F16 P45A-001 flash reflector review: first impression

Jul 17 2009

F16 P45A-001 flash reflector (best flash diffuser rating: 8.38) came to the market from F22 Design Studio (Hong Kong). It seems the creators of this diffuser decided not to come up with a new light modifier concept, but instead concentrated on making a diffuser that is more appealing than others.

F16 P45A-001 is basically a bounce card. It's about five times larger then the flash head and therefore is capable of softening the shadows. The reflector is very close in size to the popular LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer diffuser and creates similar lighting when set at 45 degrees angle.

The diffuser is cut out of a single sheet of plastic. The material is very similar (if not the same) to what's being used in most flashguns for making the built-in white reflector card (catchlight card).

As we mentioned, one of the main selling points of F16 P45A-001 is its look. The F22 Studio designers have created a shape that is much more appealing than a simple rectangular or trapezoidal bounce card. They claim that F16 P45A-001 is "the coolest flash reflector ever made for photographers." We believe the shape and the graphics printed on the diffuser look good, indeed, but that's, of course, is the matter of taste.

F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: full package F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: Velcro attachment
F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: attached, close up F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: attached, front view

P45A can be set at different angles to change the ratio between the directional light and the ceiling bounce. It can also be attached to a narrow or wide side of a flash head. Attaching to a narrow side allows easy switching from landscape to portrait camera position (horizontal to vertical).

To attach F16 P45A-001 to a flash head, you have to put the included rubber band around the head, position the reflector and attach it with Velcro to the left and right sides of the head, and finally secure it with the rubber band. This is not the most convenient design, but it does the job.

F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: attached to the wide side, side view F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: attached to the wide side, back view
F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: attached to the narrow side, side view F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: attached to the narrow side, vertical camera position

Please note that F16 P45A-001 cannot be considered as a variable angle flash reflector in the same sense as Demb Flip-it! or SpectraLight diffusers. To change the angle, you have to fully detach the reflector and then re-attach it, which is not well suited for dynamic environments. So, it's better to think of this diffuser as something like ABBC (A Better Bounce Card from Peter Cregg), which also adds an option of changing the reflection angle.

So, considering the low price of P45A (about $18), ability to change lighting ratio, and, of course, the cool look, F16 P45A-001 may be an interesting choice for a reflector. Just do not expect to be able to adjust the angle quickly.

Sample images taken with F16 P45A-001 flash diffuser are shown below.

F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: sample image, AA batteries F16 P45A-001 flash reflector: sample image, mannequin

Manufacturer site: http://f16.f22design.com.hk

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.