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The Complete Rogue Flash Benders Review

by Chris Gampat on 04/20/2011

So are the ExpoImaging Rogue Flash Benders the best flash modifiers ever? Many photographers would say so, and to be quite honest I couldn’t find a single fault with them. Bendable, pliable, shapable, versatile: the Rogue Flash Benders let you really harness the light output from your flash and give the strobist some of the best control I’ve ever seen. Let’s review what we’ve done.

Complete Postings

Day 1- Small overview of the Flash Benders as well as some results from using them at an event.

Day 2- Shot an event at the B&H Event Space with them.

Day 3- Used at an event during the Canon T3i review.

Ease of Use

The Flash Benders come in three sizes: large, small, and bounce card. By far, my favorite is the large because of the softer light it gives off combined with its versatility and overall coverage it provides. The larger unit it also the easiest to use because it can easily be formed into different configurations like a snoot, arch, wide angular spread, etc.

The small card and bounce card aren’t as useful. I’d recommend using the small card specifically for when you need wider coverage from your flash or when you’re doing product photos. As for the bounce card, well, it did serve the purpose and was still the most versatile bounce card out there. Don’t get me wrong, for what it does, it’s great. However, once you use the large Flash Bender you will be spoiled.

Ergonomics

The Flash Benders are all able to fit into nearly any pocket of your camera bag. Then can be folded, then folded again and sometimes even again. When you’re ready to use them, you can whip them out and get right to work after bending them back into shape.

Think of them as transformers.

Additionally, the belt at the bottom of each is totally adjustable to fit around various sized flashes. You can tell that someone really put thought into these when they designed them, yet they are so extremely simple in design.

Flash Output

The flash output from your flash and the way that the Rogue Flash Benders affect them are different for each configuration. However, I didn’t really see any light loss at all in my usage.

Typically with flash modifiers, I’m either switching to total manual control or flash exposure compensation when using them in E-TTL. I never had to do that once with these.

Versatility

I can really go on and on about the versatility of these items. But here is how they can be used by you:

Event Photographers: You can use them as bounce cards to provide more indirect light onto people or a crowd.

Wedding Photographers: The Flash Benders will allow you to aim your flash’s output more efficiently, which is so critical at weddings. Consider these during the reception when everyone is on the dance floor. Have the Flash Benders reflect light onto the subjects and ensure that the flash is still pointed towards the ceiling. You’ll be able to provide better balance that way if you balance the shutter speed, apertures and ISOs.

Portrait Photographers: As a snoot, they can be great hair lights. They also can provide a lot of contrasty lighting when used correctly. You won’t get the wrap-around quality of an umbrella, but you’ll get something in between an umbrella and a softbox.

Landscape Photographers: Forget it.

Photojournalists: See portrait and wedding photographers.

Product Photographers: These are best used with your strobes being set off wirelessly. They can provide very flash and even lighting as well as spotlights as being snoots.

Street Photographers: If you use flash on your street photography, I would actually ensure that these are always angled downward towards your subjects to give them full frontal illumination in order to balance out their exposure with the ambient lighting.

Conclusions

When they were released, they were the hype of the blogosphere. Rightfully so, the Flash Benders are the only flash modifers that I cannot find fault with. Indeed, they’ve become my new go to item for nearly any occasion.

Just pick the one that’s best for you.

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