Mini Flash Diffuser

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Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby biggerry on Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:40 pm

After a recent macro session up the Blue mountains and trying out a circular handheld flash diffuser I thought I would pick up a couple of these, the ones I got are actually teardrop shaped and have a hole to mount the diffuser onto the lens, much like this one on fleabay.

They use the typical softbox material for the diffuser and have a spring steel frame which can be twisted into a very small pouch, very handy stuff - they also make a great entertainment device for children - adult supervision required !

Anyway, these work very well, with one or two of these mounted on the lens it is quite easy to adjust the diffuser distance from the subject and flash, very handy in terms of achieving more or less light spill. It also means you can free up half a hand to hold you lens, ie LH thumb hols the diffuser away from the flash and the rest of the hand steadys the lens.

I had a chance to have a play with these the other day on a few flower shots and for the price and compactness of these things I reckon they will always find their way into my bag when the macro lens is included!

Image

Image

edit: gerrys crap grammar and typos.
Last edited by biggerry on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby Jenno on Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:38 am

Looks good Gerry :up:

How effective is it for more distant subjects like for a portrait situation and does its positioning on the lens barrel interefere with manual focusing in a macro situation.... or is it a case of moving the camera to achieve focus
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby dviv on Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:09 am

Thanks Gerry :cheers: - it looked good at Patrick's place
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby PiroStitch on Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:19 am

Interesting diffuser - looks great for the close up work
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby Alpha_7 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:56 am

Impressive results for something pretty simple and easy to carry round (folded up) in your camera bag.
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:18 pm

Looks great, Gerry.

What manipulation, if any, have you done to the images? I only ask as the lighting still looks a little harsh, albeit without shadows. Not that the images look "bad" but they are bit more contrasty than I would expect from a diffuser.
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby aim54x on Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:40 pm

nice toy there Gerry
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby surenj on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:00 pm

This must be the best way to spend $6 for macro photography!

Have you tried any closeup (ring flash style) portraits with it?? :chook:
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby biggerry on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:20 pm

Jenno wrote:How effective is it for more distant subjects like for a portrait situation and does its positioning on the lens barrel interefere with manual focusing in a macro situation.... or is it a case of moving the camera to achieve focus

surenj wrote:Have you tried any closeup (ring flash style) portraits with it?? :chook:


Standby on the portraits, I might have a crack at this with a willing subject shortly..

In terms of the positioning of the diffuser on the lens, you need to place it back over the non rotating part of the lens, this allows focusing and means the diffuser does not rotate or catch...

Alpha_7 wrote:Impressive results for something pretty simple and easy to carry round (folded up) in your camera bag.


yeah in terms of weight vs cost vs ease of use, this has very few cons in my books.

ATJ wrote:Looks great, Gerry.

What manipulation, if any, have you done to the images? I only ask as the lighting still looks a little harsh, albeit without shadows. Not that the images look "bad" but they are bit more contrasty than I would expect from a diffuser.


Below are the same images OOC with picture control, downsized and sharpened for the web. Whilst I have not done blow by blow comparsions with the coathangar diffuser that I made up several weeks ago, qualitatively, with the two of the mini-diffusers you can get close to or better results than the coathangar (with A4 paper) and the big plus is you can really control how close you can put the diffuser to the subject, thus controlling the amount of diffusion. This coupled with the portability of the mini-diffusers all but sends the coathangar mod to the bin for me.

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Image
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby colin_12 on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:18 pm

These look good Gerry.
To think I haven't even put mine on to try out yet. :oops:
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:55 pm

I bought one and it arrived today. I haven't really had a chance to fully test it or compare to my soft boxes. My biggest problem is trying to get it back in its little bag.
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Re: Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby biggerry on Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:08 pm

ATJ wrote:I bought one and it arrived today. I haven't really had a chance to fully test it or compare to my soft boxes. My biggest problem is trying to get it back in its little bag.


I reckon you will be pleasantly surprised with the performance of little bad boys, for a couple of bucks you can't go wrong.

We should tee up a session in the mountains pronto and you can give it a real workout.
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Re: Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:27 pm

biggerry wrote:We should tee up a session in the mountains pronto and you can give it a real workout.

Actually, the pickings in the front and back yard have been very good this week. Spiders, caterpillars, leafhoppers, weird beetle things. All I need is the time and not having my camera in the housing.

By the way, I may be getting a D7000 for my birthday so having a camera in the housing won't be a problem. :mrgreen:
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby surenj on Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:30 pm

Myn should be arriving in 16 days or so... :wink:
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby colin_12 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:06 pm

Gave mine a workout today on a pile of fungi. It works a treat and should help keep my flash a bit cooler.
Posted some of the images, now to find some live insects. I did find a dead catterpillar and it came up a treat.
Nicely spotted once again Gerry. :up:
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:26 pm

I had a bit of a play today and found that I could also use the mini flash diffuser with the pop-up flash on the D300 for macro work. This means that I could conceivably take just the camera, macro lens and diffuser and still be able to take some macro shots.

Here's one:

Image
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby Matt. K on Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:32 pm

Andrew
Nice work with the caterpillar!
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Re: Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby biggerry on Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:44 pm

ATJ wrote:Actually, the pickings in the front and back yard have been very good this week. Spiders, caterpillars, leafhoppers, weird beetle things. All I need is the time and not having my camera in the housing.


ok, ya can stay in your garden then ya hermit :wink:

ATJ wrote:By the way, I may be getting a D7000 for my birthday so having a camera in the housing won't be a problem. :mrgreen:


'one of us' ...'one of us'...'one of us' :rotfl2:

ATJ wrote:I had a bit of a play today and found that I could also use the mini flash diffuser with the pop-up flash on the D300 for macro work. This means that I could conceivably take just the camera, macro lens and diffuser and still be able to take some macro shots.

Here's one:


very acceptable result, much easier than the coathangar?


colin_12 wrote:Gave mine a workout today on a pile of fungi. It works a treat and should help keep my flash a bit cooler.
Posted some of the images, now to find some live insects. I did find a dead catterpillar and it came up a treat.
Nicely spotted once again Gerry.


nice one Colin, due credit must go to Ray (Jenno) who put me onto them! and had me convince after using his little 'ol diffuser up there in your neck o fteh woods.
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Re: Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:35 am

biggerry wrote:much easier than the coathangar?

In some ways, yes, in others, no.

The main problem I have with my 60mm lens is the only part of the lens wide enough to hold the diffuser is the focusing ring. This means I can't use manual focus without the diffuser turning. I can use my technique where I just use the AF-On button to adjust the focus and this is what I have had to do. The other problem with using it with the 60mm lens is it is difficult to get the diffuser far enough away from the SB-800. I have a screw-in lens hood for the 60mm somewhere. I'll have to see if I can put the diffuser on it. That would solve both problems.

It is much quicker to set up than the coathangers.

Being able to use the pop-up flash is very handy, although it tends to underexpose. I need to work out why. I don't think it is because the flash isn't powerful enough because the indicator in the viewfinder is not telling me it used all its charge. I'll keep playing.

Here are some more from playing yesterday.

These two were taken with the pop-up flash:
Image
Image

These two were taken with the SB-800:
Image
Image
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:06 am

After some playing with the pop-up flash with diffuser, a grey card and checking the histogram, setting the D300 to EV+2.0 seems to get the correct exposure.

Depending on how close the subject was, I was able to get up to f/32 at ISO 200 which should be more than enough light. That was with the 60mm lens. With a longer lens and so greater subject distance, the smallest aperture will be larger.

Here's another shot with D300, 60mm f/2.8D, pop-up flash and diffuser, straight from Lightroom with no adjustments:

Image
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby surenj on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:54 pm

Looks like the light is marginally harsher with the diffuser as compared to the sb800 (with the coathanger I assume?)
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Re: Mini Flash Diffuser

Postby ATJ on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:23 pm

surenj wrote:Looks like the light is marginally harsher with the diffuser as compared to the sb800 (with the coathanger I assume?)

If you're asking about the 4 photos of the sawfly larvae, they were all taken with the mini diffuser. The only difference is the flash in use.
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