Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector review

Jul 21 2010
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Zeh Bounce for Canon DSLR Cameras
Zeh Bounce for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Zeh Bounce from Zeh Photographic is a reflector for the built-in (pop-up) flash of your SLR camera. Pop-up flashes usually produce unpleasant results because they are small in size and positioned very closely to the lens axis. Zeh Bounce redirects the light from your pop-up flash towards the ceiling, which creates more natural results since the light source is located above the subject.

Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector: on a Nikon camera body Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector: logo
Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector: attachment close up

Zeh Bounce is offered in three flavors to fit three major camera systems: Canon, Nikon, and Sony. The cards are identical except for the fitting. Zeh Bounce is easy to install and remove regardless of the model. The image below shows the difference between Canon and Nikon models (you can see the cuts are different).

Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector: Canon and Nikon models

As any flash light diffuser, Zeh Bounce reduces the light output of a flash. Pop-up flashes that are seen on today's DSLR's are small and limited in power. They are typically good for close range photography. Therefore, using Zeh Bounce, you will most likely have to bump ISO level up to get proper exposed images. Fortunately, most modern DSLR's deliver good performance at even high ISO levels. We find that Zeh Bounce reflector can be used with a reasonable comfort with ISO level set between 800 and 1600.

The following images demonstrate the difference between a direct pop-up flash (left) and a pop-up flash diffused by Zeh Bounce reflector (right). Sample shots are taken from about 3 foot distance from the subject. The ceiling is about 5 feet above the camera.

Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector review: direct flash example Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector: portrait example

Please also note that if you use a Canon camera, you may not be able to focus in the dark or dim lighting situations when Zeh Bounce is installed on your camera. Canon cameras use consecutive bursts of light from their pop-up flashes to assist with focusing under dark conditions. If Zeh Bounce is installed, there may be insufficient light for successful focusing.

It is, however, possible to get around this problem. Hold the reflector down while pressing the shutter release button half way down to acquire the focus, then return the reflector back into the position to capture the image.

Zeh Bounce pop-up flash reflector: using auto-focus assist with Canon camera body

So, keep in mind that shooting with Zeh Bounce requires a relatively low ceiling in the room. If the images come out too dark, let more light into your camera by reducing shutter speed and/or using smaller aperture values. If that's not possible, bump ISO level up to increase sensitivity of the camera's sensor.

As a final note, remember that using Zeh Bounce reduces the power output of your pop-up flash. You can take the measures mentioned above to deal with this fact. Aside from this, you should be able to improve images taken with your on-board camera flash by simply installing the Zeh Bounce reflector.

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