Photography: Lightscoop

Recently I came across a $25 gadget called a Lightscoop.   It uses a mirror to bounce your on-camera flash in a way that produces more gently-lit pictures.  Because I hate the look of on-camera flash, I was extremely interested.  I contacted the company and asked if they would send me one of the scoops to review.  They delighted me by saying yes.   Here are the pictures that I took minutes after pulling the Lightscoop out of the box.  I’ll let you be the judge of the effectiveness.

Here’s a picture of my little girls taken without the Lightscoop. (For those of you who care about settings, all these pictures were taken at: ISO 800, shutter 1/200, f1.8, 50 mm lens)

Here’s a picture WITH the scoop, using the same settings as above.

Lots better, eh? The above pictures were taken indoors during daylight hours. So to test the Lightscoop more fully, I tried it again this evening in a dimly lit room.  Here’s my son with normal flash, showing off all his pale-skinned Norwegian-ness.  🙂 

Then here he is in the same setting, just with the Lightscoop. Granted, the light isn’t THE most gorgeous light in the universe, but it is a huge improvement over the glaring flash of the previous picture.  I think that this gadget will be great at improving my birthday party pictures.  In the past I’d either get washed-out faces from too much flash, or get blurred shots from turning off the flash and setting my shutter really slow.

It works by bouncing light so it is not good for outdoor use  (unless you happen to have someone holding a piece of whiteboard up as a ‘wall’ behind you).  And supposedly it doesn’t work in rooms with cathedral ceilings.  But guess what? All of the above pictures were taken in our living room,which has a 14 foot vault.  I love it and I can’t wait to use it more!  Read more about Professor Kobre’s Lightscoop here.  And for the really geeky, here’s a comparison on flickr of similar gadgets.

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  1. I can’t even begin to critique the equipment because of the beautiful faces to enjoy – just scrumptious, those grandkids!

  2. Oh, you are so smart! I’d never have thought to ask for a review piece of equipment. lol

    I do have this on my birthday list, though.

  3. I just recently bought an attachable, pivoting flash after using CDs, Aluminum foil, whatever-I-can-find-around-that’s-reflective to do the same trick of this little gadget that I somehow have never heard of until today! Because the flash is bulky, this will likely be much more useful to me!

    It is amazing the way bouncing the light makes the candids of evening happenings around the house or the snapshots of indoor birthday parties in dimly lit rooms into beautiful photos with soft lighting as if the sun had been streaming in a nearby window!

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. I am intrigued. I see they have 2 versions of the Lightscope. Did you get the “standard” or “warm version”?

  5. Thank you so much for posting a review of that. I’ve been SO frustrated with pictures/flash and have had the same issues you mentioned (washed out or blurry) and have been trying to decide what to do. I LOVE a low cost option! Thank you!

  6. Ok. That is pretty amazing!! I’m definitely going to check it out!!

  7. That does do a remarkable job! I have an auxiliary flash, that plugs into my camera’s hot foot and has a similar effect. However, it requires 4 of its own AA batteries… Do you have an auxiliary flash, and if so, do you think it would still be useful to have a Lightscoop? I like the advantage of the smaller size and using the camera’s battery and built-in flash…

    • Hi Monica,
      I do have an auxiliary flash, but it is huge and clunky. I wanted better light for casual pictures and I think this will be a good tool.
      Mary

  8. lammyann says:

    Ok- I bought this after I read your review….and got it today. I have had a blast using this thing…Thanks for sharing this!!!!

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