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Thread: bounce card vs diffuser

  1. #1

    Default bounce card vs diffuser

    is there a difference if u are using a bounce card and a diffuser??
    60D,Tamron17-50 f2.8, 430EXII

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by benleekc View Post
    is there a difference if u are using a bounce card and a diffuser??
    One is for bouncing light forward (normally used in conjunction with a surface to bounce off from, i.e. a wall or ceiling) This gives a better catchlight in the subject's eyes.

    The second is to reduce the harshness of the light by spreading it further.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  3. #3

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    What kind of effect can one expect with a diffuser and direct flash on a subject? Can such softening reduce the need for indirect bounce? Or is indirect bounce always required?

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by icelava View Post
    What kind of effect can one expect with a diffuser and direct flash on a subject? Can such softening reduce the need for indirect bounce? Or is indirect bounce always required?
    It all depend on your control of the flash. How near you are to the subject and how you wish to light the subject.
    Michael Lim
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    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    bounce card i find that it has harsher shadows... but it delivers more light forward, instead of diffuser that sends it everywhere..so more light loss on d diffuser then.... so depends on d location la...
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  6. #6

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    It all depend on your control of the flash. How near you are to the subject and how you wish to light the subject.
    Maybe around 20cm to 1m away from object or person. object tends to have metallic or plasticky surface which i observe can become glittery even when i bounce. But it sure beats direct flash.

    (i have not gotten an extra flash unit yet. Only been experimenting with EOS 450D built-in flash with manual bounce card placement)

  7. #7
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by icelava View Post
    Maybe around 20cm to 1m away from object or person. object tends to have metallic or plasticky surface which i observe can become glittery even when i bounce. But it sure beats direct flash.

    (i have not gotten an extra flash unit yet. Only been experimenting with EOS 450D built-in flash with manual bounce card placement)
    You will find that with an external flash, it's all different.

    Your on-board can only fire forward and whatever method you use to diffuse it or bounce it to other surfaces is not as effective as firing the flash directly at the bounce surface (thus a good idea to have an ext flash which swivels and rotates properly)

    Go loan one if you can and you'll understand better.

    Next, at 20cm (that's macro distance btw) you're going to have the flash very close and possible changed to a larger light source (due to the size of the flash at the distance to the subject). This gives it a less harsh lighting.

    But when you move the flash back to say about 2 metres or so, the relative size of the flash head is now so much smaller. And this will make it harsh and hard lighting.

    You'd need to practise more to get the idea better,
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  8. #8

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Watch this week series of D-TownTV http://www.dtowntv.com/ about Flash and you will get the answers you want.
    Happy viewing
    Nikon D4 | AF-S 50mm 1.4G | AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED (2.9x) | AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED | SB900

  9. #9

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    my opinion

    diffuser - good for indoor with low ceiling

    bounce card - good for outdoor, close up (depending on size of card, larger the better as light source surface is bigger, softer light)


    I personally uses a own DIY bounce card with adjustable card angle, find that the ability to adjust the angle of the card highly useful to adjust the balance of forward light and how soft the light is. part of the light can bounce off the room for fill light while the card control the amount of light to lit up the subject and depending on the surface bouncing the light, i can adjust how harsh or soft the light to be.
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  10. #10

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Go loan one if you can and you'll understand better.
    Loan? i'm already so fed up i wanna buy one! :-)

    But yes, i am asking to try a friend's Speedlite 430EX ii to get a feel of it. I know a 580EX is too advanced for my level, and 220/270EX are rather poor.

    Are there other comparable 3rd-party models against the Canon Speedlite 430EX? thanks

  11. #11
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by icelava View Post
    Loan? i'm already so fed up i wanna buy one! :-)

    But yes, i am asking to try a friend's Speedlite 430EX ii to get a feel of it. I know a 580EX is too advanced for my level, and 220/270EX are rather poor.

    Are there other comparable 3rd-party models against the Canon Speedlite 430EX? thanks
    Sorry but I'm on the other camp and can't advise you better on this.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  12. #12

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    if im using paper for my bounce card, will the thickness of the paper matter??
    60D,Tamron17-50 f2.8, 430EXII

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    Member luntut's Avatar
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    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    as long as its not translucent, and light can bounce off the surface instead of passing through it, its fine.

    paper is fine, just not the normal type of typing printing paper. it wun be able to stand by itself for long...
    Fast Camera. Fast Lens. Slow Me. Sigh.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by benleekc View Post
    if im using paper for my bounce card, will the thickness of the paper matter??
    forget paper and go down to ARTFRIEND or spotlight to buy 1 sheet of white foamastic sheet which is 1mm thich, water proof and flexible and easily cut using scissor. cost $1 at artfriend

    highly recommended material to use as a bounce card

    there is a thread about using this material as a bounce card, ABBC (a better bounce card), go find and read it
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  15. #15

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by nixontkl View Post
    sheet of white foamastic sheet which is 1mm thich, water proof and flexible and easily cut using scissor.
    OT; would this happen to be a good piece to serve as custom WB too? :-)

  16. #16

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by icelava View Post
    OT; would this happen to be a good piece to serve as custom WB too? :-)
    yes u can use it capture custom WB.
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  17. #17

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by nixontkl View Post
    forget paper and go down to ARTFRIEND or spotlight to buy 1 sheet of white foamastic sheet which is 1mm thich, water proof and flexible and easily cut using scissor. cost $1 at artfriend

    highly recommended material to use as a bounce card

    there is a thread about using this material as a bounce card, ABBC (a better bounce card), go find and read it
    Thanks a lot!!!
    60D,Tamron17-50 f2.8, 430EXII

  18. #18

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by nixontkl View Post
    my opinion

    diffuser - good for indoor with low ceiling

    bounce card - good for outdoor, close up (depending on size of card, larger the better as light source surface is bigger, softer light)


    I personally uses a own DIY bounce card with adjustable card angle, find that the ability to adjust the angle of the card highly useful to adjust the balance of forward light and how soft the light is. part of the light can bounce off the room for fill light while the card control the amount of light to lit up the subject and depending on the surface bouncing the light, i can adjust how harsh or soft the light to be.
    Hi

    actually i have also been dwelling on this question for quite some time but only have the time to ask now...
    i was also thinking would a bounce card be better outdoors compared to diffuser like stofen...

    i was thinking along the line....

    for bounce card, the majority of the light is directed at the direction of the flash (usually upwards and unobstructed) and a minimal part of the light is reflected via the card, and thus more suited for indoors with low ceiling for bounce (the card to only fill up the shadows from the effect of the bounce). On the contrary, the stofen's light intensity can be adjusted via the angle of the flashgun (the more direct the angle of the flash is to the subject, the greater the intensity), coupled by the fact that the "direct light" from the flash (with stofen) is diffused from the plastic blocking it, it would not have such a great effect from an unobstructed flash from a bounce card and thus less suited for indoors.

    i apologise if anyone reading this post is confused as i myself have a problem conveying what i am trying to say

  19. #19

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by TigerOyster View Post
    Hi

    actually i have also been dwelling on this question for quite some time but only have the time to ask now...
    i was also thinking would a bounce card be better outdoors compared to diffuser like stofen...

    i was thinking along the line....

    for bounce card, the majority of the light is directed at the direction of the flash (usually upwards and unobstructed) and a minimal part of the light is reflected via the card, and thus more suited for indoors with low ceiling for bounce (the card to only fill up the shadows from the effect of the bounce). On the contrary, the stofen's light intensity can be adjusted via the angle of the flashgun (the more direct the angle of the flash is to the subject, the greater the intensity), coupled by the fact that the "direct light" from the flash (with stofen) is diffused from the plastic blocking it, it would not have such a great effect from an unobstructed flash from a bounce card and thus less suited for indoors.

    i apologise if anyone reading this post is confused as i myself have a problem conveying what i am trying to say
    laws of physics, the larger the surface area of the light source, the softer the light will be on your subject, even thou the light source is stronger.

    by tilting your flash head with the omni bounce diffuser, if u look at the area of the white plastic facing u when its 90 deg up right, the surface area of the white plastic area that face u is small, as u tilt down to abt 45deg the white plastic surface area is much bigger. that the reason why the your picture get brighter. the cap also throw light in all direction which can bounce off walls and reach your subject to light the subject from multi direction

    but if u use a big bounce card say 5 inch x 5 inch and slap it 90deg to the flash head and have the flash point upwards, the surface area that will push the light forward is much bigger compare to the small omni bounce cap. by having a larger light emitting/throwing surface the light is softer. same amount of light but larger surface emission will have lesser harsh light that normally make a person's face white at the cheek and nose tip. and why bounce card is better at outdoor is cos there arent walls to bounce light off, so u dont have multi direction light from the surrounding, only way is direct light, but direct light is harsh, so by re bouncing the light from the flash onto a larger surface(bounce card) the light emission surface can be enlarge to give softer light, by bouncing more light from the flash off the card will give brighter picture but harsher light.

    end of the day, softer light can be achieve if u can create a larger light surface to throw light onto your subject.

    !!!to test and see for yourself, do not try at home as u are indoor and be it omni bounce diffuser or bounce card the effect will not be very different as your room is much too small!!!
    Last edited by nixontkl; 4th April 2009 at 01:02 AM.
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  20. #20

    Default Re: bounce card vs diffuser

    Quote Originally Posted by nixontkl View Post
    1 sheet of white foamastic sheet which is 1mm thich, water proof and flexible and easily cut using scissor.
    So i went down Artfriend today and bought a sheet. It appears to be pretty soft a material. I wonder if can just wrap it with a rubber band on the flash unit and be done with it, or glue it to a sturdier cardboard backing....

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