Best flash diffuser: 6 top models tested and rated

Best flash diffuser: 6 top models tested and rated

For softer, more natural-looking light, you need to add a diffuser to your flashgun. We test 6 of the top models available to help you find the best flash diffuser worth your money

DIY Photography Hacks - make a foam flash diffuser: Step 6

Flash diffusers are great for ensuring more natural lighting in photos. They remove the harsh white light from direct flash by spreading out and softening light from flashguns.

However, there are dozens of models available, each offering unique features. Which is the best flash diffuser for your needs?

We tested six of the best flash diffusers available using a still-life setup, shot in front of a neutral wall using a tripod-mounted DSLR.

The rigid camera position and single light source didn’t eradicate shadows but was ideal for showing how each product diffused and/or bounced the light.

The flash was operated manually and its output was adjusted for each shot, to measure the degree of light loss each diffuser added.

A series of portraits was also shot to assess the practicality of each model, and to gauge the positives and negatives of different diffuser types.

Best Flash Diffuser: 01 LumiQuest Softbox III

Best Flash Diffuser: 01 LumiQuest Softbox III

Price: £44, $36
Buy it: www.lumiquest.com
LumiQuest’s Softbox III is up against some stiff competition in the diffusers field, considering that the well-made Lastolite EzyBox is available for a similar price (see opposite).

By comparison, the LumiQuest’s simple four-panel construction forms well, although the method of adhering it to a flashgun with Velcro doesn’t feel sturdy enough. It also means you need to have Velcro on your flash head even when you’re not using the diffuser.

But that’s not to say that the Softbox III doesn’t work. Far from it. It’s a decent enough performer for diffusing directional light, and the collapsible structure makes it portable, too.

Shadows are softened and it’s great for outdoor fill-flash work. It’s just that there are better products out there.

Our verdict
Pros… Delivers softbox-style light diffusion, and is easy to carry around.
Cons… Provides less diffused light than similar competitors, and isn’t sturdy.

Score
2/5

Best Flash Diffuser: 01 LumiQuest Softbox III
Best Flash Diffuser: 02 Honl eight-inch Speed Snoot

Best Flash Diffuser: 03 Gary Fong Lightsphere

Best Flash Diffuser: 04 Rogue FlashBender Reflector
Best Flash Diffuser: 05 Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce
Best Flash Diffuser: 06 Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite
Five things you need to look out for when buying a flash diffuser

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