A newbie discussion on diffusers/external flashes


Mar 14, 2013
265
1
0
Singapore
#1
So i was looking at how to solve the problem of a harshly lit picture from the pop-up flash without ploughing down a few hundred bucks for a standard canon speedlite, and i came across 2 solutions

1) A flash diffuser for the pop up flash
2) A cheap third party external flash


For the case of

1) there are some articles that claim diffusers for the pop up flash are worthless since they already dispel what is left of the weak flash available. anyone has comments on this? the sample pictures i have seen show vary, as some seem to show remarkable improvement while others...not so much. the diffusers i have looked at and may consider are the lumiquest softscreen and the fong puffer. however i am unable to find any local shops that stock them...any lobang would be appreciated :bsmilie:

2) while a standard canon ext flash may range from 200-500 from what i have seen, the most affordable one i have found is the vivitar 183, which is around 45 USD on B&H if im not wrong. reviews seem to put it in a good light(pun intended:bsmilie:) but again i am unable to find any local stores that stock this. anyone has an idea of where i can find it? Of course, recommendations of any similar flash in the same class/category would be much appreciated(the 183 has a 5 degree tilt for its price. really a steal.)

thanks in advance, and of course, please do not say "either you get a good quality flash or you get nothing" not everyone likes to experiment with a few hundred dollars. :nono:
 

eleveninth

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
6,218
2
38
#2
So i was looking at how to solve the problem of a harshly lit picture from the pop-up flash without ploughing down a few hundred bucks for a standard canon speedlite, and i came across 2 solutions

1) A flash diffuser for the pop up flash
2) A cheap third party external flash

For the case of

1) there are some articles that claim diffusers for the pop up flash are worthless since they already dispel what is left of the weak flash available. anyone has comments on this? the sample pictures i have seen show vary, as some seem to show remarkable improvement while others...not so much. the diffusers i have looked at and may consider are the lumiquest softscreen and the fong puffer. however i am unable to find any local shops that stock them...any lobang would be appreciated :bsmilie:

2) while a standard canon ext flash may range from 200-500 from what i have seen, the most affordable one i have found is the vivitar 183, which is around 45 USD on B&H if im not wrong. reviews seem to put it in a good light(pun intended:bsmilie:) but again i am unable to find any local stores that stock this. anyone has an idea of where i can find it? Of course, recommendations of any similar flash in the same class/category would be much appreciated(the 183 has a 5 degree tilt for its price. really a steal.)

thanks in advance, and of course, please do not say "either you get a good quality flash or you get nothing" not everyone likes to experiment with a few hundred dollars. :nono:
Locally look into yong nuo, nissin. Vivitar not really popular over here, maybe the 285hvs at one point. Pop up flash mmm i never use. Lol
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#3
don't waste time on soften the built in flash, it is so tiny, so close to the lens axis and not powerful at all, unless you are shooting close up objects, like insects,
best just get a hotshoe flash and bounce off ceiling.
 

Mar 14, 2013
265
1
0
Singapore
#5
USD $45 plus shipping, you will not save much,

just buy a China Made flash from local tomorrow and you can start shooting.
hi catchlights do you mean something like a yongnuo?(not sure if its china made but it sounds like it haha)
 

snowver

New Member
Oct 24, 2011
151
1
0
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#8
Used a pop up flash diffuser (S$10) before and it sucks. A lot of light bouncing back at the shooter and it did not really soften the flash enough. In the end bought a YN and I like it so far. But be advice, dun expect instant results without learning how it use it first. Hope it helps.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,650
66
48
lil red dot
#9
A common misconception is that diffusing a light is to place a translucent material infront of the flash. But the actual fact is that diffusing a light involves softening the shadow edges, and that is accomplished by increasing the SIZE of the light source in relation to the subject.

So when a light is bounced from the ceiling, or a big bounce card, or softbox, what you are really doing is enlarging the size of the light.
 

Last edited:
Mar 14, 2013
265
1
0
Singapore
#10
mmm if only someone could make a guide to flashes =p been reading up in the respository but a guide to flashes is not there...*hint hint* hahaha :bsmilie: btw, if shooting outdoors with nothing to bounce the light off, a diffuser is still needed correct?
 

SkyStrike

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2010
3,444
11
38
Somewhere
#11
mmm if only someone could make a guide to flashes =p been reading up in the respository but a guide to flashes is not there...*hint hint* hahaha :bsmilie: btw, if shooting outdoors with nothing to bounce the light off, a diffuser is still needed correct?
If there is nothing to bounce, use a softbox or maybe even use bare flash light (turn the flash head at your subject and fire straight).
 

Jan 26, 2002
521
1
0
Singapore
#12
If there is nothing to bounce, use a softbox or maybe even use bare flash light (turn the flash head at your subject and fire straight).
If nothing to bounce, goggle 'bounce cards', easily diy even pros diy, or read up on things like 'rogue'products, and many other brands..

Most flash also have built-in bounce cards..

Many options before firing straight, unless thats e effect wanted.
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
4,490
10
38
#13
mmm if only someone could make a guide to flashes =p been reading up in the respository but a guide to flashes is not there...*hint hint* hahaha :bsmilie: btw, if shooting outdoors with nothing to bounce the light off, a diffuser is still needed correct?
Bro you must be living in a jungle alone man. Guide on flashes are all over the internet. More than the trees in your jungle Ranger. Just google.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#14
mmm if only someone could make a guide to flashes =p been reading up in the respository but a guide to flashes is not there...*hint hint* hahaha :bsmilie: btw, if shooting outdoors with nothing to bounce the light off, a diffuser is still needed correct?
are you sure? very sure? very very sure?

I can find many books in our library, and this is only one of them.
btw. have you heard about the Hot Shoe Diaries by Joe McNally? can even find in our National Library too.


 

eleveninth

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
6,218
2
38
#15
I buy a lot of books from book depository, zack arias has a one light guide also. Syl arena has one for canon speedlites really alot out there
 

Mar 14, 2013
265
1
0
Singapore
#16
whoops i was referring to the repository section under the newbies corner =p shall go to the lib to check em out! thank you :cool:
 

eleveninth

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
6,218
2
38
#17
whoops i was referring to the repository section under the newbies corner =p shall go to the lib to check em out! thank you :cool:
can join the strobist group on flickr, if you view enough you'll learn how to set up etc.
 

huatman

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2010
2,537
3
38
East
phleephoto.com
#18
Saw in library there there even a book on canon flash.
Youtube also has quite nos of guide, tips etc.. if u the type will often fall asleep when reading a book, it be better to view some videos :p
Just that may need some time to find the right one.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
0
#19
Yongnuo is very cheap and good and fairly reliable .
you can build your own speed light soft box in my article and guides thread Beyond Basics. very neat small soft box and light can carry around even handheld
 

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