Diffuser or Flash

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
hobbit mob
hobbit mob Regular Member • Posts: 384
Re: Diffuser or Flash

Jcbailey wrote:

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

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.

Which is exactly what you want. Bounce flash (off the ceiling) is much the best option - as several people explained to you in your "fast lens" thread.

with a fast lens can do everything

Not so. Unless you are prepared to have most of your photos out of focus because the depth of field is so shallow there is very little a fast lens can do that a slow lens can't.

So if getting a fast lens runs me the risk of getting my photos out of focus why is YouTube so adamant about fast glass and bokeh? Bokeh looks cool and I would like it but I would rather have sharp photos with everything in focus 99% of the time. mom a hobbies as you can tell or probably can’t but the wife and I agreed that I need to get more familiar or use the camera a lot more before we invest more into it. I really like photography. But I keep getting different answers all the time.

Maybe I will stop asking on Reddit and Facebook and ask here full time. I thought you guys got tired of my questions so I ask elsewhere.

Thanks for the reply again

For what you want to do (get pictures of kids running/playing indoors) you don’t need a fast lens. Natural light indoor portraits/photos is possible with a fast lens only, but much harder. Your best bet would be to get a speed light, set your camera to f5.6-f8, your ISO to 400-800, your shutter speed to 1/200, then point the speed light at the ceiling and adjust the power accordingly (if you’re taking lots of photos quickly, it’s best to stay under 1/4th or 1/8th power for quicker recycle times). This will give you nice, in focus, evenly lit pictures that will freeze the action.

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