Gary Fong Diffuser - worth it?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by IgsEMT, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just as the title says, I'm looking to purchase one but wondering if it is really worth it? What do you like about it, what don't you like about it? If it was something of $20 I probably wouldn't question it and just get it but shelling out $50 isn't something I'm willing to do for the product that I don't know if would work for me.
    All responses are welcomed.
    Thanks All
     
  2. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    Nope.

    I have the Fong. It works ok, but for the money, you can do so much more. It also is way too bulky so it takes up too much room in my bag.

    Look at the lumiquest pocket bouncer or something like that. Or, consider making your own. http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    No. It makes your flash look like a torpedo, and only produces flat, boring light. And it's only useful indoors. Frankly, I haven't seen light from a Fong that hasn't made me yawn. And a Gary Fong can't solve the problem of shadows behind the subject; only getting the flash off-camera or bounce flash will do that for you.

    I suggest the Presslite Vertex. It's worked fabulously for me. Great little device, that is like a bounce card you can turn in every direction, mirror (for bouncing fullpower flash at say, a wall) and a flag, all in one.
     
  4. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    I saw i pro nature photog using one of these on bbc1 the other night. Personaly ive never gone wrong with a bog standard omnibounce diffuser
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    ...Nature? Why? I would think you'd need another fresnel lens on the darn thing. You know, those large honking things that go about a half a foot in front of the flash and focus it even more. And you see guys with scorch marks all over their gear because they forget to take them off. :lol:
     
  6. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    I have no idea why either. She was taking a photo of a frog at the time. She was using a ring flash later in the program so im assuming using the gary fong did not pay off.

    Perhaps she was attempting to cook the frog for dinner ?
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    If you are shooting something fairly close up, the 'Fong Dong' can make the light quite a bit softer than just bare flash. It still wastes a lot of light though.

    When shooting things from farther away, the size increase over the bare flash, is much less noticeable, and thus, doens't help much.

    As mentioned, this thing is really only good when used indoors where you have a lot of surfaces to bounce off of. The only reason I would consider using it, is because with all this bouncing, you can turn your camera vertical without getting the harsh side shadows that you do with bare flash.

    These things are 'abused' just as much as the Fong Dongs. I see people shooting outdoors with them all the time....where they don't do anything but steal light. They are good for splitting the light when you are bouncing off the ceiling, but pretty useless the rest of the time.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a Vertex, but I seem to rarely use it for some reason.

    OP - Go eat chinese. Order small soup for carryout. Cut a hole in the lid. Own fake Fong.
     
  9. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    THANK YOU ALL FOR RESPONSES...

    Yeah, I tried that - didn't get the results as good as expected...

    DID THAT - got a foam sheet from craft store and did something very similar to it. So far not very satisfied with the results...

    A little while ago, I asked for opinion for a bounce card and http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/ was the recommendation.

    The whole reason why I'm looking into something that can spread the light nice and soft is to eliminate time in post processing and eliminate use for umbrellas - my kid is 2yrs old, running around and occasional likes to stand near walls and pose (at which point I shoot) and end up with nasty shadows on the wall. I can clone them out in PS or set up umbrellas but again 2-year olds don't stay still. The foamy bounce card works better, for me, then the omnibounce but doesn't replace umbrellas or softboxes - thus here I am and the quest continues.

    The other day I was a second crew at the wedding, where 1st crew photog was using Gary Fong's and swore by how good it is.

    Can you tell me more about Vertex? Pros and cons?
    Thanks folks
     
  10. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    If you paid $50+ for a piece of plastic and were asked about it, would you say you made a bad purchase? Most people would not.

    I can tell ya. I made a bad purchase. Hell, I ordered the pro kit for $150. I'm honest enough to tell you that it does not suck. It works fairly well, but I think it's way overpriced. If you can pick up a used one or can get one for cheaper, go for it.
     
  11. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    CX, thank you!!!
    I looked at his site in his demo videos - was pretty impressed (if they are as honest as I'd hope they are). But it really the price that holds me back...
    thanks for your feedback
     
  12. sween

    sween TPF Noob!

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    I asked about a Fong diffuser here and elsewhere about a year ago - no real rave reviews at all. Most seem to think it's little more than gimmick, not any better than a homemade diffuser costing a couple bucks.
     

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