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 ::


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