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What is a diffuser for?
I notice that there are diffusers like this, http://www.adorama.com/SBM0106.html, for the Canon Speedlight 430EX. What is it use for and whether I should get one?..

Comments (6)

A diffuser, as it's name suggests, spreads the light from the flash and makes it less harsh. This can be used in both bounce and direct flash..

Bounce flash: Even when the light is bounced off a wall or ceiling, if the wall/ceiling is too close the result will still be a hot spot equivalent to a strong light coming off that wall/ceiling. A diffuser spreads the light further, and reduces this effect / improves the effect of the bounce flash..

Direct flash: Strangely, my diffuser came with the instruction to not use it for direct flash - but in practice (and watching other photogs at work) I find it is very effective in softening the flash and reducing harsh shadows..

In both cases, the diffuser weakens the light from the flash, and you will have to open up the aperture to compensate (of course if youre using auto flash metering in your camera, this is all taken care of for you). The most noticeable effect that I have seen is that the range of the flash is reduced - if you are shooting at or near the limit of your flashs range you may need to remove the diffuser to get good exposure..

All this comes from someone who is by no means an expert on flash - I have only recently started using flash seriously (SB-600 on my Nikon D80), and even more recently started using the diffuser. But the results have been excellent and I look forward to learning more and improving those results..

I thoroughly recommend getting a diffuser..

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Comment #1

Arrowman wrote:.

A diffuser, as it's name suggests, spreads the light from the flashand makes it less harsh. This can be used in both bounce and directflash..

Bounce flash: Even when the light is bounced off a wall or ceiling,if the wall/ceiling is too close the result will still be a hotspot equivalent to a strong light coming off that wall/ceiling. Adiffuser spreads the light further, and reduces this effect /improves the effect of the bounce flash..

Direct flash: Strangely, my diffuser came with the instruction to notuse it for direct flash - but in practice (and watching other photogsat work) I find it is very effective in softening the flash andreducing harsh shadows..

In both cases, the diffuser weakens the light from the flash, andyou will have to open up the aperture to compensate (of course ifyoure using auto flash metering in your camera, this is all takencare of for you). The most noticeable effect that I have seen isthat the range of the flash is reduced - if you are shooting at ornear the limit of your flashs range you may need to remove thediffuser to get good exposure..

All this comes from someone who is by no means an expert on flash - Ihave only recently started using flash seriously (SB-600 on my NikonD80), and even more recently started using the diffuser. But theresults have been excellent and I look forward to learning more andimproving those results..

I thoroughly recommend getting a diffuser..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

What's a good diffuser to use with a Canon 430EX?..

Comment #2

Sgt_Strider wrote:.

What's a good diffuser to use with a Canon 430EX?.

One that fits .

Seriously, I have no idea - Nikon guy myself. But let's put it this way:.

It's just a piece of translucent plastic. There's nothing special or high-tech about it. I bought a no-name diffuser for my SB-600 on impulse one day. I see no reason to require anything beyond "it fits"..

I'm sure there are more experienced / picky flash users who will tell you that one brand of diffuser is "better" than another and they may be right, but on the other hand it may also be a case of "would you really notice the difference in your photos?".

The only possibility I can think of is that (I have heard that) some higher end flashes may have a switch than tells the flash unit it has a diffuser atatched, and that for best use the diffuser therefore needs to not only fit the flash head, but have the necessary protrusion to flick that switch when it's mounted..

But that's only something I've heard, I don't know how true it is or whether it's true for the Canon 430EX. I'm prepared to say "I doubt it"..

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Comment #3

The cheapest and best is a pack of cigarette papers. Just stick one of the papers in front of the flash and it will work very well. You can pay a lot more for a plastic one but who wants to look like an amateur when you can look like a pro?.

Regards, David..

Comment #4

David Hughes wrote:.

Youcan pay a lot more for a plastic one but who wants to look like anamateur when you can look like a pro?.

Lol, very true! .

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Comment #5

What's a good diffuser to use with a Canon 430EX?.

I strongly recommend Lambency Diffuser (eBay for about US$20 shipped anywhere in the US and Canada)..

Cheers..

I buy my movies at http://www.amazon.comI buy my gears from http://www.amazingphoto.caI buy my accessories from http://www.ebay.comI store my photos at http://www.photobucket.com..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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