Pictures taken using a Sto-Fen Omnibounce?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by whtge8, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. whtge8

    whtge8 TPF Noob!

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    Im considering getting one for my SB600 used on my D60. Just want to see what kind of shots I could get with it that I cant already get when bouncing the flash. Maybe some outdoor shots?
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you tried checking out Flickr? You can do a search on some words, so maybe typing "Omni Bounce" or what not may yield some hits.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Do you use a lot of bounce flash outdoors?

    I see people miss using these things all the time. They think that because there is opaque plastic over the flash, it makes the light softer.
    Technically, the way to make light 'softer', is to either increase the size of the source, or move it closer to the subject. Yes, this thing does make the source slightly bigger, but not by very much...and it eats some light. So using it directly, doesn't really help and it hurts you.
    What it does do well, is to split the light, so that when you are bouncing it off the ceiling (for example) some of it goes forward to act as a sort of fill light. This is quite helpful because if you are bouncing off of the ceiling, you might get raccoon eye shadow like you would when shooting under midday sun.

    To see what shots might look like with it...Take an elastic band and strap a white card behind your flash, sticking up above the flash head. Now try bouncing the flash off of the ceiling. Do you like what you get? If so, then go buy an Omnibounce (or just keep using the card ;) )
     
  4. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    By the way, Big Mike,when used directly(or otherwise) it also sends the light sideways, so if you're in a room, it bounces off the walls which helps fill the shadows as well.
    Outside that translates to waste, as you said.
     
  5. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Oh no, here we go again. :)

    Anyway, here's a test of a bare flash and a Sto-Fen. The camera is on a tripod with a remote release. The flash is pointed directly at the test subject.

    First, the bare flash:
    [​IMG]

    Now the same shot with the Sto-Fen attached, all other settings are the same:
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the light from the Sto-Fen is clearly more defused. Look at the shadow under the chin of the test subject.

    Is it ideal? Probably not. Does it work? Yes. Is it worth the $11? I think so.

    Now, when you actually use it the way it's intended to be used (bounced) I don't like the results as much as just using a bare flash (bounced). Example:

    Bare flash bounced:
    [​IMG]

    Same setup and settings, just with Sto-Fen:
    [​IMG]

    When used "properly" it doesn't improve the light IMHO, it makes the shadows more harsh.

    Here's a real-world shot taken with a Sto-Fen attached to my flash with the flash pointed directly at the subject:

    [​IMG]

    In essence, I find the Sto-Fen more useful when it's being "misused" than I do when using it properly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    As you can see, it really doesn't help fill shadows in doors (at least in my experience).
     
  7. whtge8

    whtge8 TPF Noob!

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    Was that bounced shot taken with the flash pointed straight up or at a 45 degree angle? Either way it looks like it works in some cases and not in some. I guess it doesnt hurt to try especially for that price.
     
  8. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    It was pointed at an angle, but not 45 degrees. It was angled to bounce the light down on the subject properly. The OEM bounce card was extended on the 580EXII as well.
     
  9. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    I don't understand your indoor shots. The shadow is clearly more harsh in the Stoffen example, and that goes against everything I know about this product. I mean, if this is what you get with it, what's their excuse for selling it?
    I remember not liking my results with it, but only because everything looked flat when I used it, because there were no shadows. Here it looks like what I get when bouncing the flash directly.
    Weird.
     
  10. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    I have a Sto-Fen. I have not used my flash without it. I have noticed that it i really not as difussed as I would probably like. Kinda harsh but it does work as it seems.
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure what you mean by not understanding. Do you mean you don't understand the results or you don't understand the test?

    As for it not doing a bang-up job at busting shadows, it wouldn't be the first product on the market that didn't do much. But then it's only $11. Actually, I've found that for $11 it doesn't do too bad of a job at defusing light when pointed directly at a subject in a pinch. For its size and simplicity, I keep it in my camera bag for such needs.

    Break it out and setup some similar tests and share the results. I mean, if you don't get similar results, then we'll have something to go on. I set this rather simple test up to show the differences between a bare flash, Sto-Fen and Fong.

    Here's the Fong in the exact same scenario:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The moral to the Fong story is to ditch the dome if you want it to actually work a little bit for you. The shadow without the dome looks about as good as a bare flash IMHO. Some might think it looks a little better, but I don't see much of a difference - certainly not a $49 difference.
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    In your alien head examples, the Stofen seems to have added multiple shadows around the head. I'm not loving that.

    It can be a good accessory, and yes, for the price, it's hard to go wrong...but my only problem is that I see a lot people using it in situations where I'm certain it isn't helping.

    In the shot of the leaf, yes it was probably helpful...but mostly because you were so close. If you were shooting a group of 4 people from 12 feet away (outdoors) it would not make a difference.
     

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