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  1. #1

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    On camera flash diffuser.

    Hi, some have advised me the original sto-fen is fine while others has told me go with a larger one. I have a Nikon SB-800.

    Like to get some confirmation.
    In December, I want to do some portraits of friends outdoors where I won't be able to bounce, ie - botanical gardens and along the civic centre and waterfronts. I want to do 1 or 3 people full height or half height in the afternoon including during times of 12-3PM. In the gardens I may get some shade but along the waterfront and civic centre I won't have that.

    I want soft light with minimal shadows.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    CGW
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    Sto-fens aren't the best idea for outdoors fill flash, e.g.,

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/p...mnibounce.html

    You might also snoop around here: http://strobist.blogspot.ca/

  3. #3
    Dan Quan's Avatar
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    i dont understand the question.

    the stofen is really designed to spread light, if its tipped upward it will bounce light off a ceiling, if available, without a ceiling it will taper the light, diffusing upward if it is tipped in that direction. if you want minimal shadows you need to minimize, or compensate for, or fill the shadows created by the primary light source, presumably the sun. that can be done by shortening your shutterspeed to compensate or limit ambient light whilst adding flash to fill the shadows, or while strictly adding ambient like with a reflector fill) or flash (upto your desired setting's) whilst keeping your shutterspeed and aperture constant, and usually from as large a position above you lens axis as possible in order to fill and eliminate shadows equally, to the desired ratio.

    does this make sense?
    DanQuan.com
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  4. #4
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    With most modern-day Canon and Nikon flashes, it is possible to put a truly gob-smacking diffuser on the flash head the dwarfs the camera (like those offered by Gary Fong) — oddball accessories that conveniently hide you, acts as a windfoil, attracts the anti-terrorism Police and draws stickybeaks like bees to a honeypot. To say nothing of unbalancing already challenging deadweights. The StoFen is quite reasonable, simple, unassuming and unobtrusive, and will not obstruct the TTL flash sensor while so many others do. But it works well too with indoor bounce with added exposure (to overcome light lost to bouncing).

    If you want soft light and have just one flash and a StoFen, prey for hazy to overcast weather. This will give you diffuse illumination across the scene with very light to no shadow. A fine day — especially between the high-noon summer hours of 12 to 3pm, will create huge swathes of shadows, massive variations in contrast and headaches with lighting and I'd generally look at packing two flashes and a reflector (held by somebody there to help you wrangle all this caboodle). Maybe start practicing with some willing subjects to refine technique before the day arrives.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Bounce can light an entire room, without bounce the only thing you can light easily is the subject.

    The problem becomes one of balance. You can't light the background easily.

    Cameras like the F100, N90s, F5, and F6 can use their matrix metering to balance the ambient and flash exposure.

    What camera are you using?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6

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    I use a Demb Flip It! Reflector http://www.dembflashproducts.com/flipit/ and it works really well indoors and outdoors. You can change the angle of the reflective screen from about 60 degrees forward to flipping it backwards out of the way. I know you stated you'll be using flash mostly outdoors but the Flip It! really shines indoors when you use it in combination with bouncing off of a ceiling. Check out the gallery for various examples people having used it.

  7. #7

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    Thanks will have a look at the Demb product. You guys used the Lastolite Ezybox or something?

    I have a Nikon F100.

    I would be outdoors by the waterfront walkway and in a botanical garden (still outside). Won't be able to bounce off a wall and won't have access to a reflector etc ... me the one man army. Not pro work, just want something better.

  8. #8
    Dan Quan's Avatar
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    with nothing to bounce from i would use the flash without any hindrance, just straight. you will gain NOTHING through filtration or pseudo bounce techniques, and only diminish your power.
    DanQuan.com
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  9. #9
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Quan View Post
    with nothing to bounce from i would use the flash without any hindrance, just straight. you will gain NOTHING through filtration or pseudo bounce techniques, and only diminish your power.
    Agree. Sto-fens and the Fong mini-toilet bowl diffusers aren't the answer. The OP's F100 and the SB25/26/28 speedlights should do the trick.

  10. #10
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    The F100 is a great tool for this.

    Fast modern lenses that can talk to the camera used as close to wide open as you can will help as will reasonably fast films. These two raise the quality of the overal exposure because it makes it easier to get background exposure/detail, which is being lit by ambient light and keep the shutter speed up in a reasonable range. The flash can light the main subject regardless as long as it is in the range indicated by the SB-800.

    Actually diffusers won't help here, with the SB-800 in Matrix TTL MODE the camera will read the lens and measure the distance to the focus point and focus the flash to match the lens focal length. As the shutter is pushed the camera reads the background and subject and balances the exposure.

    Diffusers get in the way here, they defeat the fancy math the camera does by screwing up what the flash unit can deliver to the subject.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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