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Review: Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount Flash Diffuser - Wedding & Event Kit

Overview : The new Lightsphere® Collapsible™ Speed Mount boasts the newly designed mounting system which allows photographers to securely attach and switch out modifiers in seconds. Once in place, photographers can rest assured that the Lightsphere® Collapsible™ Speed Mount will stay securely in place, offering an equally tight fit for nearly all flash sizes. Translucent horizontal rings provide soft, even illumination with a minimum loss of power. Folds flat.

Features :
  • Utilizes the new Speed Mount design that allows switching out modifiers in seconds
  • Collapses to 1½ inches for ultimate portability and convenience
  • Perfectly diffuses harsh light of auxiliary flashes creating soft even illumination
  • Includes Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount, White/Amber/Gray Dome, Cinch Strap, Instructional DVD, Gear Bag and Pocket Field Guides
  • Provides an equally secure fit for nearly all flash sizes
  • One Size Fits All - including: Nikon SB600/700/800/900, 430ex(II)-580ex(II) Canon, Leica SF-58, Olympus FL-36-40, Pentax AF540FGZ, Sony HVL-F42/56/56am/58/58AM, Sigma EF530-610, Sunpak PZ42XS, Bower SFD Series Flashes, Vivitar DF383-400, Metz 44-58AF, Nissin Di622-866 + hundreds more.

Quality/Usability : We previously reviewed an older version of the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collaspible. In that review, one of our complaints was that it took some practice to get the Lightsphere over the flash. In this review, we'll be focusing more on the new design of the Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount and to see if anything was improved. The outcome and performance will be the same.

(l) Portrait Kit; (m) Wedding & Event Kit; (r) Fashion & Commercial Kit

There are different combos available for the Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount. You can just buy the LSC by itself, with PowerSnoot Speed Mount (Portrait Kit), with additional colored domes (Wedding & Event Kit) or with everything from Portrait and Even kit plus gel kits (Fashion & Commercial Kit), as shown below. All kits come with a carry case and instruction DVD.

We'll be taking a look at the Wedding & Event Kit (WEK). As mentioned above, the WEK includes the Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount, 3 colored domes (white, amber and gray), instructional DVD and carry case.

The Speed Mount is made of the same material as the previous Lightsphere Collapsible and approximately the same size. So if you have other Lightsphere accessories, they'll fit. The big difference is in the name; Speed Mount. The Speed Mount is much more flexible and open that it uses a velcro system to attach the Lightsphere to your flash head. With a flexible opening, the Speed Mount can now accommodate larger flash heads such as the Canon 600EX-RT or Nikon SB900/910.

And if you didn't know, you can use the white dome to help with your custom white balance by placing the dome in front of your lens and snapping a picture. You'll use that picture you just took and use that as your custom white balance setting.

On the previous Lightsphere Collapsible, it took some effort to place the LSC over the flash head. But once it's on, it won't fall off. Here are some tests to show how strong the new Lightsphere Speed Mount is: *WARNING* This is for demonstration purposes only. I highly suggest not doing this on the field or lifting your camera from the Speed Mount.

The video below shows the difference between the previous Lightsphere Collapsible and the new Speed Mount version:

The videos below show you how to mount the Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount to your Canon and Nikon flashes:

With the Lightsphere Collapsible and no dome, it should be used when you're indoors because you want to use the light bouncing off the ceiling as a fill light. With the dome facing out, the entire Lightsphere Collapsible is entirely lit and makes for a larger diffuser. This should be used when there is a low ceiling because you'll have too much light coming from above. It can also be used outdoors when you want a little fill light with the flash and dome pointing directly at your subject (lens hood recommended). With the dome facing in, it doesn't make it a big diffuser because its not as high. If you're aiming the flash directly at your subject and you don't have a lens hood, you'll want to dome facing in.

How and when to use the Lightsphere:
  • Dome On (face out - Outdoors with lens hood) - Point flash at subject to give better lighting because its pointing directly at your subject and giving the strongest light possible.
  • Dome On (face in - Outdoors with no lens hood) - Point flash at subject to provide fill light. Being too close or trying to shoot too many people will cause a light fall off on the outer edges.
  • Dome Off (Indoors) - Point flash towards ceiling to bounce light off ceiling.
Conclusion : Overall, the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount Flash Diffuser is an improvement over the previous Lightsphere Collapsible. The LSC Speed Mount is definitely a lot easier to get on and off camera flashes. If you own a Canon 600EX-RT or Nikon SB900/910 and you're looking for a flash diffuser, the Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Mount is the way to go. As an added bonus, it comes with a carry pouch to store your LSC and accessories. You can even clip the pouch to your camera bag.

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