The Best Flash Diffuser: ranking system description

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Flexibility (weight: 10)

By flexibility, we mean all possible lighting options you get with a diffuser. This includes an ability to bounce off of a ceiling or wall as well as an ability to change the ratio between the bounced light and the light reflected by a diffuser itself. If a diffuser comes with accessories that change light quality, its rating in this category increases. We consider flexibility to be the most important characteristic of a diffuser since it is the source of your creativity.


Ease Of Use (weight: 8)

Ease of use criterion is about how easy it is to change diffuser's configuration to achieve a different light quality. For example, using inserts to change lighting ratio is not as easy as changing reflector's angle. This characteristic does not include learning curve.


Quality (weight: 8)

Without a doubt, the quality of a diffuser is an important aspect. We reduced its weight assuming that little flaws in diffuser quality can be justified by delivered flexibility. Please note, even though the weight is reduced, it is still very significant.


Attachment Design (weight: 8)

This criterion measures how easily a diffuser can be attached to a flash head. Also, a diffuser should stay securely attached when used in the majority of situation including dynamic environments of event photography. We believe this is as important as quality.


Learning Curve (weight: 6)

Some diffusers are easier to master than other. We assume here that a photographer has basic knowledge of bouncing techniques. The weight of this criterion is reduced because once you're past the learning cycle, it's not a significant factor anymore.


Portability (weight: 6)

Portability can be very important to some photographers, but not to everyone. So, we reduced the weight of this criterion to 6.


Appearance (weight: 4)

This is even less important criterion because many photographers can be happy with DIY units and don't care much about the appearance. For professional applications, the way a diffuser looks is usually important. Thus, the appearance is on the list, but it has a rather small weight.


Weight (weight: 4)

A heavy diffuser puts more stress on the flash head and also can be harder to handle. It may be even unusable with some flash units. In general, however, it's not a huge issue.


Battery Use (weight: 2)

Some diffusers shorten the life of flash batteries more than others. This can be an annoyance even if you use rechargeable batteries and always have a spare set handy. The weight of this criterion is very small compared to the others.


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