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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Diffusion dome or index card?

    I just bought a used ("like new") Nikon SB-700 flash for my D-7500. When reading the manual, it mentions a Nikon diffuser dome, which was not included.

    We have a grandson who just turned 1, and we have only been able to visit twice because of distance and COVID. On the last trip, I used the built-in flash with mixed results. We are going down for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks and want to get some better photos this time. I'm concerned about the bright flash going off directly aimed at his young eyes, so I'd like to do bounce flash off the ceiling. (I try to keep at least a 5-6 foot minimum distance when using flash) I see many people use a white index card rubber-banded to the flash and have the flash pointed up for bouncing off the ceiling.

    Looking online, I see a Sto-Fen Omni Bounce OM-700 diffuser for $11.99. Would this be better than the index card? Is the small white card (appx 1" X 1.5") that is built in to the SB-700 enough by itself?

    Or - do you have any suggestions for other diffusers?

    Thank you!


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    Last edited by pnomanikon; 11-05-2021 at 11:25 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    Hi Mike. After watching this video I myself got just an el cheapo diffuser cap and a small softbox attachment for my Yongnuo speedlight, and both work well. The cap is easier to pop on and off (I often just leave it on), but the soft box does give better light for portrait work (I have an even smaller one than the one shown in the video, which does reduce the effect a bit but is more portable and quicker to slip on). I probably will end up getting the "Flash Bender" at some time in the future, especially if I end up getting more into outdoor portraits and need a fill flash.

    Having said that...I did use the ol' white index card with rubber band trick back in my film days, and if you don't have access to anything else that's still a better option I think than a nekkid flash.
    Last edited by Dangerspouse; 11-05-2021 at 12:04 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    have you tried using the diffuser that is part of the flash? See sb-700 you tube, lots of videos.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonpup View Post
    have you tried using the diffuser that is part of the flash? See sb-700 you tube, lots of videos.
    Just got it in the mail last evening and did not get a chance to try it out. I was planning to try the built-in diffuser, but I thought I read that spreading out the flash source to a larger area is better than all of the light coming from a small, concentrated source. It might be easier on the kiddo's young eyes, too.

    From a first-read, it appears the built-in diffuser is designed for straight-on use at short ranges. I don't know how much (if any) would be diffused towards the subject if the flash was pointed up at, say 60-90 degrees. I will have to do some experimenting today.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    Last edited by Needa; 11-05-2021 at 01:20 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    Diffusion dome or index card?
    Watch this video... it explains the zoom function and light dispersion of your Speedlite. It you add that diffusion cap on a Nikon light, it acts like the fresnel lens and automatically limits the light's focal length... The Gary Fong type light diffusers or the small softbox diffusers do NOT lock the light's focal length and give you the extended light range but with a softer non-glaring light.

    Speedlight is stuck at 14mm Basics of flash zoom explained - YouTube
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    Thank you, everyone! Looks like I have some homework to do today. I appreciate your input.
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  8. #8
    Staff
    Admin
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    The little white index card is a bounce card. As Fred's video points out, when the bounce card is pulled out, the focal length of the flash switches to 14mm no matter what focal length your lens is set to.

    Here is a link to the original Nikon diffuser in case you want to order one or can find a used one quickly. The product name is the Nikon SW-14H Diffusion Dome in case you want to search for one that is preowned. At the moment, it looks like B&H even has a used one in stock for a little less than the cost of a new one.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...l?sts=pi&pim=Y
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    @Dangerspouse I checked out your video, and, like you, I like the Rogue Flash Bender. Looks like it would fold up and not take up much space, and is flexible (literally and figuratively).
    @hark Thank for the info. I must have skipped over the part in the manual where it says the flash reverts to 14mm with the little built-in card.

    I was blessed this morning with a 2-hour facetime video call from our son and grandson (Mom's at IKEA!) so I am just getting started with experimenting. Stay tuned.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Diffusion dome or index card?

    The bounce card does a pretty good job.

    BTW, If you pull out the Wide-Angle diffuser the white card pops up with it. Then, you push the diffuser back down, so your flash isn't stuck in wide-angle. The card helps give you a catch-light in the eyes. That's all I got. I am not even close to a flash expert.

    Taken with my SB-800 and bounce card.


    Diffusion dome or index card?-568bd6ed-8a94-4014-842c-ffa0c3e6507d.jpeg
    Last edited by Dawg Pics; 11-05-2021 at 09:07 PM.
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    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
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