A Short Review of the Gary Fong Lightsphere

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I am not going to write a technical review. I’m too lazy to do that. This is just my opinion about this thing.

Why Did I Buy This Thing?

I bought the Lightsphere because they have a good marketing team. Also, at every photo shoots and events I went, all the photographers seemed to use them. 

I shot at events before as an amateur. They were usually indoors in dimly-lit places. I used my bounce flash, on camera flash, or even no flash at all since my Fuji X100 has great low-light capabilities.

I was going to a photo shoot at the Havana Club. I decided to look like a real photographer and got the Lightsphere. Besides, I was curious to see what it can do.

How It Works

It’s like a bounce card. Except it works like a lamp and emits soft light everywhere. 

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See the picture up there? It does look like a little lamp. I can read a book next to it. Well, not really. I couldn’t see a thing since the flash only lit me for 0.001 second.

Basically, it bounces the light to the ceiling (or wherever) and emits a soft light towards your subject. 

PROS

I got the Lightsphere Collapsable. It collapses into a tiny shape. I carry a small camera bag because my Fuji X100 is small. I was worried that it wouldn’t fit in the bag. I was relieved it fit into my bag no problem. The collapsable shape makes it easy to carry.

They advertise it can fit onto many different flash units. That is true. It fit on my Fuji EF-20. The flash slid right in.

When I tried to fit it into my Yongnuo YN 560, it was very tight. I had a hard time squeezing the flash into the Lighsphere. But it eventually fit. I think most people will use this size flash with the Lightsphere. Well, prepare for a tight squeeze. Too bad you can’t use lube.

At the Havana Club, Mandi had a Sony HVL-F20AM, I think. It didn’t fit onto that. The Lightsphere was too big for it. So, if you have that dinky Sony flash, don’t get this.

Cons

It does give soft light, but you have to be standing about 3-4 feet away from the subject. Otherwise, you can’t really tell the difference between this and regular bounced flash. I mean, it is a small light source. It’s not a giant soft box. 

If you have a weak flash like mine, the Lightsphere is going to give it a workout. You lose about 1-3 stops of light. So the flash has to work extra hard to give off the same brightness. If the place has tall ceilings, black ceilings, or both; the flash is gonna have a bad time. Maybe you can carry extra Eneloop batteries. It caused me to slow down because I had to wait for my flash to charge back up. 

It’s too expensive for what it is. It costs around $50. Honestly, a simple bounce card would be the best choice. 

Final Thoughts

Like I said. Just use a simple bounce card. Otherwise, it’s overpriced. Maybe if it was $25, it would be a better value. It does work, if you stand close enough. 

Overall, I give it a “meh” rating. If this was Amazon, it would be 3 stars. 

Well, here’s a random picture I took with the Lightsphere at that club.

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