Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Gary Fong Light Dome

William with Fong

William without Fong

Today there was a demonstration at a local camera store on the Nikon D80. William, a friend, co-worker, and art director from the Earth Final Conflict days dragged me along to check it out. I use the term drag very loosely, kind of like twisting the arm made of rubber. I own a D200 but wanted to see the new D80 just to see what new features Nikon was introducing.

After the demo the only thing I really didn't like was the switch over to the secure digital memory card standard. Compact Flash has it's controller built into the card where as SD cards do not. Already they are introducing an SDHC (High Capacity) standard to replace the older one. This means that older SD devices cannot read the newer cards. There is an upper limit on the SDHC standard as well (4 terrabytes). Granted it seems like a lot but then 1 Gig seemed like a lot of memory back in 1997 when I picked up my Psion. The Psion is a handheld device now defunct but I can plug in a 16 gig CF card and it'll work.

The explanation for the memory card format switch was that a lot of users that use the lower end high end camera gear would try putting the compact flash card in upside down squishing the pins. Who are these people?!? Probably the same people that destroy DVDs by getting finger prints and schmuck all over them. This is why the life span of a DVD is shorter than that of a VHS tape in most video stores.

After the little seminar, William and I ended up looking at stuff around the store. I'm sure this is why the camera store put on this free seminar in the first place. I ended up taking a look at the Gary Fong photographer light sphere. It's a tupperware like attachment that fits on your flash to evenly disperse light. Kind of like a lamp shade.

The test as seen above looks pretty good. Evenly distributed light compared to the ice cube tray, that's how I refer to the white plastic cube that comes with the SB-800 for light diffusion, seemed to make the shadows on William's face softer. I would think that the Fong device would work better with the Canon line of cameras as they tend to blow out whites more than the Nikon line. Either way the dome was under $70. Pretty cheap for most camera add ons.

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