Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce flash diffuser review

Jun 03 2010

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce (best flash diffuser rating: 8.65) is a flash diffuser of an original design. It is a crossover accessory between a portable softbox and a bouncer. Looking like a softbox, it has an opening on top and a set of silver reflectors inside to direct 40 percent of the flash light through the opening (60 percents go thought the translucent front panel). Thus, Flexi Bounce delivers 60/40 lighting ratio and can be used either pointed at the subject or up towards the ceiling.

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce:
Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: logo Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: built-in silver reflectors, texture

To achieve better light distribution and softness, as well as reduce the hot spot, Pro Kit Flexi Bounce comes with a small dome that should be installed inside the diffuser. We believe that the dome can be also used by itself to achieve results similar to the ones from Sto-Fen Omni Bounce.

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: diffusing dome Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: diffusing dome, installed

Flexi Bounce diffuser is made of high quality materials. Even though it does not fold absolutely flat, it packs reasonably well for storage and transportation. It is lightweight and puts virtually no stress on the flash head.

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: folded flat for storage

The included attachment strap has a nice soft padding on the inner side that provides a very good grip on the flash head. The dome simply slides between the strap and the head, while the diffuser itself attaches to the strap with Velcro. Please note, that most similar mounting straps (Honl Photo Strap, for instance) have Velcro loops, while this strap has hooks, which makes it "incompatible" with many flash accessories. It is a very minor issue, and it only comes into play when you want to keep a strap on your flash and switch from one accessory to another without changing it (like, for example, you can do with Honl Photo system or LumiQuest products).

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: strap, padding

Like any on-camera softbox, Pro Kit Flexi Bounce works well for landscape shots (horizontal camera orientation). If you want to be able to switch to portrait orientation, you need a flash bracket. However, if you are going to shoot primarily in the "bounce mode" (pointing Flexi Bounce upward), you may want to consider mounting the diffuser on a narrow side of the flash. This way of attaching to the flash gives you flexibility of quickly switching between the landscape and portrait modes without a flash bracket.

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: portrait (vertical) shooting

The images below show the difference between the "direct/softbox" mode (left) and the "bounce" mode (right). The subject is positioned about 4 feet from the camera, flash is to the camera's left, the ceiling is about 5 feet above the flash. Please note that the results may differ depending on the environment you shoot in.

Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: headshot example, Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: headshot example,

In the left image above, you can see the the light is rather directional. It is, however, noticeably better compared to the bare flash. So, the "direct" mode will give you better results when the flash light is balanced with ambient, or when another light source is added.

The right photo shows less fill light, and the image is more pleasing overall. Like with all bouncers, the results greatly depend on the height and reflective qualities of the ceiling.

The next photo is an example of using the dome only (like Sto-Fen Onmi Bounce or Nikon Diffusion Dome, for example). The flash is pointed straight up.
Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce: headshot example, diffusing dome only, flash is pointed to the ceiling

In a nutshell, Speedlight Pro Kit Flexi Bounce flash diffuser is a professional quality light modifier. It is lightweight and portable. Flexi Bounce delivers either 60/40 or 40/60 light ratio without utilizing any inserts, just with a change of the flash head position.

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





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