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Thread: should a bounce card be "matt" or glossy?

  1. #1
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    Default should a bounce card be "matt" or glossy?

    just wondering whether a reflective surface (e.g. laminated surface) is better or makes things worse...
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  2. #2
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    Look at it this way. The 2 extremes are:
    1. a totally matt surface which will give a very diffused light source
    2. A mirror which reflects as if it is a direct flash

    A glossy surface is kind of in between. It is like having a superposition of a diffused and a consolidated light source.

    From the subject's point of view, he will see a hot spot in the bounce card when the flash fires. May be good and may be bad.

    If your goal is to increase the efficiency of the bounce card while still keeping the light source diffused, my suggestion (that I have posted long time before) is to add a layer of aluminum foil on the reflective surface of the bouce card. First you crumple the aluminum foil and the you spread it flat again and use UHU glue to stick it on the bounce card. Then you have a mat surface with higher reflectivity than a normal white plastic card.

    - Roy
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. Would try that. My aim was to increase the efficiency of the bounce card, especially when there's no ceiling to bounce. Do you think a 15 by 15cm bounce card for the Nikon SB80DX is too big? My friend thought so
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  4. #4
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    I feel that the ideal bounce card size should be at least half the size of an A4 page (A4 would be even better). This balances the apparent size of the light souce as well as portability.

    So 15 cm by 15 cm is definitely not too big.

    To maximize the efficiency, the angle of coverage of the flash and the distance from the card from the flash should be set such that the flash covers the entire bouce card area but not too much wider than that. In other word, you want the bounce card to capture and reflect all the light from the flash but you also want to place it far enough to maximize the apparent area of the light source.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  5. #5
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    roy, thank you for the advice appreciate it
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  6. #6

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    can also use aluminum tape which can buy from hardware shop.
    works well for me when i bounce it at 75 degree.

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