17 for a piece of plastic but it came out to be a good investment.
     
  4. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    I'm convinced bouncing light off the ceiling will get you in trouble sooner or later. Sometimes you have a high ceiling, sometimes you have a dark or colored ceiling. You can't control ceilings.

    A better way to go, IMO, is to use a self-contained unit that both bounces and diffuses. You can get that in the Lumiquest Ultra Soft. That's the model I like, but check out the whole line.

    LumiQuest® Photographic Accessories | Ultrasoft

    The Pocket Bouncer from Lumiquest is also good, and has less light loss. What's more, you can add a thin piece of plastic diffusion material to get the same effect as UltraSoft, when needed.

    http://lumiquest.com/products/pocket-bouncer.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    While I agree with Dick Sanders suggestion of Lumiquest I disagree with the suggested items unless you are looking for a single function product. I would suggest instead the 80/20 Pro Max kit. LumiQuest® Photographic Accessories | Promax System

    It gives you the same ability as the Ultra soft, the ability to use ceiling bounce, various full bounce inserts including one that provides the same effect as the pocket bounce kit. It is the price of a Fong, but about the most versatile product they make.
     
  6. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, this is a good call! The ones I recommended suit my applications.
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks, I also cook, love Alton Brown's show and subscribe to his philosophy of not buying uni-taskers. I have stretched that to photography whenever possible.
     
  8. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    So when are we coming over for dinner? And what's the specialty dish?
     
  9. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    I'm very much of the opinion that you ought not buy accessory stuff until you've got a firm handle on how to use just the basic unit. Unless you've got a pressing need to have everything shipped at once, I'd suggest just buying the flash for now, then add a diffuser if you find that you need one.
     
  10. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    This is not a bad idea. But you'll likely need some diffusion. A "no-cost" solution is to simply tape a small piece of plastic diffusion material in front of the flashhead and shoot direct. I'm talking about the kind of material you get in a white translucent grocery or drugstore bag. I use this method myself, when I don't want to put on the larger Lumiquest unit. And it's easy to put on and take off. Zero cost is a big plus, too.
     
  11. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Trying to diffuse a 1" x 2" light source without making it bigger is effectively going to do nothing. The only reason pocket bounces make light better is because it makes it a bit larger an further from the camera axis. The only reason omni-bounces and 80/20s make light better is they use the whole room as soft fill. Light gets softer as it getter apparently bigger. Diffusion is only part of the picture, and doesn't really come into play until you're dealing with a bigger source of light. Soft light has to have large apparent size and diffusion; remove either part and it won't be soft. Anyways, as far a on-camera flash head diffusers go, the only things that make a difference are making it appear bigger and moving it further from the axis.
     
  12. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    While I agree with you fundamentally here, saying it will do nothing is not accurate. Granted, it's the least effective thing you can do, but it's still better than nothing. I've tested this, compared the prints, and the flash is a little less harsh with a piece of diffusion plastic over the head. But sure, the other methods will be much better.
     

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