Control the lighting faster with efficient flash diffusers.
If your photography setup includes a hotshot-mounted flash, you’ve probably browsed the web in search of the best flash diffusers. With a highly functional light modifier, you get overall control over lighting to take eye-catching images. Acquiring diffusers or softboxes is of paramount importance for people who specialize in portraiture and still-life photography. Besides, you don't have to spend a fortune on this equipment, as the prices range from $12 up to $70 depending on the model.
“Flash diffuser” is a wide term that encompasses different types of flashgun accessories for embellishing your flash photography with different effects. Softbox is the most popular diffuser, which is designed to make light softer.
No matter whether you decide to acquire a rigid diffusion dome or a pop-up fabric softbox, the principle of their functioning is the same. They distribute light through a translucent material creating softer illuminations, with more gradual transitions between highlights and darks. In such a way, the light is not as intense as it would be when bursting out of the flash directly at your subject.
Material: aluminum and silver | Item dimensions: 9.06 x 9.06 x 1.57 inches | Item weight: 1.83 pounds
Godox 5-in-1 reflector provides gold, silver, black, white, and translucent surfaces to create different effects. Thanks to its foldable construction, you can carry this diffuser around with ease. It may seem a bit bulky to some shooters due to its measurements and weight, but these are just numbers. With its rounded shape, the model is quite compact.
When used with a translucent surface, this flashgun accessory boasts an excellent performance outdoors producing flattering light for your pictures. Many shooters claim that this model is one of the best flash diffusers for studio portrait photography as well.
Material: ABS resin and PP material | Item dimensions: 3.35 x 3.11 x 1.97 inches | Item weight: 1.58 ounces
Neewer Dome tones down the harsh light produced by the flash getting rid of the unflattering shadows from the subject or objects. When using it, you can create a perfectly balanced and even illumination for excellent results. Besides, when spreading the light, the diffuser makes your pictures look more professional and appealing.
This is probably the most optimal studio lighting kit for photographers who use a Neewer flash. Furthermore, it would be no exaggeration to call this speedlight diffuser the most portable model available on the market today.
Material: silicone diffusion material | Item dimensions: 6.7 x 4.7 x 1.3 inches | Item weight: 0.3 ounces
Godox AK-R11 is a compact photography light diffuser. Besides, you can choose special diffusion filters and other accessories, but they cost some extra money. It is also important to know that this model perfectly fits all Godox flashes delivering excellent illumination for your photo session.
Thanks to the magnetic design, attaching the light modifier to a flash is a speedy and effortless procedure. By dispersing the harsh light emitted by a flash, Godox AK-R11 allows you to take awesome pictures bringing your shooting experience to a new level.
Material: silicone rubber | Item dimensions: 5.51 x 5.35 x 3.11 inches | Item weight: 8.4 ounces
The MagSphere 2 is a highly functional speedlight diffuser that instantly makes the light produced by your flash soft and leveled. This model is available as an on-camera diffuser and a small bounce card. By enlarging the light-emitting surface by over 250%, this modifier spreads the light over a larger area to create a flattering illumination.
Its compatibility with all common flash sizes and brands is a considerable advantage. It eliminates the need to purchase another modifier every time you decide to upgrade the setup. Besides, your flash will be also more efficient producing twice as many light bursts before the battery drain. Not only that, the MagSphere 2 creates two times brighter illumination than the competing light diffusers do at the same power settings.
Material: nylon and aluminum | Item dimensions: 8.1 x 6.2 x 3.2 inches | Item weight: 7 ounces
Pop-up construction of RoundFlash Ring turns a process of installation into an intuitive procedure. You just need to stretch it along all foldable magnetic sticks until they click and strap your flashlight into the back.
A modifier is securely attached to a lens with elastic cords, but wide-angle or short prime optics are not advisable as they can cause undesirable vignetting in photographs. This is not a big deal, as ring flashes are great for portrait prime lenses with 70-105 mm focal length.
Though this model is quite big and limits access to your zoom or focus rings, thanks to such a size it provides a bright, evenly diffused light without heavy shadows. And all this comes at a very modest cost. If you use macro photography flashes, RoundFlash Ring will be a perfect fit as well. Just make sure to boost your speedlight’s power to compensate for the hefty three-stop light decrease.
Material: lightweight fabric | Item dimensions: 0.16 x 0.06 x 0.17 inches | Item weight: 0.634 ounces
Angler PSFD-100 is a featherlight and easy-to-install flash diffuser made of long-lasting fabric. It perfectly fits the lenses with a maximum width of 90mm. Featuring an elastic ring, this modifier tightly hugs even a large zoom lens making sure that it stays in place when you move to find the right angle for a perfect photo.
The top panel distributes intensive light produced by a speedlight or on-camera flashes creating flattering illumination without harsh shadows. Besides, Angler PSFD-100 is easy to fold down into a compact pouch for easy and trouble-free transportation.
Material: polyester | Item dimensions: 13.43 x 7.95 x 4.13 inches | Item weight: 9.9 ounces
Neewer Collapsible Softbox is one of the best flash diffusers for many reasons. First, it is easy to install wherever it is necessary, simplifying your workflow greatly.
Besides, this diffuser boasts an excellent performance coping with tasks of producing soft light with flying colors. No matter where you use the softbox, you can be sure that it will diffuse light in any environment. When it comes to diminishing heavy shadows, Neewer does a perfect job as well.
Godox 5-in-1OUR CHOICE
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When shopping for the diffusers for your camera flashes, a photographer should consider many aspects.
Type. Light modifiers are available in different types and your priority task is to decide which one best suits your needs before making a purchase. If you are working outdoors and portability is the most important aspect for you, turn your attention to dome flash diffusers. They look like a dome and have a compact design.
Photographers can attach the reflectors to the back of the speedlight distributing light by bouncing it. However, softboxes are a more common type of flash diffuser that is added to the flashgun in the most direct way possible.
The amount of diffusion. In most shooting scenarios, the more scattered light is, the better the pictures are. But some diffusers may deteriorate the performance of a flash weakening its light output too much. Therefore, before choosing a light modifier, make sure that the selected model will work well with the existing flashgun.
Size. Although the size factor is often associated with portability, things are a bit different in the case of flash diffusers. Remember that the bigger a modifier is, the softer light it produces. However, such models cannot boast a compact design. Try to find the balance between functionality and portability when choosing the diffuser for taking awesome images.
Durability. You should pay special attention to this aspect giving priority to durable models. Nowadays the market offers weatherproof cameras that perform well in different shooting scenarios but when it comes to flash diffusers, things tend to be a bit complicated. According to the experience of fellow photographers, polycarbonate is the most robust material for this kind of flash accessory.