Confused about flash diffusers.

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by snerkler, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. snerkler

    snerkler
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    I have a couple of flash diffusers, a bounce flash diffuser (see here) which I've been using for 'normal' flash use, and a lumiquest softbox diffuser (see here) which I use for Macro.

    Now in my infinite wisdom I assumed with the name bounce flash diffuser you used this flash when bouncing your flash off a wall or ceiling etc to soften the light further than bounce alone, and I'm sure I read some articles/reviews stating this too. However, I was doing some reading last night and some articles were saying that these diffusers act to scatter the light and so causing it to bounce off walls etc, and so you do not actually need to direct the flash head to bounce off the wall/ceiling.

    So my question is, which is the correct way to use it? My mind tells me that if you use it the 2nd way (ie not directing the flash head off the wall/ceiling) a hell of a lot of light is going to be directed straight at the subject still. If you're supposed to still bounce it off a wall/ceiling, the fact that the light is scattered by the diffuser, does this mean that more light will be sent to the subject directly than just bouncing alone?

    Sorry for the numpty questions :blush:
     
  2. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    "It's O.K." :D
     
  3. Faldrax

    Faldrax
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    The 'bounce' diffusers do act to scatter the light - they are sometimes recommended when you are using a flashgun in a larger softbox provided you have enough power.

    As to which way is best to use - why not just try it out - grab a suitable victim and take 2 shots, 1 direct, 1 bounced, and see which you prefer (which is 'better' depends, in part, on what you are trying to achieve).
     
  4. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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  5. twist

    twist
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  6. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Thanks, that's actually one of the articles I read last night. So it appears I can use it either way then. I do prefer bounced when I can. I'll get a test subject at some point and see if I prefer bounced with or without the plastic 'cap' diffuser.

    I assume the softbox is much better at diffusing light than the little plastic thing when you have to have the flash directed at the subject when there's nothing to bounce off, and therefore better for macro?
     
  7. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    I have one like your first one (plastic) linked that you just slide on the end of the flash, and I just aim it at the subject for perfectly nice results. I don't bother with it when I angle the flash for bounce.
    Just try them both to see which you prefer. ;)
     
  8. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Well I did a quick test tonight, having the plastic cap diffuser on and directing it at the subject didn't give a nice light at all, much better bounced. I couldn't notice much difference between having the diffuser on or off when bouncing tbh. The soft box wasn't too bad directed straight at the subject, still better bounced though.
     
  9. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    I found if I was taking close shots it is definitely better to bounce on or off with the diffuser, and I could aim straight at the subject with a bit more distance using it, Or I even reversing the flash back as far as would go worked in some instances.....
    I guess it's subjective. I'm no expert using flash , so keep on trying till you find what you like/suites.
     

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