In this article, we will be taking a look at what we feel are the best flash diffusers for event photography currently available on the market. With different events all having their own individual rules on what you can and can’t take as part of your photography kit as well as items that it must include, more and more photographers are turning to flash diffusers as a way to still be able to use their camera lenses without breaking any of the rules of the event.
Thankfully, flash diffusers are a relatively straightforward bit of kit that is cheap, reliable, and very easy to use. We have researched the various types of flash diffuser currently available on the market as well as the various brands that produce them. After researching the products we have settled on five flash diffusers that we feel are ideal for event photography and will be able to meet all of your requirements.
Gary Fong Collapsible Light Sphere
We believe this is due to the fact that it is a very effective flash diffuser that is available relatively cheaply. It is also robust and does not break easily while also being small enough to fit in small kit bags and easy to transport.
The shape of the Light Sphere has been designed to quickly and easily be able to fit the majority of on-camera flashes that are popular for event photography. The Light Sphere is a type part system featuring a durable and movable body and a solid dome head. Although some people prefer to put the body of the tool over their flash head and then add the dome head, you are able to add the flash diffuser with both parts attached without issue.
The third-party video below gives an overview and explanation of the Gary Fong Collapsible Light Sphere (Click here to check for prices) and how best to utilize it for your event photography.
Once you have your flash diffuser in place you are able to start snapping your event as you please. There are three main ways people seat their flash with the Light Sphere attached. The first is the standard of pointing the flash directly at the target of the photograph, the second is to angle the flash head forty-five degrees upwards. While both of these work fine, the most popular seems to be turning the flash head totally vertical to get a better spread of light from the flash with the Light Sphere fitted.
The Gary Fong Collapsible Light Sphere helps you to control the direction of light, the quantity of light, and the quality of light from your flash allowing you to get better photographs from your event than you would be able to use natural or non-flash diffused light.
This helps to stop any unflattering light from the subject of your photograph as well as allow you to catch those random, spontaneous moments of the event in excellent quality that would have been missed if you were forced to use off camera flashes.
Gary Fong Universal Cloud
As this is the third innovation of the product, it offers all of the advantages covered above while also offering some innovations too. The plastic has a white dye added to it during the molding process to offer better distribution of the light from your flash for your events.
The locking system for the Universal Cloud has also been updated, unlike the Light Sphere above that used a velcro locking system, the Universal Cloud uses a silicone/rubber strap based system for improved grip. Although it is not recommended, once the strap has been applied and the Universal Cloud is in place, you are able to hold your camera and lens via the flash modifier without it coming off. If it won’t fall off from this then you can rest assured that it will stay in place while taking photographs in strong wind too.
An old trick that many event photographers used to utilize was the ceiling to help with their flash but this presented its own problems. The ceiling could be the wrong color, it could be uneven or it may not reflect the light onto the subject of the photograph in a flattering way. The Universal Cloud is a quick and easy way to get excellent photographs without the need to hope that your events ceiling can help you.
One tip that we would like to share when using the Universal Cloud flash modifier for your event photography is to angle the flash perpendicular to your camera. This will allow you to quickly and easily switch it between horizontal and verticle positions without the additional fuss of rotating it through the initial ninety degrees. The Universal Cloud will ensure that you still get plenty of light for your photographs while saving you some valuable time.
Sto-Fen Flash Diffuser
It is a much lower price flash diffuser than those from the Gary Fong range so you have to give allowances for the performance of the product but it is a quick and easy to use solution for when you are in a pinch.
As the Sto-Fen Flash Diffuser is a molded plastic flash diffuser you have to ensure that you are ordering the correct size for your flash head (Click here to check for available flash fittings). Provided you have ordered the correct size for your flash head, the Sto-Fen will be a snug fit that will not fall off mid-event causing you to lose some potential photographs.
The Sto-Fen is able to help improve the photographs that you take at your event by helping to reduce the amount of red-eye, reflections, and unwanted shadows in your photographs. It can also help to offset the intensity of your flash for portraits of people with light outfits too.
The slim and lightweight design of the Sto-Fen allows you to quickly and easily store it away when required in your photography bag or even in your pocket if needed. Its simple yet highly-effective design also allows you quickly and easily attach or detach the flash diffuser as and when required without the need for any velcro or securing rings.
If you do choose to use the Sto-Fen as a backup flash diffuser then the speed you are able to attach it to your flash head when needed can help reduce the number of possible photographs that you could miss depending on the type of event.
Top One Flash Diffuser
That said, the low price, decent performance, and ease of use have helped the Top One Flash Diffuser grow a decent size following of photographers who use this as their part of their photography kit.
The main drawback of this flash diffuser is that you are not able to collapse it for better storage or transportation. This coupled with the fact that it is actually fairly flimsy can result in damage and easy breakages that are, unfortunately, unavoidable.
The securing system to attach this flash diffuser to your flash head gets the job done. You simply push it over your flash head and then have the additional option to secure it in place with velcro straps if you think that it may fall off for whatever reason.
The Top One Flash Diffuser is based on a two-part system of the initial body of the diffuser and a head. You are able to use the flash diffuser with or without the head depending on your requirements although you will get better performance when using it with the head attached.
Flash Diffuser Light Softbox
The Flash Diffuser Light Softbox can be used to potentially reduce the harshness and soften shadows at your event just like the options featured above but we feel that their smaller size will make the process much easier. You simply attach the light softbox to your flash head via the velcro straps on and the flash diffuser will be secured in place.
The low price tag also means that you can pick one up inexpensively to test out as and when you please to see if you are able to achieve the type of images that you prefer when taking photographs at events. That said, we still feel that a good light softbox has plenty of uses in other types of photography and that you should have one in your kit, even if you don’t use it for your event photography.
Sources And Additional Reading
The independent third-party video below offers an excellent overview of the various flash modifiers currently available on the market right now. That said, not all of them are suitable for event photography but we still think the video is worth the watch and offers plenty of value for the short duration.
The following articles can also help you with some of them having been used as sources and reference material for our article. They go into detail about how to actually use a flash diffuser and get the best out of it to capture the absolute best possible photographs at your event.