Photography is quite a simple thing really. It all boils down to understanding and controlling light. Obviously, it can be quite difficult to control natural light, but when it comes to artificial or studio lighting, you can get really creative. This is where products like the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System become the photographers best friend!
The kit is basically a Speedlite modifier, but to call it 'basic' really does not do this product justice. The ingenious design allows you to carry a range of light modifying tools all in a stylish pouch that could fit comfortably in most photography bags, taking up about the same amount of space as a 200mm lens. The kit contains the reflector, softbox and strip grid that can be combined in multiple ways. The build quality is excellent and even after a few minutes of handling it, you know it's a quality product.
For those new to light modifiers, this kit allows you to modify and shape the light that comes out of your Speedlite. You can control the 'amount' of light emitted by the controls on the Speedlite or by using TTL (Through the Lens) but this does not allow you to control 'how' the light is dispersed. This is where the FlashBender comes in. The large reflector allows you to create a much large light source and softens the overall nature of the light, giving a more pleasing result. However, the reflector itself can be shaped (thanks to the internal metal ribs) into more of a cone shape or a cylindrical shape to allow you to focus the light on one spot.
The reflector itself attaches to your Speedlite via a belt that wraps around the top of your light and it's lightweight construction means that you will not be battling with weight. It is ideal for use with the Speedlite on a stand and even though the reflector is large, it never feels unruly and easy to manage. It's amazing portability makes it an ideal solution for location-based shoots where it may be impractical to use a traditional softbox. The portability was one of the main selling points for me as I found it ideal to just leave in my bag and grab whenever needed.
The kit also contains a very useful Softbox, which I found amazingly useful for product photography. Being able to diffuse the light makes a huge difference to the quality of images that you can produce. The FlashBender kit diffusion fabric gave a pleasing result and I even found myself getting quite experimental by using the fabric at a variety of distances from the light source to get different results. This is one of the real hidden beauties of this kit, the versatility of the products allows you to really experiment with your photography, knowing that you have complete control over the light.
Finally, the grid spot allows you to concentrate the light on a subject, whether it is diffused or not and is an ideal option for portrait photographers, looking to pick their subject out either in the studio or on location. The grid is flexible and folds down comfortably in the supplied pouch but is also incredibly quick to assemble, making use of the velcro system. It's great working in the knowledge that you have all the tools you may need to hand.
In conclusion, where it may be possible to get slightly better results with traditional softboxes etc. they are not always practical. This is where the FlashBender 2 XL Pro kit really comes into its own. I haven't seen another lighting modifier that can get such great results and be so portable. Having used a Godox head with a 95cm octagon and a C-stand for a while, I found myself reaching for a flashgun and the FlashBender kit more often than not purely because of the portability and knowing I could still get great results. At around £90, the kit is great value for money when you consider the world of options that it will open up for you!
Find out more at the Rogue website - HERE