Monday, June 08, 2009

Hands-on With the Speedlight Pro Kit

We blurbed these when they came out a ways back, but I just got a chance to play with them last month in Paso Robles.

Inside, more on the Speedlight Pro Kit, a video showing just how specialized the internet has become, and what's in it for you.
__________


Combining aspects of both the Lumiquest and Honl stuff, the Speedlight Pro Kit hits a lot of high points.

For about $125.00, you get a combo that allows you to make a double-paneled diffusor, a large grid, a large bare reflector, two snoots and two grids. They share parts from each other, but can be used together to create four different mods at once, as shown in this example.

I got a chance to play with them last month, and they are well (and uniquely) designed. In fact, I liked them enough to immediately start tweaking them.

For starters, you'll definitely want to use a StoFen-type diffuser (either yours or theirs, sold separately) along with the big reflector or big grid. You want to spread that light out to make use of the full size of the source. Otherwise, what's the point?

Additionally, my immediate thought was to mod the big grid with a thin sheet of tissue paper on the back side, to provide diffusion right behind the grid. This effectively gets the light soft(ish) and gridded at the same time. This would make a big difference for close in gridded portraits. Without the tissue, the light would be hard and gridded. You could split the difference with a StoFen (or similar small diffuser) and the internal light from the reflector.

The grids themselves are spartan, if strong. They are hand-cut-and-stacked Coroplast (corrugated plastic) with rectangular channels. These channels are what determines the aspect ratio of the beam, so expect a soft rectangle shape to the beam. (If you want a pure circular beam, go with straws for channels.)

Overall, they are well-made, and very versatile. The only potential problem we saw was possible light leakage around the (double) diffusor. This is a super easy fix, with a little tab of gaffer's tape. Nothing to be concerned about at all.


There's Niche, and There's Niche ...

How specialized is the internet?

Specialized enough to where you can now watch a walk-thru video of a kit of third-party modifiers designed only for speedlights -- and homegrown from Malaysia.

I am so glad to be alive in 2009.

Herewith, everything you need to know about the Speedlight Pro Kit, complete with a soundtrack of genuine, authentic Malaysian bluegrass music.



And why am I telling you about these today? Because the Speedlight Pro Kit is part of the prize pack from the first assignment from Boot Camp II.

Which starts tomorrow.
__________


Available here:

:: Speedlight Pro Kit (USA retailer) ::
:: Speedlight Pro Kit :: (HQ -- Malaysia and UK retailers)
:: Behind-the-Scenes Shoot Video ::
:: Don Giannatti Review ::


__________

Brand new to Strobist, or lighting? Start here.
Or, jump right into our free Lighting 101 course.
Connect: Discussion Threads | Reader Photos | Twitter

35 Comments:

Blogger Brent said...

Bingo... I says to myself, I'm not really in the market for one of these things, but David might mention Boot Camp in the post at some point, so I had better read it...

My faith was rewarded. I guess it's time to go charge some batteries.

June 08, 2009 12:19 AM  
Blogger Bugi said...

Whoah! Thank you David and Pro Kit people for your generosity! Can't wait until tommorow!

June 08, 2009 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Craig Ferguson said...

Boot Camp II - looking forward to it, especially as I have some free time at the moment.

June 08, 2009 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

I don't know why but while I was watching the video, I expected a bunny to be pulled out of one of the light modifiers at some point...

June 08, 2009 1:34 AM  
Blogger Scott Jantzen said...

I can't wait for bootcamp to start! Bring on that first assignment. Www.scottjantzenphotography.blogspot.com

June 08, 2009 1:57 AM  
Blogger EricFerguson said...

Looks like a useful, portable product.

$126 though. Worth it if you don't have the time to make something up for yourself, but I really thing this concept is just screaming "DIY me." How much does a bit of black chloroplast and some tinfoil go for?

June 08, 2009 2:22 AM  
Blogger mrngeeann said...

It is definitely looking good.

But i wonder how will it fare compare to the ezyboxes.

June 08, 2009 3:03 AM  
Anonymous Victor said...

... and the first DIY versions have already been made :-)

June 08, 2009 3:24 AM  
Anonymous Joost said...

First time in my life that I'm eager to do some homework!

Bring on the assigments!

June 08, 2009 3:39 AM  
Anonymous Yair Har-Oz said...

Thanks so much for this David!
LMAO when he fumbles with it for like 20 seconds (couldn't they just cut that part out?).
Can't wait for Boot Camp II, thanks for making it in the summer, so us students can participate too!

June 08, 2009 3:40 AM  
Anonymous Grey Trilby said...

Starts TOMORROW?!!!

AAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

[runs around squealing like my wife in a shoe-shop in a 75% sale]

June 08, 2009 4:54 AM  
Anonymous James said...

Tomorrow!!! i cant wait for tomorrow!!!

June 08, 2009 7:08 AM  
Blogger ALok said...

Sigh you just advanced my buying schedule, I wasn't going to buy more photography equipment till later in the summer, now you just made me buy a whole lot of stuff.

Hopefully it ships in time.

June 08, 2009 10:58 AM  
Blogger Saad said...

Looks really good, but nothing that you couldn't d DIY.

Looking forward to bootcamp though - got my university finals this week then Im free!!!

Saad

June 08, 2009 10:59 AM  
Blogger Phat Baby Photographer said...

Nice, but I got to say I like the Honl system better if for no other reason than it folds up into my pack quickly and easily. This stuff looks nice, but I rather spend my time shooting than assembling and disassembling my light mods (the set would otherwise take up too much space). Still it's great to have options - God bless the Internet.

June 08, 2009 11:51 AM  
Blogger Zachary W Sarette said...

Bootcamp II?

Allright! Now I'm wicked excited. :D

Very educational!

June 08, 2009 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Robin Ng said...

Thanks for sharing this! i am very proud....the product actually from my country...Malaysia!

June 08, 2009 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Wing Wong said...

Sweet! It seems like more and more customizations are coming out for flash units! Nice!

Also... bootcamp! Woot!

June 08, 2009 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought today was tomorrow. I guess I was wrong. Tomorrow is tomorrow. You posted this on Monday at 12am. I was thinking it was posted Sunday night, so I've been checking back all day, looking for updates on Boot Camp. It would seem Boot Camp starts on Tuesday.

Tomorrow is tomorrow.

June 08, 2009 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

i didnt do bootcamp 1. Do i need to do it before bootcamp 2? i follow this site pretty religously, and almost always understand what's flying.
thanks
-Josh

June 08, 2009 3:10 PM  
Blogger Ori W. said...

Wait, tomorrow is tomorrow?

I read this Sunday night too, and have been checking back every few minutes sitting here at work.

It's the only thing keeping me going... sniff... sniff... :(

June 08, 2009 3:22 PM  
Blogger soniak said...

It's about time someone manufactured shooting aids that are designed in response to photographer requests/demands/needs. That said, I won't be buying this as I'd prefer to purchase the units one by one rather than all in a kit. I use snoots so seldom, the small rectangle of folded up blackwrap in my camera bag + a piece of gaffer tape serves my needs fine. Don't need another "thing" in my bag o' tricks. Same with the grid. I prefer poking holes in a piece of blackwrap and shaping a faux grid than adding one more 'thing'. The softbox is worth having in the arsenal though!

June 08, 2009 4:08 PM  
Anonymous SKIM said...

I also thought (hoped) today was tomorrow... but no. As I missed the first bootcamp, I'm very excited for this one... Thank you for all you do and BALTIMORE ROCKS!!

June 08, 2009 5:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Burgos said...

@ Anonymous - June 08, 2009 1:55 PM
I was thinking it was posted Sunday night, so I've been checking back all day, looking for updates on Boot Camp.

Patience, young Jedi, is a virtue.

June 08, 2009 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Pete said...

Someone once said that it was unfair for pros and not-pros to be in the same competition, but I think it may even out in the end, and the not-pros may even an edge.

Why?

Because pros will tend to have less time to work on the assignments than the non-pros.

True in my case, as I'm up to my ears in projects already.

Hope I have time to stop and flash some stuff, though.

I always tend to learn things when I keep up with what goes on in StrobistLand.

Thanks for that!

June 08, 2009 6:58 PM  
Blogger Emmett Photography said...

Well it's tomorrow tomorrow my time (HKG TIme) and I'm still on the edge of my seat waiting for boot Camp II to start :-)

It's like being a kid again on Christmas morning at 4:30am!

June 08, 2009 7:42 PM  
Blogger David said...

@Josh-

Nope. This is for the people who came in since that one.

-D

June 08, 2009 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Scott Bourke said...

So stoked that June is here, more importantly Bootcamp II is here.

June 08, 2009 9:00 PM  
Blogger Dimitris said...

I can t wait for the new Bootcamp...

I m gonna try to do the 1st part keeping its deadline times at the same time as well, just for the practice :D

About the speedlight prokit, I like the modular design, but they seem a bit weird in the sense that from a fast overview, it seems that you can easily get light escaping through the joints. Especially from the front side.

They seem like a decent proposal for those that aren t very comfortable with DIY, especially considering the usually very expensive nature of such specialized products. But to be honest, I can see the design easily being copied and improved at home, at just a tiny fraction of the cost.

PS
It s tommorow here in Greece as well... gogo give the new bootcamp :D

June 08, 2009 9:42 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

David's remark to put in a little sheet is a valid one but seems redundant as the flash in de vid had the little dome on it. Would it give the same softening effect as paper?

June 09, 2009 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the "professional" look to these,(perhaps I have a reason to replace me old hobby foam DIY ones ones) but these are hardly new to the scene; just a new twist on an old concept.

There are several DIY projects for a micro softbox out there. As to light leaking through the seams, if it does become an issue, it's one that a few strips of gaffers tape could easily fix.

Looking forward to the new boot camp.

June 15, 2009 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Nick Bygon said...

Hello,

I am currently doing photojournalism of live events such as conferences, so mostly everything is indoors and I was considering buying a kit to help me mix up my shooting capabilities. So the question is

What is a better set to invest in the Honi Complete Set (or something similar to it such as making it DIY)

or the featured Speedlight Pro Kit

Thank you for all your help.

June 16, 2009 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Sheldon Charron said...

This is totally awesome. Thank you so much for this and your other posts. I like to be completely mobile and even do a lot of shots by hauling my gear by motorcycle and quad. The ability to take multiple flashes like this has made my world. I got kind of misty when I saw the video because this kind of relatively inexpensive, packable gear by brilliant people just makes me so happy. Thanks again!

June 18, 2009 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Looks like it will be a great setup. $129 does not sound too bad. Cant wait to get my hands on a set.

June 21, 2009 7:11 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

My kit arrived today. The main softboxes fit well on a Canon 540ez. Not quite light tight on a 430exII, so you'll need gaffer tape or other means to control the spill at the back of the softbox on smaller units. Overall I'm happy with the mods.

December 04, 2009 2:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home