Review: The Rogue Flashbenders V3 (Pushing the Light Forward)

The Rogue Flashbenders V3 are the latest update to the event photographer’s essential accessory.

I got excited when I heard about the update to the Rogue Flashbenders. For years, I used to rely on these for event shooting. They were incredibly useful, and they were arguably a game-changer when they were introduced. To this day, I still see them used at events if photographers are going for a specific look and aren’t using the built-in diffuser. But now, the company has updated their Rogue Flashbenders once again. What’s new is the construction and the way they mount onto a flash. Further, there are improvements to the way the optional diffusion panels work. The Rogue Flashbenders do a great job if you can get the metering just right.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • They still work just like they did
  • The belt system is really weird now. But once you get the hang of it you’ll realize it’s great.
  • Brighter than the previous ones
  • Better build quality

Cons

  • Not really a thing

So What’s New?

This passage is taken from our news coverage

“This lineup features improvements that include improved malleability, grippier attachment strap, secure fit for all flashes, and faster attachment with quick release buckle. Other features include better bounce flash control with the reflector, softer light and directional control with the soft box. However, the hook and loop modifications on the latest FlashBender reflectors and Diffusion Panels v3 make them incompatible with previous versions of the Rogue Diffusion panels.”

Ergonomics

The Rogue Flashbenders V3 look a lot like the previous ones, but there have been improvements on the mount and feel. Most folks probably wouldn’t be able to tell the differences by looking at them; they’re more likely to feel the difference. Unfortunately for us, the biggest differences need to be experienced in person. They still come in white and soft silver options. That entire surface area is very bendable and can be shaped into pretty much anything one may choose. For most purposes, you’ll probably keep it flat with a bit of a curve towards the top: that will help direct the light forward if you’re directing your flash straight up.

Here’s the belt system. It works via both a buckle and velcro. Essentially, you buckle the Rogue Flashbender V3 around the flash head, tighten it, and then secure it with the velcro. This will mean that it’s not going to come off. It’s an improvement that just feels better.

Here’s a look at the buckle and the strap fully secured. It’s nice and tight; therefore it’s less likely to come off the flash.

Here’s what that looks like in person. Notice how the Rogue Flashbender V3  here is slightly bent? I can shape it to be pretty much anything I want.

Build Quality

By far, the latest Rogue Flashbenders are the best built ones. Not only is the buckle and velcro system wonderful, but you can mold the Rogue Flashbenders V3 into anything you want. They’ll hold the shape and you can’t really go wrong with them. This goes not only for the large and extra large options but also for the small wide one. For what it’s worth though, perhaps the most flimsy part is the design of the diffusion panel. If you choose to use it, you’ll attach it via velcro and two buttons. While it stays on, it feels poorly designed. Personally speaking, I’d never use it. I tried, but I didn’t like it. If I wanted a softbox effect, I’d much rather just use a small softbox. In this case, I’d rather not make one light modifier into something else. At best, the Rogue Flashbenders V3  is a malleable panel that lets a photographer cast light in a specific direction better, and it should be just that. Expoimaging could greatly benefit from using this same belt system to make a collapsible beauty dish using the same materials in the Flashbenders.

Ease of Use

The Rogue Flashbenders V3 are pretty simple to use. Once you wrap them around the flash head, just remember to point the flash head upward and set the flash head to the widest setting for the best results. I’ve always found the most success with the top of the Rogue Flashbenders V3 curled down a bit to reflect the light forward. You can also wrap the Flashbender around the head like a burrito and create something sort of like a snoot for a spotlight effect. The great thing about the Rogue Flashbenders V3  is that they’re incredibly versatile and don’t necessarily need all the extra add-ons they come with.

The most useful of the Rogue Flashbenders V3 is the Extra Large. From an image quality standpoint that’s been my favorite. But, from a usability standpoint, it’s the most difficult one to use. Besides possibly whacking someone in the face during a very tightly packed event, it’s also pretty heavy. If you’re using a cheaper flash, like those from Godox, it’s going to weigh the head down and make it collapse forward. That’s annoying because you’re going to need to keep bringing it back up. It’s a shame because this is also the case with Flashpoint R2 flashes. But with the Nissin MG80 Pro, it was perfectly fine and was able to stand up to the heaviness. By far, the Extra Large Rogue Flashbender V3 has the best looking and most gorgeous light.

The best-balanced one is the Large FlashBender. The output from this still really looks like that from a flash and is pretty harsh. The small one isn’t any better, and I’d say that I’d be better off just pointing the flash head directly at my subject instead.

Conclusions

The Rogue Flashbenders V3 are very good at what they do. For event photographers, it’s worth the upgrade when your older ones die off or become unusable. If you like this style, go for them. Your best value is going for the Extra Large one and getting a flash with a head that won’t be weighed down by the heavy design.

The Rogue Flashbenders V3 gets four out of five stars, and we’re particularly fond of the Extra Large one. All three sizes are different prices.