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#1 Eon Mora

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 05:31 PM

This is a question for anyone with experience on the subject (i myself jump around a lot with it), but i was curious, of the popular types of diffusion out there which ones do you prefer, or use most often? What applications do you used them for? etc. i know this is a question about as open ended and circumstantially based as what's your favorite light, but I'm really curious what's commonly used and why, cause I've seem so many different methods.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 05:51 PM

This is a question for anyone with experience on the subject (i myself jump around a lot with it), but i was curious, of the popular types of diffusion out there which ones do you prefer, or use most often? What applications do you used them for? etc. i know this is a question about as open ended and circumstantially based as what's your favorite light, but I'm really curious what's commonly used and why, cause I've seem so many different methods.


Wow, that's a pretty loaded question. Everyone has favorites. For light diffusion I and most other people use opal. For a nice medium weght I like 251 or tracing paper. 216 is my heavy diffusion of choice, but I don't use anything that heavy very often.
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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 06:01 PM

I usually use the heavy stuff. Bleached Muslin, Full Grid, and 129 are my favorites right now. Bleached Muslin in my 6x6 and larger frames, Full Grid or Silent Grid on my kenos, and 129 on my 4x4 and smaller frames. I find myself using in most situations. I really dont stray away from that quality of light. Consistency is important to me.

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 04 July 2007 - 06:05 PM.

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#4 Josh Brokenbourgh

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 06:07 PM

You are right about it being broad. Personally I believe that not only is it important to apply technique and method within presenting a range of soft values but it is also important to apply it per chosen style.

Remember to research the context of what you are lighting and use your resources. If you have the opportunity to work closely as a group ahead of time with your director, art director, production designer, apparel designer, and make up artist then you can foresee challenges you never would have thought of while in production regarding light, depth, color, value, frame composition, etc (they all affect your plan).

If you zero in on a style there are really unlimited ways to bring your look into an emotional context with diffusion- no matter what the rigging looks like.

Choices are made for a number of reasons- budget, timing, producers (see budget ;), etc... If your looking for cost effective material that lasts a long time I'm sure a little research can benefit anyone.

What look you need to accomplish + the materials available to you + test shoots = results

That is why you've seen so many types- there is no hard and fast equation for ever light/diffusion environment.

Are you studying? In production? Curious?
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#5 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 06:35 PM

Hi, depends of any situation, i like use Opal, Opal Frost, white diffusion (full, 1/2), White Frost, heavy Frost, Tough spun (1/2), Silk. I use several times in my kinos white diffusion (1/2) i love it !!, all depends of taste... :lol:
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#6 Richard Andrewski

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 06:48 PM

Rosebrand.com at http://www.rosebrand.com/ is a pretty good source of some of the fabric diffusion types mentioned by some of the previous posters. The 60" Poly Silk, NFR is full stop silk. The 45" China Silk, FR (natural silk) is 1/2 stop.

I'll add gauze (like cheesecloth for instance) to the previous entries as a very very light type when you only need just a very slight bit of diffusion over someone. In addition, I've never tried it but I read once somewhere that someone was using black net gauze sometimes and it gave a very interesting effect.

Of course, while it isn't classified as diffusion, another material available from the same place is black Duvetyn which is the ultimate in a cheap and easy to setup "opaque" when you want to totally block out the sun.
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#7 Eon Mora

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:14 PM

You are right about it being broad. Personally I believe that not only is it important to apply technique and method within presenting a range of soft values but it is also important to apply it per chosen style.

Remember to research the context of what you are lighting and use your resources. If you have the opportunity to work closely as a group ahead of time with your director, art director, production designer, apparel designer, and make up artist then you can foresee challenges you never would have thought of while in production regarding light, depth, color, value, frame composition, etc (they all affect your plan).

If you zero in on a style there are really unlimited ways to bring your look into an emotional context with diffusion- no matter what the rigging looks like.

Choices are made for a number of reasons- budget, timing, producers (see budget ;), etc... If your looking for cost effective material that lasts a long time I'm sure a little research can benefit anyone.

What look you need to accomplish + the materials available to you + test shoots = results

That is why you've seen so many types- there is no hard and fast equation for ever light/diffusion environment.

Are you studying? In production? Curious?


I'm not asking necessarily for the sake of any production. Just in my shooting experience lately It's been something that's been garnering a lot of my attention. I mean, quality of light is as important as color and direction when it comes to lighting, and diffusion is the tool to controlling it 80% of the time. What type of diffusion for a particular light at a certain range is a pretty easy thing to qualify (like someone said earlier, using grid straight on kino's) but I've also been really looking at what kind of stuff to use on larger softer sources and what affect different materials have in those situations. for example putting sources through 12x12's or even using 20x20's for overhead sunlight.

In addition to this it seems like when you're trying to create really soft sources, I've observed a lot of keen decision making on what type of diff to use just to give a source a certain quality within different spaces. Like 251 in front of a light followed by another frame of opal. this kind of thought process interests me just because its obvious that theres some positive purpose behind this type of decision.
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#8 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:24 PM

Good to see you on the boards Eon. I have a lot of stuff to tell you about Carmelo's shoot.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 12:53 AM

I find myself using muslin or silks quite often. I love the look of 216 diffusion gels, but I've noticed that I've been using it lately as more an effects gel (for recreating the look of a TV's glow, for example)

Toughspun is a nice medium diffusion that I like to throw onto any fresnels as much as possible. It just gives them enough softness to not look like you're just blasting someone with a 1k fresnel.

And as mentioned in another topic, I've recently started using nylon chinese lanterns which have a very gentle softness to them.

And the Photoflex line of lights that I've become such a big fan of, come with an attachable silk and even a baffle that goes inside the softbox that REALLY softens up that light and creates a gorgeously soft look perfect for pretty much anything.
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