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Old Dec 6, 2007, 1:07 AM   #1
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Bouncing your flash can give a nice soft light but often it is better to use a direct flash and add a soft box or umbrella or a diffuser of some type. I found a surprisingly good diffuser material sitting on my shelf.

I have a few 17" and 18" LCD backlights from LCD's gone bad. There are three main layers to the backlights.

A white reflective plastic sheet then a thick piece of plastic and a prismatic filter and a second layer of diffuser. We just want the diffuser layer.

This is a nice plastic sheet diffuser with a textured frosted surface on one side and smooth on the other.

The white plastic sheet is vary bright and more reflective than most any paper. It would make a supper bounce card and is nice and large too.

I cut mine to fit over the flash attached by Velcro. I cut long ways to make two pieces about 6"x14.5". (diffuser from the 18" backlight)

The diffuser is placed about 3" in front of the lens and makes about a 6" round diffused light pattern. I made it curved slightly but it is easy to make it flat by placing two bends in the mounting arms.

The main thing I like is the quality of the diffuser itself. I have seen many thing used ( I have two softboxes and the LCD diffuser material is a lot better than the cloth in the softbox.) but this is the real stuff. It is fairly efficient and diffuses the light completely and can lay flat in a camera bag.
The light pattern of the two diffusers I got from the 18" diffuser sheat.

I did some shots of the kids and the light looks great, just soft enough. I can hold one flash in the left hand and fire away. I made a 4"x4" diffuser for the on camera flash too, this helped to eliminate the red eye quite a bit.
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Old Dec 6, 2007, 8:10 AM   #2
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This design sounds like a winner. For those wanting to try it, maybe plastic cut from a plastic, gallon-sized milk jug might work. That kind of plastic would be hard to glue velcro onto, but a wrapping of masking tape should suffice for a temporary attachment. Other kinds of jugs of a different density might be found too.

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Old Dec 6, 2007, 10:59 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good idea. Gonna have to give it a try over the holidays.

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Old Dec 6, 2007, 11:42 PM   #4
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Post some example shots.
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Old Dec 7, 2007, 2:08 PM   #5
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I use a standard Omni bounce attachment on my Olympus FL50 and point it straight up likeyou areinstructed to dowith the Lumisphere II flashattachment. It creates a great bare-bulb effect.

I use it like this with the camera set up for shooting horizontally...

I have the flash head turned sideways for the ease of simply flipping it up like this or any other in-between anglewhen shooting vertically so the shutter release is on top..

The pictures have looked great. I've stopped fooling with flash brackets..

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Old Dec 7, 2007, 10:54 PM   #6
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I'm a little surprised at the amount of fillfrom the diffuser. I would have thought you might get some raccoon eyes from the ceiling bounce but you got nice fill and no bad shadows.

The FL50 might have more beans than most too.

Nice shots.

I did some sample shots but the only bare flash shot was blurry.

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Old Dec 9, 2007, 1:33 AM   #7
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David French wrote:
Post some example shots.
I did a few sample shots with a simple single flash setup. If you see the difuser in the shot then it is a bare flash head.

Well not really that simple. I used my Sanyo CG65 to triger the Bower(Phoenix) auto flash because it will work with the pre flash. I used the bower to triger the Nikon flash. I placed a reflector on the Sanyo to stop the on camera fron having any flash hit the subject.

I used the Sanyo just for fun. We mainly use the Canon S3 which does not have a hot shoe so all the flashes are triggered by optical slave triggers.

I would use the diffuser on the flash for fill or in a 2,3,or 4 flash setup. I often use a soft box for the main light but it would be nice if the second light was softened some.

I do like the diffusction and bounce setup so I made a cheep copy of it. It was a little tricky to get a good ballance of fill to front light but by adjusting the zoom on the flash it reduced the front light some and looked fairly good.

I made the tube large enough for the larger Nikon and some other flashes I have. I left the top open. I had a little too much front fill so perhaps making it shorter might work a little better.

More shots of the kids.

I like the soft look.

The box diffuser looks to be better for inside than the direct diffuser. For a quick and easy shot it is vary nice.

The direct diffuser is a lot brighter so I may use it more for larger shots or from any shot greater than a few feet away.

The shot of the kids was using the open top diffuser on a slave flash and the zoom flash atachment on the Canon S3 with a difuser on it. I set the camera to M mode and set the flash to low. I still get red eye most of the time but I have to use the on camera flash to trigget the slave.

It looks like this.

I made a bounce card from the reflective plastic sheet found in the back of the backlight. It workedlike the box diffuser but with more brightness of about a full stop.
My wife said it looked silly but I have seen them this size before and it made a nice soft light with good gain.

I add more pictures later

It's hard to see but in the right lower corner is a folded 300mm PVC fresnel lens to add to any flash for about 40% range increase!

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