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The Gary Fong WhaleTail Flash Diffuser
by J. Ramon Palacios

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  The Tale of the Tail
» Comparisons
  Summary and Conclusions
   
   
Related articles
  GaryFong Lightsphere II System

Comparisons with other systems

I once made the comment about a colleague, that he was very intelligent. The reply from the outstanding man I was addressing was "Intelligent for what?" Meaning that nobody can be "Intelligent" at everything. So absolute statements around what light diffusion system is best, should be followed by the question "Best for what?" I will be addressing the question in this page for close-ups in interiors only.

With some time, we may later do interiors, small, medium and large groups; then interiors under further mixed lighting and finally move on to exteriors. Without live models at hand, I selected a couple of objects for the test. All shots under the same settings later repeated for the portraits in the previous page, however this time not hanheld but from a MAGICA 3.3 camera support integrated system (Gitzo GT3531 tripod with Markins TB-30 anti-vibration plate, Markins M20 ball head and Markins Titanium spikes with rubber tips).

You may click on any picture on a row to link to a somewhat enlarged version of the images in that row.

 

Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
SB-800 no dome - forward, 0°
SB-800 no dome at 60°
SB-800 no dome at 90°
Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
SB-800 + dome - forward, 0°
SB-800 + dome at 60°
SB-800 + dome at 90°
Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
GF LightSphere II CLEAR
No dome - forward, 0°
GF LightSphere II CLEAR
No dome at 60°
GF LightSphere II CLEAR
No dome at 90°
Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
GF LightSphere II CLEAR
With dome - forward, 0°
GF LightSphere II CLEAR
With dome at 60°
GF LightSphere II CLEAR
With dome at 90°
Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
No dome - forward, 0°
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
No dome at 60°
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
No dome at 90°
Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
With dome - forward, 0°
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
With dome at 60°
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
With dome at 90°
Direct lighting
Semi-direct lighting
Bounced light from ceiling
GF WhaleTail
Front lid down - Back lid down
GF WhaleTail
Front lid down - Back lid up
GF WhaleTail
Both lids down at front

Hard to pick a best choice from images of this size, even if just for this application. However, if you look closely, at these short distances (62 inches ~ 1.60 meters) it is always best to point the diffuser upwards as recommended. The WhaleTail design recognizes this fact and it is the only system not reproducing a bright spot at the top of the vase (simulating a shinny forehead) in all three sample test shots. And we have not yet started to play with color inserts, amber and silver flaps.

Summary and conclusions follow

  More about the Gary Fong WhaleTail...»
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