Are you using flash to improve your photos? Or do you want to? If so, then you’ll want to read our latest group test of key photo accessories.
This week we’ve tested six top flashgun diffusers that soften the light for more subtle results. Find out how they rated.
Interfit Strobies Octobox, Flex Mount
This kit comprises a 30cm octagonal softbox and a ‘flex mount’ for your specific flashgun. It’s fiddly to put together and its front diffusion panel and flex mount lack a firm grip. It has to be used off-camera, but softens the light well.
Compact when folded flat, the UltraSoft is easy to set up, but you’ll need to apply the Velcro pads to your flashgun to hold it in place. It’s used with the flashgun in an upright orientation, so there’s no problem with using it on or off-camera. The effect is only moderate.
Lastolite Brolly Grip Kit
Amazing value, this kit contains a 50cm translucent brolly that slides into a hand grip that attaches to most flashguns (not Sony fit) via the hotshoe plate. It also has fitments for lighting stand mounting. It softens light very effectively, but needs to be used off-camera.
Lastolite Ezybox Speed-Lite
Buy: www.lastolite.com This mini softbox is a much sturdier fit than the Octobox, despite not requiring Velcro pads. Measuring about 25x25cm, you can use the softbox with the flashgun on-camera, but not with a wide-angle lens. Silvered inner sides and dual diffusing screens soften the light well.
Lastolite Micro Apollo 60 II
Measuring about 25x18cm, this is a bit shorter than the Speed-Lite, and set-up time is just a few seconds instead of a couple of minutes. A revised internal frame adds rigidity and the flashgun can be used on or off-camera, but it’s a bit flimsy and not as effective as the Ezybox.
The push-fit Omni-Bounce is a translucent dome that’s made to suit specific flashguns. With a flashgun’s bounce head angled at about 45°, some light is fired forward, but light is also bounced off surrounding walls and ceilings. It’s effective indoors, but not so useful outdoors.