Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Home made diffuser

Home made diffuser
Originally uploaded by Dalantech.

Note 05 May 2009: I am no longer using this method to diffuse my MT-24EX. See my recent blog posts if you want to know what I'm doing to tame the flash. I've left this post intact as way for me to gauge just how much I've learned about flash photography since it was originally written. I would never diffuse my flash this way now -the diffuser is just too small and it's better at blocking the light than at diffusing it...

Disclaimer: Hot gluing plastic to your flash may void the warranty. I am not responsible for any mistakes that you might make...

I know it looks like crap, but it works and I wanted something that didn’t stick out from the flash. I made it by cutting the plastic from a fruit juice bottle and then hot gluing it to the flash heads.

Note to Canon: Pretty sad that a $650 flash doesn’t come with a decent diffuser like the $450 MR-14EX–even the modeling lights on the MR-14EX are better…

A few notes on diffusing a flash: Due to the way that E-TTL metering works there is no need to adjust the exposure. The flash sends out a pre-flash burst that the camera uses for metering, so any diffuser won't make a difference since the camera will compensate for it automatically.

Choose the material for your diffuser carefully. The intensity of a flash is always the same, irregardless of the exposure. But the duration of the flash changes depending on how much light is needed to expose the scene. If your diffuser blocks a lot of light the duration of your flash is going to increase and it's possible that your photos will start to get soft due to motion blur because the flash is "on" long enough for your movements, or the movement of you subject, to become a problem.

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