Photography News Issue 34

Photography News | Issue 34 | absolutephoto.com

18 First tests

Accessories First tests We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list

Reviews by Will Cheung and Kingsley Singleton

ExpoImagingRogue FlashBender 2XLPro reflector £52.99

Specs

Price £52.99

Finish Super Soft Silver Dimensions 41x32cm overall, 34.2x29cm reflective area Weight 272g Contact

There are any number of light modifiers to fit directly onto speedlights but I reckon this is the biggest one I’ve come across. It’s seriously large and on a windy day would make a very effective kite. Joking aside, this is a fine off- camera modifier that works really well and is simple to use. There is a Natural White finish version of this model already but this is Super Soft Silver, created in conjunction with photographer Frank Doorhof. This finish gives a more contrasty light compared with the white version. Incidentally, Rogue also offers a System kit featuring the white XL reflector for £84.95 and that includes a soft box diffuser, grid attachment and a carrying bag. Fitting it to a speedlight is quick and very secure with a Velcro strap and once on it’s not going to drop off. I’m not suggesting you do this, but you can mount the flash on the camera and pick the lot up by grabbing onto the Rogue which gives you an idea of how secure the attached unit is. One thing: do make sure the speedlight is in its locked upright position before attaching – the flashgun’s in-between click-stops won’t hold it.

Once on, you can adjust the three supporting ribs to give the effect you want. So you can, for instance, fold in the sides to give a more selective lighting effect, or fold the sides back and bend the top over for bounce flash for shooting groups. A couple of speedlights with two of these units means you can deal with sizeable groups and you get decent lighting. This XL reflector is designed for off-camera use but just to see how it would work, I tried the Rogue fitted to an on-camera flashgun. Actually, it works fine (at least for horizontal format shooting) in TTL mode and the unit is light enough not to compromise handling. Use it to shoot a few happy guests at a wedding and you don’t even have to say ‘smile’. Whether you shoot TTL ormanual is up to you, but I used the Rogue with manual flash. To assess power loss, I took flash meter readings with a Nissin Di700 in manual mode aimed directly at the meter and then with the light bounced into the Rogue. At 3m, ISO 100, a full-power flash recorded f/16 while with the Rogue with the top folded over for bounce, the reading was f/5.6, a three stop light loss but the light is nicely spread and softer for portraits. WC

xpdistribution.com expoimaging.com

Images The adjustable rib system used by Rogue with its modifiers is excellent and gives great flexibility.

Verdict

This is a fine modifier that works well, is versatile and is an attractive price. It fits securely without any fuss and delivers fine results. There is much to like about it and its flat-pack qualities mean you can stow it in the camera bag with minimal fuss. Also it’s an integrated unit with no extra straps or fittings to forget or leave behind so that is an added bonus.

Pros Flexible, light, folds flat Cons No fun when it’s windy

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