best add-on softener for on-camera flash?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by peter, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. peter

    peter Guest

    In places where bounce flash is impossible, what is the best
    bouncer/softener for an on-camera flash (a Canon EX 550).

    There's the white interior bouncer from lumiquest. And there's a new,
    scoop-like bouncer. Anybody got feedback?

    I could make one myself using wrinkled aluminum foil and some cardboard
    paper. Coming up with the optimal reflector shape, however, is a challenge.
    peter, Nov 10, 2003
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  2. peter

    Ed E. Guest

    Some simply use a piece of white cardboard and tape it to the back side of
    the flash. Then they angle the flash at about 45 degrees and the light is
    supposed to bounce some of the light off the card and let the rest bounce
    off the surrounding ceiling/walls. Here's a sample - old equipment but the
    concept is the same. See item number 3:

    Personally, I prefer the small softboxes that go over the flash head.
    Ed E., Nov 10, 2003
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  3. peter

    Eric Miller Guest

    Though the original poster wasn't really asking about bounce flash, for this
    purpose, I use white post-it notes. Good for landscape and vertical
    orientation, just peel and stick again.

    There are also some pretty large softboxes for on-camera flash available at

    Eric Miller
    Eric Miller, Nov 11, 2003
  4. peter

    Alan Browne Guest

    I have the LumiQuest 80/20 system which reflects 20% of the light
    towards the subject and allows 80% of the light to to the ceiling for a
    bounce. You can put in white, silver or gold reflectors to refelct 100%
    of the light towards the subject. Most 'pros' I know prefer the
    lumiquest softbox... My opinion is that the surface of the softbox is so
    small as to be not very effective ... but the pros keep proving me wrong
    with great looking shots.

    I use my Lumi 80/20, but not as often as the Sto-fen. The stofen is
    much less obtrusive than the lumiquest (esp. when using a flash bracket)
    and achieves a soft flash look in rooms with light walls/ceilings.

    Ed E. 's post is relevant, and i've done similar to his bouncer but with
    a larger pieve of thin white cardboard.

    Alan Browne, Nov 13, 2003
  5. peter

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Sounds like it might be The Shell, a $25 white scoop that is
    a pain to carry, but very effective at softening shadows as a
    compromise between horizontal and vertical modes. The Shell
    requires accessory flash with rotating head. I bought one
    because I didn't want to spend $200 on flash bracket etc.
    For $25 why bother?
    Bill Tuthill, Nov 14, 2003
  6. peter

    JIM Guest

    Look into the Lumiquest Pro Max system. Comes in its own foldup pouch, about
    the size of a business envelope. Gives you more options than just the
    diffuser. Comes with the 80/20 pocket bouncer w/white, silver, gold inserts
    and the diffuser panel. About $45 from B&H.

    Shoot'em up, natural light, flashlight, no light, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all
    the rest will love you for it!!

    JIM, Nov 14, 2003
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