Choosing the Right Flash Diffuser

A flash diffuser is one of the best things a photographer using a flash can invest in. Most diffusers are made out of plastic and are made to reduce harsh lighting and shadows. With the variety of diffusers available, they can be used to achieve different looks in different scenarios. As there are dozens of different ones, finding the right ones for each lighting situation can be tough.

Gary Fong Lightsphere Universal - Cloud

Gary Fong Lightsphere Universal – Cloud

Here is a breakdown of some of the different types of camera diffusers:

STO-FEN Omni Bounce diffusers are popular because they’re versatile, easy to find and simple. For different flash types, the sizes are compact and convenient to carry, and you’ll find they aren’t very expensive. Omni Bounce diffusers are a good multi-use diffuser giving you a diffused bare bulb effect – reducing the shadows and harsh lighting on a subject. These quickly pop on and off your flash and are very small to store. They also give you even coverage across the entire frame, with lenses from 15mm to 200mm in the 35mm format.
Sample Image (to see the spread of light when using a fisheye lens):
STO-FEN diffuser

Dome diffusers can get a bit bulky, but they’re neat because the bigger the size of the dome, the more evenly lit your subject will be. It can give off a very soft beautiful light for reasonable prices. Dome diffusers have a pretty widespread area of where lighting is directed, so you might be wasting some energy in larger, lower-lit rooms. These diffusers are meant for areas and rooms on the smaller side, so, they’re limited. These can also be a little bulky to carry (with the exception of the Gary Fong Collapsable which does collapse to a small size).

Sample Image:
lightsphere diffuser
Diffuser (Gary Fong):
lightsphere collapsable

Flash Soft Box

For the ability to create an image with the softest shadows possible and the most controlled light, a flash soft box can do the trick. Often small light sources like lamps and candles can emit a very harshly contrasted light. With a flash soft box, not only will you be able to reduce this harsh lighting, but you can also create a very natural light on just about any person or object. There are some flash soft boxes that are very small and just velcro onto your flash, these don’t diffuse the flash that much more compared to something like the STO-FEN. However there now are some larger softboxes that give you a very beautiful soft light. Photoflex makes a softbox called the Lightdome that you can attach to your speedlight and its a great solution for studio like light. Photoflex LiteDome xs

photoflex lightdome

That is just a review of 3 different types of diffusers. If you have questions let us know! If you would like more reviews on specific types of diffusers or a more in depth comparison just leave a comment. Or if you have a favorite type of diffuser leave a comment or share it on our facebook page.