Gary Fong Lightsphere or similar

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Does any use one or has used one?
Are they any good?

I'm increasingly having to use my flash to photograph my 10 week old little girl, and even with the stofen (replica) diffuser on, the light still seems a little harsh.
Would I get better results indoors with a lightsphere or something similar?

I'm ideally looking for a bit more light so I don't have to use a higher ISO or larger aperture, as I don't always want ultra blurry backgrounds, but the flash sometimes lights it too much.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Yeah I guess I could do that, but with babies you need to just pick the camera up and shoot. Was hoping if I just left the lightsphere attached to my flash, it would give me more versatility.
I'm not generally blessed with time when I want to take some pics of her. :)
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Search for "Lambency flash diffuser" on eBay. Works well on my Sony F58 flash.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Excellent, thanks. For that price I will just order it and see how I get on. :)

Have you also used a stofen type diffuser? How do they compare?
 

twist

Distinguished Member
Yeah I guess I could do that, but with babies you need to just pick the camera up and shoot. Was hoping if I just left the lightsphere attached to my flash, it would give me more versatility.
I'm not generally blessed with time when I want to take some pics of her. :)

Im in the same position, adjusting the exposure doesnt take long, about the same time as pressing the shutter. Or adjust to - 1/3 of a stop or whatever and leave it there for next time. But up to you. ;)
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Excellent, thanks. For that price I will just order it and see how I get on. :)

Have you also used a stofen type diffuser? How do they compare?

The sto-fen being smaller didn't diffuse the light enough. It was good for outside to diffuse fill flash and I've seen press togs use them for that purpose.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Im in the same position, adjusting the exposure doesnt take long, about the same time as pressing the shutter. Or adjust to - 1/3 of a stop or whatever and leave it there for next time. But up to you.

Very true. I ordered that lambency diffuser anyway, so will see how I get on with that.
In the meantime, I guess I can play around with exposure.

I'm still getting to grips with it all, and while I understand it, it takes me a few seconds to think about how I need to adjust all the different settings in M mode.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
The sto-fen being smaller didn't diffuse the light enough. It was good for outside to diffuse fill flash and I've seen press togs use them for that purpose.

Cool. Looking forward to giving it a try.

I was thinking of getting the gary fong one as an xmas pressie, but if this one works, then I can get something else instead. :thumbsup:
 

twist

Distinguished Member
Very true. I ordered that lambency diffuser anyway, so will see how I get on with that.
In the meantime, I guess I can play around with exposure.

I'm still getting to grips with it all, and while I understand it, it takes me a few seconds to think about how I need to adjust all the different settings in M mode.

I usually keep more or less the same setup for indoor shots in M mode so I can grab and shoot. F4, 1/160, TTL, - 1/3 stop.

Good thing to do when you have time is to figure a good setting for your specific camera/flash for indoors and just keep them. Then you can just adjust shutter speed only as and if you need to make exposure adjusts.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
I usually keep more or less the same setup for indoor shots in M mode so I can grab and shoot. F4, 1/160, TTL, - 1/3 stop.

Good thing to do when you have time is to figure a good setting for your specific camera/flash for indoors and just keep them. Then you can just adjust shutter speed only as and if you need to make exposure adjusts.

Yeah true. I should assign it to a preset or something too. :)
 

allymac123

Well-known Member
If its indoors you have the problem why not take the diffuser off turn the flashhead and bounce the flash off walls/ceiling?
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
I'm already bouncing with the diffuser on.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Excellent, thanks. For that price I will just order it and see how I get on. :)

Have you also used a stofen type diffuser? How do they compare?

I've used both and much prefer the Lightsphere, I tried a few times with the Stofen but I never seemed to get very good results. The Lightsphere seems simple to use and gets good results straight out, it does rob a lot of power, it's not very compact and looks a bit ridiculous but it's my favourite of the diffusers. If you bounce off a wall/ceiling the light is very directional so you end up with unsightly shadows on the subject (even using a reflective card) plus there may not be suitable ceilings/walls to bounce off.

I've found there's rarely any consensus on the different types of diffusers or flash methods but if you can pick up a Lightsphere cheap then it's worth a shot.

John
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I use a Lastolite Ezybox Speed-Lite. Brilliant piece of kit. I use it both on camera flash, and it is also great when the flash is off-camera. Now I've fixed my SB-600 as well, I'm thinking of getting a second one to go with the one on my SB-900.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the responses chaps, all very helpful. I'll try this lambency diffuser and see how I get on.
At the moment I'm finding even with the stofen on and the flash facing behind me, its still startling my little girl.
 

shotokan101

Banned
Thanks for all the responses chaps, all very helpful. I'll try this lambency diffuser and see how I get on.
At the moment I'm finding even with the stofen on and the flash facing behind me, its still startling my little girl.

It's still gonna be a flash of light of course so I guess she'll still be startled till she gets used to it :)

Jim
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Yeah true.
 

shotokan101

Banned
Anyone know if the Sony 56 version of this will fit a 42 ? - don't seem to have any listed on eVilbay for my HVL42...

JIm
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Here's the dimensions of the hole for the Lambency Flash Diffuser (models P1, P2, P3 and P4) listed on the back of the box.

P1 Width 62-65mm, Height 39-42mm - Nikon SB800/SB600

P2 Width 64-68mm, Height 35-38mm - Canon 420EX/430EX, Sony F36AM

P3 Width 68-72mm, Height 46-49mm - Nikon SB26/27/28, Sony F56AM, Sigma EF500

P4 Width 73-77mm, Height 46-49mm - Canon 550EX/580EX/580EXII

Mine is P4 for the Sony F58AM.
 

shotokan101

Banned
Here's the dimensions of the hole for the Lambency Flash Diffuser (models P1, P2, P3 and P4) listed on the back of the box.

P1 Width 62-65mm, Height 39-42mm - Nikon SB800/SB600

P2 Width 64-68mm, Height 35-38mm - Canon 420EX/430EX, Sony F36AM

P3 Width 68-72mm, Height 46-49mm - Nikon SB26/27/28, Sony F56AM, Sigma EF500

P4 Width 73-77mm, Height 46-49mm - Canon 550EX/580EX/580EXII

Mine is P4 for the Sony F58AM.

Cheers Eddie - I'll get my tape measure out

Jim
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
Why dont you just turn down the flash a bit? Or underexpose a bit?

+1

Note that these don't really soften the light (it's the size of the light source that defines the softness/hardness of light).. but merely scatter.
You will get very little difference between these compared to just dialing down the flash power (flash compensation) a little (and if you have it, using the 'wide' setting on the flash). In most cases, these 'flash addons' may look better only because it's fooled the flash into underexposing.
The idea behind scattering the light, is mainly for indoors where you bounce the light off everything and anything to make the light source bigger.

I have seen 'pros' using the Gary Fong's etc outside... I can only think that they just can't be bothered to take it off, as scattering the light to bounce off 'everything and anything' isn't likely to do very much, unless you have clouds a few metres above your head :laugh:

If you are looking for a decent addon for your flash, the Ezybox softboxes are worth the money. There are also Ebay bargain copies that are supposed to be OK too. These obviously work by making the light source bigger, but you do loose light (a couple of stops)... so really need to be using a decent high power flash to get the most from them.
Off camera is also preferable so that you get a little contract across the image, so that the image isn't 'flat'.
 
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KyleS1

Distinguished Member
+1

Note that these don't really soften the light (it's the size of the light source that defines the softness/hardness of light).. but merely scatter.
You will get very little difference between these compared to just dialing down the flash power (flash compensation) a little (and if you have it, using the 'wide' setting on the flash). In most cases, these 'flash addons' may look better only because it's fooled the flash into underexposing.
The idea behind scattering the light, is mainly for indoors where you bounce the light off everything and anything to make the light source bigger.

I have seen 'pros' using the Gary Fong's etc outside... I can only think that they just can't be bothered to take it off, as scattering the light to bounce off 'everything and anything' isn't likely to do very much, unless you have clouds a few metres above your head :laugh:

If you are looking for a decent addon for your flash, the Ezybox softboxes are worth the money. There are also Ebay bargain copies that are supposed to be OK too. These obviously work by making the light source bigger, but you do loose light (a couple of stops)... so really need to be using a decent high power flash to get the most from them.
Off camera is also preferable so that you get a little contract across the image, so that the image isn't 'flat'.

Thanks.
I was just hoping to use something for quickness, and those softboxes look (and cost) a lot more than I think I need.

Having this to dial down the flash is what I was looking for as when I want a shot of my little girl, she rarely holds the pose for long, so need to get snapping as soon as possible, and figured one of these things would soften the flash a bit.
If I dialled down the flash, I probably would forget I have, and then when I want to use it for macro etc I won't get the light I want, whereas I can remember to remove the diffuser. :laugh:
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
KyleS1 said:
Thanks.
I was just hoping to use something for quickness, and those softboxes look (and cost) a lot more than I think I need.

Having this to dial down the flash is what I was looking for as when I want a shot of my little girl, she rarely holds the pose for long, so need to get snapping as soon as possible, and figured one of these things would soften the flash a bit.
If I dialled down the flash, I probably would forget I have, and then when I want to use it for macro etc I won't get the light I want, whereas I can remember to remove the diffuser. :laugh:

Out of interest what flash do you actually have? Although I use a soft box for the effect the normal sb900 on combination with Nikon cls is pretty good at controlling the out put.

Ps. The ezybox speed light was only about £50 last June.
 

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