Homemade diffuser

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dezmaas, May 9, 2004.

  1. dezmaas

    dezmaas TPF Noob!

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    I have been experimenting using a piece of white tissue as a homemade diffuser to soften the light of direct flash from a flashgun.

    I knew the operating range of the flash would be reduced, however, I tested the flash with no tissue on a subject 20 feet away - the OK light on the flash lit up to advise me that there was enough light for a good exposure. When I tried it with the tissue over the flash, I had to move to 3 feet for the OK light to illuminate!

    I didn't think it would affect it that much! I am using a Guide No 92 flash with TTL metering.

    Without tissue, using bounce flash off a white ceiling there is also no OK light, but photos I took last week were fine.

    Anyone have thoughts on this one? Would there be enough light using the tissue at a decent range or is the OK light correct?
     
  2. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    I learned about the this tissue technique from a photography website. It's more of a last choice/poor man's diffuser option when you find yourself without a real diffuser, any way to bounce light effectively, or basically setting up lighting the way you want it. Using a tissue does diffuse the light but it can reduce the output light. It depends on how thick your tissue paper is.

    The tissue method can be useful when taking close shots if you forgot to bring proper lighting equipment. The results may not give you award winning pictures but it's better than using the harsh light from the built in flash or having your pictures heavily underexposed. What's nice about using a tissue is that you can layer on more sheets if needed. That's useful if you camera or speedlight doesn't allow you to manually reduce the power output.

    I think others have already mentioned it but you can use other materials as a homemade diffuser. Cutting up a plastic milk carton will work but you can buy real diffusers for around $20. Although feel free to experiment because you may end up liking the plastic milk carton or tissue paper better.
     
  3. dezmaas

    dezmaas TPF Noob!

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    I did a shoot today. I made sure to do the shots with a tissue and also without. I'll make a comparison when I get the pix back.
     
  4. Galaxy_Stranger

    Galaxy_Stranger TPF Noob!

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    I once tried the same thing. I had, (have), a wiped-out umbrella. I cut off some of the canvas to wrap around my dedicated flash - just to see how much better the lighting would be. The results were staggering. I got almost NO light on the subject - given the exposure settings.

    Normally, 200watt heads or larger would be pushing through the canvas. Without it, they're big flashlights that turn your studio into a tanning room. I'm thinking your flash would be comparatively scaled to the tissue. If your flash is too small, it's just not gonna make it for you. Our teeny-weeny strobes have those diffuesers that come with them. It doesn't look like they can make much difference, but now you might see that there's a reason that they appear too transparent.
     

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