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Old Dec 12, 2006, 8:41 AM   #1
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Hi,

Does anyone have any experience with the Gary Fong Lightsphere 2 flash diffuser ?

I was thinking of buying the Quick flip flash bracket by stroboframe to use with a Nikon SB600 flashgun, when I stumbled across theGary Fong Lightsphere 2 flash diffuser which claims that you don't need to use a flash bracket.

You can check out the website and see photos and sample videos.

http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html

Let me know what you think.

Daz
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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I've been using the Lightsphere II now for a couple of months, and I've not pulled the bracket out of the bag in thecloset since the Lightsphere arrived. It does work as advertized. I own an omni-bounce, pocket bounce, I've bounce light off ceilings, but nothing works as well as the Lightsphere. The only question is whether to get the clear or cloud version. I bought the clear versionand love it.

Here are a few examples where I use my 50-200 Zuiko, which would be an equivalent 100-400 zoom in 35mm terms, mainly zoomed towards the long end. Without a bracket or light modifier, I'd get all kinds of "red"eye with this guy..








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Old Dec 13, 2006, 6:25 AM   #3
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Thanks Greg.

The Cloud apparantly gives softer light for portraits.

The clear has a greater power output and is better for larger groups.

They have an accessory called the Chrome Dome for the Cloud version which maintains the soft light while increasing output.

I have been on Gary Fong's website and seen the videos and photos and am quite impressed.

There are a lot of good reviews out there.

I am on the verge of buying one.

Daz
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 7:04 AM   #4
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I shoot with the Clear version of the LightSphere ... and results are outstanding. In fact, I highly recommend it to my college students and those who have purchased it have shown marked improvement in their indoor flash shots and outdoor fill shots. Well worth the price and it avoids the hassals of making your own from milk jugs and/or strapping on various contraptions.

The "cloud" version may have its place, but it is really quite unnecessary IMHO (especially if your flashes have a built in flip-down diffuser as mine do and you use it in conjunction witha clear LightSphere2).
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 2:17 PM   #5
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LightSphere is pretty good,
There are several places with DIY info for making your own versions for next to no cash outlay.

Here is one :-) http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive...ightphere.html
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 7:32 PM   #6
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hgernhardtjr wrote:
Quote:
I shoot with the Clear version of the LightSphere ... and results are outstanding. In fact, I highly recommend it to my college students and those who have purchased it have shown marked improvement in their indoor flash shots and outdoor fill shots. Well worth the price and it avoids the hassals of making your own from milk jugs and/or strapping on various contraptions.

The "cloud" version may have its place, but it is really quite unnecessary IMHO (especially if your flashes have a built in flip-down diffuser as mine do and you use it in conjunction witha clear LightSphere2).
What do you do when the side walls or ceiling is way too high for the bounce for the LightSphere2?

Also, how muchlight penalty is there for it? I mean how many stops do you loose or what is the reduction in GN?
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 8:09 PM   #7
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Simply remove the dome top for high ceilings.

Obviously, there is a time and place to not use the LightSphere, but I've used some form of card-bounced/diffused flash since themid 60s when flashes were often big brutes with shoulder-slung battery/capacitor packs and GN cheat-sheets or flash meters were de rigueur.

Of course there is a guide number reduction with the LightSphere, as with any diffuser... but I do not even bother with guide numbers today, and haven't for some time now so cannot really answer you. My ETTL-II flashes do the calculations for me.

If I need more light, but still desire the soft lighting of the LightSphere2, I can always turn on a second, or even thirdETTL-II flash with or without diffusion placed stratigically and my 580EX/Canon combo sets the entire setup accurately and wirelessly and everything is well and properly exposed.

You might read this newish article which I Googled for you ... it will give you an idea about guide numbers and the LightSphere: http://www.swpp.co.uk/professional_i...ightsphere.htm

You can also look at this tutorial site for the LightSphere: http://www.digitalphotographers.net/LS2ID/page04.html

Hope this helps.

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Old Dec 14, 2006, 4:57 AM   #8
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I also have recently been using the "Cloud" and though wrapped and under the Christmas tree, I have the clear version. Both with the removable dome. The "Cloud" does seem to be a bit soft for some of the applications so that is why I ordered the clear version. I watched the included film clip and found during one of my outside, night-time shoots the exact problem mentioned in the directions. With the 580EX tilted straight towards the subject, with the "Cloud" on, I had the "ghosts" appear in my photos. Though I haven't unwrapped my lens hood yet (another Christmas present) I will experiment to see if it eliminates that problem. The actual solution is not to direct the flash as I did yet I like to explore the limitations and potential results . . .

Though a rank amateur, so far I highly recommend the "Sphere" as another worthwhile tool.
Steve
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