From: dmac on

"Eric Miller" <miller_nospam_eric(a)bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:ncbri.5240$RQ5.1813(a)bignews8.bellsouth.net...
> Having just wandered from the political thread, I thought I'd toss out a
> puzzle of sorts that might get back OT. Does the type of diffuser really
> matter? If you think so, then tell me what kind of diffuser was used in
> this photo? Heck, if you can't tell, just give your opinion as to whether
> you think it did a good or even adequate job.
>
> http://www.dyesscreek.com/hidden_pages/diffuser.html
>
>
> Eric Miller
> www.dyesscreek.com

I can't see the page but I'll wade in with 10� worth.

The notion that "Gary Fong" can reinvent the wheel and charge 30 times the
cost of the vinyl thingy he sells is pretty much self explaining.

Diffusion of harsh light has been taking place for as long as Photography
has existed. Igniting flash powder to produce even harsher light than the
sun to level out the light and shade was perhaps the earliest example.

Later methods, many of which survive today all centred around scattering
light rather than allowing the raw (harsh) light from a small source to
illuminate the subject. Perhaps the most durable way of doing this is by
using a woven diffusion screen. (call it a soft box cover).

A German seller on eBay offers a set of "diffusers" for speedlites. One of
these is a sock made from a Woven diffusion screen material that looks
amazingly like the face of my softbox. It has a black panel sewn in one
side. It's main failure is needing +3 stops of flash increase to get close
to correct exposure.

An accessory diffuser that comes with this "kit" is way more useful. It's
like the vertical card trick for specular highlights except it has a slope
to it so the flash is directed more closely towards the subject. This device
works remarkably well. Much better than the "Gary Fong" thing which consumes
a considerable amount of the flash's power, just to function.

As other's have said in the earlier thread, these 6� plastic wonder caps -
first the "Sto-Fen" now the "Fong" all have one thing in common... The
producers are out to make a big buck from those stupid enough or lazy enough
to think this will cure their lighting problems.

Doug


From: Richard Polhill on
Paul Furman wrote:

> BTW I suck at flash... I always avoided it. I don't even get the iTTL
> deal: there is almost no change in shutter speed in aperture priority
> mode, it just provides fill light, even in slow synch mode and results
> in a brighter exposure when flash is a major part of the exposure.
> Hmmmm.

Surely you wouldn't get much change in shutter speed in aperture-priority,
'cause it works by modulating the flash intensity.
From: Richard Polhill on
Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote:
> dmac wrote:
>
>> As other's have said in the earlier thread, these 6¢ plastic wonder
>> caps - first the "Sto-Fen" now the "Fong" all have one thing in
>> common... The producers are out to make a big buck from those stupid
>> enough or lazy enough to think this will cure their lighting problems.
>
> BRAVO! I'm glad another person out here understands this. What's really
> perplexing is Bret uses a Fong and claims it has improved his
> photography so
> it has to be good.
>

Well I'm sure Bret's photography can be improved by it. He just has to put it
over the lens.
From: mark.thomas.7 on
Eric Miller wrote:
> Having just wandered from the political thread, I thought I'd toss out a
> puzzle of sorts that might get back OT. Does the type of diffuser really
> matter? If you think so, then tell me what kind of diffuser was used in
> this photo? Heck, if you can't tell, just give your opinion as to
> whether you think it did a good or even adequate job.
>
> http://www.dyesscreek.com/hidden_pages/diffuser.html
>

To be fair, Eric, your shot doesn't exactly scream out for large soft-
box type lighting..! I'm not having a go at the shot - it's lovely
and you have balanced the light very well. But it's not like she has
complexion issues to hide, she is fully face on with an up-tilted
button nose (so it's really just under her jaw that a shadow is
obvious), and you obviously have nice soft indirect window light
(bouncing off all those white walls!) - so it looks as if the flash
contribution is not that great (which is backed up by the flash shadow
not having an awful lot of contrast...

Lastly, at the size displayed, the amount by which that shadow edge
has been softened is very hard to detect.

Having said all that, I'm tempted to go with the post-it, or the
business card even.

I agree with your premise, although if I was shooting for a huge
poster of a supermodel for a cosmetic company...

From: Paul Furman on
Richard Polhill wrote:

> Paul Furman wrote:
>
>> BTW I suck at flash... I always avoided it. I don't even get the iTTL
>> deal: there is almost no change in shutter speed in aperture priority
>> mode, it just provides fill light, even in slow synch mode and results
>> in a brighter exposure when flash is a major part of the exposure. Hmmmm.
>
> Surely you wouldn't get much change in shutter speed in
> aperture-priority, 'cause it works by modulating the flash intensity.

Is there a way to set the flash power & have the darn thing adjust the
shutter speed? I did read the manual, apparently not carefully enough. I
would think the metering should change right away when popping up the
flash but yes, it obviously doesn't know exactly what impact the flash
will have until the iTTL business does it's preflash, especially without
focus distance info from the lens... hmm. If I shoot in manual mode, is
that the way to use the full power of the flash?

--
Paul Furman Photography
http://edgehill.net
Bay Natives Nursery
http://www.baynatives.com