Speedlite Accessory Kit
Mini Beauty Dish
Mini Diffusion Globe
Accessory pack - 3x honey comb grids, 4x gels panels (blue, yellow, red, diffused), silver and gold replacemnets beauty spot panels.
Please state on your order which hotshoe flash you have.
The Mini Beauty Dish is part of the Speedlite Accessories Kit or can be bought separately. The dish consists of the actual dish with a white internal surface and a white central panel that can be disconnected. When the dish is used with the panel connected it is similar to a beauty dish. Light is fired from the flash and dispersed by the panel back into the dish diffusing the light before moving it forward to the subject. The light is still hard in quality and great for creating some drama in the shadows without burning out any high light for example on fair skin. If the dish is used without the panel it is more like a reflector dish making hard light more directional.
By simply putting the supplied rubber band onto your flashgun the accessories clamp onto the flash with a Velcro strap for quick fitting and removal.
With this kit you will now be able to soften and direct light from your flashgun with all the control, versatility, and freedom that you could want. From the softness of the Diffusion Globe for group shots to the direct spot light of the snoot for singling out that perfect point in your shot or the Mini Beauty Dish for getting beautiful warm/cool tones, our Speedlite Kit could be just what you're after to get the full use out of your flashgun.
Choose from the list for your flash gun
SKU 5074: 69x47mm
Canon 580EX/EXII/540EX, Nikon SB900/SB26, Metz 40MZ2/54MZ3, Sigma EF-500DG Super, ST Sunpak 2000DZ/266D/MZ440AF, Vivitar 2500/273/3500/850AF, Sony HVL F42AM
SKU 5075: 57x34mm
Canon 430EX/420EX/380EX/430EZ, Nikon SB600/SB800/SB80DX/SB28/SB25, Minolta 5600hs/5400xihx/5200i/3600, Olympus FL-40/50/G40, Sony HVL-F1000/HVL-F32X, Nissin 360TW/360TXP/PZ400-C-N-M
There is a flexible opening to insert your flash which is bigger than the final cavity size.
Tom Lee Light Modifiers for Flashguns (Submitted on 4th Oct 2010)
One of the great challenges in using small portable flashguns on any assignment is trying to replicate similar results to those expected in the studio with their much larger counterparts. As a wedding photographer, I generally try to work almost exclusively with the available light and rarely resort to flash or reflectors. With the coming of the Nikon D3 and good technique this is now achievable more than ever. There are however, occasions when it becomes necessary to supplement the ambient conditions with additional light sources to achieve a better than average result.
Every day there seems to be someone tempting you part with hard earned cash on equipment that you seemed to have managed without for years, and rarely substitutes for good photographic technique. Whilst looking for something entirely different at Focus-on-Imaging I happened to spot a nifty little kit offered by Viewfinder Photography of Leicester. You've guessed it! I was tempted. What got my attention was the fact that it was a complete system in a box, scaled down proportionately for either the Nikon or Canon speedlight flash units (other flash systems are also catered for). The kit comprises a diffuser dome, snoot and the heart of the system the Softlite Reflector. The kit includes an accessory pack to configure the Softlite for different uses, including 3 separate honeycomb attachments, 4 fresnel diffusers and a series of discs for turning the reflector into a beauty dish. At £79 +VAT it's a lot cheaper than some modifiers that have only one function or use. The question is, will it do the job?
The first thing to say is that it's no substitute for professional studio equipment, so if you think you can use this stuff in a portrait room, forget it. You are working with small light sources and the results don't compare with a larger controlled lighting setup. It is however, extremely portable and will suit the location portrait photographer or someone who makes house visits where space for large cumbersome equipment may not fit or be desirable. It can fit in your car taking up no space at all and will always suffice in case of emergencies, when battery power is king. This makes it ideal for the wedding photographer who already has a bag full of gear heavy enough to give them a hernia.
Time is always at a premium during a wedding shoot, so the second criterion is the speed of use. The snoot, diffuser dome and Softlite all attach to the flash unit using a velcro strap. Once the strap is tightened it grips the wide rubber band (provided) placed around the flash head and remains well fixed. The modifier will only become dislodged with rough handling.
With a week or so to familiarise myself with the attachments, I felt confident enough to use them on a "proper" job. You can test these things to your hearts content in a studio environment with no pressure, but there's no substitute for the real thing. Without changing the way I normally approach a wedding, I knew there would be occasions that flash would be required due to the lack of or poor light.
The photograph of the groom holding the rings was taken inside a dark church with poor light. The Softlight was fitted with the silver/white disc, turning the diffuser into a mini beauty dish and shot with the flash directly on the hotshoe. The flash was set on TTL and set to 2 stops less than ambient conditions, resulting in a pleasing exposure with no hard shadows. The flash sensor had no problem in calculating light output with the diffuser attached. The photograph of the bride having her accessories fitted was predominantly lit from the window directly behind her and the Softlite was used in the same manner as for the groom and rings.
Well the detail shots seem to work just fine, so how do portraits look? The Indian bride with red flowers was taken on the same wedding as above with the lighting coming from the left. The bride's extensive family decided to line up in front of it to watch proceedings, blocking out about 2/3 of it! I don't speak Hindi and the bride was far too excited to care so I just got on with it. The flash was still set up for the bride accessory photos, in beauty dish mode and flash on the hotshoe. Although a little hotter than I expected the resulting image is shadowless and not dissimilar to a fashion lighting setup I might use in the studio. There is still enough light coming from the left to add shape and dimension to the portrait, so it's not a completely flat image.
At another wedding I wanted to try out some of the other attachments. This job was not so frenetic so we had a little more time to play. Making use of the multiple flash modes of the Nikon SB800 speedlights, I set the on camera flash into master mode with 3 stops underexposure (fill flash). A second flash was set up to slave mode and set at 1.5 stops underexposure. This unit was fitted with the Softlite and white fresnel screen off camera at 45 degrees left and resulted in the shaped light seen in the high key seated bride. The combination of control offered by the speedlights and light modifier has resulted in an image that would be difficult to achieve in a cramped living room of a brides house minutes before leaving in the car.
The ambient light for the outdoor portrait is again from behind the subject so fill lighting was required to balance the image. The same lighting techniques were used as above resulting in a great portrait with minimum fuss.
The image of "yours truly" shows the beauty dish arrangement in use at an evening function where light is at a premium. You can see that there's nothing complicated about its use and because it's light, portable and versatile, it provides a handy alternative to straight flash in situations where it might be unavoidable. Although not all the accessories have been used in this test, the other items seem to be well made and were easily and quickly changed and carried in the boot of the car without much thought. Whilst some flash lighting accessories will modify the light in only one dimension you could purchase the complete Softlite accessory kit to modify the light in so many different ways for more or less the same financial investment.
MICHAEL ROSCOE BJP (Submitted on 4th Oct 2010)
Viewfinder Photography's Speedlight Accessory Kit, priced just £79, features a range of light shapers usually found in the studio. The supposed aim is to provide similar control over your flashgun illumination as is possible with larger monobloc lighting. These miniaturised attachments include a diffusion globe, a snoot with 2 honey comb grids and beauty dish that comes complete with an impressive array of neutral and coloured diffusers as well as 3 honey comb grids. This selection makes it possible to use a single attachment to shooting freely or to position a number of flashguns together with the light-shapers for a more static studio arrangement.
Connecting an attachment such as the diffusion globe is very straightforward. A supplied rubber band is placed around the flashgun and the light-shaper is clamped into place by employing an adjustable plastic collar that is constricted and held by a Velcro produces a surprisingly solid connection that ensured that the attachments didn't fall off, even during occasions when I had to move quickly.
A close inspection of the light shapers reveals a more than adequate build quality that belies the kit's comparatively low price tag. The metallic snoot, beauty dish and grids feel as tough as any reasonably priced monobloc studio equivalent. In fact, all the attachments including the globe, are certainly tough enough to with stand regular professional use.
Once in action, the light-shapers prove their worth with some pleasing effects. The globe, in particular, is a useful on-camera tool for softening flash light for individual or group shots of people although it did warm up (and drop ) the colour temperature of the flash by around 900k. It performs similarly to its studio equivalent ( like a profoto Pro globe ) when used off or on the hotshoe, with plenty of light spill. It cuts the power down by around 3.5 f-stops from an SB-800 Speedlight on full power from a distance of 1meter, one plus point is that, unlike the ringflash adapter, it doesn't block the AF assist beam, making focusing easier in low light.
All the attachments are as likely to be used on or off the camera. They perform predictably, like any other snoot or dish, when used as a background or hair and they certainly deliver more options for controlling the key light illumination from a concentrated spot to a wide diffused area that is cast from a hotshoe or side-mounted flashgun.
The dish is a noteworthy tool that will deliver a diffused light that is ideal for portraiture. The cast of light an attachment like the globe but still soft enough for flattering results thanks, in part to its internal deflector that helps to distributes any direct light around the reflector. The coloured filters are also a useful extra when used with the beauty dish and can certainly open up some creative shooting opportunities to cast a different tone of light to warm up or cool down an image.
Overall I'm very surprised by this kit. The number of attachments means that it is very versatile and likely to provide desired quality of light for a large range of shooting scenarios. It should prove its worth to any photographer who regularly uses a flashgun, although it is most likely to appeal to wedding, PR or fashion photographers.
Paul Stewart of the Pictures on the Page press agency (Submitted on 1st Oct 2010)
When I first received the box from Viewfinder Photography containing the accessories, I was somewhat dubious, as it promised something that was apparently too good to be true. A chance to abandon heavy studio flash on location and truly exploit the Nikon Creative Flash System that I use with my D3s (although, of course, these accessories are available for Canon and could well fit speed lights from other manufacturers) but when I examined the contents of the box, I realised that what was in there was well constructed, value for money and, above all, well thought out as a kit of parts to really extend the versatility of a flash system.
So what do you get in the box? First of all, a large dish reflector with an internal deflector, which is positioned in front of the flash tube to throw the light back into the reflector. This gives you the opportunity to change the deflector materials and change the intrinsic colour of the light, perhaps using something warmer, if that is your desire. Also, for this dish, you get a series of coloured filters, which can be clipped onto the dish, enabling you to perhaps use the light off camera to colour a white background. There is also an extra diffuser, which softens the light even further. To add to this versatility, a set of varying honeycombs allow you to further modify the light angle. A remarkably useful piece of kit, just on its own.
Next out of the box, was a snoot, about 6 to 8 inches long. This too, came with 2 honeycombs and attached to the Speedlight, like all the other Speedlight accessories, with a 4 bladed slipover shape which is then tightened with a velcro strap and buckle, which is fairly secure.
Lastly, there is a large, again about 8 inch, elongated, white plastic Lumisphere, which when mounted on the flash, gives an all round, even light in very much the way a "Chinese Lantern" would on a studio flash. This is an interesting package, which promised to produce some varied results when tested.
I make it a policy not to review equipment in isolation from the real world. The only way to test equipment is on a real shoot or assignment, as this is the only way professional readers will truly know that this is a piece of kit that will work for them, so I used this equipment to shoot 2 of the finalists in the Miss Top Model 2008 Competition, Heather Oag and Holli Dillon and I would like to thank them and Impact Model Management for their help with this.
First up, I tried the Dish with a silver deflector. This was a grey cold day by the banks of the Thames in Chiswick, where we really had to try and get something despite the biting windchill. Straight flash was too harsh and using the SB 800's own diffusers was not giving me the light I wanted, so I opted to set the Dish on the flashgun and used the silver deflector as I did not wish to warm things up too much and have them sit out of place in the overall light, reasoning that I could adjust in Photoshop should I decide I needed to. At the outset, the Dish gave an amazing light. I was using it in conjunction with my D3s and the Nikon 24-70 mm f2.8. The first thing I noticed was what a gloriously big soft light this accessory produced, but yet not so soft as to become almost soft focus. It was very reminiscent of a beauty Dish although smaller and I felt it could easily be used in that roll if mounted off camera. You can see from the image Dish 2 of Holly on the tow path, that in the balanced fill in mode, it has enabled her to be lifted from the drab background and has given great control. Shooting at f5.6, with a shutter speed of 1/250th at 100ISO, I was able to combine the flash and ambient light to produce exactly the result I wanted. As the light was so soft and shadowless, I decided to shoot some more of the girls by a textured brick wall I had spotted on the way to the tow path. You can see from the images Dish 1 and Dish 2 that even thought the girls are hard against the wall and the flash was used on camera, no harsh shadow line has been produced round them. This is almost as good as a ring flash in terms of shadow elimination yet it has produced a warm soft, dare I say it, almost friendly, light. A remarkable piece of kit of great use.
The Lumisphere, I used off camera, and again this was wonderfully useful and in much the same way as a Chinese Lantern would it gave me an even spread of light over a large area. Shooting the 2 girls together, my assistant was able to position the flash in such a way that it highlighted the models and again, drew them out of the surround, producing exactly the effect I required in the shoot. See images Lumisphere 1 and 2.
Snoots. You either love them or hate them. There has seldom been a more versatile and useful piece of kit to have in the studio, traditionally being used to isolate for a hair light in multi flash situation and using something like the Nikon Creative Flash System, that would be more than possible. However that wasn't what i required in this instance. In this case, I wanted to produce the effect of isolating the subject, enabling me to darken the background while highlighting the face and as what I wanted was almost a painterly water colour effect in the background. Carefully positioning the Snoot on camera enabled me to do just that as it did exactly what a Snoot does best and choked the light into a smaller circle. One of the things all these products enabled, was a very good, natural key light in the eyes (nothing annoys me more than to see multiple light reflections all over the place in a subject's eyes).
I was expecting one or other of these products to perform better than the others and perhaps to like one and dislike the others. This has not proven to be the case. I find the range of versatility they provide to be exceedingly good and each one has its own individual characteristics enabling me, and any other photographer worth his salt, with a bit of practise, to lift a photo session out of the ordinary and make it something special, without having to recourse to taking full studio kit on location, which is not to say I will never do that again, but it will limit the number of times I am forced to do that by creative considerations (which has got to be good for the back!). All in all, this is a tremendously useful kit and something I think that any professional or serious enthusiast would find useful at some point. I know that these accessories will be a permanent part of my toolkit from now on. I would highly recommend them.
Paul Stewart is an award winning press photographer who has been published by all the national daily and Sunday papers in the UK and many round the world, his work has been published in 192 countries.. He has also edited and picture edited a number of titles including the Daily Express, Daily Star Sunday and Hotshoe International. While continuing to do this he is the CEO of the acclaimed press agency Pictures On The Page www.potp.co.uk