Speedlite Strobist Difussers

September 11, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
Here is a quick comparison of various lighting diffusers. I recently bought a softbox umbrella and a 23cm softbox from ebay for a play. Even though I use studio kit for PR and Commercial work I also use alot of Canon Speedlite flashes and accessories. We will quickly cover bare-bulb flash, stofen diffuser, shoot-through umbrella, tiny softbox, and a softbox shoot through umbrella.

I thought I'd do a brief run down of the difference between the the various options although I have to keep the discussion brief as I'm told the attention span of the modern human is shorter than......hello?...hello? (pay attention!)

Firstly the softbox: Looks like this.......

Soft box comes on a case and folds down flattish

To assemble you Velcro in these two layers...
.inner quite close to flash!

Velcro secures softbox to flash

I don't this is going to work very well like this.
...maybe with a flash bracket


The Shoot through umbrella: Looks like this.....
It a white umbrella that the flash fires through
As well as the light coming forward you get quite a
lot of spill backwards too
Bare Flash....  duh!




Softbox umbrella / brolly .... A shoot though umbrella with a capped end!

Shoot through diffuser creates big light

Capped back stops bounce back spill and gives more power




The Results : on camera flash diffusers
On camera flash with stofen diffuser
On camera flash with 23cm Softbox
On camera with bare flash



  Off Camera Results




Bare Flash = Hard shadows and small catchlights in the eyes (Catchlights are the reflections from the flash)

Shoot through umbrella: Nice big catchlights and an soft omni-lighting. It's a small light room so the spill out the
back of the umbrella throw the light about  

Shoot Through softbox umbrella : Slightly harder shadows and a more 'directional' feel than the normal shoot
through umbrella.. just like a big round softbox...which essentially is what it is!

Small Soft box.. Small catchlights and a softened light compared to a bare bulb. It just shows that a small softbox does not do much
Conclusions

As I said before this is just a quick comparison and by no means a in-depth review. The main conclusion is actually don't bother with a small (23cm in this case) softbox for off camera flash work. If your a budding stobist your better off with a softbox umbrella. If your looking for a bigger softer more omni-directional flash then the open shoot through umbrella works great. It boosts the ambient by throwing light up and out around a small room and also give nice cathlights.

Hope I kept your attention..  :)
Cheers for popping by.
Doug


p.s. Thanks to the lovely Helen for my 5 minute model.


 

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