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Gary Fong for glamour ? A holiday problem
Old 07-11-2006, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone,
i just got my 580ex and a Gary Fong diffuser. Now I haven't had the time to try them out, but I was wondering if one could use these for glamour pics / portraits?

Suppose you'd want to shoot in a hotel room. Has anyone tried the fong with some additional reflectors ? Maybe one behind the fong to get softbox feeling? Or even 2 Reflektors as a clamshell (for portrait) and the fong in between ? Or use the 580ex as slave along with the builtin flash? ...

Would be great to get some tips !

TIA
Peter
PS: Sure would beat taking my AB800 and a beauty dish on holiday in addition to my wife,2 kids, paraglider/modelairplane/laptop .... WHAOAOAOAOOAO
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Re: Gary Fong for glamour ? A holiday problem
Old 07-11-2006, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHDSP
Hi everyone,
i just got my 580ex and a Gary Fong diffuser. Now I haven't had the time to try them out, but I was wondering if one could use these for glamour pics / portraits?

Suppose you'd want to shoot in a hotel room. Has anyone tried the fong with some additional reflectors ? Maybe one behind the fong to get softbox feeling? Or even 2 Reflektors as a clamshell (for portrait) and the fong in between ? Or use the 580ex as slave along with the builtin flash? ...

Would be great to get some tips !

TIA
Peter
PS: Sure would beat taking my AB800 and a beauty dish on holiday in addition to my wife,2 kids, paraglider/modelairplane/laptop .... WHAOAOAOAOOAO
Peter,

Fong's diffuser is great when you have to be mobile (like a wedding photographer running around during the reception) or have to travel with minimal equipment. But the diffuser is NOT a substitute for a large, diffuse source of light - wasn't meant to be and never will be.

I've seen one guy that did a bit of flat white plastic behind the Fongthing and while it spread things out a bit, the results weren't all that much better than with the diffuser, alone.

Shoot a few hundred frames with the Fongthing and you'll get a better feel for what it can do for you - and I think more importantly, what it can't do for you.
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Re: Gary Fong for glamour ? A holiday problem
Old 07-12-2006, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I also recently purchased "Fong's dong", and have used it quite a bit. It is, simply, the most effective "gadget" I've bought. I have used it primarily for event shooting (roller derby and family events), and have few complaints. The complaints I do have, however, are worth noting.

My ttl (D70 with SB600) capability sux for some reason. Most shots come out horribly underexposed when shooting ttl. I have to bump up flash output to get suitable coverage. I also have problems with the light dome falling off. It is such a problem I bought a spare light dome in the event I lose one.

The *quality* of light I get once all my settings are right is very appealing. Much better than bouncing the light, and CONSIDERABLY better than straight on flash.
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Re: Gary Fong for glamour ? A holiday problem
Old 07-13-2006, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My ttl (D70 with SB600) capability sux for some reason. Most shots come out horribly underexposed when shooting ttl. I have to bump up flash output to get suitable coverage. I also have problems with the light dome falling off. It is such a problem I bought a spare light dome in the event I lose one.
I just got one of those things about a month ago. I sucked at on-camera flash photography but after getting this I actually started getting decent mobile shots.

Helped to be reading a lot thought. One of the things I've found is that on my Canon you need to add a stop or so of FEC. Probably the same thing you're seing on the Nikon.
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Re: Gary Fong for glamour ? A holiday problem
Old 07-13-2006, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the best advice is probably to play with it. Here's a couple of tips just the same.

The Lightsphere seems huge on your camera but it still makes a sucky little catchlight in the model's eyes BUT indoors with a low white ceiling you can pop the top and the LS will make a nice circular spot on the ceiling that makes a much nicer catchlight. Remember to position yourself so the model is looking slightly up to get more.

The lightsphere works great off-camera on a stand. You can get some really nice dramatic effects. If you have a white ceiling or a white wall you can get even more out of it.

I tried at one time pointing a lightsphere into a piece of foamcore and it works okay as a faux ceiling but having all the gadgetry to mount foamcore (and the foamcore itself) takes away from the convenience of portability.

I've also used the LS as a backlight in combination with a Chimera mini-softbox with great results. It really lights up the background evenly.

With the 580 you should be able to do some creative things. Like Ed, I'm finding that the light loss chews up the SB-600 pretty hard. Having a fast lens will keep you working longer.

Play with it. You'll find it really is a nice tool to have in your kit.
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Re: Gary Fong for glamour ? A holiday problem
Old 07-17-2006, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As you can probably tell by looking at my profile picture, I really do not go to any outdoor shoots without the LS any more. It is the perfect fill-light flash accessory.
As for indoor use, it is still very useful up to a point. The pluses are the portability and the really nice diffused light it give you (some times a little too soft for some people). the minuses are the light fall off compare to regular bounce off the ceiling flashes. The setting I use most often are F/2.8 with ISO of 400 to 800, setting the SB800 at i-ttl. it kind of take away the DOF some times, so Focus accurancy is critical.
Hope this helps...
Like most of the others say, experience with it, know its capabilties. and you will love it.
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