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Best flash diffuser for HVL-58AM

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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Best flash diffuser for HVL-58AM
    Posted: 10 July 2019 at 00:22
Once again it comes that time of the year when I do some event photography.

My main setup is the Sony a77ii (used to be the a900) with a battery grip (more batteries) and a Minolta EP-2 Battery Pack for the flash. Which is still my 58AM.

I've experimented with elaborate diffuser setups, second flash-guns fired remotely etc, but basically the maxim to keep it simple has won over.

The rooms can have very high ceilings which limits my bouncing-the-flash techniques.

So it's down to what diffuser will be optimal. I've had a large shoot-through box, but well, it's large. Is there anythying else worth trying? Some kind of Gary Fong thing? A simple slot on diffuser?

TIA
a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
 



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sybersitizen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 02:05
There's a difference between diffusion to soften shadows and diffusion to spread the flash beam wider.

Diffusers that spread the flash beam wider can be, and often are, no bigger than the front of the flash head itself.

Diffusers that soften shadows have to be large to actually diffuse. The degree of shadow softness you want dictates the optimum size, but your tolerance for having a big 'thing' on your flash limits what the actual manageable size will be.
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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 03:08
When I used my F58AM, I tended to simply point the flash head up at almost a right angle, but slightly pointing forward, and extended out the in-built white reflector card.
Before I got the F58AM, I used to use a Lumiquest Promax Pocket Bouncer that was fastened to the flash head using velcro strips. I'm sure you can look on line to check these out.
Must say though that since buying a F60AM with the clip-on milky white translucent flash head diffuser (similar to Gary Fong), I've been very happy with the soft, natural skin-tones and lack of harshness in the images. So maybe that's the best sort of thing to go for.
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 15:27
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

When I used my F58AM, I tended to simply point the flash head up at almost a right angle, but slightly pointing forward, and extended out the in-built white reflector card.

I found that the shiny card backing of fresh smoked Salmon works well. Silver on one side, gold on the other if you want some colour softening too.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 15:55
I'd go with Gary Fong -either a snap on like Joe says or a Light Sphere.

Don't know about the smoked salmon thing - might wind up having to herd a bunch of cats.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 20:01
I have this kit but so far have only used the small ones for macro work with a flash bracket and an extension arm but I think it's good bang for the buck.

https://www.fjwestcott.com/pocket-box-erin-manning-educational-kit
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a99M2 a99 a77 a700 KM7D|Min24/2.8 Min35/2 So50/1.4 So50/2.8 Min85/1.4G Tam90/2.8 Tam180/3.5|Tam17-50 CZ24-70G2 KM28-75D So70-200G1 So70-300G So70-400G1| SonyF60 AD200R2
 



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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 23:52
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

...translucent flash head diffuser (similar to Gary Fong), I've been very happy with the soft, natural skin-tones and lack of harshness in the images. So maybe that's the best sort of thing to go for.


Thanks- yes, that's the effect I want.
The bounce card on the HVL-58 isn't quite versatile enough for the variety of shots I make.
a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2019 at 23:56
Originally posted by stiuskr stiuskr wrote:

I have this kit but so far have only used the small ones for macro work with a flash bracket and an extension arm but I think it's good bang for the buck.

https://www.fjwestcott.com/pocket-box-erin-manning-educational-kit


I've been using a soft box I can strap on the head of the flash. It's ok, but it still seems to create hard lighting in some circumstances, and is cumbersome. The weight of actually causes the flash head to creep downward.

I know I can make it work, but if some kind of Gary Fong thing is more effective, I'm prepared to try. The gig would pay for it.
a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2019 at 01:29
"LIGHTSPHERE CLOUD" Gary Fong, for portability and versatility if it's just camera and flash. TTL cable attached to monopod to lift the light off camera with dome if bounce is just not possible.

Edited by LAbernethy - 11 July 2019 at 01:53
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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2019 at 03:14
Thanks all- I've opted to order a Gary Fong Lightsphere.
a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2019 at 12:35
I am surprised that no one mentioned Magmod magsphere. I am big fan of the magsphere and magbounce.

https://magnetmod.com/
Sony A99II, A99, Tokina 28-70, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2019 at 23:46
Originally posted by arrow34 arrow34 wrote:

I am surprised that no one mentioned Magmod magsphere. I am big fan of the magsphere and magbounce.

https://magnetmod.com/


It looks impressive.
In the end the Gary Fong didn't arrive in time, so I used a bounce card and push-on diffuser.


Sony a77ii with 16-50mm f2.8 SSM, Vello Battery Grip, Sony HVL-58AM and Minolta EP-2 External Battery Park.

It mostly worked out. Got some hot-spots on some faces an a little bit of shadow behind the necks of some subjects.
a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2019 at 14:04
The magmod system is great. I switched over to it years ago. The mag bounce and sphere are great. The grids and gels are so easy to use. I would recommend looking into them. I used to use a Fong sphere and i didnt like that it was limiting, didnt really collapse that well and had to be strapped on. The magnet system is stupidly simple and strong.

https://flic.kr/p/VTeu3H

Fyi -both of my hvl-f58 flash units have a semi open battery door like yours ;) still work fine lol



Edited by arrow34 - 01 August 2019 at 14:07
Sony A99II, A99, Tokina 28-70, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bharnois Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2019 at 18:21
Originally posted by wetapunga wetapunga wrote:

   
In the end the Gary Fong didn't arrive in time, so I used a bounce card and push-on diffuser.


I love a big bounce card. You can get differing results using different zoom settings on the flash and different tilt angles.
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