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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 15 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 09:46
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Is the gary fong diffuser worth the dough?

 
Wilt
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Jan 18, 2014 11:25 |  #31

digital paradise wrote in post #16615737 (external link)
You must admit he did well and I was at one time looking for that magic bullet. Easy prey :) I had two and gave them away after taking lighting courses.

My local photo store is where I took lighting courses won't stock GF products even though they know they will make money. They do not agree what the advertising states they can do. They never pushed products or told people not to use any. They would answer questions, give you the facts and let you decide. There should be more non commission sales mom and pop businesses.

One of the big chain photo stores in Canada showed before and after images of the Puffer on their site. After basically eliminated all shadows, even the shadow on the wall behind the subject. After about 4 months they replaced that a less drastic change between the two images. Still more of a shadow reduction than what I believe it's size and what physics tells us can accomplish but at least it was not so blatant.

I have long voiced my own complaint about the 'false advertising' bias of example photos posted on GF website as my primary complaint about the products. The products are not 'useless', they are useful and beneficial under the right circumstances; but they do not accomplish as much good as the example photos would lead the unknowing to believe. You don't need to spend so much money, to achieve the same end result.


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Jan 18, 2014 11:26 |  #32

Personally, I'm generally against all tupperware, fongdong included. Even though it's tossing light around everywhere, the primary light is still this tiny bit of tupperware on the top of your flash. Better to bounce if you have that option. Outside you're just tossing light everywhere wastefully, wearing out the batteries. If you feel you need a diffuser outside an extra large rogue flashbender with diffusion panel works well.

As far as softer light indoors wit the fongdong, it's not really softer, just a bit less contrasty, as some of the bounce will lift the shadows, but it won't change the shape of the shadows; which is something bounce allows you to do. You still have a small, direct light via the bit of plastic on your flash, not entirely desirable in my opinion.


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Jan 18, 2014 12:01 |  #33

Wilt wrote in post #16615748 (external link)
I have long voiced my own complaint about the 'false advertising' bias of example photos posted on GF website as my primary complaint about the products. The products are not 'useless', they are useful and beneficial under the right circumstances; but they do not accomplish as much good as the example photos would lead the unknowing to believe. You don't need to spend so much money, to achieve the same end result.

Well between the courses, Tangents and POTN my flash knowledge really took off. The amazing thing is what seemed so confusing at one time is so simple it is ridiculous. Soft light is based on the size of the light source and distance to the subject. You always work with that first and then add components. That's it. There is no magic bullet.


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Jan 18, 2014 12:21 |  #34

Obsidian wrote in post #16611143 (external link)
this thread represents everything wrong with the internet

So you have probably been reading this post. No one has anything bad to say about Gary Fong's success. He lived the American dream. Good for him.

There are a lot of good and knowledgeable people where who deal with science and facts, not a person. The lightsphere, when the correct environment works as advertised. That means a small space with light coloured walls. Any skilled flash photographer can do just as well by rotating the flash head and bouncing. You waste less battery life and do not diminish flash power life by controlling light rather than spraying light all over the place. Most flash enthusiast and pros like to control the light from the flash.

It is technically not a diffuser but a light scattering device. As a stand alone (nothing to bounce off) it makes little difference at longer distances to the subject. That is just basic physics which no device can get around.

5 cents to produce, $50 to purchase and the advertising is sketchy. This is why the product does not get much support here. If it works for you by all means use it. Each to his own.


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Jan 18, 2014 21:08 |  #35

Ev0d3vil wrote in post #16607655 (external link)
The flash bender does a better job outdoors than the gary fong thingy?

I think the flash bender results look the very same as direct flash. I prefer the
different sizes of abetterbouncecard.




  
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Jan 18, 2014 21:12 |  #36

Wilt wrote in post #16615748 (external link)
I have long voiced my own complaint about the 'false advertising' bias of example photos posted on GF website as my primary complaint about the products. The products are not 'useless', they are useful and beneficial under the right circumstances; but they do not accomplish as much good as the example photos would lead the unknowing to believe. You don't need to spend so much money, to achieve the same end result.

And the pictures that are on the box when you get it are not even pictures he took with his product. If you want the youtube videos watch closely, the still pictures he brings up after he shoots are not exactly the ones he was shooting, WB is totally off and even the setting of the model is totally different.




  
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Jan 18, 2014 21:14 |  #37

SFzip wrote in post #16611010 (external link)
Oh Yes, I recall that conversation. Gary Fong went on claiming that his lampshade was superior to all other diffusers—knocking down the Joe Demb Flip-It, Presslite Vertex, etc. According to him, the Lightsphere was so fantastic that half a million units were sold on word-of-mouth alone without advertising. The fact is that Gary Fong produced misleading sleight-of-hand advertising with his lampshade that was invented in 1918.

http://patentimages.st​orage.googleapis.com/p​ages/US1270261-0.png (external link)

Yep, he didn't even take the pictures that are advertised on the product boxes.




  
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Jan 18, 2014 23:09 |  #38

A better bounce card has the same issue the lightsphere does. Price.

I get the same results with one of the printed bouncecards. Home made for pennies. Abetterbouncecard starts at $23 and goes up.

Honestly, there's nothing wrong with a lightsphere or abetterbouncecard. But they don't do any more than a printed bounce card ... or (I suspect- don't have one yet) the foam thingy.




  
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Jan 18, 2014 23:49 |  #39

Shooting wrote in post #16617037 (external link)
I think the flash bender results look the very same as direct flash. I prefer the
different sizes of abetterbouncecard.

How is the "betterbouncecard" any different from a flashbender in it's primary function? It's a big bouncecard. Still direct flash in as much as the light is coming from on axis. At least with a flashbender you can put a diffuser on it and use it as a small softbox. :cool:


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Jan 19, 2014 10:16 |  #40

JohnCollins wrote in post #16617283 (external link)
A better bounce card has the same issue the lightsphere does. Price.

I get the same results with one of the printed bouncecards. Home made for pennies. Abetterbouncecard starts at $23 and goes up..

At least the large Better Bounce Card, at $30, is half as expensive as a Fong collapsible LightSphere, but being larger casts softer direct light.

And the small Better Bounce Card, at $23, is one-third as expensive as the Fong; and while double the price of a Stofen it is twice as large, and can be used in a wider variety of circumstances more effectively than the Stofen.

Without seeing 'the printed bouncecard', I will not render any judgment about the relative appearance of the homemade solution.


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Jan 19, 2014 10:39 |  #41

Shooting wrote in post #16617045 (external link)
And the pictures that are on the box when you get it are not even pictures he took with his product. If you want the youtube videos watch closely, the still pictures he brings up after he shoots are not exactly the ones he was shooting, WB is totally off and even the setting of the model is totally different.

I have heard that when you see the before and after shots the ISO may be much higher and aperture will be more open. The after shot will look more balanced and natural than the before shot especially if there are subjects in the background. Not saying GF products adds are doing this. I don't know. Before and after shots regarding anything should raise a flag to start with and then you study it to determine if the product and it's design can actually do as advertised. Even then it can be tough to determine.


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Jan 19, 2014 10:53 |  #42

digital paradise wrote in post #16618314 (external link)
I have heard that when you see the before and after shots the ISO may be much higher and aperture will be more open. The after shot will look more balanced and natural than the before shot especially if there are subjects in the background. Not saying GF products adds are doing this. I don't know. Before and after shots regarding anything should raise a flag to start with and then you study it to determine if the product and it's design can actually do as advertised. Even then it can be tough to determine.

In the interests of full disclosure per POTN rules, none of these photos are mine, but are excerpted from Gary Fong web site. Photos are his, or are client users of his products.

Not sure how the Puffer manages to get rid of shadows at all, nor soften them at all, since the Puffer is so very small. (It can't...physics)

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Fongpuffera_zpsf4cee254.jpg

Not sure how the Lightspere manages to illuminate such a massive space and brighten it so much. (It can't...physics)

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/imagesCA1PAUZ9a_zps4ec8d798.jpg

Not sure how the Lightsphere manages to increase the brightness of a SOURCE of light (the candle). (It can't.)

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Fong.jpg

Yet the impression given is that the end result is so much better solely through the use of the product advertised.

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Jan 19, 2014 11:16 |  #43

Those puffer shots. I think the second ones looks more noisy to me although you would figure it is so easy to correct that someone would have thought of that before submitting the image. Perhaps it is just due to the exposure which is much less in the second shot.

The only way I could see that it might work - maybe to that extent - if there was cardboard, a wall or some type of reflector on the right side of the women. Of course the add will not tell you this may be a requirement to achieve this. Maybe GF sells mini black holes to curve the light.


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Jan 19, 2014 11:26 |  #44

Oh by the way that is the replacement image I was talking about. The original was a full body shot and the shadow was wider.


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Jan 19, 2014 12:17 |  #45

One more thing. I don't see anything particularly bad in the first non puffer image that could not be controlled by exposure. I see no worse of a shadow under her chin, etc and there are still hot spots. So what is this product actually trying to do? If you have to shoot with a pop up flash then don't put the subject against a wall. If you have to due to portrait shots you will probably have an umbrella/s or something like that.


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