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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hi-Tech Studio: Portable Flash Modifiers

Get the versatility and control of a studio strobe from your portable flash units

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Photoflex LiteDome xs
Rogue FlashBenders
As the name implies, FlashBenders are flexible light modifiers that can be shaped to sculpt the light as you desire. You can bend one into almost any position, and it will maintain that configuration. The Large Positionable Reflector measures about 10x11 inches, the Small Positionable Reflector, about 10x7 inches, and the bendable Bounce Card/Flag, 5x9 inches. Each attaches to popular flash units via a built-in belt and can serve as a bounce reflector to cast soft light on the subject, or as a flag to keep light off a portion of a subject. The units don't affect the color temperature of the light, their surfaces can be wiped down to clean, and they pack flat for easy storage and transport.

Photoflex LiteDome Kits
Photoflex's Extra Small LiteDome Basic Kit consists of the Extra Small LiteDome softbox, a Basic Connector, a ShoeMount MultiClamp Swivel (to attach a flash unit to a light stand), Adjustable ShoeMount Hardware and a carrying bag with handy loop. The smallest LiteDome unit, the Extra Small nonetheless greatly enlarges the flash unit's beam, creating soft, even lighting without altering the color temperature, which is ideal for portrait and editorial photographers who use shoe-mount flash units.

Chimera Octa 2 Beauty Dish
Chimera Octa 2 Beauty Dish
The versatile Octa 2 Beauty Dish is a collapsible, transportable, octagonal 24-inch dish unit that produces beautiful soft light and round catchlights ideal for portraits. Attach the supplied Front Diffuser Screen, and it becomes a portable 24-inch OctaPlus Lightbank. Remove the Center Bounce Disc and Front Screen, and it's an effective 24-inch reflector for a studio bare-tube flash head. You can attach the device to popular shoe-mount flash units using the Adjustable Versi Bracket-Octa Speed Ring.

Gary Fong Lightsphere Pro
Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible
The Lightsphere Collapsible from Gary Fong fits over the flash head and combines ceiling-bounce with bare-bulb effects to illuminate both subject and surroundings, while softening the light beautifully. The new version is clear rather than milky, thus transmitting more of the flash output. The unit can be collapsed so you can shoot direct flash without removing it. The Lightsphere Collapsible is available separately or in two kits: Basic (with the White Dome, the warming AmberDome, the more intense ChromeDome with adapter ring and four colored filters—red, yellow, blue and green); and Pro (adds a PowerSnoot with a PowerGrid to the Basic Kit, allowing you to focus light on areas where you want it).

STO-FEN Omni-Bounce
Flashpoint Q Series
Flashpoint Q Series accessories from Adorama include the Q Series 6-inch Beauty Dish Reflector (to soften the light), Q Series Snoot (to narrow the beam), Q Series Diffuser Dome (produces a 360° "bare-bulb" effect) and Q Series Honeycomb Speed Grid (to produce a very small circle of light). All attach to popular flash units via the Q Series Velcro® Band with Wider Rubber Band.

STO-FEN Omni-Bounce
This longtime favorite is a simple translucent device that fits over the flash head (it's available to fit most popular shoe-mount flash units, no Velcro® needed) and produces much more even lighting than the flash head alone can offer. It fits in a pocket when not in use. For best effect, the flash head should be aimed at a 45° angle from horizontal.


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