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09-23-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Pentax Flash diffuser?

I am shooting with a Pentax K10 and a 540 flash either on the camera or off camera. What sort of diffusers or modifiers are you using for this flash? I currently use a Sto-Fen on it and I really don't find the results flattering for portraits. I was even looking to see if they made the "gold" warming Sto-Fen for the 540 but no luck.... Any idea?

Thanks in advance.

09-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcfranchina Quote
I am shooting with a Pentax K10 and a 540 flash either on the camera or off camera. What sort of diffusers or modifiers are you using for this flash? I currently use a Sto-Fen on it and I really don't find the results flattering for portraits. I was even looking to see if they made the "gold" warming Sto-Fen for the 540 but no luck.... Any idea?

Thanks in advance.
you can try to buy a knockoff of Gary Fong's lightspheres, etc
09-23-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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I was thinking about a LightSphere.
09-23-2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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YEARS ago I tried cutting up bleach bottles and taping them to the front of my potato masher flash. Ugly as hell but it worked. You are looking for something translucent and white (if you want the visible spectrum to remain as is) so the bleach bottle trick works. Certainly not as cool as a LightSphere, though.

Jack

09-23-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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LumiQuest

QuoteOriginally posted by pcfranchina Quote
I am shooting with a Pentax K10 and a 540 flash either on the camera or off camera. What sort of diffusers or modifiers are you using for this flash? I currently use a Sto-Fen on it and I really don't find the results flattering for portraits. I was even looking to see if they made the "gold" warming Sto-Fen for the 540 but no luck.... Any idea?

Thanks in advance.
I have the Promaster 7500EDF and GX10, but this should apply to most. I have the Stofen and used it on two different cameras and flash units and really did not like it that much, I also have the LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer I bought after in hopes of it being better, it is better but still can leave the tell tale hot spots of a flash gun, BTW you can buy a Velcro adapter to use the Pocket Bouncer on any flash and I do use it on two different flash units.

Overall as far as flash units like the AF540 I have not found anything to use that produces better results than bouncing it, indoors. Outdoors the LumiQuest Bouncers are fairly good versus the Stofens.
09-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcfranchina Quote
I am shooting with a Pentax K10 and a 540 flash either on the camera or off camera. What sort of diffusers or modifiers are you using for this flash? I currently use a Sto-Fen on it and I really don't find the results flattering for portraits. I was even looking to see if they made the "gold" warming Sto-Fen for the 540 but no luck.... Any idea?
I agree with jamesm007 that the best results are almost always produced by bouncing, when you shoot indoors. Nevertheless, I own several modifiers, always carry them with me, and frequently use one.

I agree with you that the results produced by the Sto-fen Omnibounce are not very exciting. The only thing I can say in its favor is that it's easy to use, because it has no options and there's really not much to think about. With the Omnibounce on the flash, I generally just point right at the subject and fire away.

I also own and have used a Demb Flip-it.

Demb Flash Products - Flip-it! the variable-angle flash reflector

I think I like the Flip-It better than the Sto-Fen, in most circumstances, but the Flip-It takes some thought. It's pretty inexpensive, though, and easy to pack. Some of the Lumiquest products seem to produce a similar result (I've not tried them personally) but they're less flexible than the Flip-It.

The Gary Fong products are very popular but I simply don't understand why, aside from the fact that the maker is an energetic self-promoter. Perhaps it also helps that the Lightsphere is so strange looking that, well, you must be a good photographer to use one.

I've talked to a lot of other wedding photographers who have more experience than I do, and they all seem to have a whole drawer full of these products. What's interesting is that there does NOT appear to be any consensus about which is best. What this tells me is that none of them are very good, really.

Will
09-23-2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesm007 Quote
I have the Promaster 7500EDF and GX10, but this should apply to most. I have the Stofen and used it on two different cameras and flash units and really did not like it that much, I also have the LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer I bought after in hopes of it being better, it is better but still can leave the tell tale hot spots of a flash gun, BTW you can buy a Velcro adapter to use the Pocket Bouncer on any flash and I do use it on two different flash units.

Overall as far as flash units like the AF540 I have not found anything to use that produces better results than bouncing it, indoors. Outdoors the LumiQuest Bouncers are fairly good versus the Stofens.
Thanks for the info
09-24-2008, 06:26 AM   #8
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So far I am thinking Lightshpere with the AmberDome. Besides for my 50mm most of my glass is kind of slow. Should that be an issue?

06-11-2009, 05:15 PM   #9
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I know this is an old thread but I found a new diffuser and bouncer that I like to share.

Spectra Light Diffuser
  • I paid about 15.00 for it in ebay
  • I can use it for bouncing with a 4x4 small transparent panel,
  • My impressions in Spectra Light Diffuser



Here I tilt the panel at a slight angle
with the translucent panel
It can act as a diffuser with light reflected through the panel to subject
and a bouncer with light going through the panel to wall and roof for the rest of boucning


I should have turned the diffuser around
for better coverage
here, I use it straight on as a diffuser



Warming reflector, also an silver reflector



Ball head and Velcro Strap


Spectra Light Diffuser

I will experiment and see if I can use it as a diffuser for the built in internal flash. If I can use it for the internal flash, it will be a big plus. I did have some success in using the Velcro strap to mount the diffuser on lens barrel to cover the internal flash but I still get the flashy look that I try to avoid. I will need to experiment more and share information later on.

I have used film canister to cover internal flash for diffusion but not to consistent results, if you have a gadget that works with the internal flash, please pass along.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 06-11-2009 at 10:14 PM.
06-11-2009, 05:39 PM   #10
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Looks interesting. Keep us updated.
06-11-2009, 05:52 PM   #11
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I agree about using bounced light with a flash. I use the Sto-fen, but often add an 812 warming filter to eliminate the potential cool or sometimes blue skin tones a flash can have.

Regards,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 06-11-2009 at 06:03 PM.
06-11-2009, 06:54 PM   #12
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Tried looking at this

White+bule+Yellow Flash Diffuser 4 Pentax AF540FGZ - eBay, Flash Units, Digital Camera Accessories, Photography. (end time 14-Jun-09 03:54:08 AEST)

Ebay Item number 320350225590

CM
06-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #13
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I've used Sto-Fens on various strobes over the years, but I keep coming back to the Lumiquest Pocket Bounce:

http://cameramad.co.uk/khxc/media/gbu0/prodsm/LumiQuest_Bounce-Kit.jpg
06-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #14
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Some sample shots using the Spectra Light as indirect light diffused over the translucent panel. I am total newbie on flash, all mistakes are mine



#1 bounce in outdoor without wall and roof
with translucent panel
around sunset
quite natural looking




#2
shadow casting from flower on face
the flash is in the work
like the catch light in the eyes
a bit too strong perhaps




#3
Indoor with the translucent panel
for indirect bounce off ceiling
and partially from panel
I like the look on the face
but not the shadow behind
may need another strobe on background ?




#4
Indoor as direct diffuser
too harsh from direct flash light
not enough as a good diffuser, I guess
need to adjust flash compensation
will continue to experiment
and learn from mistakes



Spectra Light Diffuser


Last edited by hinman; 06-11-2009 at 08:19 PM.
06-11-2009, 08:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I bought one a while back. actually two. I can't tell for sure in your photos, but I don't think you have realized the silver and gold paper panels are stickers. The yellowish paper back will come off and you can then stick them to one or both of the white panels.

I did the stickers, one on each side, on one panel. I'm thinking it would have been better to have stuck one on each of the white panels, thus having a white/gold and a white/silver. If you have something small, having one white reflector in the mount and having the other white reflector in hand to redirect light can be useful.

Thank you
Russell
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