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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 29 Jun 2009 (Monday) 15:04
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Diffuser for 580 EXII (handheld)

 
DannyLongIsland
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Jun 29, 2009 15:04 |  #1

I am shooting a kids fishing event in the beginning of August. Last year I shot the same event but at the time had no off camera flash options. While many pics came out well with just natural light, many could have used so fill to give them a bit more pop. The event is on a dock and will be during mid day. Last year it was overcast which helped, but I want to be prepared in case its not. These will be mostly impromptu type portrait shots, walking about and snapping away while the kids fish. I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a diffuser for something like this. The flash will most likely be hand held, using cybersyncs or an ETTL cord. This is not a paid gig so the parents are just happy to have the pics, but I am hoping to use this as practice for me. And most likely I will not have an assistant. Thanks.


Dan
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Chris
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Jun 29, 2009 15:07 |  #2

I don't think you need a diffuser in the middle of the day in the open sun.


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rebelrhyno
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Jun 29, 2009 15:11 |  #3

I have the ex430ll and I use a piece parchment paper taped to the flash.It works reasonably good at diffusing the flash.It's cheap and easy when your in a bind.
Just a thought.


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DannyLongIsland
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Jun 29, 2009 15:14 |  #4

Normally I wouldn't have thought I would, but I wasn't sure since the flash really wouldn't be any further away from the subject than arms length. If I can get away without one, thats even better. Thank you both.


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SkipD
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Jun 29, 2009 15:23 |  #5

If you're thinking of a "diffuser" such as the Stofen or Fong 'tupperware', I'd say forget it. Those things do little more than waste light (and energy from your batteries) when outdoors.

A large reflector type device - one that provides a significantly larger light source area than the naked flash - may soften the shadows from the flash a bit.

You'd also want a bracket that will keep the flash directly above (or below) the lens regardless of the camera's orientation. An on-camera flash with a large reflector will throw a lot of shadow on one side of folks' faces when the camera is rotated into the "portrait" position.


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Wilt
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Jun 29, 2009 15:50 |  #6

^ ...particularly outdoors when there is no ceiling to serve as a bounce surface, so that most of the light from a Stoffen or Fong is sent into the stratosphere!

If you do use a large card, make sure that card captures most of the light from the upward facing flash, so that it can deflect the light forward to the subjet, and serve as a larger apparent light source than the flash lens would.


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Gatorboy
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Jun 29, 2009 16:04 |  #7

I suggest sticking the flash on the hot shoe, no stofen, paper, napkin or anything on your flash; ETTL -1 to -2; camera in manual. You'll capture great shots, and not have to shoot with one hand, and hold a flash with the other.


Dave Hoffmann

  
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DannyLongIsland
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Jun 29, 2009 16:10 |  #8

Would I be better off just investing in a collapsable reflector and forget the flash all together? Or would that be too cumbersome to use by yourself?


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DannyLongIsland
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Jun 29, 2009 16:12 |  #9

Gatorboy, that sounds like a good idea. I'll play around with that today before the sun goes down, see how it works. Thanks again to everyones input.


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apersson850
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Jun 29, 2009 16:39 as a reply to  @ DannyLongIsland's post |  #10

Diffusing light requires that it comes from a larger area than the flash itself. Just putting a piece of milk-colored plastic on that flash doesn't make it larger. You have to bounce into something.

If you have time to experiment, try the extremely cheap disposable plate taped to flash method. Ugly, but works, so you can see the effect of it.


Anders

  
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Wilt
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Jun 29, 2009 16:45 |  #11

BronxFireGuy wrote in post #8196035 (external link)
Would I be better off just investing in a collapsable reflector and forget the flash all together? Or would that be too cumbersome to use by yourself?

If you have three arms, using a reflector to bounce sun might work OK, but then again a metalized reflector would cause your subjects to squint and twist up their faces into a gargoyle face once your third arm had positioned it right! Something out of the SciFi channel.


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Edbee
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Jun 29, 2009 16:50 |  #12

I use the "Walmart Diffuser" with silver reflector tape outdoors and like the results.
http://super.nova.org/​DPR/DIY01/ (external link)




  
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ScPhotoMom
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Jun 29, 2009 16:53 |  #13

^^OHHH, thanks for the DIY


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Familiaphoto
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Jun 29, 2009 16:54 |  #14

Gatorboy wrote in post #8196003 (external link)
I suggest sticking the flash on the hot shoe, no stofen, paper, napkin or anything on your flash; ETTL -1 to -2; camera in manual. You'll capture great shots, and not have to shoot with one hand, and hold a flash with the other.

I'm with Dave as he lists it above. Put the flash on camera and shoot straight on with a negative FEC of 1 to 2. Simple and to the point.


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Wilt
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Jun 29, 2009 16:57 |  #15

apersson850 wrote in post #8196174 (external link)
Diffusing light requires that it comes from a larger area than the flash itself. Just putting a piece of milk-colored plastic on that flash doesn't make it larger. You have to bounce into something..

Not quite true...a softbox is merely a 'large plastic milk bottle' that prevents light from coming out except for the forward face!


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Diffuser for 580 EXII (handheld)
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