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Old 2007-06-09, 01:07 AM   #1
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Photography question- diffuser/reflector

Ok, so I'm about to but an Fl-36 flash for my camera and I want to get one that comes with some kind of diffuser. By far, the two most popular options for this are the Sigma Bounce Reflector and the Sto-Fen Omni bounce. They both cost the same thing when bought seperately, so my question is which is better, or rather, what does each do?
I haven't been able to find much info about the differences between the two, and if they both do the same thing, I will go with the omnibounce, simply because it is smaller.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 2007-06-09, 01:25 AM   #2
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The Sigma will give you a broader light source making for a softer light. What application are you going to be using it for? You can get similar results from a white card attached to your flash. The bigger the white card, the softer broader the light source.

It seems to me all that the Sto-Fen Omni Bounce does is cut down on the light output of your flash. It hasn't changed the size of the light. You can get the same results by putting a piece of tissue paper over the front of the flash.

The cheapest way is to attach a white card to your flash. Angle the flash up to bounce the light off of the ceiling. The results will be a soft bounced light off of the ceiling and a front fill light reflected off of the white card.

A slightly better result is to use a card with silver mylar attached to it. Spray the mylar with a matte finish spray. This will give you a little stronger, more specular front fill.

If you really want something like the Sigma, look at how it is made and make one yourself out of cardboard. Save your money towards another lens.
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Last edited by One on one; 2007-06-09 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 2007-06-09, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. I think I'm going to go with the Sigma- it's only like ten bucks more that the package without it. Hopefully it will be a big improvement over my current setup: In-camera flash with coffee filters as diffusers .

Last edited by thefish; 2007-06-09 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 2007-06-09, 03:14 AM   #4
Brian O.
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I've actually heard a lot of good things about the omni bounce, I've heard it spreads the light well though I don't have experience with either.
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Old 2007-06-09, 04:45 PM   #5
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don't have any advice for you, but do you have the E-500? I love that camera

Last edited by dman1234; 2007-06-09 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 2007-06-11, 01:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dman1234
don't have any advice for you, but do you have the E-500? I love that camera
Yep, I bought it three or four months ago; it was the most expensive thing I've ever bought, but it was worth it! They even sent me an extra lens for free! Now I'm at the stage of building up my accesories (filters, flash, etc.)
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Old 2007-06-11, 06:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by thefish
You left out the other major difference between those two. One fits in your pocket, or a small compartment in your camera bag. The other one doesn't. It doesn't look like the Sigma one folds at all, so you're stuck with it as-is, and it's much more likely to get crushed or damaged if you move around a lot with your photography.

For that reason, the one I use looks like the Sto-Fen. There are two ways to use it; pointed directly at the subject for a small amount of diffusion (a clearly visible difference), or pointed straight up for an even more diffused light. They'll be illumated by a bright light on top of the camera, with some residual bounce flash depending on your ceiling conditions.

I have a Canon setup with a 20D. For Christmas my wife bought me the Canon 580 EX II. It comes with a small, pop-up-diffuser built in, and it works very well for basic situations. I think I used it for these party portraits. But little did she know I had just purchased the Canon 430 EX for myself. It works great. So I took back the 580 (was too late to take back the 430) and got a super-wide lens...

If you dig around online you can find a great set of instructions for making your own diffuser like the Sigma one, out of a piece of light card stock and some rubber bands. It looks fairly ghetto, but the results are the same. All you need is a piece of white stuff and your flash pointed straight up. A "smart" flash helps a lot in terms of keeping exposures under control... For that reason, I have the pocket-sized diffuser and so far I'm pretty happy with it, and the way it fits in my camera bag.
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Last edited by johnfoss; 2007-06-11 at 06:30 PM.
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diffuser or reflector, photography, question

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