Lightscoop DSLR Flash Modifiers

Share

The good news about your DSLR's pop-up flash is that it's right there whenever you need it. The bad news is the light it produces is harsh, prone to weird shadows and red eye and seldom—if ever—flattering. To right these wrongs, Light Scoop has introduced a pair of mirrored bounce attachments designed to soften the blow of your pop-up flash.


Consisting of a three-sided, sweep-angled polycarbonate housing that snaps over your DSLR's flash, Lightscoops ($29.95) use a combination white diffuser and reflecting mirror to catch the light, diffuse it and bounce it along to an adjacent wall or ceiling. The end results include softer shadows, greatly diminished shadows, off-center light modeling and zero red eye.

Lightscoops are available to fit most DSLRs and are available with standard or warm mirrors. Designed to fit most DSLRs, parallel models are also available for Sony DSLRs.


 

The Lightscoop Universal Mirror is designed for use with most DSLRs and is available in a choice of standard or warm-toned, depending on whether you prefer neutral or warmer-looking imagery. 

If you own a Sony DSLR, the Lightscoops you'll be interested in are the Lightscoop Sony Standard Mirror and the Lightscoop Sony Warming Mirror, which accomplish the same goals as the Universal models, though with a snugger fit.

Editor's Note: We're adding samples of test shots from the manufacturer. In no way are we confirming or denying the value of the Lightscoop, since we were unable to take the time to make our own test shots.

First up: Standard Lightscoop

Warming Lightscoop

Add new comment

THESE ARE TERRIBLE!  Save your money, or if you really want one then buy mine, then I can recover my wasted money!  I shoot professionally, so it's not user error!   Just my tow cents, but believe me... you won't regret sitting this one out!

Wrong.  This is a great product.

THESE ARE TERRIBLE!  Save your money, or if you really want one then buy mine, then I can recover my wasted money!  I shoot professionally, so it's not user error!   Just my tow cents, but believe me... you won't regret sitting this one out!

[/quote]

A piece of shirt cardboard, taped or held with an elastic, around the flash head will do the same thing.

Been using that technique since the 1970's, it's something that can actually be carried over from film to digital

If you're really serious about using the on camera flash and really want to look a bit more sleek, you should spend your money in a better diffuser, Gary FOng makes one tcalled the "Puffer" that not only is light weight, yet also complements you're camera and it's also cheaper by a couple of bucks.

Anonymous wrote:

If you're really serious about using the on camera flash and really want to look a bit more sleek, you should spend your money in a better diffuser, Gary FOng makes one tcalled the "Puffer" that not only is light weight, yet also complements you're camera and it's also cheaper by a couple of bucks.

HEY THANKS for that one. I need these lighting tips and have been torturing myself for 3 years now ! ! HAA ! ! 

Such garbage from Gary Fong himself.   Why not admit the competiton is better, than posting hater email.

If you're really serious about using the on camera flash and really want to look a bit more sleek, you should spend your money in a better diffuser, Gary FOng makes one tcalled the "Puffer" that not only is light weight, yet also complements you're camera and it's also cheaper by a couple of bucks.

[/quote]

It's worth mentioning that if you are really serious about flash photography then you really need an hotshoe mounted flash on your digital SLR. Yes it is more cost, weight and bulk but you have more control over your flash output and thus a better ability to capture just what you want.

 These little "gadgets", while small and sometimes quite cool looking, will rarely achieve the kind of wonderful flash pictures the manufacturer claims they will.

It's interesting that there are no test shots in this review with and without the lightscoop.

Geeze. I can't believe these comments. The Lightscoop is a GREAT tool. I get super results with mine when I'm shooting indoors. I'm NOT a professional and I don't WANT to buy an external flash. For all you naysayers, there is a Lightscoop Users Group on Flickr if you want to see what real people are doing with it. The Lightscoop site has lots of great pictures, too.

Aftone wrote:

Geeze. I can't believe these comments. The Lightscoop is a GREAT tool.

It has severe limitations, like requiring the ISO to be set at 800 (something that's not made clear until you read the instructions), the inability to use it effectively outdoors (something admitted to on the Lightscoop website's FAQ), a limitation of ceilking height of 8-12 feet, and a ceiling that must be light-colored.

If you don't mind the noise/graininess from ISO 800 images (or you have a more recent model of DSLR that has goot high-ISO image quality) and you don't mind the limitations of the lightscoop it might be right for you. For me it's too limited a tool.

Sure you can tape a piece of shirt cardboard to your camera but that's not quite as durable as a Lightscoop. I've used the Lightscoop indoors and it did a nice job of softening the pop-up flash. If anyone wants to see what industry critics think, check out the reviews in the NY Times or Wired. 

My personal experience with the Lightscoop has been great!...it's economical, much lighter than a flash unit, it easily fits in my camera bag, and in a lot of indoor situations, I've found that it just does a great job. There were a couple of situations where my external battery pack went dead, and the Lightscoop saved me.

Before I bought one, I did some checking:
Among other things, it has been an American Photo Editors' Choice, and one of Pop Photography's  "Five Innovative Lighting Products." This simply doesn't happen with products that don't work.

http://www.popphoto.com/Features/Editor-s-Choice-2008-Lighting?page=0,2

http://www.popphoto.com/Reviews/Accesories/5-Innovative-Lighting-Ideas

I've found dozens of other positive reviews on web sites about these Lightscoops. Quite frankly, I don't believe the negative comments above...When I see these kinds of entries, I often wonder if they're written by some competitor as a way to keep themselves in business.

The comments trashing the diffuser, and recommending the Gary Fong diffuser are posted by Gary Fong himself...  what a creep.

 Plus the Gary Fong thingy is a diffuser, not a bouncer. Totally different concept and I do not like diffusers but I like bouncer attachments. Now if this thing only also had a second reflector on top of it...

What a great invention.  This actually works great.  I couldn't stand the "car headlight" effect I was getting from my flash.  After using this product, I'm dancing on my toes.  I looked at the before and after pictures and was skeptical.  But this really works!!

 I'm just curious how Anonymous @10/20 15:03 knows the identity of Anonymous @10/20 01:00.

I think this looks like a decent product for $30, and it might be a good way for some people to get introduced to other lighting devices before making the commitment to the obviously more pricey hot-shoe flash.

Hi there,

I represent Lightscoop and would like to respond to discussions like this as there remains a lot of confusion about bouncing versus diffusing and noise at 800 ISO.

First, it is impossible to bounce flash (with an external flash or with the Lightscoop®) outdoors, so stating there is an 'admission' that it doesn't work outdoors is a misreading of the information. Bounce flash is the redirection of light from the strobe head to a ceiling or wall in order to broaden the light and produce more natural results -- indoors.

In fact, here is a page from the 6th edition of Professor Kobre's textbook, "Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach," that compares bounce and diffusers indoors and out. As demonstrated, bouncing off a ceiling outdoors is not possible. Of course, a light-colored nearby wall might suffice for a side-bounce, but that isn't the purpose of the comparisons.

One clear conclusion from viewing the comparisons is that even high-end 'diffusers' do less well outdoors than indoors because outdoors there are no secondary bounce sources such as the ceiling, walls, floors, etc., to deflect light and fill shadows.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7891483@N07/2104912368/

Regarding noise or grain, we refer you to an excellent article by Ken Rockwell published in 2007. Since then, the technology has only improved and digital cameras are capable of producing quality images at much higher ISOs than 800.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/index.htm#intro

Good luck in your photography. We have always promoted the Lightscoop as a tool to extend the usefulness of the pop-up flash, not as a professional device (though we hear from professionals often who prefer it in casual, personal situations to carrying their external strobes). By the way, all the photos on our site, www.lightscoop.com, were taken by customers whose pictures we found on Flickr. We tracked them down and paid them for the use of their very nice images.

If you have any further questions, please let us know. You can contact us via our website.

This is a great product.  I've been using it for two years and it works great.  Not sure why some have complain.  Reading the directions help!

Found the product through a review in the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/technology/personaltech/20pogue.html?_r=1&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/P/Pogue,%20David

Do yourself a favor and try this.  I'm a pro photographer, and have found many uses for this.

5 stars!

I own the standard version and I've had so much sucess that I think I'll get the warming version as well.  The recomended settings, including 800 ISO, are just a starting point.  Once you start using it, and you know what you're doing, you can play around with the settings in ways that work even better than the ones recomended.  True, it's not ideal for every situation.  However, you can get a lot more use out of it by adjusting the flash power (Manual, not TTL), ISO, and shutter speed.

I own the Puffer as well.  Maybe it's that I just haven't played with it enough yet, but so far I haven't taken an acceptable looking shot with it yet.

I'm really digging this product.  It makes the light seem so natural.  Saw this article in the NY Times:

David Pogue of the New York Times gave us another reason for thanks today. In writing about his 10 years as a tech writer, Pogue said in his column today,  "The best part of this job is stumbling across some obscure product that’s truly great [like]... Lightscoop..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/technology/personaltech/25pogue.html?_r=1&src=busln