Lantern Diffuser

Hähnel not too long ago launched the Lantern Diffuser, a brand new speedlight diffuser that creates an exceptionally wide-angle unfold of illumination in a really compact kind issue by utilizing a intelligent folding design. This new lighting accent is only one a part of Hähnel’s modular flash system and is designed to connect to hotshoe flash items through one of many firm’s magnetic accent clamps.

Key options:

  • Compact, folding design
  • Comes with six shade gels
  • Works with Hähnel’s different modular magnetic equipment
  • Hähnel magnetic clamp is required and is a separate buy
  • Appropriate with most bigger speedlight-style flashes from numerous producers

The Lantern Diffuser is out there now at B&H and different licensed Hähnel retailers for $99 USD.

What’s it?

The Lantern is available in a package that features the diffuser together with a set of six coloured gels and a gel holder that will get sandwiched between the magnetic clamp and the diffuser body. The entire package is available in a folding pockets that additionally has room for the magnetic clamp that isn’t a part of the package – however which is crucial for its use. The clamp is central to the corporate’s vary of clip-on equipment and must be purchased individually.

The diffuser is made utilizing a fan of concertinaed white materials that each diffuses the sunshine and sends it out over a 180° angle because the flash passes via it, with the thought of manufacturing a really mushy mild that covers a really large space.

I used to be initially involved about how nicely the fanned out diffuser would survive numerous use, drops and getting its delicate design dented, however in all of the use I manufactured from it I didn’t handle to wreck it. I assume for those who dropped your flash with it connected and it landed face down the implications mightn’t be good, however as long as you don’t do this it must be high quality.

The package is available in a roll-up pouch and contains 6 coloured gels, a magnetic gel holder and the diffuser itself

When not in use it folds away into itself and is protected by the rigged plastic-covered steel ends. I haven’t used it lengthy sufficient to know whether or not it’s going to yellow with time, and the climate has been too good to check it exterior within the rain – I’d be nervous to do this with the Lantern, whereas my softboxes would simply dry out.

I’m an enormous fan of excellent speedlight equipment which are straightforward to make use of, which don’t take up rather a lot house and which have a dramatic influence on the traits of the sunshine produced. And I’ve fairly a group, from inflatable frosted panels to snoots, softboxes and people yogurt-pot-like tubes the flash fires up into. This Lantern is kind of completely different to anything I’ve used, so I needed to offer it a strive.

The way it works

This video from Hähnel reveals how the Lantern folds and attaches to a flash of your selection.

I used this diffuser on the Hähnel Modus 600RT flash unit, each on the digital camera and off utilizing a Viper TTL set off for Micro 4 Thirds cameras and Panasonic full-frame S-series cameras. The Modus 600RT is the extra highly effective of Hähnel’s speedlights, and presents a information variety of 60m at ISO 100 on the 200mm zoom setting.

To connect the Lantern to the flash, I used the Module 600 clamp which, with its sprung grip, will match most bigger hotshoe type flash weapons from all producers. The clamp grips the top of the speedlight with the Hähnel brand going through forwards and the Lantern diffuser sticks to it when the magnets in every merchandise entice. The gel holder can go on first, which presents a extra apparent placement for the diffuser, nevertheless it doesn’t need to. Check out the video above for a clearer image of the way it all works.

Used within the hotshoe the sunshine from the Lantern Diffuser is direct and straight on, however very a lot softer than you’d count on from such a small accent.

Total, the Lantern diffuses mild greater than you’d count on from such a small flash accent. With a naked bulb the sunshine can be a lot tougher and spotlight on the sun-creamed brow can be dramatic and distracting. The accent is sufficiently small to create a particular path, however the multi-layered diffusion makes that mild appear fairly mild.

The Lantern diffuser folds in half, so we connect one half to the magnetic clamp after which unfold the opposite half to get the total 180° dome impact.

What it appears to be like like

I began by testing the unfold and the evenness of the sunshine the diffuser offers by clamping the flash onto a stand utilizing Hähnel’s Bowen’s mount adapter and firing the flash at a clean wall.

The distinction in unfold is instantly clear once you evaluate the Lantern-diffused publicity with that of the naked head and even when an 80cm/31in double-diffused sq. softbox was used as an alternative. The Modus 600RT is a TTL gun, however for those who shoot manually count on to lose about 2 stops of sunshine as a result of Lantern diffuser – about the identical as when utilizing the softbox with the additional inside diffuser sheet – however a a lot wider unfold of illumination.

That is the protection of the flash with no modifier The flash was left in the identical place, however with the Hähnel 80cm softbox connected
This is the identical association however utilizing the Lantern diffuser And the identical once more, however with a inexperienced gel within the gel holder

What is critical about this little diffuser is that it presents each a subtle and a bounced mild impact, so the sunshine could be very mushy as soon as it reaches the topic. The softness is outstanding contemplating how small the accent is and that the flash continues to be successfully a degree supply. Shadows are outlined however stuffed on the similar time, and lack the hard-edged distinction we get with a naked head.

The Lantern Diffuser avoids that synthetic look of a direct burst from an uncovered flash bulb

I discovered that even when used with the flash mounted on the digital camera the sunshine is dramatically altered, and nonetheless offers a pleasant softness when used fairly near the topic. It avoids that instantly synthetic look of a direct burst from an uncovered bulb, and even that of a light-weight bounced right into a kicker reflector.

I attempted the Lantern for some single-light nonetheless life photographs with the flash at a comparatively shut vary and a small topic – issues that are inclined to deliver out excessive distinction when hotshoe flash items are used. You possibly can see although that the Lantern has completed very nicely to provide a mushy mild that doesn’t show hotspots or reflections on the waxy floor of the avocado pores and skin.

Click on or tap-and-drag the arrow to see a mushy field and the Lantern Diffuser differ.

The sunshine is as mushy as that produced by the 80cm softbox, although the shadow profile is barely extra outlined as a result of smaller floor space of the supply. As the sunshine from the Lantern is thrown across the room we get way more fill within the shadow areas too.

The unfold of the sunshine can also be very spectacular. The Lantern will mild a room evenly once we are utilizing a super-wide lens to suit all of it in. This implies we don’t have to fret about discovering a clear white floor to bounce from. Fall off is extra dramatic than with a naked bulb or a bounce, so a robust gun will work finest.

To provide you an thought of the diffuser’s protection, this was shot on the total body Lumix S1R with a 9mm lens – at f/eight and 1/200sec at ISO 400. All the sunshine on the foreground is from the flash. You possibly can see that the submit on the fitting in addition to the tree trunk on the left are each lit with the flash. A 9mm lens has an angle of view of 135 levels.


I’m very impressed with this Hähnel Lantern. It is small, extremely transportable and weighs virtually nothing, which suggests you may afford to hold it round within the digital camera bag even once you don’t truly get to make use of it with out it having been a ache all day. The clamp is easy to suit and the gel holder and diffuser simply snap on, so meeting is fast and simple too.

I don’t typically use coloured gels with single flash set-ups, however they’re helpful for second and third weapons for rim lighting and coloring a background. Background lights with these diffusers on might be very helpful, and the dearth of hotspots, and their dimension, means they are perfect for hiding throughout the shot with out the hazard of them producing give-away brilliant blasted areas.

I’ve a whole lot of garbage equipment, and others which are nicely thought out however the dimension of studio modifiers so you may’t carry them round on the off-chance that you just may want them. This although sits in a facet pocket of a bag prepared for that second you wish to soften a burst of flash at any time when it occurs to happen. I’d additionally actively take this with me to mild backgrounds, a number of folks going through inwards, for filling in on a sunny day and for utilizing as the principle mild for a portrait or a nonetheless life.

The flash was held simply off-camera for this shot. The outlined shadow continues to be there however the mild on the topic is mushy and enticing. The topic was within the shade and publicity was 1/200sec at f/9, so virtually all the sunshine on the topic was supplied by the flash.

I really like utilizing speedlites for ‘correct’ images particularly on location (I used two Hähnel Modus 600RT items with a softbox and a small dish for the male mannequin photographs within the Hasselblad 907X pattern gallery) and this can positively be becoming a member of the gathering of instruments I exploit – and ousting a couple of that merely don’t do the job so nicely.

The Hähnel Module Artistic Lantern Equipment prices £59.99/$99.99. For extra data see the Hähnel web site.

What we like:

  • Amazingly nicely subtle mushy mild
  • Actually large, even unfold of sunshine
  • Small and simple to hold on a regular basis
  • Fast to assemble
  • Good pouch and equipment

Do not like:

  • Dome feels a bit fragile, although it hasn’t dented but
  • Gels are sturdy and for dramatic results slightly than color correction

Star Ranking

Shop Amazon