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Author Topic: Best Flash Diffuser?  (Read 27039 times)
BruceHouston
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« on: January 15, 2008, 03:57:16 PM »
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Hi,

Any opinions about the best portable flash diffuser for use with Canon 580EX II?

Sto-Fen Omnibounce
Demp Flash Diffuser + Flip-It!
Gary Fong LightSphere II
Lumiquest Products (various)
Other?

Any and all input appreciated, especially those who have worked with several products and can therefor offer comparative opinions.

Thanks,
Bruce
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KeithR
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2008, 04:15:55 PM »
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Quote
Hi,

Any opinions about the best portable flash diffuser for use with Canon 580EX II?

Sto-Fen Omnibounce
Demp Flash Diffuser + Flip-It!
Gary Fong LightSphere II
Lumiquest Products (various)
Other?

Any and all input appreciated, especially those who have worked with several products and can therefor offer comparative opinions.

Thanks,
Bruce
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Saw this today. It might be of interest.
[a href=\"http://www.abetterbouncecard.com/]http://www.abetterbouncecard.com/[/url]
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The destination is our goal but it’s the journey that educates us.
stever
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2008, 12:21:34 AM »
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you don't say what your application is, so my comments are pretty general

the Gary Fong works great indoors when there are white walls/ceilings, my only problem was forgetting to take off the top for more bounce with a large group (which probably would have done just as well without the G-F0.  it's a bit heavy and i'm concernced with stress on the hot shoe over time. it's also bulky and not something to stick in the bag

the lumi quest kit with 80/20, diffuser, and reflectors is more versatile and stores nicely in the bag - but is a bit fiddly to set up and you have to think more about how you're using it

all-in-all, judicious use of the of the wide angle diffuser with bounce works pretty good too
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GerardK
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2008, 01:59:41 AM »
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I use the Lumiquest Softbox II, I'm pretty happy with it, it's inexpensive and folds up flat, takes up hardly any space in the bag. Especially great for macro and nature outdoor fill-in where you don't want harsh shadows.


Gerard Kingma
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Farmer
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2008, 06:07:15 AM »
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I'm another fan of the Lumiquest products.  Stores easily, no weight to worry about, effective and versatile - and not expensive.
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k bennett
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2008, 06:46:18 AM »
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I have multiple small strobes, and every one of them has a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce. Two of the 580's for on-camera fill work, and 5 or 6 Sunpak 383 Super for small location lighting work. The Sto-Fen's are compact, easy to mount/unmount, and can be left on the flash all the time.

For on-camera fill, with the flash head pointed up at a 45-degree angle, the Sto-Fen provides terrific fill. It's high enough to avoid any red-eye, ever, and diffuse enough to cover a very wide lens in close on a group of people. Indoors, the bare-tube effect pops light off the ceiling and walls to effectively add more fill.

For off-camera lighting, I use them with clamps or on light stands, usually at a 45-degree up angle. With the Sto-Fen, the lights are wider (more coverage) and softer (fewer hard shadows). Shooting digital, I find I can light a fair-size lab or office with just these small lights. They are easy to hide, easy to clamp to a ceiling, etc. (I also carry snoots, homemade grids, etc., when I want a controlled area of light.)

The only time the Sto-Fens come off the flash is when I want to do bounce flash off the ceiling, but that's uncommon.
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skibum187
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2008, 10:47:14 AM »
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My boss uses the Gary Fong whale tale and I've played with the lumisphere. They're big, bulky and IMHO gimmicky.  

I personally use the Sto-Fen and love it. Between that, the diffuser and the bounce card, I rarely need anything else.
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Dr. Gary
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2008, 11:28:27 PM »
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Gary Fong has a nice unit built custom for various flashes. I picked one up based on a review here and am very pleased with the result.
drgary
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2008, 01:10:02 AM »
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Thanks all.

I ordered the Demb Flash Diffuser Pro (Flip-It! + Demb Diffuser) after much research, so we will see how it goes.

Bruce
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photogreenls
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 08:34:57 PM »
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Here are some thoughts on Gary Fong WhaleTail Studio diffuser: http://photo.greenlightstreet.com/www/inde...frmArticleID/4/
May be it'll help to see if you made the right choice
WhaleTail is a good large diffuser with extra flexibility in light control. But not collapsable. Also the price is way to high.
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stever
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 10:21:25 PM »
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how does it go with the Demb?  my experience is that finding  a suitable diffuser is a trial and error experience dependent on technique, circumstances and ?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2008, 03:46:11 AM »
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This is what you want:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNCmuExlHvM

For outdoors, simply use the exII tilted sightly up. It has a wonderful built in ability to diffuse flash. Don't beleave it, try it yourself. You don't need a diffuser for the EX II series outdoors, in my opinion.
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pobrien3
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2008, 04:15:18 AM »
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Quote
This is what you want:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNCmuExlHvM

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170896\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Agreed.  It's the best, most versatile diffuser for on-camera flash there is.  I do a lot of theatre and event performance photography and the results do not look flashed (I only use flash during rehearsals, which is where I get better shots anyway).  I got my material for the 'device' from disposable packaging.

I rarely do a shoot without this diffuser.  I get pitying looks from the gadgeteer-type photogs at some events, so many of them using that huge plastic fishbowl thing.  I tried a friend's fishbowl, and frankly thought it was expensive rubbish.
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photogreenls
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 02:41:30 PM »
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Quote from: BruceHouston
Hi,

Any opinions about the best portable flash diffuser for use with Canon 580EX II?

Sto-Fen Omnibounce
Demp Flash Diffuser + Flip-It!
Gary Fong LightSphere II
Lumiquest Products (various)
Other?

Any and all input appreciated, especially those who have worked with several products and can therefor offer comparative opinions.

Thanks,
Bruce

Well, this is a rather old thread I'm digging up here, but I figured there is no point in creating a new one since my post seems to be right on target.

I've been seeing people asking/looking for the best flash diffuser for years  It's only natural. I want one too  . But there is no such thing (in general).
"Best" applies only to a range of applications a diffuser is used for. However, it seems like many people (especially novices) by "best" mean "versatile".
I came up with a system to evaluate diffusers in that regard and ranked a number of diffusers.
Here is my best flash diffuser list.
It's not final. I'll add more LumiQuest products, Sto-Fen, probably DIY units...
Hope this is helpful.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 04:47:46 PM »
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Quote from: photogreenls
Well, this is a rather old thread I'm digging up here, but I figured there is no point in creating a new one since my post seems to be right on target.

I've been seeing people asking/looking for the best flash diffuser for years  It's only natural. I want one too  . But there is no such thing (in general).
"Best" applies only to a range of applications a diffuser is used for. However, it seems like many people (especially novices) by "best" mean "versatile".
I came up with a system to evaluate diffusers in that regard and ranked a number of diffusers.
Here is my best flash diffuser list.
It's not final. I'll add more LumiQuest products, Sto-Fen, probably DIY units...
Hope this is helpful.

I've never quite 'gotten' these little flash diffusers. They are of generally quite limited effectiveness on their own. The physics of it is really simple: the softness of flash/strobe lighting is directly proportional to the apparent size of the light source from the subject's position. Hence the difference between a 3"x1" naked Canon 580 EX II flash tube and a 6"x4" gadget like Fong's shooting from 12' away is almost negligible. Most of the apparent benefit is actually from bounced flash, and you can get 90% of that by simply angling the flash head and bouncing off a convenient wall or ceiling. If you really want to soften the light, then you're talking about an umbrella or large softbox, and the results are vastly superior to anything you'll get with one of these commercial or DIY dongles.
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photogreenls
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2009, 12:37:09 PM »
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Quote from: photogreenls
Well, this is a rather old thread I'm digging up here, but I figured there is no point in creating a new one since my post seems to be right on target.

I've been seeing people asking/looking for the best flash diffuser for years  It's only natural. I want one too  . But there is no such thing (in general).
"Best" applies only to a range of applications a diffuser is used for. However, it seems like many people (especially novices) by "best" mean "versatile".
I came up with a system to evaluate diffusers in that regard and ranked a number of diffusers.
Here is my best flash diffuser list.
It's not final. I'll add more LumiQuest products, Sto-Fen, probably DIY units...
Hope this is helpful.
UPDATE
Recently added to the best flash diffuser list:
LumiQuest ProMax System rating
LumiQuest ProMax System review
LumiQuest Softbox III review
DiffuseiT test
LumiQuest Softbox III test
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