Diffusion delusion

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StevenN Senior Member • Posts: 1,267
Diffusion delusion

I take pictures at many outdoor events -- or indoors in large arenas -- at which there are usually several other "professional" photographers working. Invariably, these photographers are using flashes with opaque diffusers (the type of which was originated by Sto-fen years ago, I believe).

Sometimes they have their flash heads facing forward, sometimes they are pointing straight up. While I can see the benefit of these diffusers indoors, in a room with a ceiling and/or walls close enough to bounce light off of, I can't see using them outdoors, where any light emanating from the sides of these diffusers is bouncing off of nothing.

I can see if you just want a weak fill light on your subject, this might work. But it is not necessary. If your camera and flash support TTL, the flash will adjust to provide the proper amount of light you need. I'm sure that some people will tell me that direct, uncovered flash is too harsh, but in my experience, it is not.

In those cases where you need more light, the flash covered by a diffuser is going to expend more power than if you did not have one on, and, in return, may take longer to recycle.

In my case, I am using a Nikon SB800 flash, which natively covers a 24mm lens. I can see where some people might be using an ultra-wide lens and want a wider flash coverage. In that case, I would just flip down my flash's built-in diffuser panel, which would not require any wasted light to be sent out the sides of an add-on diffuser.

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StevenN

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