Got a Nikon DB-600 Speedlight flash unit...(and love it!) now what about diffusion?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BJB Productions, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. BJB Productions, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011

    BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #1
    Hey everyone,
    I just got the following unit for my Nikon D90.

    Only used it once, so I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do, but I already love it. My one question is..now that I have it, do you think/recommend that I should get something like this to go along with it?

    I'm not a pro, so I'm very new to flash units/etc in general. In case you don't know, I'm a amateur photographer for senior photos. (Mostly do outdoor shooting.) But for other things which may be inside, would this be good/necessary to have on hand?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    If you're setting up a mini studio to do senior photos, you'd be better off with a shoot-through umbrella, a light stand, and an umbrella holder. When it comes to softening light, bigger is better, and an umbrella is the biggest bang for the buck. You are also better off using off-camera flash. Your D90 has a commander mode so you can use it to trigger the SB-600 remotely.

    I have a (ridiculously overpriced) diffuser from Gary Fong that works pretty well. My SB-800's came with little diffusers like the one you linked to, but they don't do much.
     
  3. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #3
    Yeah- that makes sense. I'm not going to be setting up a studio of any kind soon and since I'm just by myself, umbrellas aren't really a great choice for me. I would be using it for outdoor shoots when I need flash, but I need to aim it directly at the subject since there would be nothing to bounce it off of.

    I never knew my D90 had a commander! I'm going to try that right now.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    Cliff's right, a shoot-through umbrella will give you the most bang for the buck- the closer to the subject the better too. Lots of folks use umbrellas by themselves- not sure what the issue would be- you'll want sandbags for the light stands outdoors though. Making "Better Bounce Cards" is cheap, but the size isn't as good for things like seniors, as are the little mini-softboxes- ideally you want the light source to be big if you're doing full-body shoots.

    Paul
     
  5. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #5
    Shoot-through umbrellas are translucent, so the light is direct and not reflected. Look to the strobist site for further discussion and examples.

    If you're shooting outdoors then you're presumably just looking for fill. You may want to consider crafting or buying some sort of reflector too, and recruiting someone to hold it for you.
     
  6. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #6
    Yep--fill is what I would be looking for outdoors. That's a good idea, I do have another friend who I can contract/ask to help out for bigger stuff. So that is always a possibility. I'll look into the umbrellas too.
     
  7. M-5 macrumors 65816

    M-5

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    #7
    I got the SB-600 as well about a week ago for my D5000, and I'm really enjoying it. Unfortunately, my camera won't fire it remotely, so I've only used it on camera, but it's definitely improved my indoor shots greatly.

    I'm still learning how to use it correctly, but it's really fun to use. I tried using it a couple of days ago inside a restaurant, but there weren't any white walls, so I had to bounce it off of wood, and it didn't work well as it cast this pink-ish light on the images.

    And I've also tried using it outdoors, but It's really only possible if the subject is close to a wall or else it's really useless. So I'm also looking for a diffuser or something similar.
     
  8. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #8
    Well as they have said above, it sounds like our best bet would be an umbrella. I'm still considering making my own diffusion to just do some testing with.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    Rubber band a piece of white card to it and point it up. You can bend the card slightly forward to omit a ceiling color. Alternately, build a "Better Bounce Card."

    Paul
     
  10. Joem48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #10
    Someone mentions just for starters since you are new to all this. Just take a 3x5 or larger index card. and rubber band it around the flash tilted up.

    See
    [​IMG]

    Camera will do the rest. You'd be surprised how well this works outside as well - when used at reasonable distances like 7, or 8 ft.

    Just play and practice you'll get better at it.

    joe
     
  11. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008

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