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Thread: Flash Diffuser Question

  1. #1

    Default Flash Diffuser Question

    Hi all,

    have a question regarding flash diffuser for my SB600(and maybe in general). I know that using my SB600 to take people or things is kinda bad in the case where the light is too "concentrated"(sorry for the lack of a better word) and sometimes "kills" off the details in the picture.

    I noticed that many photographers have all sort of diffusers attached to their flash and was wondering if I should get one too to have spread the light from the flash evenly. I did try with the flash cap diffuser(i think its called that) and sometimes it helps but sometime it kills the strength of the flash.

    Should I consider getting another type of diffuser? Or should I practice more with the flash cap?(lent to me by a friend with no return date so I got lots of time with it).

    Thanks in advance for answering my noob questions

  2. #2

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth83 View Post
    Hi all,

    have a question regarding flash diffuser for my SB600(and maybe in general). I know that using my SB600 to take people or things is kinda bad in the case where the light is too "concentrated"(sorry for the lack of a better word) and sometimes "kills" off the details in the picture.
    as long as the diffuser itself is small, there isn't *much* it can do to improve the quality of light. Have a look at these two threads:
    http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00BUZD
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=276795

    Also look at the videos (first one is enough) here, he talks about pros and cons of various systems: http://abetterbouncecard.com/
    I have tried ABBC, which *is* good especially for its price of 0.05$, but can't do any magic per se.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    ok thanks will give it a read later

  4. #4
    Member/Tangshooter
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    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Just my personal opinion..i think Nikon flashes firing in iTTL usually will overpower creating some blown highlights..so normally wat i do is to compensate the flash by -1.3ev on the flash..then review image, and adjust from there..but -1.3ev seems a good setting for me so far..
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    once u diffuse the light, u soften it and basically cuts down the power of the flash. there is no system that diffuses and lets u keep the same amt of power.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Was scanning my system so had time to search around the net, chanced upon this : A Better Bounce Card for your camera - Peter Gregg. Looks interesting as its kinda cheap to make(think I can use the army black rubber band instead of that thing he used in the video and I think the spounge thing can be found at Bras Basah art and craft shops).

    Anyone tried them out?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth83 View Post
    Was scanning my system so had time to search around the net, chanced upon this : A Better Bounce Card for your camera - Peter Gregg. Looks interesting as its kinda cheap to make(think I can use the army black rubber band instead of that thing he used in the video and I think the spounge thing can be found at Bras Basah art and craft shops).

    Anyone tried them out?
    the link i gave you is the original site of PG. I told you already what I think of it: good enough, costs no money, however as anything else, can't do *magic*.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by estel View Post
    the link i gave you is the original site of PG. I told you already what I think of it: good enough, costs no money, however as anything else, can't do *magic*.
    paiseh... clicked on the link than saw its one long page do decided to read it during lunch break... guess I will give it a try since I am still learning how to use the flash and something cheap is also good.

    many thanks again

  9. #9

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    I use a Gary Fong light sphere diffuser and it works well for me. go to www.garyfongestore.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Does garyfong deliver in singapore?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Can buy from Cathay Photo - but expensive. About S$80 each. You need to get a size to fit your flash gun.

  12. #12
    Member Meerkat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by pkhunter View Post
    Does garyfong deliver in singapore?
    You can get it from Cathayphoto. About $90 ++

  13. #13

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by pkhunter View Post
    Does garyfong deliver in singapore?
    cathay photo sells them

  14. #14
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth83 View Post
    Hi all,

    have a question regarding flash diffuser for my SB600(and maybe in general). I know that using my SB600 to take people or things is kinda bad in the case where the light is too "concentrated"(sorry for the lack of a better word) and sometimes "kills" off the details in the picture.

    I noticed that many photographers have all sort of diffusers attached to their flash and was wondering if I should get one too to have spread the light from the flash evenly. I did try with the flash cap diffuser(i think its called that) and sometimes it helps but sometime it kills the strength of the flash.

    Should I consider getting another type of diffuser? Or should I practice more with the flash cap?(lent to me by a friend with no return date so I got lots of time with it).

    Thanks in advance for answering my noob questions
    Learn to control the flash.. there is a reason why they have a flash ev control on the flash itself.

    A diffuser cuts down the amount of light thrown at the subject at the expense of the flash power output. And with a SB-600, it's going to be pretty poor efficiency.

    I'd suggest you test out the different ways you can use the flash at different senarios. That way, you'll understand better and learn how to use your equipment better.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  15. #15

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Thanks Nick. Will this work with the regular inbuilt flash that comes with D300? Or is it recommended to have a separate Flash?

    Btw, SG$ 80 is too expensive! Garyfong's website has it at 20 US$! Why so steep in Singapore??
    Last edited by pkhunter; 14th October 2008 at 03:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by pkhunter View Post
    Thanks Nick. Will this work with the regular inbuilt flash that comes with D300? Or is it recommended to have a separate Flash?

    Btw, SG$ 80 is too expensive! Garyfong's website has it at 20 US$! Why so steep in Singapore??
    Doesn't work with the on-board flash.

    Needs an external flash and it seems to have different sizes for the different flash heads.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Learn to control the flash.. there is a reason why they have a flash ev control on the flash itself.

    A diffuser cuts down the amount of light thrown at the subject at the expense of the flash power output. And with a SB-600, it's going to be pretty poor efficiency.

    I'd suggest you test out the different ways you can use the flash at different senarios. That way, you'll understand better and learn how to use your equipment better.
    Well said. Agree totally. Must learn to control the flash unit (nowadays it comes with hundreds of options), and also how the camera body interacts with the flash unit. Some trial and error and practice is surely inevitable. Flash photography is a subject in itself, and the Net has loads of resources on it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    ok thanks, guess I will go look around the net for topics on flash photography first.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Zeckson Chow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    From my experiences with the Nikon system, i-TTL gives very good results even when using direct. Light is light, there is no technical proof of what is soft or harsh. Soft/harsh are just terms people use to describe the quality of light. Basically, the larger source the light comes from, the better the quality. Light from a small source is considered bad. The distance between the light source and the subject also contributes to the quality of light reflected.

    The reason why diffusers are made available is to create a bigger source of light that falls onto the subject. Take your SB-600 Flash Diffuser Cap as an example. The made of this cap is to spread light in a random wide direction, creating a wider source of light when it comes in contact with your subject. But the distance between your SB-600 and your subject also plays an important part because light will lose its power when travelling distance, that means it will become dimmer as it travels farther.

    If you attach an omnibounce onto your flash head of your SB-600, the purpose is to disperse light in ALL direction, making light hit walls and bounce back to the surroundings. This makes the source extremely large (even larger than your subject). And because light becomes dimmer when travelling farther, by the time light reaches your subject after being passed through 1) the ominbouce, 2) bounced on the wall and 3) land on your subject, the lighting is an evenly spread dim light which compliments skin tones (if you are shooting portrait) and makes it subtle.

    Nikon's i-TTL is vell versed in this area. If you are using matrix metering, it almost give you very correct results every time. Always set your flash to iTTL Balanced Fill Flash. This will allow the camera system to balance flash output and ambient light values to give a very satisfying result. But camera system only gives you correct light values. It does not take care whether the light is "hard" or "soft". Physical design of the SB-600 flash is considered as from a small light source. So when shooting, always point your flash head and bounce it somewhere so that it creates a larger light source before light falls on your subject.

    You will get most satisfying results if you bounce the ceiling with your flash diffuser cap on or with an omnibounce. If there are no ceilings or walls for you to bounce, then create that wall. There are reflectors available in the stores. Buy one and bounce the flash onto the reflector. Make the reflector as your big light source! If no money, then create yourself! Use A4 size paper and glued it on a hard cardboard and find ways to stick it onto your SB-600!

    If you are lazy, then god help you.
    Speaking of ART is USELESS if one cannot FEEL anything.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Flash Diffuser Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeckson Chow View Post
    From my experiences with the Nikon system, i-TTL gives very good results even when using direct. Light is light, there is no technical proof of what is soft or harsh. Soft/harsh are just terms people use to describe the quality of light. Basically, the larger source the light comes from, the better the quality. Light from a small source is considered bad. The distance between the light source and the subject also contributes to the quality of light reflected.

    The reason why diffusers are made available is to create a bigger source of light that falls onto the subject. Take your SB-600 Flash Diffuser Cap as an example. The made of this cap is to spread light in a random wide direction, creating a wider source of light when it comes in contact with your subject. But the distance between your SB-600 and your subject also plays an important part because light will lose its power when travelling distance, that means it will become dimmer as it travels farther.

    If you attach an omnibounce onto your flash head of your SB-600, the purpose is to disperse light in ALL direction, making light hit walls and bounce back to the surroundings. This makes the source extremely large (even larger than your subject). And because light becomes dimmer when travelling farther, by the time light reaches your subject after being passed through 1) the ominbouce, 2) bounced on the wall and 3) land on your subject, the lighting is an evenly spread dim light which compliments skin tones (if you are shooting portrait) and makes it subtle.

    Nikon's i-TTL is vell versed in this area. If you are using matrix metering, it almost give you very correct results every time. Always set your flash to iTTL Balanced Fill Flash. This will allow the camera system to balance flash output and ambient light values to give a very satisfying result. But camera system only gives you correct light values. It does not take care whether the light is "hard" or "soft". Physical design of the SB-600 flash is considered as from a small light source. So when shooting, always point your flash head and bounce it somewhere so that it creates a larger light source before light falls on your subject.

    You will get most satisfying results if you bounce the ceiling with your flash diffuser cap on or with an omnibounce. If there are no ceilings or walls for you to bounce, then create that wall. There are reflectors available in the stores. Buy one and bounce the flash onto the reflector. Make the reflector as your big light source! If no money, then create yourself! Use A4 size paper and glued it on a hard cardboard and find ways to stick it onto your SB-600!

    If you are lazy, then god help you.
    thanks for the advise will keep it in mind... looks like i got lots to learn still

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