Review: ExpoImaging Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector

These days, I’m generally not the type of photographer that shoots with a flash in the hot shoe of a camera–and in some ways it seems like the ExpoImaging Rogue Flash Bender XL Pro in Soft Silver wasn’t really designed for this. Photographers have loved the Flash Benders for a very long time due to how they bend light. They’re a staple for wedding and event photographers, but when the Extra Large came, out, they started to break more into the off-camera flash realm.

After teaming up with Frank Doorhof for their creation, the soft silver is designed to work for portraiture. It’s got the best of both worlds: the softening of white reflectors, but the sharpness that only silver reflectors can provide.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (9 of 12)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

Gear Used

We used the ExpoImaging Rogue Flash Bender Extra Large in Soft Silver with the Sony a7, Sony a7r II, Sony 35mm f2.8, Godox flashes, and the Laowa 105mm f2 lens.

Tech Specs

Tech specs taken from the product page

The new FlashBender 2 – XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector incorporates Rogue’s custom Super Soft Silver fabric to provide more punch than white fabric while avoiding the harsh highlights of shiny silver fabrics.

This Special Edition FlashBender was created in conjunction with renowned fashion photographer Frank Doorhof (www.frankdoorhof.com).

For those of you who already own a FlashBender XL Pro Reflector, this new design works with all of the original FlashBender XL Pro attachments.  

  • Packs Flat
  • For Off-Camera Flash
  • Bend to Shape Light
  • Bright Medium Contrast
  • Works with XL Pro Lighting System Attachments
  • Size 13″ x 16″ (33cm x 41cm)
  • Weight 9.6oz (272g)

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Extra Large Soft Silver product images (2 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

The Rogue Flashbender in Soft Silver is quite large. Take a look at the image above and you can sort of tell the difference between the soft silver XL and the white Large. The effect is even more apparent in person.

That large reflective area is what’s going to bounce light back at your subject.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Extra Large Soft Silver product images (3 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

Like other Flashbenders, what you’ll need to do is mount the flash towards the bottom. To secure it in place, you’ll use the company’s belt system.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Extra Large Soft Silver product images (4 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 1.4

ExpoImaging has made the belts more high quality than they used to be and even have a loop thread. You’ll need to work with this, but you can also plain out ignore it.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Extra Large Soft Silver product images (5 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

When you’ve got your Flashbender connected, just shape it as you’d like.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Extra Large Soft Silver product images (7 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

The build quality is really amazing here. It bends and warps into various shapes and then can fold down pretty flat to be stored into a backpack or messenger bag. That’s a really awesome part of it.

Ease of Use

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue FlashBender Extra Large Soft Silver product images (9 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

Most photographers may just keep it straight up and flat. But I like bending one side to the other and really aiming the light. This makes the light more directional on use and also just doesn’t waste battery power.

To be fair, a lack of directional light is an effective look–and that’s why photographers love using umbrellas.

A major concern of mine was that I’d need to keep it clean, but it’s really not that bad to maintain.

Image Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (10 of 12)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

The XL Pro Soft Silver can deliver lots of soft light right where you need it while also maintaining some sort of specularity due to its silver areas. It’s very effective and is now probably one of my favorite quick portrait light modifiers.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (6 of 12)ISO 1601-100 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (4 of 12)ISO 1601-100 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (3 of 12)ISO 1601-100 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (1 of 12)ISO 1601-250 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Expoimaging Rogue Flashbender soft silver portraits of Anna (12 of 12)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 2.8

Conclusions

Phoblographer-Star-rating

For $60, you’re getting one heck of a light modifier. It can do more things that I can possibly even think of, and that’s why it’s earning a five star review.