Flash with lenses wider than 35mm

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by ic-racer, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'm looking for some type of diffuser to place over a flash so I can use 35mm camera lenses wider than 35mm. I'm looking to use lenses from 28mm to 16mm fisheye.

    The flashes in question are the Rollei E36 handle flash and an assortment of various shoe mounted flashes. Rollei never made (as far as I can tell) an add-on diffuser for the E36 handle flash. I did get one of those rectangular box-like diffusers in a box of stuff but it does not fit over any of my shoe mounted flashes.

    How about this thing? It looks like I can strap it onto the E36 flash and get a good wide field: http://www.lumiquest.com/products/ultrabounce.htm

    (link points to Lumiquest Ultrabounce)
     
  2. ghostcount

    ghostcount Member

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    I'm not sure if it will fit on an E36 but I used an empty Rodinal plastic bottle. Just carved up the neck of the bottle and velcro it on the flash - now my 580EX doubles as a bare bulb.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2011
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Roscoe or Lee diffusion material and tape or self-adhesive velcro. Retains color balance and you get to choose the degree of diffusion/light loss.

    Lee
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have found that diffusers are fair and better than nothing when there isn't anything to bounce off, say out doors or without a swivel head.

    Indoors with walls or ceiling to bounce off and a swivel head I find a diffuser a hindrance.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Look around your kitchen.

    I've made then out of plastic tupperware type containers.
    Or

    the old standby,
    a isopropyl alcohol bottle bottom.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I really like the Sunpak filter kit for my 555 flash. It comes with two diffusers, an 85 filter, and several colored filters (red, blue, green, etc.). One diffuser is for 20mm, and cuts two stops. The other cuts one stop, and I believe it is for 28mm. They also make a version of the kit with smaller filters for the 383 flash. If you get the filter holder for either of these kits, it would probably be very easy to jury rig that holder to a variety of flashes, rather than taping the filters on.
     
  7. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    A few suggestions; try Pacific Rim Cameras, in Oregon, USA.
    Keep checking with them, as inventory rotates through their doors constantly.
    Attach the holder to your existing flash with strapped Velcro.


    Example of a Vivitar diffuser kit:

    95790 VIVITAR LENS KIT FOR 283, COVERS 24, 28, 70 AND 135, IN PLASTIC CASE AND WORN BOX $20.00
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/95790.jpg


    Example of a flash, filter/diffuser holder from Vivitar:

    87665 VIVITAR LENS FILTER HOLDER FA-3 FOR 2500 FLASH, ADAPTS FILTER KITS FK-2 AND WFK-2, NEW IN WORN BOX $8.00
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/87665.jpg


    A Rollei Flash unit with Rollei diffusers:

    138165 ROLLEI BETA 5 FLASH, WITH WIDE, NORMAL AND TELEPHOTO HEADS, AND COLOR FILTER KIT, WORKING, LOOKS EX $95.00
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/138165.jpg
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    My (limited) experience is the reverse of this. A diffuser sends light in all directions. Outside, most of this gets lost and a reflector is better. A diffuser works inside as the scattered light can then bounce off of walls and ceilings and more of it will reach the subject.


    Steve.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I know the Honeywell handle flashes had a diffuser accessory (see picture; not my picture or my flash). However, the Rollei flash is more of a rectangle and the factory sales literature and owner's manual for the flash don't show any accessory diffuser. The Beta 5 flash is a later shoe mounted flash.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    This is one of the setups I'm using. The flash just barely covers this 75mm lens and I'd like to be able to use the 65mm lens (28mm equivalent). Spec sheet on the unit shows coverage of 60 degrees.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2011
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I don't disagree about using a reflector outside, nice big umbrella if possible, anything that can increase the size of the source is a plus.

    Inside where there are walls and ceilings to work with I like to give the light some direction and, for me, a diffuser gets in the way of that, it creates light that is too flat.

    What I mean by that is that the problems with the flash shadow in direct flash is that 1- it's too sharp, and 2- it's normally not falling in a believable direction.

    Tilt and swivel without the diffuser allows me to do things like bounce off the ceiling or a wall where there is already a light fixture.

    The other big problem I see in the majority of direct flash shots is simply "too much", the main subject is just lit too brightly for the context.
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If you can't tilt the head upwards, the Sto-Fen works pretty well.
    If you can the Rodinal bottle will work well. One thing I would do is put some reflecting material
    on the side away from the subject to get a little more light on the subject.
     
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  15. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Just had a look at my Vivitar 285 and the 28mm wide angle screen for it, the screen is an odd prism pattern, but the adjustable wide/normal, tele zoom part of the head is a normal fresnel lens. close to the tube for wide angle and further out for tele. Try a piece of a cheap fresnel lens.
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would just buy a sheet of drafting vellum to make a diffuser for this flash, and put them on with Scotch tape. Just cut out pieces to the right shape, which you can trace from the flash head itself. Stack them if one sheet is not enough. Then test to see how many stops you need to add when using the diffuser. If you wanted to get fancy, you could even make a solid frame to keep the diffuser rigid and in good condition. Some hardwood laminate (maple or ebony, maybe; try a luthiery supplier or local hardwood store), an X-Acto knife, and white glue would be a very easy way to make the frame "sandwich."
     
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I second the cheap plastic fresnel lens. It seems they are sold in sheets. One can cut one piece and fit it with some tape to the flash, and try. If it works well, one can either do some more elegant fixture by itself, or ask a repairer to do one (some plastic frame with some metal clips that keeps the diffuser in place).
     
  18. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Diffusors eat light. And loads of it. I would go with fresnels.

    In my experience it's always better to have a bit wider flash coverage than angle of view, at least with hammerhead flashes, the bottom of the frame tends to get less flash exposure otherwise, IME.

    A 28 mm FL on 35 mm or 65 mm FL on 6x9 lens is approx 75 degrees, 60 should cover it, shouldn't it? So that 60 degrees must be wrong.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    ??
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'm thinking that "Ultrabounce" for $14 is the way to go. I should be able to use the 180 degree 16mm with it and any focal length longer.
     
  21. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Uuh, my mistake...
     
  22. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I have actually used that Rollei E36 flash with the 16mm fisheye but the light falloff from the flash is kind of an ugly rectangle with the bottom top and sides each having a different abruptness in cutoff.
     
  23. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I happened to come across a Nikon SB-28 flash for $80, but did not buy it yet. It looks like that will go as wide as 20mm and will work fine in Auto mode on my non-TTL cameras. I'll goggle around a little more tonight on this flash and may stop by and pick it up tomorrow.
     
  24. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Turns out the SB-28 was gone from the photo shop and a SB-24 was now there at $90. I kind of had my mind set on the SB-28 as it can go wider, so I got one off ebay. The SB-28 has a pull-down diffuser that extends the range to 18mm coverage. The SB-28 has an external sensor, so it can be used on all my cameras.

    http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-28.pdf
     
  25. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Update on this thread: I did get the SB-28 with its 18mm wide angle capacity and it works great. I am still trying to get a good system for full -frame fisheye, however. New thread started on that.
     
  26. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I'm not much of an on-camera flash guy, but I have clients I hate to say "no" to and so do the occasional "event" shoot...

    This diffuser is the best I've ever used, and it's nineteen bucks. It's for upright flashes though.

    Just sticking diffusion on the flash won't help a lot - you need to get the source as large as is reasonable.