Using a Diffuser on a 540ez (canon)

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by robert_james|2, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. I had to questions about using a sto fen like cap on the front of the
    flash (540ez). Will this take away some light power, so that I can
    shoot at wider apertures up close, than I could with it off? Will it
    still expose completely ok?

    also, does angling it up 45 degrees really do anything to soften the
    light on peoples faces?? You see PJ's doing this all the time at say
    the presidential address etc. I can't belive this would do much and
    I guess I just need to try and see, but any advice?

    Thats about it.
  2. Yes, the diffuser will lower the effective guide number of the flash. It should expose OK as long as you have TTL flash metering. Otherwise, you'd need to meter the flash with the diffuser in place to get the correct exposure.

    When you angle the flash up, you're bouncing the flash off the ceiling. This works well to soften up the light if the ceiling is white and not too high. If it isn't white, you're going to get weird color casts happening. If it's really high, you're not going to get enough light. You can bounce the flash in conjunction with a diffuser to soften up the flash more - your ability to do this depends upon how powerful the flash is and how much light you need.

    You definitely want to at least use either a diffuser or bounce the flash; otherwise you get really ugly, harsh shadows.
  3. Robert, the idea behind the omni-bounce is that when the flash is pointed up to bounce off the ceiling, a little light is still going straight at the subject, to prevent the racoon eyes that you'll get with overhead light. Kind of like fill flash at midday in open sun.

    Since flash light is so blue, I don't personally get bothered by walls (don't forget that if the ceiling is too high, you can drag the subject to the nearest basically white wall and pivot the flash to bounce off of it) and ceilings that aren't exactly white. The omni-bounce itself might even add a little warmth to the light, even without getting the gold one. It's all moot if you're using neg film.

    I tended to use my 540ez with the omni-bounce attached and not bouncing, but aiming straight at the subject, and with the flash off the camera, in my left hand. Getting the off camera shoe cord 2 is probably the best thing you can do for your flash photography. That and keeping your subjects away from walls that they can cast their shadow on.

    Like Jonathan says, metering shouldn't be a problem with ttl. It's really important to pick the correct focussing point, though.
  4. Now that I think on it, the ceiling or wall color could be an issue in extreme cases, like people who paint the inside of their house blue or red or black or whatever. In this case, you might think about dragging along a white or silver collapsable reflector. You can then have your assistant (or a chair) hold the reflector aimed at the subject, and bounce the flash off of it.

    If you're shooting somewhere with werid patterns on the wall, like goldfish wallpaper or something, these patterns will transfer along with the bounced flash light and end up looking like mottled funk on peoples faces.
  5. When I've used a bounced (low, white ceilings) 540EZ TTL setting on an A2E (Program setting), I invariably get underexposed negatives (using NPH and Portra 400). I get the same results (UE at least 1 if not 2 full stops) using the Lumiquest white product - with the 540EZ pointed upwards and the light bouncing off the Lumiquest. If I'm doing something wrong - throw it out there - since I've seen this same question many times at, but never an answer. I really like the stroboframe TTL combination!

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