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on November 26, 2010
Up until now I have relied on a range of sto-fen diffusors and similar products to soften or re-direct light in the field. I never was truly happy with the sto-fens because their lack of versatility (but wich they make up in large parts due to their ruggedness and simplicity).

Now, I've tried the Flash-Benders (their name always seems to me a tongue-in-cheek movie reference). Although not as simple to use as a sto-fen (or similar product), I was immidetely in love with how these series of diffusors allow me to direct light. I have both the medium and large set of Benders, and believe that if you have one, you should also get the other for a more complete set of tools.

Working with the flash benders is slightly more involved than with a pop-on cup like the sto-fens. Ideally, you'd use the bender in a sequence of shots, literally shaping the perfect light as you go. This makes it awkward for using it in real-time events (e.g. a wedding in progress), but it becomes the ideal field tool when you shoot the set pieces during interludes. If you are not pressed for time, these Benders can get you much better lighting than a classic cup or soft box. Creating the best shapes takes some getting used to, so expect to spend some time initially to get to know this diffusor.

One downside is that the Benders can get dirty easily, and are far more difficult to clean than a plastic cup (which, due to the way it works, is also much less susceptible to smudges). In no way this amounts to a show-stop, though.

Another slight drawback is that the Benders don't easily allow you to tint the light. This can usually be corrected either in post, or by inserting a color card into the flash (I prefer shooting with max light, and color correct in post anyway)

Still, I have found some unexpected studio uses. In our studio we use up to three Elinchrome 600 flash heads that should account for almost any lighting situation. Yet, some macro photography that required delicate lighting turned out much better with these (compared to the heads) dirt cheap diffusors mounted on a camera flash than we could achieve with a full studio set.

I wholeheartedly recommend these Benders, and do recommend that you get both sizes. For non time-critical field work there currently are few better alternatives, and the price is nearly unbeatable.

pros
- very versatile
- fits a wide range of flashes
- you can 'sculpt' light
- lightweight.

cons
- can get dirty
- less rugged than a plasic cup
- takes more time to set up
- limited ways to tint flash color
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on November 28, 2011
i have to admit, i was very skeptical about this light modifier, but having to shoot a charity event with high ceilings, i knew i needed something so i wouldnt have to use direct flash. after doing so research i decided on this small flashbender, and i'm so glad i got it! the light is nice and diffuse, and looks much better than direct flash. now dont go thinking this can replace a softbox or large umbrella for light softness, it wont. but for event shooting and general shooting where you dont want off camera lighting, you really cant go wrong. it takes some practice to nail the settings and avoid harshness/glare/overexposure, but once you do i think you'll love the results. i'll upload some images when i get the chance.
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on October 21, 2010
I have been intrigued by this product ever since I saw it in a magazine. I have been using a Demb Photo-Journalist Flip-It for quite some time and have been very happy with it. But it's a little small and I wanted something just a little bigger for times when I need to bounce more light.

The FlashBender comes with a stretchable velcro attachment and mounts easily on my Canon 430EX-II flash. It's great because you can bend it to modify light in any direction and even shape it into a snoot. There are two bendable wires inside the FlashBender so it's very easy to adjust it if the lighting is not right. Simply give it a bend here or there and tweak it the way you want. I have used this for bouncing, diffusing, and directing flash and it was worked effectively.

The FlashBender is washable so you can keep the nice white surface clean. Also, because it is flexible, it is very portable and can be folded flat and put it into your camera bag. My small Demb Flip-It easily folds up as well so both products always travel with me when I take my flash along.

The only reason I deducted a star is that, even though it's not that large, it is still a little awkward. My smaller-sized Demb Flip-It is, well, smaller and less intimidating when taking pictures of people.

Overall, this is a really good light modifier for Speedlite users. It's versatile and portable and will certainly make your shots look better when using this with your external flash unit than without one.
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on January 20, 2013
I had been looking into light modifiers for speedlights for quite some time, with an eye on flexibility and ease of use and transport.

This model of flashbender is the smaller one - it will not provide as wide a reflective surface as the bigger flashbener, resulting is a slightly harder light, but it is still significant.
I find myself using it a lot mounted in reverse, i.e. with the black side of the reflector turned towards the flash head itself, so as to use it as a flag for low-key portraits (i.e. I use it to avoid flash light on the background that I want to remain black).
It could be better designed for that purpose: the velcro is only on one side and it makes it a little tedious to attach, but the results are good.

I also used it as a rough snoot but there the results are not as clean as with a grid. Nonetheless useable when caught off guard without your trusted Rogue ROGUEGRID 3-In-1 Stacking Honeycomb Grid System with Pouch for all Shoe-Mount Flashes with Flash Units from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Metz, Nissin, Pentax, Olympus and Others.

I also use the bigger ones (Rogue FlashBenders ROGUERELG Large Positionable Reflector).
For nearly the same price they are a little less easy to fold and carry around, but more efficient at giving you a smooth light source. They are also heavier and will make the head of your flash droop if you try and set it to 45 degrees. For this last reason if I were to loose this smaller one I would still replace it instead of buying another of the bigger flashbenders.
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on July 11, 2011
I purchased the small Rogue Flash Bender as something a little different for an on camera flash modifier. I was not disappointed as it mounted extremely easily to my flash unit and it was very easy to manipulate as I experimented with different ways to use it. I would highly recommend the small flash bender (the large is too heavy IMHO) to anyone looking for something different than the typical on flash modifiers out there.
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on October 20, 2014
I felt it was very overpriced and I was little dismayed at the arrived item. You could probably produce similar effect with a piece of 8x11 paper. The reflection needed a lot of tweaking and cataloging which are not always easy to do while on a shooting assignment. My girlfriend as commented that the thing looked "silly" on my camera. I wouldn't have cared about the aesthetic or looking silly as long as it functioned but for the price and advertising, I feel it falls short and is pretty underwhelming. I'm sure you can get some good lighting effect on your subject with a lot of hit and miss experiments and messing around but that's not often practical in a real life situation on site outside a studio environment. Maybe the larger version would work better but I probably wouldn't give it another chance or have patience to make it more useful.
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on October 23, 2013
I have all the Rogue products from Small to XL kits, and the only one I don't have is the Rogue Bounce card / Flag ($29 something). So I think I'm qualified to give a good evaluation and insight.

The Rogue Flashbender Small is designed for on-camera flash. If you're looking for an on-camera flash reflector and bounce card combo, this is the size that you must get! Do not get the Large and XL reflectors unless you're planning to use it on an off-camera flash setting! Of course, you can still use the Large and XL reflectors on an on-camera flash setup, but you will look silly and your movement will be severely restricted.

Question? Can't I just use that "black foamie thingy (BFT)" to simulate a bounce card and reflector? Sure you can. But why buy this Rogue Flashbender?
1. It looks cooler (subjective)
2. It's more flexible. You can make it a snoot (of course the BFT can do that too) and a small softbox (extra attachment).
3. I don't want to order a big foam and cut it myself. I'm lazy and I don't want to pay the shipping charges ($4 for the foam and $7 for the shipping).
4. It just looks more professional (subjective)
5. I'm a fan of the Rogue products. The quality is top-notched.

* However upon inspection the BFT and Flashbender reflector are really two different products with overlapping but also exclusive application. BFT and the Flashbender Bounce card would be a more apt comparison.

Let's put aside the debate between the BFT and the Flashbender. What's good about the Flashbender? Imagine the following scenario: low-light environment, orangey ceiling. With an on-camera flash and the Flashbender, I can take four type of shots (assuming we're using same flash power of 1/64):

1. Camera no flash. Result: Dark and bad lighting
2. Camera with flash but direct on the subject). Result: Overexposed
3. Camera with bounced flash. Result: Less darker than #1 but uneven illumination.
4. Camera with Flashbender (shaped like a bounced card). Result: Even less darker (more light) than #1 but with even illumination.

Those are the common scenarios you'll encounter. The Flashbender helps you with getting a nice fill light and even lighting. Of course nothing beats a big softbox and other heavy duty gears. But for its small package, the Flashbender is a good investment. The quality of the product and packaging is superb.

Cons:
* The small Flashbender lacks a middle metal rod. It only has the side rods. The Large and XL versions have middle rods which allows you to bend the reflector easier and maintain its shape. You can still do it with the small Flashbender though.

Should you get the softbox panel? I personally have it, but I don't think it's that important (besides I have a "real" softbox). In the Large and XL versions, the softbox attachment has noticeable effects.

Final Verdict: Get it!
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on February 9, 2014
Very compact and portable, but needs to be a bit larger to really do all it promises. The large model (why is there no medium!) is more capable but well, larger. On the Canon 600 flashes I would go larger, but this is fine on smaller units.
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on December 30, 2012
All shots presented here were taken exclusively with ROGUE LIGHTING FLASH BENDERS, GRIDS, AND COLOR FILTER KITS and everything was imply a piece of cake because of ease of use, quick setup, and everyone got happy with fine predictive results!

* A convenient built-in strap that fits around the hot shoe flash eliminates the need for auxiliary Velcro. That is a great benefit.
* ROGUE Accessories attach easily to all my flash units.
* The bendable internal rods allow you to shape the modifier in any way to create the desired lighting pattern or the desired field of light.
* The modifiers are both durable and flexible; they lie flat for easy storage.
* The quality of the light and the contrast created by the modifiers blend well with available light.
* Resulting images are brilliant and natural. I find they have pleasing contrast and color.
Please visit SHUTTERBUGCL or LATINIMAGEPHOTOGRAPHY dot BLOGSPOT dot COM to learn more...

By Alfonso A.Tobar/ Latin Image Photography/ ShutterbugCL
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on May 26, 2012
I have used and liked a Lumaquest bounce system and really considered getting another for my new Metz 48 flash, but I decided to give the Rogue a try. And am I happy that I did! The flexibility gives you so much control over the bounce and the direction of the lighting that it takes some time experimenting to feel like you are getting the most out of it. But taking some time to experiment will pay of in more usable shots and, ultimately, more creative shots as well.

Another great thing is how easily this packs away. While it is flat so it can slide in a small area, I actually keep it attached to my flash upside down and simply wrap it around the flash. The whole unit slips in where I store the flash in my camera bag, so it is always available quickly.

I have docked it one star for a reason that others have mentioned and that is that it is heavy enough that it can sometimes cause the bounce-head of the flash to flop down when you have it angled. But this is not always and is not a major issue - certainly not something that would keep me from recommending the Rogue to a fried!
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