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Thread started 20 Oct 2011 (Thursday) 01:35
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Which diffuser/modifier for events/parties (for 580EXII)?

 
jjphoto
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Oct 20, 2011 01:35 |  #1

Which diffuser/modifier for events/parties (for 580EXII)?

I don't normally do event photography so I'm not up on the best modifiers or diffusers for shooting people in party or event situations. I suppose it's similar to getting casual shots at weddings too.

Is the pull-out white reflecter effective on the 580EXII (flash pointed at ceiling, white reflected pulled out)? It seems like the easiest method, if it's effective.

Is it better to use the white slip on diffuser domes, which most people seem to use?

TIA
JJ


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digital ­ paradise
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Oct 20, 2011 08:28 |  #2

First off there is a plethora of on camera diffusers out there. Many claiming to be the latest and greatest. Not in these exact words but by the way they market their products they seem to had found a way to get around around the physics of light.

First read this.

http://russellspixelpi​x.blogspot.com …no-need-to-spend-big.html (external link)

Aside for umbrellas/soft boxes and if the conditions permit bouncing the flash is the best way to create flattering light. The flash pointed to a ceiling with the bounce card pulled out is a common and effective method. Don't limit yourself to just ceilings. Walls & corners alone or combined with ceilings is very effective. Put your back against a wall or corner, not the subjects.

You are not going to get a lot of support with dome diffusers around here. They are considered overpriced and as a stand alone do very little to diffuse light as the article states. They require something to bounce off. They throw light all over the place hoping to bounce off something often resulting in wasted light and battery power. Most seasoned photographers like to control the light emitted from the flash. Most people who have taken the time to learn about light don't use them. It is up to you if you want to use one.

These two are the most popular. The flip it is much like the flash pull out card, just bigger and you can control the angle if there is no ceiling. You can make the DIY for less than $5.

http://www.dembflashpr​oducts.com/ (external link)

http://super.nova.org/​DPR/DIY01/ (external link)

I got caught up in the trying to find the latest and greatest diffuser thing. I look a lighting course and gave all my diffusers away except the DIY which I rarely use. If I cannot bounce my flash goes on a bracket and I shoot direct. The ISO goes way up, shutter slows down and I open up the aperture as much as I can depending on the conditions and look I want. The goal is to bring in as much ambient light as possible and reduce flash output to try and maintain as much of a natural look as possible. Not the greatest method but I get acceptable results for my needs. My flash life has become much simpler and far more enjoyable.


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Oct 20, 2011 09:05 |  #3

ceiling if I can, otherwise I use a Rogue FlashBender - lets you control a bit more where light can and can't go


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Oct 20, 2011 09:33 |  #4

Yeah I forgot about that one. A flexible DIY/bounce card.


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jjphoto
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Oct 21, 2011 01:47 |  #5

digital paradise wrote in post #13278548 (external link)
First off there is a plethora of on camera diffusers out there. Many claiming to be the latest and greatest. Not in these exact words but by the way they market their products they seem to had found a way to get around around the physics of light.

First read this.

http://russellspixelpi​x.blogspot.com …no-need-to-spend-big.html (external link)

Aside for umbrellas/soft boxes and if the conditions permit bouncing the flash is the best way to create flattering light. The flash pointed to a ceiling with the bounce card pulled out is a common and effective method. Don't limit yourself to just ceilings. Walls & corners alone or combined with ceilings is very effective. Put your back against a wall or corner, not the subjects.

You are not going to get a lot of support with dome diffusers around here. They are considered overpriced and as a stand alone do very little to diffuse light as the article states. They require something to bounce off. They throw light all over the place hoping to bounce off something often resulting in wasted light and battery power. Most seasoned photographers like to control the light emitted from the flash. Most people who have taken the time to learn about light don't use them. It is up to you if you want to use one.

These two are the most popular. The flip it is much like the flash pull out card, just bigger and you can control the angle if there is no ceiling. You can make the DIY for less than $5.

http://www.dembflashpr​oducts.com/ (external link)

http://super.nova.org/​DPR/DIY01/ (external link)

I got caught up in the trying to find the latest and greatest diffuser thing. I look a lighting course and gave all my diffusers away except the DIY which I rarely use. If I cannot bounce my flash goes on a bracket and I shoot direct. The ISO goes way up, shutter slows down and I open up the aperture as much as I can depending on the conditions and look I want. The goal is to bring in as much ambient light as possible and reduce flash output to try and maintain as much of a natural look as possible. Not the greatest method but I get acceptable results for my needs. My flash life has become much simpler and far more enjoyable.

Thanks for your comprehensive reply. I always had my doubts about the plastic domes but without first hand experience it's always hard to know what's what.

JJ


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sdipirro
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Oct 21, 2011 12:17 |  #6

I've had pretty good success with the Lumiquest ProMax system on my 580EX. The 80/20 bounce works pretty well with low, white ceilings. I use the bounce cards when that's not the case, and I'll put the flash on a bracket to get some distance from the camera.


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Oct 21, 2011 12:28 |  #7

SMP_Homer wrote in post #13278723 (external link)
ceiling if I can, otherwise I use a Rogue FlashBender - lets you control a bit more where light can and can't go

I like the flashbender too. It has all the benefits of the other bounce systems, but infinitely adjustable with just a simple bend. I can control how much bounce I want from the card, or the ceiling. Plus it doubles as a flag, if you want to bounce off of a wall or something and limit the amount of foward spill from the flash (search for black foamie thing to see what I mean in detail).




  
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Oct 23, 2011 16:53 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #8

Thanks for the advice folks.

I ended up buying a Lumiquest LQ-107 (external link) because it is easy and compact to store when not in use and quite light too (in case I had to carry it in my bag all night). It makes a 6x4 (actually slightly bigger) softbox, which Velcro's to the flash, with a wedge for the focus assist light. I found it was an excellent solution and that it worked extremely well, soft light, minimal shadows or red-eye (I can't post any sample pics).

A card (or similar) reflector would have worked as well but I liked that the Lumiquest softbox was closer to the axis of the lens instead of raised further above it which would happen with a card or other reflector (because the flash has to be pointed up and the card is also above the flash, raising the light source further). Keeping the light further away might be OK for red-eye but the large(ish) Lumiquest softbox prevented this anyway, yet with very minor if any shadows.

The venue where I shot had very high and coloured ceilings (and walls) so bounce was not an option at all. A dome diffuser would have been quite useless too, as it would have wasted all but the small amount of light it diffused in front of the camera.

Thanks
JJ


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Oct 23, 2011 19:17 |  #9

is it too late to take it back? Softness is caused by increasing the apparent size of your light source and as appealing as the minisoftbox is, they dont do much to do that. You will get much softer light with a bounce solution. Trust me, I have the product and if you do some testing in comparison with a bounced flash you will see what I mean. As for raising the profile of your flash, thats a good thing as well, which you consider a minus.




  
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Oct 23, 2011 19:42 |  #10

gonzogolf wrote in post #13295078 (external link)
is it too late to take it back? Softness is caused by increasing the apparent size of your light source and as appealing as the minisoftbox is, they dont do much to do that...

It worked very well in this respect, virtually no shadows at all. I have no complaints. You are correct though and as soon as the light is further from the subject then the effectivness diminishes. However in an environment where you can't bounce, use OFC or other light's/modifiers then you have to do the best that you can and I think the little Lumiquest did very well. I have lots of brollies, large softboxes etc, but I couldn't use any of that. Horses for courses.

gonzogolf wrote in post #13295078 (external link)
...You will get much softer light with a bounce solution. Trust me, I have the product and if you do some testing in comparison with a bounced flash you will see what I mean...

I agree, but you can only bounce the light if you have something to bounce it from. The ceilings in this venue did not allow that at all so if I didn't have another solution (such as a softbox or other diffuser) then I would have been stuck. I bought the Lumiquest 'in case' I couldn't bounce, and lucky that I did.

gonzogolf wrote in post #13295078 (external link)
...As for raising the profile of your flash, thats a good thing as well, which you consider a minus.

It's not as nice when the light is side on, which would be the case with every vertical shot (with a hot shoe mounted flash) and I didn't want that.

I'm used to using Metz 60's (big head on a bracket in case you aren't familar with them) so I do understand the advantage of moving the light source away from the axis of the lens but this is only an advantage for red eye and it does increase shadows to a degree. I didn't really want that.

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Oct 23, 2011 20:00 |  #11

jjphoto wrote in post #13295173 (external link)
I agree, but you can only bounce the light if you have something to bounce it from. The ceilings in this venue did not allow that at all so if I didn't have another solution (such as a softbox or other diffuser) then I would have been stuck. I bought the Lumiquest 'in case' I couldn't bounce, and lucky that I did.

JJ

In the case of the demb flipit or the rogue flashbender you can angle them forward so that they become the bounce surface so you can use them in rooms with nothing to bounce off of. If you do have a available bounce surfaces then you angle it more upward to kick only part of the light forward. Its a very versatile setup.




  
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Oct 24, 2011 09:19 |  #12

gonzogolf wrote in post #13295244 (external link)
In the case of the demb flipit or the rogue flashbender you can angle them forward so that they become the bounce surface so you can use t hem in rooms with nothing to bounce off of. If you do have a available bounce surfaces then you angle it more upward to kick only part of the light forward. Its a very versatile setup.

Unless one buys and uses the 6.5" x 7" version of the Demb products, using the Demb in this manner (with no ceiling) is no better than using a 4x6" softbox on direct flash. In fact, three of the five Demb products would be smaller than the product which the OP purchased.


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Oct 24, 2011 09:47 |  #13

Yep it is all about size. Simple physics. I wish everything in life was this simple.


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Oct 24, 2011 13:47 |  #14

sdipirro wrote in post #13284932 (external link)
I've had pretty good success with the Lumiquest ProMax system on my 580EX. The 80/20 bounce works pretty well with low, white ceilings. I use the bounce cards when that's not the case, and I'll put the flash on a bracket to get some distance from the camera.

+1 on the Lumiquest Promax stystem. I use it all the time when covering events, very versital. I use the 80/20 when there is a low white ceiling, and when not, I throw on the white insert. However without a flip bracket, you will get some nasty shadows in vertical position.


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Oct 24, 2011 17:18 |  #15

Without a flip bracket you just need to avoid walls. If you are using on camera flash you should walls at all costs unless that is the look you are going for. It is funny when you proceed to take a group or single shot at an event how people just naturally head towards walls. Like we were finger printed followed by two nice portraits in another life :D.


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Which diffuser/modifier for events/parties (for 580EXII)?
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