Demb Flash Diffuser review: first impression

Mar 18 2009
Buy from B&H Photo
DEMB Flash Diffuser Pro
DEMB Saucer Flip-it! Dish Reflector
DEMB Mega Flip-it! Reflector=
DEMB Portrait Dish Reflector

Update: Demb Flash Diffuser has been redesigned. To see the differences from the model described below please refer to our comparison review: Demb Flip-it! (Demb Flash Diffuser) - new design vs. old design.

Demb Flash Diffuser (best flash diffuser rating: 8.98) is based on the Demb Flip-it! flash reflector and adds a diffusing panel in front of the reflecting card - simple and very effective.

The diffusing panel is attached with Velcro to the strap of the Flip-it! reflector and can be set at various angles to provide different levels of diffusion and coverage. Thus, with Demb Flash Diffuser you have more room for creativity than with the Demb Flip-it! reflector itself.

To deliver different diffusion effects, Demb Flash Diffuser can be attached to either a wide or narrow side of a flash head.

As with many other flash light modifiers, mounting on a narrow side of a flash head allows for an easy switching between the horizontal and vertical camera positions (practically eliminating the need for a flash bracket).

Demb Flash Diffuser: off flash, close up Demb Flash Diffuser: diffusing panel, close up

When attached to a narrow side, a better wrap-around effect can be achieved since more light goes to the sides. This, of course, works better indoors where there are many surfaces to bounce of.

Demb Flash Diffuser: attached to a narrow flash head side Demb Flash Diffuser: attached to a wide flash head side

Setting the diffuser forward can, for example, aid close-up shots.

Demb Flash Diffuser: diffusing panel set forward

Vertical position can be used for a large variety of situations, and using different angles of the reflecting card allows changing ratio between diffused light and the light bounced off of walls.

Demb Flash Diffuser: diffusing panel vertical, reflector at 45 degrees Demb Flash Diffuser: diffusing panel vertical, reflector vertical

Hooding a flash head diffuses more light. This setting can be compared to using a translucent dome diffuser.

Demb Flash Diffuser: hooding the flash with diffusing panel

Any intermediate position between full forward and complete hooding is also possible. So, you can really fine tune your lighting.

The diffusing panel can be turned upside down and left attached to the flash when not in use. This frees you from the need of putting the panel in your pocket or bag, which makes it quickly accessible when you need it.

Demb Flash Diffuser: attached, but not in use

Even though Demb Flash Diffuser is designed to be used with flashguns, it also works great with on camera pop-up flashes (See our Demb Flash Diffuser pop-up flash test for more details). This can be a real save if you, for example, run out of batteries or something unexpected happens to your external flash. Diffuser has a reasonable level of light loss, and the results produced by a pop-up flash with Demb Flash Diffuser are much better then the ones taken with a pop-up flash only.

Demb Flash Diffuser: using with a built-in pop-up flash
Demb Flash Diffuser: attaching to camera body to use with pop-up flash Demb Flash Diffuser: behind the diffusing pannel when on camera

All-in-all, Demb Flash Diffuser is a very useful, well designed photography gadget. Here is what Joe Demb says about his creation, "Most diffusing devices are pretty much one-note solutions. It is my aim that the photographer will consider what he wants to achieve rather than what the modifier 'gives him or her'. It should be a controlled creative tool rather than a creative master." Well, we agree that "a controlled creative tool" is pretty much what the Demb Flash Diffuser happens to be. It deli use and plenty of options to control your light.

Here is a couple of sample shots taken with the Demb Flash Diffuser:

Demb Flash Diffuser: sample shot, reflector at 45 degrees Demb Flash Diffuser: sample shot, reflector vertical

Also read: Frame coverage test

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.