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The Gary Fong WhaleTail Flash Diffuser Review

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)


Keywords: diffusers, lighting, flash

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The Tale of the Tail

Complex lighting situations requiring light balancing were already largely solved with the Gary Fong Lightsphere System II. CLOUD for warm close-ups; CLEAR for wide spaces, groups and cooler portraits; CLOUD with CHROME dome for higher ceilings and further reach; CLOUD with AMBER dome for tungsten light balancing. No more dark areas, shadows under the eyes, or red-eye, with pleasing natural look - no "deer-under-the-headlights" effect or hot spots. So it was quite a surprise when Gary told us he was launching a newer product. What for? was our first question.

GaryFong Lightsphere II Clear, WhaleTail Reporter and Lightsphere II Cloud

The series below was made from a Nikon D2X set at P program mode (sorry, it was too early in the morning) and matrix metering. The lens is a 28-70mm f/2.8D ED AF-S Nikkor. The speedlight, a single SB-800 hotshoe mounted on camera with five fresh Energizer batteries, set at i-TTL. ISO 100, resulting in 1/60 sec f/4 exposures. White Balance on AUTO. Color space sRGB (I). No levels nor curves adjustments were made except for D-Lightening on Nikon Capture 4.4.2. The model, my elder grandson landing with a tan from a week at the beach.

Front and back flaps down Front flap down back flap up The two flaps down in front

This flaps combination diffuses direct light into the subject and the light bouncing from the ceiling While diffusing direct harsh light into the subject, increases the light bouncing from the ceiling Diffuses, softens and warms up the light into the subject while still bouncing light from the ceiling

GF LightSphere II CLOUD
Upwards with white dome
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
Upwards with no dome
GF LightSphere II CLOUD
Bounced into the wall

So this short session was one of delightful discovery, understanding Gary Fong's reply to our question: "Flexibility." The WhaleTail adds flexibility to the intensity and quality of light, both to the direct and the indirect bounced light. Nice! And you can do it with just the flipping up or down of the flaps in several combinations.

The WhaleTail renders warmth into the skin, somewhere between the Lightsphere CLEAR and the Lightsphere CLOUD.

How the WhaleTail compares to other diffusers is next.

 

 

(3 Votes )
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Originally written on January 25, 2002

Last updated on December 19, 2017

J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 45746 posts

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