Light Sphere?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Tyler2026, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. Tyler2026

    Tyler2026 TPF Noob!

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    Has anyone ever used a light sphere? I recently purchased one but I haven't received it in the mail yet. I have read some articles about the light sphere and from what I have seen people seem to get decent results. I was just wanted some non biased opinions.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I don't have one, but I've seen them and used it a little bit.

    They work well in the right situations...that being if there are surfaces to bounce the light off of. It basically throws the light in all directions...in the hope that it will bounce off of something and come back to your subject.

    If there isn't anything for the light to bounce off of...then the only light the subject gets is directly from the LS itself...which isn't all bad...but a lot of the light is wasted and that makes the flash work harder, which increases the recycle times and eats the batteries faster.
     
  3. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I owned one. I used it one time and then sold it on ebay. What Mike said about it, is basically true.

    It produces very nice results but is not very effiecient in the way it distributes the light.

    However, there are other folks who own them and swear by them.

    Test it out when you get it and who knows, it may be perfect for what you want to use it for.
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What do you use now, Rick?
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I like mine.
     
  6. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You know, I think over the years I have tried just about every kind of bounce/diffusion system out there and I have never been 100% happy with any of them.:grumpy:

    I'm now using a home-made rig made out of stiff construction paper and rubber bands. How awful is that?:lmao:

    But, I have just recently ordered one of these, so we will see....

    http://www.dembflashproducts.com/flipit/

    If anyone out here has one of these, let me know how you like it.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To put some perspective to this. Softer lighting is created by having the light source grow in size relative to the size of the subject. In other words, either the light source has to get bigger, or the suject has to get smaller or you need to get the light source closer to the subject. It isn't any more complicated than that.

    So the size of the sphere would be the salient feature.

    Generally, I think the little gadgets people attach to portable flash units are a waste of money and time because they aren't large enough to make a meaningful difference in the size of light source. Consider the soft boxes and umbrellas used in photo studios to get an idea of how large these things need to be. I think bouncing the light from something reflective tends to work a lot better. That's how umbrellas do their thing. You could use a white card or a ceiling or whatever is available.

    On the other hand, this type of product may work OK for closeup photography because distance has resolved the relative size issue.
     
  8. Tyler2026

    Tyler2026 TPF Noob!

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    I received the light sphere that I ordered and I have used it a few times and I am amazed. I have gotten really nice results with this. Although one poster is sort of correct in saying that they are somewhat inefficient, I still think that the good out-weighs the bad.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the hardness of the light yes. But consider the "softbox" that comes with the SB-800. If you put that "softbox" on the flash and point that flash up at the ceiling the source of the light becomes even smaller less softer and less diffused, but because a large portion of the light is bouncing up and around it creates a more pleasing effect which is less harsh and direct despite the source itself being harsher.

    But you knew this I was just pointing out to the other people the benefits which can be gained from building little contraptions onto the flash. No it won't make it a softbox, but they are far from useless.
     
  10. northcoastcamera

    northcoastcamera TPF Noob!

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    Sto-Fen Omni Bounce is much cheaper and does same thing.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IMHO, they are a waste of money. I have the one that came woth my SB-800, and it works, but for better results cheaper:

    www.abetterbouncecard.com

    I plan on experimenting some more and seeing how much better it is with the SB-800 against it's diffuser and bounce card. So far when setting it manually, I acheive the same levels of light with 1 power output level lower using the home made bounce card. It uses light and power more effectively and saves batteries. That means I can do more pics with the same lighting results.
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    HA HA! We agree on something. :cheer: The abetterbouncecard cards work really well. I've used them at 2 weddings so far.
     

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