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Thread: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

  1. #61
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    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    if u already own and have both the LS versions then it makes sense to invest... all of them have various uses and its either a savings or wastage to have attachments instead of getting a whole diffuser altogether considering the size of one big funnel for every use. The stupid LS is really a big item to be stored properly in camera bags. I very much prefer the stofen snug fit to the flashlights and if stofen would have all these versions and fit nicely over my 580, I will immediately go and get myself all the different versions!

    The Clear LS is more for even lighting i.e producing light around the subjects...something like having additional burst of daylight in an enclosed area. Gary use the word soft which I think the cloud LS should be. I don't like to use the clear ones on single or small group humans portriats shots and only do that for still subjects or non human skin tones living things. I agree that no competitors product highlighted this usage in their range and market it specifically. Most diffuser brands simply says they are able to do X number of functions and we tend to forget most of it

    The cloud is indeed a soft diffuser which I use it on frontal shots to add on the softness to the subject on top of my soft filter (using film). Or simply act as the only soft source if I only want the subject to be slightly soft leaving the background in bokeh "softness".

    Stofen used to have a warming diffuser but for some reason SG dun have them anymore. I was looking for it until the LS comes with the amber attachment. I like the warming feel and I'm using it on daylight condition for whiter skin tones. I seldom used tungsten films as adviced in Gary's website. I prefer the warming shots rather than the balanced one with the amber attachment. So Amber is essentially just like a warming flash diffuser. If u have a caucasian, japanese model or a white skin, pale face subject, a warming filter or a diffuser is really a more natural touch. How I hope they have more diffusers variety in film days where we can keep at least some warming filters at home.

    I won't be surprise they will come out with the green attachment soon to balance the flourescent lights...something like what Stofen have.

    For the chrome version, I was going to compensate it with my smaller aperature...like that I don't have to always take the bigger glass out. What I may ultimately end up doing is try putting the chrome on the clear version, see can reduce the f-stop by more than 2 stops as the cloud version claims to be able to get at least 1 - 1.5 stops? But I suspect the silver harsh lighting will be unappealing to human subjects. Ultimately I may still need my soft filters.....Experiment! Experiment! Experiment! No one tells u coca cola can be used to remove grease also right?

    Gary is smart in a way that he accessorizes and build his product, a system. Its also a marketing strategy in such a way that if u ever throw your main diffuser away, u end up throwing the whole system losing a lot and that's what keeps people loyal to the setup. Something like what Canon, Nikon did, u throw away the body, all your accessories like your lens, flash setups all gone to waste. Stofen, wake up!

  2. #62

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Hi Maltese,

    Thanks for the explanation. Do you have any test or sample shots to show the different effects of the Clear and Cloud model? I can't find it on Gary's website. Thanks a lot, but I understand if it's inconvenient for you.

    Yes, the LS is so darn huge. It does attract a lot of attention! It also sucks a lot of battery power.

  3. #63

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by FilterFunk View Post
    may i know how much is the amber or the chrome accessories ? hmm.
    You can workaround from buying the amberdome.
    Just use an amber / orange color gel as the ones used in video / stage lighting and you are good to go.

  4. #64

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Hi Maltese, Do you have any samples showing the chrome dome with the LS colud? Currently, i am having the normal cloud. Was wondering how much will the chrome dome help. $75 is almost the cost of 3/4 pf the LS! I want to see if it is justified to spend on such a accessory for thr LS.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Hi Maltese,

    Thanks for the explanation.
    No prob, anytime

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Do you have any test or sample shots to show the different effects of the Clear and Cloud model? I can't find it on Gary's website. Thanks a lot, but I understand if it's inconvenient for you.
    Hmm...let me go back SG over the weekend to search thru my hard disk see got any past photo I've taken with the 2 LS...frankly I can't even tell which r the ones with what when they are shot in digital. And somemore I use the stofen & LS interchangeably so can be quite confusing. I use them mostly outdoors with the cloud LS and the stofen OB. But if dun have a diffuser I can definitely tell!

    The LS in gary's website is as below :

    Clear LS
    http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html

    The page on clear LS has more photos to illustrate. Here is one :


    Cloud LS
    http://store.garyfonginc.com/licl.html

    Actually, I would think that the above photo speaks for the cloud LS also as it's a little softer as that's what cloud LS is for. I'm sure this photo have been soften for the effect if not there could be some candle lights and fumes around in the area where this photo was shot.

    My experience with the Clear LS is still a little soft (even) but not as gentle (yes, that is the word!) as the cloud. In a scale of 0 - 10 where 0 is pin sharp and 10 is blur, I would say the clear LS is somewhere 2-4 while the cloud is 4-6. If u have a softar 1 or Nikon soft 1 filter, the cloud LS is somewhere around there but the effect is not as good as the filters of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Yes, the LS is so darn huge. It does attract a lot of attention! It also sucks a lot of battery power.
    ya lah, especially many kapo Singaporean like to stand, stay and look at u, sometimes my wife also paisei posing for me. It look especially ko ko if u use a lah-gi small SLR body with a puny lens, then its really O-piang. When I use my 20D with no b-pack and a prime lens, I almost always use the stofen. I dunno smaller flashlights have smaller LS size or not but even though my 580 is already smaller than my 550, the LS size is still the same leh. Stofen also have some issues, whenever I use my stofen, many kind soul will come dashing at me when I'm shooting halfway shouting that my flash has not "open" yet. Kind folks!

  6. #66
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    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by sweat100 View Post
    Hi Maltese, Do you have any samples showing the chrome dome with the LS colud? Currently, i am having the normal cloud. Was wondering how much will the chrome dome help. $75 is almost the cost of 3/4 pf the LS! I want to see if it is justified to spend on such a accessory for thr LS.
    u want photos that are shot using chrome + cloud LS or a photo of the chrome attachment with the cloud LS?

    ehh......actually after seeing the amber dome price at $28, I understand why the chrome is almost 3 times its price liao. If u see your normal dome which is white rite? U basically pour some orange julius over it, and stain it for sometime, there u go your 28 bucks Its exactly the same thing except its in amber....that is y I say Gary will be pouring some liquid spirulina, wheatgrass or chorophyll over its white dome to come out its flourescent light version at maybe 40 bucks since its beneficial for the health also?



    The chrome has a even metallic silver colour, what I don't like is that there is a part where there is no paint...and all the stock is like that. I'm thinking maybe the person spraying the paint is holding at that area. (See photo labelled A)



    As for the chrome whether work or not, I did a simple non-offical test (pls lah, not photo critique time lah...). I just grab my P & S olympus in macro mode about 35cm apart and shot this 2 photos :





    So based on my understanding on paints, I didn't pull back my plastic when I saw the price tag at $75 and CP don't even discount for me anymore.

    I reckon there is at least 1.5-2.5 stop more of light. (pai sei, no lightmeter to measure). Realised how it helps to illuminate all the areas around the hand? The shadow is eliminated and even the hand's ring can be seen and reflected somemore! So the higher your flash's guide # is, I think the more u benefit from the chrome dome. Its suppose to have the same effect as a fresnel lens like the flash extender that promises 2 stop more light also but this 1 brings the light out wider while the flash extender is further, covering a smaller area.

    1 thing I don't understand why Gary dun recommend on a clear LS, I think the long piece sticking out from the dome should shoot directly at the subjects while your dome is pointing upwards and that will have at least 2 stops more...maybe he scare photog too near subject then all the subjects turn whitish that is why he needs the cloud LS to mask some harsh lighting? Well, I'm hoping such light amplifying gadgets helps to save the batt life as well as my flash light lifespan.

  7. #67

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltese View Post






    Hi Maltese, it was my fault that i didnt make myself clear. Actually what i wanted is to see sample photos taken by the normal LS cloud with the white dome and the LS cloud with the chrome dome. From the 2 pictures, u taken above, the latter was with the chrome dome? You have 2 of these chrome domes?

  8. #68
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    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by sweat100 View Post
    Hi Maltese, it was my fault that i didnt make myself clear. Actually what i wanted is to see sample photos taken by the normal LS cloud with the white dome and the LS cloud with the chrome dome. From the 2 pictures, u taken above, the latter was with the chrome dome? You have 2 of these chrome domes?
    no, all photos are shot with flash from a normal P&S with built-in flash. For the 2 chrome dome photos, the first photo is without flash, the 2nd is with flash and I want to show with the chrome dome paint coat, u can actually see that the flash is "amplified", brightening up the surrounding with the back as well. With a normal frontal flash shot, u will see a harsh shadow and not with an evenly lit background.

    In other words, these photos are not shot with a chrome dome but "at" a chrome dome to show how much light it can amplifies from a small frontal light source...sorry if it confuses u

    As for the LS comparison photos, I've not been crazy enough to carry 2 funnels in my camera bag for any photo session to change halfway to get 2 shots of the same subject using 2 different LS. In fact I use lesser of the clear version after the cloud version is out. I still stick to the stofen style of shooting...i.e more frontal shots then ceiling shots. I would only consider bringing out the clear one (which is cloudy now anyway) when I know I have high ceiling and very warm lighting.

  9. #69

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by Maltese View Post
    As for the LS comparison photos, I've not been crazy enough to carry 2 funnels in my camera bag for any photo session to change halfway to get 2 shots of the same subject using 2 different LS. In fact I use lesser of the clear version after the cloud version is out. I still stick to the stofen style of shooting...i.e more frontal shots then ceiling shots. I would only consider bringing out the clear one (which is cloudy now anyway) when I know I have high ceiling and very warm lighting.

    Hee... I think we got some miscommunication. Actually i am using the cloud as well. Was thinking that you go try taking photos with the 2 different domes with LS cloud(not the different LS), ie the chrome dome and the normal dome supplied? I thought can see the effect of the LS cloud with chrome dome and LS cloud with normal dome. Have you seen any detactable differences?

  10. #70

    Default Re: LightSphere keeps working for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by aq12345 View Post
    hello, Just wondering...Is this product worth the $90++? I saw a advertisement on CP's Website. Thanks
    From time to time I get called to shoot portraits of CEOs, Board of Directors, Ministers and corporate shareholders and the Lightsphere has proven to be a useful tool to bring along instead of big bulky studio lighting. I have used the LS II and now the LS PJ clear and personally prefer the classic version. For portraiture, I mount the LS II on either 550EX or 580EX on a single light stand to obtain directional lighting on my subjects and flash is triggered wirelessly by the Canon ST-E2. Additional power to flash comes either a Quantum Turbo 2x2 or Canon CP-E3 and typically lasts the entire day.

    Gallery of such portraits can be viewed http://www.shimworld.com/gallery/portraits/corporate/ these images are post processed to my liking that are often contrasty and saturated though the actual images delivered to my clients are the "standard" ones. Image 6/31 shows my setup right next to the blue seat in between the female journalist and gentleman with his PDA.
    Last edited by janshim; 11th January 2007 at 11:45 PM.

  11. #71

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Hi Maltese, thanks.. hope to see your shots with the 2 different lightspheres when u are back in Sing. But only if u are free to do so. Cos it's so difficult. I did so many searches and requests but no one has done any posting on comparisons betn the 2. Maybe it's too troublesome. Not even on Gary's website! I still can't quite visualize how much softer the Cloud is compared to the Clear.

    For those who have used the Amber, is it nice and warm on skin tones?

    I'm still in a dilemma if it's worth the $ to get another sphere. Seems to me the Cloud is more sophisticated since it can take all 3 inverted domes -- white, amber and chrome. So Clear is mainly used if you need more flash power for say group shots?

    It would be interesting to compare the Clear with the Cloud+Chrome too. Hope those who have them can share pls? I thot they'd produce pretty much the same effect... but if one mainly wants more forward flashlight on the subject, i'd guess it's better to get the Clear. Kinda going on a roundabout way by buying the Cloud and then add a Chrome for more light. Extra $ too.

  12. #72

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Hi Maltese, thanks.. hope to see your shots with the 2 different lightspheres when u are back in Sing. But only if u are free to do so. Cos it's so difficult. I did so many searches and requests but no one has done any posting on comparisons betn the 2. Maybe it's too troublesome. Not even on Gary's website! I still can't quite visualize how much softer the Cloud is compared to the Clear.

    For those who have used the Amber, is it nice and warm on skin tones?

    I'm still in a dilemma if it's worth the $ to get another sphere. Seems to me the Cloud is more sophisticated since it can take all 3 inverted domes -- white, amber and chrome. So Clear is mainly used if you need more flash power for say group shots?

    It would be interesting to compare the Clear with the Cloud+Chrome too. Hope those who have them can share pls? I thot they'd produce pretty much the same effect... but if one mainly wants more forward flashlight on the subject, i'd guess it's better to get the Clear. Kinda going on a roundabout way by buying the Cloud and then add a Chrome for more light. Extra $ too.
    ya, me too also thinking is it worth the $$$ and attention if invest in LS2. But I do find that even with Stofen omnibounce, the shadow still harsh...

  13. #73

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by ST_sg View Post
    ya, me too also thinking is it worth the $$$ and attention if invest in LS2. But I do find that even with Stofen omnibounce, the shadow still harsh...
    The harshest shadows with the StoFen come from shooting vertically. There's just nothing you can do about this until you accept and incorporate the LS-II into your work. There were two of us who started using the LS in Brunei, the other is a wedding photographer and I debut the LS-II at corporate event shoots and weddings. Naturally people were curious about something this obvious and you tend to hear jokes abot it from Tupperware to toilet bowl float (if you have the earlier LS-II cloud with half dome fitted).

    It's really your choice, the LS works, simple as that. I prefer the result from the classic cloud model to the PJ version. Either way, it drains battery power considerably and I would not use the LS without a Quantum Turbo or Canon CP-E3 power pack.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by janshim View Post
    ... from Tupperware to toilet bowl float (if you have the earlier LS-II cloud with half dome fitted).
    tupperware is so much tighter...if its just as tight I'll be more happy to part with my cash

  15. #75

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    when i put on my LightSphere, people asked me what is tt for? protect from rain water??

    I did some shots comparison, can see this link
    too bad I don't have the cloud version....

  16. #76

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by TuTu_CaR View Post
    when i put on my LightSphere, people asked me what is tt for? protect from rain water??

    I did some shots comparison, can see this link
    too bad I don't have the cloud version....
    fwah... looks like the LS control shadow very well!

    argghh... got to spend money again...

    Thanks for sharing TuTu_CaR.

  17. #77

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    sure. no problem man.
    I learnt alot of stuffs from Clubsnap too, time for me to give back a tiny bit of contribution

  18. #78

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by TuTu_CaR View Post
    when i put on my LightSphere, people asked me what is tt for? protect from rain water??
    I tell people it's my "rice bowl" and many get the message right away! No pun intended.

  19. #79

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Do u guys use for weeding too?

  20. #80

    Default Re: LightSphere II Inverted Dome Diffusion System

    Quote Originally Posted by LePhotographe View Post
    Do u guys use for wedding too?
    The pressing need for soft and shadowless lighting at weddings is what made me and many others reached for the LightSphere in the first place. The LS-II gives you exactly that and operationally, once you have the LS fitted (in my case, Canon 550/580EX strobes) you only need to flip in one movement when you're switching from vertical ro horizontal frame, something that quickly becomes instintive once you get the hang of it.

    You must note however, there's no free lunch. With great soft lighting comes increased power consumption and you'll end up like me, carrying extra power packs such as Quantum Turbo 2x2 and Canon's CP-E2 to feed the power hungry strobes. Between the 550EX and 580EX, the 550EX is very thirsty and I'd be afraid to use them without making sure I have a lot of batteries.

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