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Context

I've recently been using Gary Fong's Diffuser and I like the results that it gives me on my Metz 64.

I use my flash mostly indoors but also outdoors as well for people shots that can vary from 2/3 body shots to a tight portrait shot. I don't plan to shoot products or related but I might consider it in the future. Depending on the shot I will aim it at the person or bounce it off of nearby walls or ceilings.

Question

When the camera is hanging from my shoulder strap, the front dome OR the diffuser itself has fallen off from my Metz. The dome is a pain to put back on and I've had it fallen off a few times everyday I'm out for a shoot.

Is there any alternative or better diffusers that are recommended, since I want one that stays on but is also big? I was considering the Graslon Insight Dome Flash or a giant soft box on the flash. Or am I just not putting it on right and that's my real problem?

EDIT

Looking for more of a diffuser to bounce off as well as aim directly at the target versus a softbox here or here from the comments below. Doesn't mean I won't try them.

The diffuser I will get is mainly for portraits/group shots related. If I need one for products I'll get a different one.

closed as off-topic by NickM, MikeW, mattdm, Philip Kendall, James Snell Oct 3 '15 at 8:55

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For diffusing, I have actually gotten creative with just a piece of paper or a paper plate when i wasn't able to bring my home made one. If you need one side of the paper not to let light out, you can put a piece of black paper or tin foil if you are looking for a reflection. then an elastic band around the part that goes onto the flash should hold it all together. the nice thing about paper is that you can fold it up and make things fit as you need and paper is easy to add to a camera bag.

The home made one I created is from a translucent plastic with Velcro holding it all together and it was setup to fit on the flash of my camera. a school book folder with a clear side that was cut up to make the flash diffuser. There is many of DYI stuff online that might help you get around this problem.

Digital Photography School DYI Diffusers

  • I saw that video and have felt. I don't have a band but I don't know well that works outdoors? – unsignedzero Sep 25 '15 at 17:29
  • I am not sure where you are talking about a video but I know the link gives 11 ideas where you can take it and maybe work towards a more creative solution. – thebtm Sep 28 '15 at 15:58
  • I've gotten the Rouge Flashbender and Diffuser set to try this out. I also have black felt and paper as well so I'll play around and see what I get. Thanks. – unsignedzero Oct 1 '15 at 15:33
  • sometimes I find the most creative solutions are the best solutions. It seems to also reinforce the fact that photography is a creative hobby/profession and all challenges with it should be looked at in the same way. – thebtm Oct 2 '15 at 16:26
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    Well I have felt and hair ties that people have recommended to me. The other reason why I got the bender is that it can be a snoot but I see your point using common household goods (pie pans or related) to make it work. – unsignedzero Oct 3 '15 at 5:06
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I think probably your problem with the Lightsphere Collapsible is that since it's soft-sided, if you squish it against your body, it's probably pretty easy to pop out the more rigid dome.

The main issue here is what kind of diffuser are you going for? The LightSphere or Omnibounce type diffusers work more like bare-bulb--they soften the light by throwing it in every direction so it gets bounced back from multiple surfaces--not so much by increasing the size of the diffuser, like an off-camera light modifier such as an umbrella or softbox.

If you have to have the light on-camera for mobility, then the types of diffusers you can use are relatively limited both in type and size. I use a small 8" softbox with an inner baffle (i.e., two layers of diffusion material)--it was basically a cheap eBay ripoff of the Lastolite Ezybox Speed-Lite--and it can only soften so much from so close because it's tiny. I never had an issue with it falling off my flash, because it was strapped on with a lotta velcro. It isn't necessarily the most portable or convenient--it took a while to set up, just like a larger softbox.

  • The main thing I really want is that it's sturdy. Size and weight aren't a huge problem, my flash (Metz 64) is heavier than my a6000 so I don't mind that. I don't want something that's like a 6 foot umbrella but I also don't want a tiny 1 foot diffuser as well so I want a small, "portable" compromise between super large and really small. That's why I got the GF Light Sphere since it seems like a good balance there but turned out to have other issues while moving. – unsignedzero Sep 25 '15 at 17:25
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There's a thing called the bounce wall. Basically speaking it's a piece of wall paper/plastic that you can attach to your camera and that your flash bounces off from.

It's basically the answer to the situation when you think "damn it, if only there was something in this position that my flash could bounce off from..."

strobist blog post about the thing

I don't have one and have no affiliation with them, but you are asking for more directional light and also light that you can aim. This thing seems to serve exactly that purpose. It's also "on camera" so you don't need an assistant.

Before investing in a commercial one you should be able to DIY this thing with a bit of paper, stiff wire and some duct tape to see how it works for you.

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There's always this option. I've never personally tried it.

enter image description here

Seriously, if you're happy with the results you get with the Gary Fong, why not just use some gaffers tape to attach it more securely?

  • I'm sure if I carry it with an a6000, it will be even funnier. I was considering taping it but does that affect the light performance and spread? – unsignedzero Sep 25 '15 at 17:27
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I don't plan to shoot products or related but I might consider it in the future.

Ok that worries me. :o) That means you really want to evolve.

Thoose difusers you posted are just for realy casual shooting. It is almost the same not using them at all.

If you want to control the light you need to really difuse the light.

I posted you my options for travel difusers: Diffuser for travelling? and my specifications:

Portable, Easy assembly, Must be attached to the speedlight (does not matter if the speedlight is on the camera or not), Can be held by the photographer with one hand. (off-camera light), Decent size, so it provides a decent diffusion, Wall/Ceiling independent.

I use my flash mostly indoors but also outdoors as well for people shots that can vary from 2/3 body shots to a tight portrait shot.

So this means that you want actually control the light on your photos.

The Fstoppers options look really cool and can be a good start (inclusive for advanced use) There are other similar options

Juse read carefully the user reviews before buying something. For example, the copy of the original Fstoppers product seem to deform quicly. That is probably the main diference vs the original.

But please, look for real diffusion.

  • Updated your URL there. What's your take on the Graslon Insight Dome Flash or related? One other thing to note, I'm ok getting multiple diffusers, one for products and one for people. – unsignedzero Sep 25 '15 at 17:32

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