If you don’t know what it is, it is generally called a lighting modifier in photography. It is often called though as a Flash Diffuser.
The Gary Fong Lightsphere 2 is the newest version of Gary Fong’s Lightsphere series. It comes either in Clear and Cloud versions. The clear one for slight softness of light and the Cloud one which I recommend adds moderate softness to your flash light, making photos appear like it was taken using natural lighting not the harsh one a regular flash produces. It has a top attachment if you want to use those, it is actually a lid to close the dome to be able to point the Lightsphere directly on your subject . Imagine it looking like a Tupperware attached to your Flash. Most version fits the Nikon and Canon Flashes, so to make it fit a third-party flash like the Nissin Di622 reviewed before, slight modification and cutting required to fit.
When you buy one, it comes with the Cloud White dome lid, but other lids can be bought separately like the Amber Lid and the Reflective Silver Lid. The Generic version of the Gary Fong Lightsphere2 if you want to save some cash is called a Lambency Flash Diffuser. Some are named even crazier, but the best replicas are the Lambency ones.
Gary Fong Lightsphere 2 Clear
One downside when attaching it to a Nissin Di622 is that the weight added to the flash head makes it bow down to 90 degrees, so you either just point it up instead or rest it at 90 degrees, anywhere in between will drop down the head, unless you put in some fitter to the head to lock it tight.On Nikon and Canon Flash systems, it works pretty well as it is designed for those, the locking mechanism of those flash units are better. However, there is a Universal Lightsphere now available for all types of external Flashes.
The Gary Fong Lightsphere2 is really good to use on portrait photography, you need to practice a lot thought to get a hang of the proper settings to use when using an external flash and the Lightsphere 2. First thing I learned is to make sure you set a custom White Balance when bouncing the flash using the Lightshpere to achieve optimum results.
Gary Fong Lightspehere 2 Universal
Here are a couple of my observations:
- When there is insufficient light, the best distance would be around 6ft. from the subject bounced upward with the Lid at f11 and iso400 1/125. Flash power set at TTL. Bouncing at low light, it is best to set your White Balance to Tungsten.
- Pointing the Flash with the lid, you just need minor adjustments. For good all around flash strength, set at TTL and add +1 to the flash assist power.
I tried it on my SB-600 and it works like a charm, on the Nissin Di622 after slight modification, it works even better, I think it is because of the flash rating of the Nissin Di622 being higher than SB 600. Sample shots Below.
Regular Flash Left, with Lightsphere 2 on the Right
With the Amber Dome
If you have other observations on the Gary Fong Lighstphere 2, please suggest it by commenting and I will gladly test it and add the notes if confirmed.
Do you need to know more? Comment below and I’ll try to answer all your questions.
You can actually make a DIY (Do It Yourself) version of the Lightsphere.
Get one, I highly recommend it, tell Mr. Fong you read it here.