Pros: Very nice soft light, no more harsh shadows, professional results and no more flash brackets!
Cons: Batteries drain very quickly.
I'm pretty sure that a lot of people is asking the same question, is it worth it? Paying $49.00 dollar for a margarine cup (that's the nick name for it). Here's what I can say about it.
After doing an extensive research, reading reviews, talking to fellow photographers, etc.., I finally decided to buy the C1 cloud model Light sphere II inverted dome Diffusion system from Gary Fong.
This is what you get for $49.00 dollars:
1 card box
1 The cup (Gary Fong Lightsphere)
1 Inverted dome (Fits on the top of the cup)
1 Promotional or is it instructional DVD?
After watching the video which is not very well edited or produced, you get the feeling you might have wasted your time and money, as he explains over and over and over the same method, it's like he just grabbed a bunch of home videos he took on his "one step ahead tour" and put it in to one dvd , where he also introduces you to the "whale-tail" and compares it to the light-sphere you just bought and tells you that the whale-tail is far better than the Light-sphere because you can attach it more securely, it has interchangeable flaps, colored gels you can slide in, and thats completely besides the point. After having a little bit of disappointment on what I thought it was a good choice, I saw Gary shooting with the clear model not the cloud model on all of his sample videos, despite the fact that he also tells you that you need to buy the chrome dome to get extra light out of the cloud model (meaning that there is a great loss of light) like 1 stop or more, i was almost ready to return it, but i decided to give it a shot.
So I decided to use it on a wedding, I took a few shots first to experiment before the wedding and not at the wedding, pictures came out "perfect", but at a very short range, not more than 7-10 ft. away. It reduces the light tremendously, plus using the flash pointing upwards with the on flash diffuser(not available on all flash models)fires the flash at full power every time reducing the batteries life (I recommend you use a power pack like a quantum battery just to make sure carry 2 of them). 90% of the pictures I took where very nice, the light sphere really works, the diffused light spreads evenly and wraps around the subject giving it a very nice warming effect, eliminates harsh shadows and the biggest plus, no more bulky heavy flash bracket is needed.
I'm know forced to buy the clear model to get that extra stop of light, and the amber dome, because I'm very impressed with the cloud model.
This diffuser really outperform the other on flash diffusers that I have used like the stofen, lumiquest bouncers and diffusers, the apollo Micro softbox and the Inflatable photoflex on flash softbox.
It's made of soft translucent white vinyl, very flexible and durable, it will not break or loose it's shape. This is a very good thing.
I feel it's a little bit overpriced compared to others, a good price would be around the $35.00 dollars but not more than that.
Light sphere Cloud Model system is $49.00
Light sphere Clear Model system is $49.00
Amber dome if sold separately $19.95
Replacement Inverted dome $9.95
Chrome dome the ridiculous price of $49.00 (you can use a piece of aluminum foil and put it inside the light sphere and have the same result).
It's a very good diffuser the results are consistent and very professional, it is truly studio quality light on a flash.