Flashes, diffusers, Fongs, omnibounce, BetterBounceCards.....aaccckkkkk!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Jon_Are, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Alright, I got my Nikon SB-600 flash today to sit atop my D80. Admittedly, I only played with it for a half hour or so, but I'm a bit surprised at how poorly-lit my bounce-flashed images have been. The shots were bounced of an 8-foot white ceiling. Not too worried about that, suspect I have to tinker with some settings.

    So I've been trying to learn some info about accessories that might, um, shed some light on the subject (literally). This is what I think I know (please correct any errors):

    1. The Gary Fong diffusers work well, but are over-priced and practical only in 'pro' situations (weddings, events, etc.)

    2. When using diffusers, you generally still bounce the flash; the diffuser re-directs some of the light that's going straight up toward the subject, acting as a sort of 'fill flash' to complement the light that's coming from the ceiling (or whatever it's bounced off of).

    3. The Sto-Fen Omnibounce is also over-priced for what you get (though cheaper than the Fong), but is more practical for day-to-day informal indoor shooting.

    4. The Better Bounce card, the cheapest approach, works on the same principle as the others (aim the flash upward, some of it will reflect off the white card toward the subject). It works pretty well, just looks a bit funky.

    So, here's where I sit: I'm going to make a BB card, probably pick up a Sto-Fen, and forget about the Fong. I will also spend some quality time with just the flash alone, trying to find some camera settings and flash angles that will give me some results.

    Please tell me which of my comments you agree and disagree with.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  2. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    i have stofen diffusers for my sb600's and they work good enough for me. i forget how much they were, but they definitely spread the bounced light around more.

    what settings are you using on the flash and camera? i'm surprised to hear you're getting poorly lit images. i have a 20 foot ceiling and i can easily light the entire room without a diffuser with lots of power to spare from my flash
     
  3. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Didn't really note my settings, I basically just played around for several minutes. I probably shouldn't have even mentioned that part until I've had more time to experiment.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The Fong and it's copies are nice in fairly close for a portrait situation. The Fong gives nice even lighting and can provide some excellent results. It's range however is limited. I have a couple of the Fongs and use them in certain situations.

    A diffuser is just what it's name implies, it diffuses light. It can be direct diffusion such as a softbox, etc. or indirect diffusion such as some sort of bounce device. The choice of what diffuser to use is dependent on the shooting situation.

    I own two of these things. The only decent use I have found for them is when I am shooting Macro with a pair of 580's on a macro bracket and only as diffusers, no bounce. I personally do not like the results of the Sto-Fen style diffusers for anything else.

    Cheap works. Funky works. Works - works. I have done the better bounce thing when I was in need and did not have any diffuser options with me. Personally my most used device is the LumiQuest Max 80/20 Pro kit. It is probably the most versitile of the bounce systems I have experienced. It's realitivly expensive, but quite versitile.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/568273-REG/LumiQuest_LQ_105_ProMax_80_20_System_.html

    A few 4X6 card and a few rubberbands in the bag are always good. I would suggest that you go to a good photography shop and take a look at the various types. After you get a little time under your belt using that new flash.
     
  5. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When you bounce you need to bump up the power on the flash via FEC flash exposure compensation.
     
  6. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Ryan, I didn't realize this. May be why I was underexposing.

    This is done on the camera, not the flash, correct?

    Absolutely, that is my plan. Just trying to gather some info here.

    Is this statement correct?:
    Jon
     
  7. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    you can use the camera, but with the sb600 you can dial in 3 stops worth of FEC on the flash itself which is more than i can on my camera i'm pretty sure
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    if you're bouncing, shoot the flash in manual, start at 1/4 power and adjust from there. Don't waste time or money with any sort of bouncing devices, if you really need something, then get an 8.5x11 inch piece of paper and rubber band it to your flash head for some fill. for bouncing on ceilings, manual IMO is best becuase you don't waste power by shooting in TTL and you gain consistency.


    BUT...

    You shoot with a D80, you shouldn't really have that thing on camera unless you have to. Since figuring out CLS on my D70, I've used my flash on camera probably on 3 occasions, otherwise, it's off axis everytime.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1441585#post1441585
     
  9. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I made some of the Betterbounce cards and they work great. As good as my Lightsphere I think. A lot easier to carry around too.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The Lightsphere and Omnibouncer give a bare bulb effect, which I sometimes use when the strobe is on a stand, but never with the flash on camera/bracket. For on-camera/bracket I like white hobby foam and a rubber band ala A Better Bounce Card.
     
  11. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    You can dial back the power on your flash( or dial it up) using the plus and minus buttons on the back.
     

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