Andy Westlake puts the Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box kit to the test
Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box kit at a glance:
- Collapses for storage
- Price: £39.95
- Website: www.xpdistribution.com
Rogue has made a name for itself producing a series of light modifiers for use with on-camera flash. The FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box kit is a multi-function set designed specifically for use with the smaller flash units that have started to appear for mirrorless cameras. Rogue states that it is designed for the Nissin i40 and Nikon Speedlight SB500, and it seems likely to fit the new Metz Mecablitz M500 too, or any other unit with a similarly sized head (around 17cm in circumference).
The kit comes in two parts. First is a white reflector panel that measures around 17x18cm. This attaches to the flash head when it’s pointed vertically upwards, and redirects light forward for a softer, more flattering effect. It attaches quickly and easily to the flash using a Velcro strap, while two embedded flexible rods allow the reflector – and therefore the light – to be shaped to suit your subject. Rogue suggests it can go so far as to form a cylindrical snoot, but in practice the reflector’s small size means this isn’t very practical, as you end up with a very narrow opening that is difficult to aim with any semblance of accuracy.
Second is a small diffusion panel, which attaches to the reflector using Velcro and a couple of press-studs to form a small softbox. This diffuses the light a bit more, but inevitably further reduces the power and range of the flash.
In practice, I found the kit to be a perfect match for my Nissin i40, doing a great job of softening the light without physically overwhelming this small flashgun. Best of all, it easily collapses down flat for storage, so can be slipped into a camera bag without taking up much space. If you have this kind of small flash unit, it’s an essential accessory.