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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 22 Oct 2014 (Wednesday) 12:16
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Speedlight into umbrella question

 
heathermc72
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Oct 22, 2014 12:16 |  #1

When I shoot my speedlight into an umbrella, I always pop up the wide angle diffusion panel built into my flash, thinking that this will more evenly fill the umbrella. Is this needed, or am I just wasting flash power? I'm guessing most people just zoom the head out to it's widest position and leave it at that. Another thing I over-obsess about is the distance I place my umbrella from the flash head. Again, I'm trying to fill it, but not spill light past the edges. With a monolight, I can easily adjust it with the modeling light, but I just kinda guess with speedlights. Any suggestions?




  
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windpig
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Oct 22, 2014 16:22 |  #2

The WA diffuser kills power, which may be needed in low ambient conditions, but generally I shoot at the 24mm setting. I'll flag my speed light some times to avoid side spill.


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Oct 22, 2014 16:30 |  #3

windpig wrote in post #17227824 (external link)
The WA diffuser kills power, which may be needed in low ambient conditions, but generally I shoot at the 24mm setting. I'll flag my speed light some times to avoid side spill.

it doesn't kill power, it disperses the light more. As you go on to suggest, if the light spills past the edge of the umbrella due to the wider dispersal of light there will be some loss of apparent power at the front of the umbrella.

inside a softbox the difference between having the WA diffuser up or down is nil, or at least an unmeasurable difference, in my experience.


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Oct 22, 2014 16:33 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #4

Why not shoot the front of the umbrella with the flash at different zooms and different distances from the umbrella to see the outcome. So you have an idea of how much area the flash is covering in the umbrella and not guessing what it is doing.


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Oct 22, 2014 16:41 |  #5

digirebelva wrote in post #17227846 (external link)
Why not shoot the front of the umbrella with the flash at different zooms and different distances from the umbrella to see the outcome. So you have an idea of how much area the flash is covering in the umbrella and not guessing what it is doing.

did you forget how much film costs these days?

oh wait.

:P


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Oct 22, 2014 16:42 |  #6

hes gone wrote in post #17227844 (external link)
=he's gone;17227844]it doesn't kill power, it disperses the light more.

My testing shows it kills power.


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Oct 22, 2014 16:47 |  #7

windpig wrote in post #17227870 (external link)
Have you ever tested and metered it? It kills power.

only inside a softbox, i found no measurable difference at working distance.*

* vast differences between the two modifiers duly noted. I still expect that the loss of power is due to spill.**

** halfway expecting to be proven wrong.


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Oct 22, 2014 16:50 |  #8

heathermc72 wrote in post #17227284 (external link)
When I shoot my speedlight into an umbrella, I always pop up the wide angle diffusion panel built into my flash, thinking that this will more evenly fill the umbrella. Is this needed, or am I just wasting flash power? I'm guessing most people just zoom the head out to it's widest position and leave it at that. Another thing I over-obsess about is the distance I place my umbrella from the flash head. Again, I'm trying to fill it, but not spill light past the edges. With a monolight, I can easily adjust it with the modeling light, but I just kinda guess with speedlights. Any suggestions?

Stop your aperture down as little and take a photo of your umbrella to see what spread you are getting.




  
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Oct 23, 2014 10:26 |  #9

I think everyone forgot to ask what kind of umbrella the OP is using, shoot through or reflective? Does it matter? Trying to learn too... :)




  
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Oct 23, 2014 10:46 |  #10

Jiggo0109 wrote in post #17229056 (external link)
I think everyone forgot to ask what kind of umbrella the OP is using, shoot through or reflective? Does it matter? Trying to learn too... :)

The advice applies to both equally




  
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Oct 23, 2014 15:25 |  #11

hes gone wrote in post #17227869 (external link)
=he's gone;17227869]did you forget how much film costs these days?

oh wait.

:P

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Oct 27, 2014 11:12 |  #12

If you put a zoom head flash to 24mm (FF coverage angle), you can fill an umbrella of diameter A when the flash it positioned at distance A from the umbrella...put 24mm coverage at 36" from umbrella to fill a 36" diameter umbrella.


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Oct 29, 2014 09:33 |  #13

windpig wrote in post #17227870 (external link)
My testing shows it kills power.

To be Pedantic and in my understaning:

Technically using the diffuser doesn't change the power at all because it doesn't interfere with any of the electronics so the output power must be the same. However since it spreads the the light over a wider area and also blocks a percentage of the light from being directly transmitted from the flash is may have the effect of appearing to lower power because the amount of light falling on any one spot will be lower with the diffuser in place than without.

The power is the amount of energy output from device and without the diffuser this energy will be concentrated into a smaller area and with the diffuser the same amount of energy/power is spread over a larger area. The power output or light energy can only be affected by the electronics of the flash.

So the overall effect may appear to be less power output.


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Gregg.Siam
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Oct 29, 2014 10:28 as a reply to  @ birderman's post |  #14

Technically using the diffuser doesn't change the power at all because it doesn't interfere with any of the electronics so the output power must be the same.......The power output or light energy can only be affected by the electronics of the flash.

Based on that logic, if I put a black sheet in front of the flash, it doesn't change the power, so the output hitting the subject will be the same. I think not.

The WA diffuser does indeed reduce the power, but it seems to be an amount that is not really significant.


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Oct 29, 2014 10:41 |  #15

Given that speedlights have focused lenses that project light its likely that the wide sngle panel would affect the meter readings at a distance but will have almost no loss up close.




  
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Speedlight into umbrella question
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