View Full Version : Flash: Using Lightsphere 2

12-26-2006, 11:59 AM
I was wondering if anybody has any experience with this particular product, the Lightsphere 2. I've heard good things from various photographers online and was wondering if any of you used one before.

Link: http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html
Price: ~$55 CAD.
Usage: Light diffusion for flash units

This would probably be used almost exclusively for Cosplay portait photography, particularly in the not-so-ideally lit indoor areas that have high ceilings. As well, I think it would provide for much simpler and easier fill flash for outdoor work.

Right now, I'm using a single SB-800. My most common indoor setup has been ceiling or wall bounce-flash with the stock diffuser on. I usually just try to avoid the higher ceiling areas when bouncing fails.

Outdoors, I usually slide up the small bounce-flash card up for small amount of fill light. Otherwise, I'll put on the diffuser and shoot my flash up at 60 or 75 degrees.

The alternate product I've been looking at were those giant flash-mounted cards, which I've seen a lot of use in wedding photography. Their name eludes me at the moment though!

12-26-2006, 12:54 PM
I love my lightsphere! I got one for my birthday last year, and I've noticed a big difference in my photos- it really does work wonders like the website claims. It's really nice for a cosplay photography, since it's really difficult to try to do bounce flash in large convention centers that have high ceilings and I don't like to take a lot of the cosplayer's time to pull them over to a good spot to take a picture. It's also works as a nice fill-flash for outdoors to remove shadows. I highly recommend it- especially since it's inexpensive.

12-27-2006, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the input!

12-28-2006, 01:18 PM
I tested it last year and compared it to various other solutions, including a home-made one. The home-made one won but the lightsphere came very close. The camera had slightly better WB with the cardboard and plastic contraption than with the lightsphere. Since not all pieces of cardboard are the same, the lightsphere is the better choice if knowing what you're getting is important.

12-28-2006, 02:43 PM
can you give more details abut this homemade solution?

12-28-2006, 05:48 PM
Do you by any chance have any sample photos taken using this?

12-28-2006, 07:16 PM
The post below originally sparked my interest on the lightsphere:
Check out his review in the magazine at the link in the post.

Ryan Brenizer is an established and extremely popular professional and Flickr photographer. He demonstrates much experience and inspirational work. At least, for me.

Other sample photos:
http://ryanbrenizer.livejournal.com/404755.html <-- same photographer
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/lightsphere/ <-- all photos tagged with "Lightsphere" in Flickr

The quality of the photos ranges from very nice to pretty poor, so mileage seems to vary with the photographer.

I've seen some interesting home-made flash card set ups, so I think I might try a home-made version of the 'sphere to see if it's really worth it. If any of you try it out, please post some sample images if you can.

01-23-2007, 11:25 AM
can you give more details abut this homemade solution?
Google lists a bunch of how-tos on doing cardboard bouncers/diffusers and such. I haven't seen any that let you make a glass/plastic thing like the lightsphere, though.

The film canister trick for a pop-up flash isn't bad, but troublesome... your light can still be harsh at close ranges and cuts off unexpectedly at farther ranges. Seems like the sweet spot for diffusion with that is tough to find.

STO-FEN's Omnibounce is supposed to be vaguely comparable to lightsphere and super cheap, though $15 is still a bit much for what's essentially a frosted plastic cap on your flash. I guess we're all just doomed to a stupidly overpriced industry.

02-22-2007, 03:38 PM
Has anyone else had any experience with the Lightsphere 2? I'm getting my first flash soon (the 430EX Canon Speedlite) and in addition to learning to use it for bounce flash, I'm very interested in getting a Lightsphere as well.

Seems like a not so big investment to getting better photos in difficult lighting situations.

02-23-2007, 02:10 PM
I once bought a LS2 for my 430EX but eventually had to sell it away. I found it fairly easy for the darn thing to fall off of the flash.

02-27-2007, 08:45 PM
have you guys seen this?

it looks a bit cumbersome but i'm dying to try this out (with a smaller piece of tupperwear and a lot of tape)