Flash diffuser

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Naturallyred, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. Naturallyred

    Naturallyred TPF Noob!

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    I will be purchasing a flash diffuser for a canon 430ex speedlight asap. I was just wondering which one works the best? I am really going for a non flash look. I guess that's what these are for, right?! :) I've been looking at the one's on ebay and there are a few different designs...some are like a mini light box you put over your flash...some are small white and plastic...looks like it just slips over the flash and there is also one that you blow up(yeah, with air!) I've never seen that kind. but then again this is the first time I have searched for one of these.

    So any info would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

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    A site that you might want to have a look at is Lumiquest. They have a variety of diffusers etc., and show examples of what each one does.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    There are several options, as you will have seen.

    Different devices work better in different situations, there is no 'best' one.

    Some of the popular ones are the Gary Fong Lightsphere, the Omnibouce, the Lumiquest 80-20 & Promax system, and a softbox like the one made my Lumiquest.

    Most of these devices are made to be used in conjunction with bounce flash. Meaning that when use use the device, you still bounce most of the light off of the ceiling (or wall) and the device directs some of the light forward as fill. This is good when shooting indoors.

    The softbox enlarges the light source, which is good but maybe not as good as the combination of bounce and fill flash.

    Personally, I went with the Lumiquest Promax system with the 80-20. It lets 80% of the light pass up and to the ceiling and puts 20% forward. It also has a diffusion front to make it into a softbox and some inserts to further modify the light. It folds up into a small pouch.
     
  4. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Mike, what do you think about your promax system? I'm just not happy with my bounces, and was looking into it - seems like the best of both world - a little like those older flashes that had 2 heads for the same reason.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    It's not too bad, although I find that I prefer using my flash bracket and bare flash. I kind of goofed buying both, because I have a flash flip bracket and the Lumiquest isn't really at it's best when turned on it's side...it really should be used when the flash is vertical (above the camera)....otherwise, it casts side shadows if there are any walls behind the subject (which is what the bracket is trying to avoid).

    I could have gotten a camera rotate bracket and it would have been fine, but I like my Press-T bracket more than the rotate ones.

    The inserts and diffusion screen on the Promax is OK, I haven't really used it that much.

    Truth be told, most of the flash accessories don't do much more than a simple bounce card. Have you seen the YouTube video for 'A better Bounce Card'? If not, look it up.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Naturallyred before you go and spend loads of money feeding the coffers of Gary Fong et al. I suggest trying to build your own. It's easier than it sounds.

    I saw a video here a while ago where the flash was rotated 90degrees left, and 90 degrees vertical, Basically ceiling bounce side on and then an inverted trapezoid made of inject paper was rubber banded to the flash to work as a very oversized flashcard. This works wonders and I use it for many function shoots like parties, weddings etc where bouncing is available. Even by adding Velcro for easy mounting and removing it still cost me less than $3 in total.
     
  7. PatriK-b

    PatriK-b TPF Noob!

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    Agreed Garbz. I made one for 580ex out of the bottom of a washing powder bottle, an elastic and staples. So, the cost was exactly 0 and it makes a good job.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I guess it all depends on what you are shooting. I use the Fong system and like it. No offense or anything but I have to say if you plan on shooting a wedding or something similar don't show up with the bottom of a detergent bottle taped to your flash. I certanly think no matter what the quality of your images is they will wonder about you.
     
  9. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Just checked out that video on YouTube, I assume you mean this one [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNCmuExlHvM[/ame] - Excellent little tutorial. Though I think I'll see if I can borrow a promax and play around with it some.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly the reason I rounded the edges of the paper, ditched the rubber band, and velcroed it on. It looks much more professional now :lol: Very true though. If I were shooting $1000+ jobs I'm sure I would have no reservation in coughing up the $50 for a Fong diffuser.
     
  11. Naturallyred

    Naturallyred TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for all the replies! This helps a ton! I will check out the tutorial...I tried to make my own out of white cloth...just stitched it around my flash head and left room inside so there was like a small cloth box shape on top of my flash...although I didn't use it because I did think about what JIP said and I didn't want to get weird look's. lol so I just pointed my flash head to the ceiling for now and it worked pretty good. Most of the wedding's I've done don't have low ceilings though so it's kinda rough. What do you recommend when the ceiling is really high? I'll be doing more research and and check out lumiquest so I can learn more about the different types of diffusers.

    I don't plan on doing anymore big weddings. I juts figured out it's not my cup o tea.

    I will post some photo's up from the recent wedding's I did so be on the look out:)


    Thanks again everyone!
     
  12. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Just to echo what the others have said, I followed what was done in the
    "A Better Bounce Card" videos and made own bounce card out of flexible white foam sheets. Peter Greg is awesome in these videos, and very down-to-earth in his approach.

    To match the color of your flash and camera, staple a sheet of black foam to the back, and then use a black rubber band to secure it the end of your flash (with your flash pointed straight up). I used this at 2 weddings and have had pretty good results.
     

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