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Thread: Which diffuser/modifier for events/parties (for 580EXII)?

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    Which diffuser/modifier for events/parties (for 580EXII)?

    Which diffuser/modifier for events/parties (for 580EXII)?

    I don't normally do event photography so I'm not up on the best modifiers or diffusers for shooting people in party or event situations. I suppose it's similar to getting casual shots at weddings too.

    Is the pull-out white reflecter effective on the 580EXII (flash pointed at ceiling, white reflected pulled out)? It seems like the easiest method, if it's effective.

    Is it better to use the white slip on diffuser domes, which most people seem to use?

    TIA
    JJ

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    The white card or Stofen used in your described position will through a small portion of the light forward as on axis fill, and will also provide a small catchlight in the eyes.

    I normally use the Stofen diffuser and bounce if the walls are neutral coloured and not too far away/high. If you want to move to OCF you can bounce remote flashes from different ends of the room. A small amount of on camera fill is always good to fill in the eye socket that tend to remain in shadow if the light is coming from above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    The white card or Stofen used in your described position will through a small portion of the light forward as on axis fill, and will also provide a small catchlight in the eyes.

    I normally use the Stofen diffuser and bounce if the walls are neutral coloured and not too far away/high. If you want to move to OCF you can bounce remote flashes from different ends of the room. A small amount of on camera fill is always good to fill in the eye socket that tend to remain in shadow if the light is coming from above.
    Thanks. Sounds good. I definitely don't want any OCF, simply to keep things light weight, but it's an option.

    JJ
    Last edited by jjphoto; 20-10-2011 at 8:47pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    JJ, with your proven skills at managing light and exposure I reckon you won't have any problems with simply bouncing light of a wall or ceiling and having the slip out reflector there to provide a little fill as Matt said.
    It sounds like you want to keep it all compact and manageable for one person so on camera ( or a bracket ) will be the easiest all round. It simply becomes a matter of balancing whatever ambient light there is with your desired level of "freeze" in the subjects with the shutter and maintaining the aperture that gives you the depth you want in the shot matching the flash out put. On camera flash doesn't have to create ugly shadows and destroy contrast when used appropriately with a simple set up.
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    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/320751669...ht_3117wt_1396

    I have 2 of these for both of my flashes, comes in handy! I used it last week for an event, and have used it multiple other times for portraits and such.

    It folds to about a 1-1.5cm flat and the white bit is held to the body of the softbox by velcro. Easy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    JJ, with your proven skills at managing light and exposure I reckon you won't have any problems with simply bouncing light of a wall or ceiling and having the slip out reflector there to provide a little fill as Matt said.
    It sounds like you want to keep it all compact and manageable for one person so on camera ( or a bracket ) will be the easiest all round. It simply becomes a matter of balancing whatever ambient light there is with your desired level of "freeze" in the subjects with the shutter and maintaining the aperture that gives you the depth you want in the shot matching the flash out put. On camera flash doesn't have to create ugly shadows and destroy contrast when used appropriately with a simple set up.
    Thanks Andrew. I'm really the type to want to bring way too much gear, to cover all the possibilities, and I find it hard to keep it simple. Sounds like the KISS (keep it simple stupid) approach will work just fine.

    JJ

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    I've got one of those stofen diffusers aswell but I think I've used it once or twice...
    I think you get better results from bouncing off walls or ceiling and use the white card on the flash unit for fill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbob12 View Post
    I've got one of those stofen diffusers aswell but I think I've used it once or twice...
    ...
    That seems to be the consensus. Thanks.

    JJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    Is the pull-out white reflecter effective on the 580EXII (flash pointed at ceiling, white reflected pulled out)? It seems like the easiest method, if it's effective.
    The white pull-out thingo on the 580EX / EXII is not a reflector - its official name is the "catchlight panel", and the purpose is to create a catchlight in the subject's eyes.
    Due to the angle of it on the flash, it doesn't actually reflect much light, and is not effective at all as a reflector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpot View Post
    and the purpose is to create a catchlight in the subject's eyes.
    Now it is only a wild guess on my part but I reckon it creates that catchlight by reflecting light forwards or at roughly 90 degrees from the lights originally projected path.
    Seeing as it seems to do that rather well I would think that it works quite well indeed as a reflector because I refuse to believe that it only puts enough light out to provide catchlights, some must also act as a small amount of fill light.

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    Try it with and without using the card out... There's a big difference i think... So it must divert enough light to be used as a reflector of sorts...

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    Thanks for the advice folks.

    I ended up buying a Lumiquest LQ-107 because it is easy and compact to store when not in use and quite light too (in case I had to carry it in my bag all night). It makes a 6x4 (actually slightly bigger) softbox, which Velcro's to the flash, with a wedge for the focus assist light. I found it was an excellent solution and that it worked extremely well, soft light, minimal shadows and no red-eye (none that' I've seen so far). I can't post any sample pics.

    A card (or similar) reflector (recommended in another forum where I posted the same question) would have worked as well but I liked that the Lumiquest softbox was closer to the axis of the lens instead of raised further above it which would happen with a card or other reflector (because the flash has to be pointed up and the card is also above the flash, raising the light source further). Keeping the light further away from the lens axis is standard procedure for minimising red-eye but the large(ish) Lumiquest softbox prevented this anyway, yet with very minor if any shadows. I have Metz 60 flashes which don't give re-eye simply because the heads are large and positioned on a bracket away from the lens axis. The Lumiquest softbox worked just as well if not better, softer.

    The venue where I shot had very high and coloured ceilings (and walls) so bounce was not an option at all. A dome diffuser would have been quite useless too, as it would have wasted all but the small amount of light it diffused in front of the camera. The more I look into it the less reason I see to use those dome diffusers. Thanks to those who advised against them.

    Thanks
    JJ

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    ahhh Mr Fong....plus its a great icebreaker
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    ahhh Mr Fong....plus its a great icebreaker
    Not sure what you mean? The Gary Fong stuff is quite different to the Lumiquest Softboxes.

    JJ
    Last edited by jjphoto; 24-10-2011 at 8:17am.

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    I was simply answering the original question of what diffuser one uses. I like the fong.

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