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flash diffuser

John Monarlte , Aug 16, 2004; 01:56 p.m.

Does anybody use a flash diffuser such as the sto-fen slip over type? when shooting at a wedding, or is the use of a flash diffuser not recommended?

Thanks, Barret.


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Eric Friedemann , Aug 16, 2004; 02:18 p.m.

Barret, I like Sto-Fen-type diffusers for shooting very close to a subject or for shooting ultra-wide-angle lenses. However, at a wedding, I'm not usually closer than about five/six feet to a subject and almost never shoot ultra-wide lenses. Long story short, a Sto-Fen-type diffuser should not be necessary for wedding shooting and will eat up about two f/stops of power, which you probably won't have to spare unless you're shooting a big-assed Metz 60-series flash.

Bill Clark - Minnetonka Minnesota , Aug 16, 2004; 02:21 p.m.

Hi Barret!

My recommendation would be to get at least main flash off of your camera! You can use different methods to fire it, such as, cordless equipment - transmitters & receivers, which, I believe, work the best.

Hope this helps!

Steve Levine , Aug 16, 2004; 03:03 p.m.

My biggest issue with any of these devices is that when they eat F stops,they eat recycle time too!Waiting 10-20 seconds for the ready light,seems like an eternity at a wedding.Also,unless you are indoors,with close walls & low ceilings,you are just wasting light with Sto-fens & similar devices.They are trying to mimic "wrap around" light similar to that from a bare bulb flash,which also needs reflecting surfaces.

William Casey McAllister , Aug 16, 2004; 07:22 p.m.

I use the sto-fen a lot w/ my 550. Gives softer light with an even spread...Works great for close in work, but light falls off fast so for telephoto type work it's not so hot.

I've shot entire weddings with it!

It's a 'must have' in my bag!


Scott Ferris , Aug 16, 2004; 07:28 p.m.

Hi Barret

I use the Lumiquest soft box. Very highly recommended.

Take care, Scott.

Abe Slamowitz - Long Island New York , Aug 16, 2004; 08:49 p.m.

It depends on the flash head! I use an Armatar Flash which has a round head on it. I eat lots of wonton soups for lunch and the cover for the soup is perfect as a diffuser. It's long lasting (been using the same one for 4 years), costs nothing extra, much cheaper the camera company diffuser and works perfectly. If your flash can take one of those, use it. They're great.

Cliff Henry , Aug 16, 2004; 09:01 p.m.


I have been using a softbox on my 550EZ for receptions and close up shots. I just started using a diffused bouncer on a second 550EZ, set at 45 degrees from camera, for formals in church. First 550 is on camera, without diffuser and direct, and ratio is 1:1. I shoot all of ceremony without diffuser and flash head direct.

I shot Sat's wedding reception, indoors, using the sto-fen for first time, haven't seen results yet! After lights were turned down and the dancing started I set up second 550 with diffused bouncer to help light background.

You might want to take a look at:



Do you shoot sto-fin in chruch with high ceiling? What about outdoor shoots?


Shane Gilbert , Aug 16, 2004; 10:01 p.m.

I just read an article on this very subject. Here is the link:


Hope this helps. I'm currently running my own tests on the subject.

Huey Stevens , Aug 18, 2004; 01:00 p.m.


I use a sto-fen omnibounce for table shots since I usually have to go from 24-28 mm (35 mm format)to get everyone in the photo. Here in Texas they pack the guests in like sardines, and I pray no one yells "FIRE". Some high dollar receptions at very respectable hotels pack them in to the point where two people CAN NOT simultaneously pull out from the table without their chair backs colliding. So I think you can see where wide angle is the only option. The Stofen does an excellent job of dispersing the light evenly over a wide angle. When I need the flash to light up something 20 - 30 ft away, I take it off.

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