This is a guide covering the best
In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:
- Best overall flash diffuser for club photography
- Best budget flash diffuser for club photography
- Things to consider when choosing a flash diffuser
- Pros and cons
- Important features
- And more
Let’s dive in.
7 Best Flash Diffusers for Club Photography
Click/tap on each flash diffuser name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!
In a hurry? Check out our top pick!
Any professional photographer will tell you that, to use your flash effectively indoors, you need to “bounce” the light, which is to say it should be direct at your subject rather than into the camera lens.
This can be accomplished in many different ways.
However, in a night club atmosphere, especially one with dark walls and high, dark ceilings, you’ll find that you have very little control over your flash.
On the contrary—it’ll blow out your subjects in blinding detail while getting otherwise sucked into the abyss around them. Using a flash on its own will give you overexposed, startling bright models and not much else—that’s not exactly the effect you want.
For more control of how you light your subjects, you’ll want to invest in something called a flash diffuser. We compiled a list of the best 7 flash diffusers for club photography.
|1. Gary Fong Lightsphere |
|– One of the few “name brand” light diffusers on the market|
– Collapsible yet sturdy silicone gives a great performance
|2. Flash Diffuser Light Softbox 6×5” |
|– Easily affixed to your flash and effectively one-size-fits-all|
– The high-quality diffuser panel will make even the harshest flash look soft in comparison
|3. Neewer Camera Flash Bounce Light Hard Diffuser ||– More direct light, which is still diffused|
– Super lightweight and small
|4. Pangshi Flash Diffuser Reflector ||– Acts as a two-in-one tool with the reflector hood and light diffuser combination|
– The reflector is removable if you don’t need it
|5. Fotasy Soft Universal Cloth Flash Bounce Diffuser Cap ||– As a material, cloth acts as a great light diffuser|
– Extremely lightweight and durable
|6. Rogue Photographic Design||– It’s large. Measures about 9×10 inches|
– Works really well. Great for bouncing the flash
– Easy storage
– Well built. Feel really solid with high quality materials
– Can be reshaped
|7. Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-EW Flash Diffuser ||– Offers a nice and soft light — not harsh|
– Displays colors and tones naturally
– Strong build
1. Gary Fong Lightsphere
For many photographers, the search for a light diffuser stops at Gary Fong and his collapsible light sphere diffuser.
The light sphere does do a great job and is made of quality materials.
Forgoing simple plastic, the light sphere uses collapsible, soft silicone which diffuses light in all three dimensions.
2. Flash Diffuser Light Softbox 6×5”
This flash diffuser softbox is ultra-compact and universal thanks to its collapsible canvas and Velcro design.
As mentioned, it’s universal and can work with Canon, Yongnuo, and Nikon.
While this diffuser comes in three different sizes, the Velcro connector on the bottom should easily cinch to the diameter of your flash, no matter the make and model.
Best of all, it offers a huge, soft diffuser plate to effectively disperse your flash.
3. Neewer Camera Flash Bounce Light Hard Diffuser
Softboxes are great for certain people but others prefer a “hard diffuser” design, which affixes directly to the bulb of your flash.
This can preserve more light by diffusing it much less, which can be a great compromise when you’re in a night club.
Most of all, since the Neewer flash diffuser connects to the flash, it lacks the bulkiness exhibited by a softbox.
4. Pangshi Flash Diffuser Reflector
It might look a little goofy, but this flash diffuser by pangshi has a two-in-one purpose by acting as both a flash diffuser and reflector.
Sometimes, due to the intense darkness of a club, you’ll find that your light simply vanishes into thin air.
A Reflector combined with a diffuser, in theory, keep your light focused yet soft.
Think of it this way—any light that would otherwise be light to the ceiling will bounce down from the reflector, where it will find its way to your subjects.
5. Fotasy Soft Universal Cloth Flash Bounce Diffuser Cap
These soft cloth flash bouncers by Fotasy give you the wider diffusion of a softbox with the footprint of a standard flash diffuser thanks to their cloth design.
Due to their simple elastic bottom, these should fit on most flashbulbs.
Thanks to their cloth material, they’re both easily transportable and damage-proof.
6. Rogue Photographic Design
What is great about Rogue’s line of FlashBender products, is that you can bend it into a variety of positions.
It has an elastic fastener with velcro edges which means adding a FlashBender reflector is very easy.
Once it is all attached, the internal wire of the reflector’s structure holds everything and you can reform the shape.
This allows you to have much more control over light than you would with a standard reflector.
The velcro sides also means a small snoot can be formed.
FlashBender’s small size and flat form make it an accessory that is easy to take anywhere.
7. Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-EW Flash Diffuser
The Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce outputs light in all directions.
It uses both ceilings and walls to bounce flash and without these surfaces, the reflector is better for spreading flash.
It is great for spreading light and it is flashgun-specific.
It offers a snug fit, however, you will need to purchase a new diffuser if you switch between flashguns.
What is a Flash Diffuser?
A flash diffuser can go a long way to giving you a more natural light even with a flash.
What a flash diffuser does, to put it simply is soften and/or spread the light from your flash to reduce the harshness of the shadows cast and spread the light more uniformly.
At its most basic, a flash diffuser is a piece of transparent plastic that fits over the light source of your flash.
Once your flash is activated, the light must pass through this piece of plastic, where it’s softened before lighting your subject.
When used correctly, a flash diffuser can be one of the most important pieces of nightclub photography equipment in your bag.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Flash Diffuser for Club Photography
Flash diffusers can be great accessories.
However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing the best flash diffuser for club photography.
As mentioned, night club photos have their own unique set of challenges, so it’s important to ensure your flash diffusers work to soothe them.
Even if you have the best flash for nightclub photography it can create harsh results if not managed properly.
It’s important to scout out your night club beforehand to ascertain how dark the club will be when you shoot.
Moreover, you want to check the walls—how dark are they? How high are the ceilings? The higher the ceilings and the darker the interior, the more light you’ll need and thus, the less opaque you’ll want your diffuser to be.
A more diffused light is always the best look.
However, diffusion also means a weakening of your light source.
If the club is too dark then too much diffusion will means that very little light covers your subjects.
Try and find a happy medium between diffusion and intensity—you may need more than one diffuser to experiment with different levels.
Flash Diffusers Are Great When They’re Appropriate
With knowledge and intuition as a photographer, you’ll find that you begin to have a knack of knowing when and how to use the tools at your disposal.
Even the best flash diffuser for club photography will be unhelpful if it’s used when it’s not appropriate.
Scouting your location beforehand and experimentation is just as important as the quality of your diffuser.
They are typically lightweight, compact, and easily installed so you can experiment with them during your sessions and get a feel for how they perform, what they do, and soon enough develop a deep understanding of when to use them.
Night clubs, due to their nature, are one of the best ways to experiment with a flash diffuser and, when used expertly, a flash diffuser can take your club photography to the next level.
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Nate Joaquin Torres is a portrait photographer based in Southern California. As a photographer, Nate loves testing different photography styles and gear to expand his skill set. Outside of photography, Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. Nate is also the founder of Imaginated.com, DEEP IN THE MIX, and Blue Hour Candle. Connect with him on Instagram.