Diffuser or Flash

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,503
Re: Diffuser or Flash

Jcbailey wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Jcbailey wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

hobbit mob wrote:

Jcbailey wrote:

Tried the diffuser yesterday and it sucked. You have to be really close for it to take effect. I need to start looking into speedlights


Haven't shopped for speedlights/flashes for a while, but be sure you get one with a head that can rotate/point up that way you can bounce it off the ceiling. It's the easiest way to get nice, evenly lit indoor pictures. Also, many flashes come with a snap on diffuser, that's all I ever use. I tried out some sort of globe diffuser (can't remember the name), and couldn't see enough of a difference to justify the extra size/time/weight over the snap on diffuser that stays on my flash all the time.

Good luck!

90% of "diffusers" are sold to SUCKERS who are not really getting the benefit they think they are.

The only type I use are a "large" (area) type of "fresnel" lens that redirects/restricts the width of the beam.

The POINT of a "diffuser" is that the light is no-longer a "POINT"-of-light.

But you do not need to "diffuse" because all that (diffused) light is WASTED. Many have an illusion that the light reflects from walls/ceiling and then adds to the "direct" light, ... BUT ... by the time the (diffused) light travels and reflects back onto the subject, it is much, much, much less bright than the "direct" light and does not really add.

Note that I am NOT demeaning "bounce" flash, where ALL the original light is indeed directed to ceiling/walls, so that ONLY the "bounced/reflected" light is finally reaching the subject.


Should I just get a faster lens or invest in flash? You probably read my other post but I need something for low light/ Night Photography of my kids indoors. there is light but not enough I'm guessing.

my current lens 3.5-5.6 and 4-5.6 which isn't enough. looking at flash or a 50mm 1.8

What do you recommend?

Both very different answers ..

The faster lens will indeed allow lower-light shooting (even outdoors at night).

The flash will STOP-ACTION for kids playing ... "bounce" lighting can be better than direct flash but can also create shadows ... and because "bounce" still reduces effective power of any flash, it often requires a relatively "large" flash to really do effective bounce for nay distance.

This makes me not want to do flash and invest in a fast lens. seems like flash just freezes the motion as you say. with a fast lens can do everything

Not necessarily ... they are BOTH DIFFERENT and essential for different situations.

A flash-duration is between 1/1000s and 1/50,000s ... that can be fast enough to stop "bullets".  (I assume your kids are not faster than "bullets" ???)

But flash is also only usable at a limited range.

A fast(er) lens will only get you an extra 3-stops, which can indeed help, but will not "stop" action (like a flash will).

But a faster lens works w/ all (ambient) light, at ANY distance, (even moon-light landscapes).

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