Product Review: Rogue FlashBenders

By Diane Berkenfeld

rogue flashbenders product shot for picture-soup.com

(l. to r.) small, large, bounce card

Rogue FlashBenders are shapeable light modifiers that are designed for shoe mount flashes. They come in three sizes and fit practically all shoe mount flash units. One of the great things about the FlashBenders is the way they’re made. They hold the shape that you bend them in (hence the name).

I’ve been testing them out for a few months now and they’ve become a vital addition to my camera bag. In fact, quite a few times I’ve been asked, “Just what the hec is that thing on your camera’s flash?” One time I was even told, “You know, an index card and rubber band used to do the trick for me.”

The FlashBenders are made out of Cordura nylon and fasten around the flash units using Velcro; and each one is a single unit, because the Velcro is attached to the main part of the reflector. The white, reflective surface is made of a durable, wipeable, synthetic fabric that is neutral and won’t affect the color temperature of the reflected light.

The different sizes include large, small and the Bounce Card. The large reflector measures 10×11-inches. The small reflector measures 10×7-inches. The Bounce Card is 5×9-inches in size. What makes the FlashBenders hold their shape are the positionable rods that are incorporated inside them, and won’t lose their shape while you’re shooting—three in the large, two in the small, and one in the Bounce Card.

zach for picture-soup.com article on flashbenders

Zach was lit with window light, with the small FlashBender on the camera's flash for fill. Photo © Diane Berkenfeld.

According to the company, the large reflector is perfect for off-camera use, and is ideal for shaping into a snoot. It, along with the others can be used to bounce light or as a flag to keep light off of a subject. When its not shaped into a snoot, the large reflector is meant to be used on a flash that is positioned at a 90 degree angle.

The small reflector can be used as a mini-snoot or to bounce light.

You can use the Bounce Card as a reflector or a flag. It comes with a piece of black fabric that attaches by Velcro if you position it as a flag.

Sure you could take an index card and rubber band and make an impromptu bounce card—and it works—but the FlashBenders work much better. They’re simple to use, much more durable and since the Velcro strap is attached to the reflector, there’s no way you can lose it.

joey playing harmonica photo illustrating flashbenders for picture-soup.com

Joey playing harmonica. The small FlashBender was on the flash atop the camera's hot shoe. You can see the shape of the catchlight in his eyes. Photo © Diane Berkenfeld.

My favorite FlashBender is the small reflector, which is perfect for use on camera, and provides a really nice softened quality of light. To focus the light, I’ll bend the sides inward and if I’m shooting a group of people, I’ll unfold the reflector to provide more of a surface to reflect the light off of.
I used to bounce my on-camera flash a lot but since I’ve gotten the FlashBenders, I’ve found myself using them all the time, for portraits and events—pretty much anytime that I’ve got the flash on the hot shoe, the small reflector is attached. Like I said, it is my favorite.

bouquet of bride's flowers for picture-soup.com article on flashbenders

Photos outside get the FlashBender treatment too. The softened light is much more natural looking and flattering on most subjects. Photo © Diane Berkenfeld.

I haven’t had that much of a chance to use them as a snoot, but am looking forward to shooting still life with them on multiple flash units. I’ll post those photos as an addition to this review.

The Rogue FlashBenders are definitely worth the price. The set of three sell for just over $100. The large, small and bounce card sell for $39.95, $34.95 and $29.95 respectively. For more information, go to www.expoimaging.com.

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