Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Purchased: Lambency Flash Diffuser

It is amusing how fast I can go from surfing the web to grabbing my credit card to make a photography purchase.

The newest item I've purchased is the Lambency Flash Diffuser from DealExtreme.com. I've actually had my eye on this thing for a while, beginning back in August when I saw a Gary Fong Lightsphere for sale on DPC. I looked into it, decided that $30 was a good price shipped, but then missed out on the sale. After that, I considered buying a new one or one on eBay but the prices were too high (typically $50+). So I figured I'd get some Tupperware and experiment since the price was so high.

Then, more recently, I noticed that someone on eBay was selling what looked like a knock-off of the light sphere. While I didn't order one (from China, I'm always a little leery of overseas orders), I filed the information away for later in case I wanted it.

Finally, a few days ago, John Harrington posted about the knock-offs on the Photo Business News & Forum. Apparently, Fong's idea was copied by a Chinese manufacturer and Fong has gotten his lawyers involved. On the off chance Fong can get shipments to America shut down (good luck, copyright law rarely extends outside of America), I wanted to get one before they disappeared. Not to mention, my pics over Christmas really reminded me a simple, commercial diffuser would be nice to have around.

And, believe it or not, you can get a Lambency Flash Diffuser (shown in the images on this page) for under $17. That's including shipping from China! Nice -- cheaper than Tupperware!

You may ask, how can I sleep at night buying a product whose idea was stolen from Fong? Well, very well, thank you. As far as I'm concerned, I'm getting a cheaper product at a cheaper price, and I'm ok with that. Yeah, if money wasn't an issue, I'd go with the Lightsphere. Fong includes a how-to DVD with it which definitely adds some value, not to mention Fong probably has a slightly superior design. But money is an issue, a big issue, and if I can get a similar item for about a third of the price, I'll do it. As a side note, it looks like Fong has had to drop his price to $40 instead of $50 due to the competition.

My only issue ordering from DealExtreme has been which Lambency Diffuser to choose. I finally decided to go with the most expensive (they have three different price levels, ranging in total by about $1) since it stands to reason that'd be the largest, and since Sunpak 383's have one of the largest flash heads (according to Fong's tables) I went with the most expensive, SKU 7385. From the sound of it, they are stretchy enough that they mold to your flash after a certain amount of time. And I'm willing to do surgery if needed. I'd worry more if it were more expensive, but I can take some risks for under $20.

When it arrives (in 3 business days + 14 days shipping by airmail), I'll do a review!

Note: I've finally received the diffuser and posted my review. Check it out for more info!

9 comments:

Eddie HM said...

hello, yeah.. i have to admit im one of those physically cash impaired who cant afford a Lightsphere. Oh, i got on of those lambency flash diffuser.. it's great btw. Oh, GREAT blog you have here..

Sean said...

Thanks for the complement, Eddie. This page has quickly become one of my most visited -- the Lambency diffusers are really hot right now. I can't wait until mine arrives, but I expect it will be another week or two :(

Colin Watson said...

Bought one today in a regular camera store in Toronto ON - so I'm not sure if there is some sort of legal embargo on the Lambency ones yet. Paid $30 CDN and am just trying to figure it out now... Mine came with three domes too - clearish, gold and chrome.

Anonymous said...

Colin, Do you have the name of the store in Toronto?

Colin Watson said...

Downtown Camera on Queen St. E just east of Victoria St.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Brilliant website, I had not come across stanfordphoto.blogspot.com before during my searches!
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at stanfordphoto.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
Oliver

Sean said...

Dealextreme no longer seems to carry them, but a search for "Lambency Flash diffuser" on eBay will still turn up some stock. Look carefully though to make sure the auction is for what you want.