On many of my courses, especially those that centre around or cover hotshoe fitting flash guns, I show and talk about the supporting products that I use, plus some I have tried but do not do it for me.

Image © Rogue

And having spent over two decades looking at and using various third party accessories, I know what works from my perspective in the real world and what does not. I am happy to share that knowledge in the hope it helps others make an informed decision.

I have been testing a new range of items during the last couple of months from a company called Rogue.

The products are called FlashBenders, an interesting name, but one that perfectly describes the product and what it does. They enable portable flash units to become quite versatile in the direction, and quality of light created, but in one product, rather than buying one item for one task, another for something else.

To be honest, I have so far been pleased. It’s the little things that make a difference with any product big or small, so for instance, they enable a secure attachment to a Speedlight/Speedlite. Not every product I have tried does that in actual use. Some are in fact quite poor. While the various shapes you can turn FlashBenders into, and the lighting control that results, makes them a photographers Origami set. And its not just about people shots.

For instance, they can be a standard reflector to fire flash into, or quickly rolled up to form a ‘snoot’ without purchasing a separate product. If you shoot still-life, small product or close-up photography you can also take them, secure the velcro attachment straps on themselves, and they now become a free standing reflector for daylight or flash use.

Image © John Clements

There are three products in the range. The Large Positionable Reflector, Small Positionable Reflector and the Bendable Bounce Card/Flag. They can of course be used individually, or together as a portable ‘lighting kit’. That is what we achieved for the image here, with all three products were used for a pseudo studio set-up with a main, fill, and effect lighting arrangement. They were attached to a Nikon SB-900 and two SB-800 Speedlights.

FlashBenders are now beginning to appear at various retail outlets around the UK.

In the meantime, they join an extensive range of Lastolite items, plus a couple from Honl Photo that I regularly reach for when using portable flash. And I will write more about them soon, once we have shot an even wider range of imagery.

End. (15/10/10).