"My wife and I have operated a wedding videography business for 5 years. She wants to start dabbling in wedding photography. She has a Pentax *istDL, a AF-540 flash (the pro-line that swivels), and I only can afford one diffuser at this time. Would you recommend the Whale Tail studio over the other diffusers if we are only going to purchase one?"
Thank you for your question. I have covered 175 weddings with the Lightspheres. I use the Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud about 80% of the time and the Clear for the balance. Generally, I use the Cloud when I am within 10 feet +/-. The Clear is most useful at greater distance, or in dim light.
In March '07, the Whaletail became available and I have used it for 12 weddings, and dozens of other jobs.
While I love the Studio model for in studio work, as well as on location portraits, I think the the Reporter is sufficeint, and more practical for weddings.
The above assumes a single, on-camera flash. Since the introduction ofthe Whaletails, I have been doing more work with multiple, off-camera flashes. In this case, I use the WT Studio as the main light and a combination of Lightspheres and the WT Reporter as slave lights.
Currently, I think the Lightspheres sell for $40, the Reporter for $80, andd the Studio for $110. You could have two Lightspheres (Clear and Cloud) for the price of a Reporter, and a LS Clear and a Reporter for just a little more than a WT Studio. The LS Clear and Reporter would be my choice for the most flexibility.
I hope this helps.