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Thread: Bounce card or diffuser

  1. #1

    Default Bounce card or diffuser

    Hi guys, I'm a newbie in using external flash, and is not sure whether to invest in a bounce card or a simple omnibounce cap. Saw the garyfong lightsphere but dont think it will suit me because of its bulkiness and waste of battery when used as fill lighting outdoor.

    So my question is which modifier is more "all purpose"? I do understand how each of them work differently but under which circumstances should I use each?

    Saw a few media photographers in an event at suntec convention hall lately and some are using omnibounce whereas some using bounce card and just shooting away throughout. Tat is what sets me asking my question today.

    Thanks for any enlightenment

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bounce card or diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by scrambyjess View Post
    Hi guys, I'm a newbie in using external flash, and is not sure whether to invest in a bounce card or a simple omnibounce cap. Saw the garyfong lightsphere but dont think it will suit me because of its bulkiness and waste of battery when used as fill lighting outdoor.

    So my question is which modifier is more "all purpose"? I do understand how each of them work differently but under which circumstances should I use each?

    Saw a few media photographers in an event at suntec convention hall lately and some are using omnibounce whereas some using bounce card and just shooting away throughout. Tat is what sets me asking my question today.

    Thanks for any enlightenment

    You need to understand how light works. Diffuser do not work by "covering" the light. Diffusers work by making the source of light larger.

    A Stofen Omnibouce works by making the flash work like a light bulb. Shooting light from all directions. If you are in an enclosed area with walls everywhere, the light will bounce all over, diffusing the light on the subject. However, outdoors or in a large hall where the ceiling is very high, and not many walls, there will be no way for the light to effectively bounce from. the stofen omnibounce will become the only source of light. So the size of the light source will be the cap itself, which is roughly the same size as the flash head. So your pictures will still come out harsh. But since you are spilling light everywhere, the flash has to work harder to pump more light out. So, you are just wasting flash power.

    A bounce card works by shooting most of the light upwards to the ceiling, with the card reflecting some light forward. If the ceiling is not too high, it will bounce the light back down, creating very diffused light. The light from the bounce card will fill in the shadows caused by downward light. Outdoors, or in a large high ceiling hall, you lose all the light that is going up... so the only light effectively hitting your subject is the light reflected off your bounce card. So if your bounce card is small (like the built in one), your light will be harsh as well. The larger your bounce card, the more diffused your light will be.

    So, you really need to assess what kind of conditions you will be using your flash in, to know which diffuser/light modifier works the best for you.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 23rd February 2012 at 07:42 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bounce card or diffuser

    Thanks for the explaination, I guess i will just get a bounce card and a diffuser and experiment it. Im sure both modifiers are a must have for all photographers, as each of them suits different situations.

    Any comment on the GF Lightsphere / lambency diffuser?

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bounce card or diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by scrambyjess View Post
    Thanks for the explaination, I guess i will just get a bounce card and a diffuser and experiment it. Im sure both modifiers are a must have for all photographers, as each of them suits different situations.

    Any comment on the GF Lightsphere / lambency diffuser?
    Lightsphere type of diffusers are very good indoors with lots of walls.

    Cap diffuser like stofen etc, IMHO is not very useful.

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