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antacid

Strobe dffusers - essential, or not worth the trouble?

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Hi everyone,

 

I've just got started using strobes, and am wondering whether diffusers should be used.

 

I initially tossed them in the box to rot forever, because they all seemed to cut light by half a stop or more. I figured that I'm going to need as much light as I can get, so why should I even be sticking something in front that reduces my output?

 

Then after reviewing my pictures and looking at the quality of light, I had 2nd thoughts. The light was rather harsh, but I'm not sure if this was due to poor control of strobe power, or simply for the lack of the diffuser.

 

I initially thought that the water would act as a diffuser of sorts, but I may be wrong.

 

I am seriously considering bringing the diffusers for my next trip and doing a comparative test.

 

Do you guys use diffusers, or do you junk them?

 

Please let me know. Thanks!

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Well I use mine! More of a necessity really because I primarily do macro work and have two SB 105's which are pretty powerful strobes despite their modest size. Shooting at 100 ISO I need a diffuser on both strobes to reduce the light output otherwise I am up at f32 and beyond. even then, if there is much white around it can get blasted. There is no half power setting on the SB 105 (quite a drawback) and the only way to achieve it is by the diffuser.

I also concur on the light quality - I find it less harsh with diffusers.

Yes I know I could buy less powerful strobes but with these, I have the power when I need it and they are also very well made and reliable.

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Hi everyone,

 

Do you guys use diffusers, or do you junk them?

 

Please let me know. Thanks!

 

i have to admit i had the same issue and was reluctant to use them and have since used them ,not used them and now am using them again.

yes you lose power but to be honest for macro the benefits far outweigh the cons.

the light is alot more forgiving and softer, can't realy describe how but i think you already know, it's not so harsh and generally you seem to have more usable distance, as in not having to change the strobe settings so much, hence the alot more forgiving part.

for wide angle i use them for the wider spread and softer light also, without them you have to be spot on with your exposure.

all in all i would say use them,

hope this helps

Jez

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Diffusors are so important to the quality of light that some people spend hours inventing their own, stealing diffusors from one strobe to use on a different model, matching dome-shaped diffusors to dome ports, using coloured ones and so on.

 

One stop is not too important as the sea sucks light out of the beam so quickly, and the answer to wide-angle is: get close!

 

I use diffusors all the time.

 

Tim

 

B)

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Depends on the strobe. Depends on the lens you are using. Depends on the composition. Depends on how you want the lighting.

 

Don't throw them out. Try some shots with and without them. Then decide.

 

I soemtimes used them with my Ikelites. I always use them with the Inons.

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I shoot two SB-105s, and I'm still figuring this out too. I did an experiment where I shot with no diffusers, both diffusers, and with one diffused and one not. See which quality of light you like best - I found I liked the diffused light, except in certain edge lighting or darker applications.

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Guest Dan Schwartz

TJ and Antacid,

 

About how many flashes do you get out of your SB-105's on a charge?

 

Do you find that not being able to cut the power in half chews through the batteries before your shoot is finished?

 

I shoot two SB-105s, and I'm still figuring this out too. I did an experiment where I shot with no diffusers, both diffusers, and with one diffused and one not. See which quality of light you like best - I found I liked the diffused light, except in certain edge lighting or darker applications.

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I RARELY ever take the diffusers off my strobe.

 

I think I did once on a particularly big subject when i was an extra foot from it with my 15mm fisheye on and i needed just a tince more light.

 

I use a single Sea and Sea YS120.

 

On a regular dive each shot i take will have a few different variations because i am moving the strobe in and out from the subject as well as changing its angle at the subject all to try and create a different look.

 

As someone already mentioned messing with diffusers is fun. Using a coloured film of varying colours can completely change the warmth of your UW images. Somepeople like a warmer light..some people like a Blue'r light.

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TJ and Antacid,

 

About how many flashes do you get out of your SB-105's on a charge?

 

Do you find that not being able to cut the power in half chews through the batteries before your shoot is finished?

 

i'm using Ikelite DS50s and Inon D2000 and D2000s. I get tons of flashes...more than i ever use from 1 set of batteries. went for a 5 day live-aboard and didnt have to change batteries at all.

 

i'm not sure how your question is related to using diffusers or not, but i'd thought i should answer them anyways.

 

Giles, thanks for your input. Care to share what kind of coloured diffusers do you usually use? and the purpose of switching colours? most of the water i dive in is usually blue, but green towards the end of the season.

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