Flekt: Studio Quality Light from Your Pop-Up Flash?

Flekt: Studio Quality Light from Your Pop-Up Flash?

When a photographer wants to start expanding their lighting options they usually look to something beyond their pop-up flash. However, if you are one of those stubborn ones that simply must use what is probably the worst possible flash option...you're in luck. Preston Vance has launched a Kickstarter campaign that attempts to make your mostly worthless pop-up flash somewhat less so. Apparently based on the idea of a beauty dish, this modifier aims to soften your flash by reflecting it into a coated dish-like object and bounced back toward the subject. I realize that referring to the product's design as resembling a TV dinner plate will likely not endear this company to me, but given that I only have their images to go on...that's what I'm going with.


Truthfully I don't think there is much wrong with the product but, I do think it is improperly described. In the video and on it's site, the creator makes many references to this being like a beauty dish for your pop-up flash. The comparison isn't accurate though.

Beauty dishes are amazing in part due to the internal reflector. This piece is incredibly important because it keeps the hottest portion of the light from causing blow-outs when used up close. However, you'll notice that in their example images for the Flekt, even at a moderate distance we are seeing hot spots.



This has a lot to do with the size of the modifier but of course it would be impractical to have a full-sized beauty dish sitting on the top of your camera. I would also argue that it's very difficult to get any sort of flattering light with an immobile flash right over top of your lens. Still, you can see that the Flekt definitely does make the flash less terrible. The ability to bounce the pop-up into a large white surface helps a lot. So I suppose that if you're looking for better augmented light but don't want to search for a used speedlight, this could be something to try out.

Is it an interesting idea? Yes. Is it worth buying? I think that depends on your situation. At $75 for the base unit with a white coating (Kickstarter price) you could buy a Vivitar 285HV and actually start to learn about bouncing flash. No, it's not a super versatile flash, but it gives you the option to eventually go off-camera and grow.

Ultimately that's a decision you'll have to make for yourself. This product will give you a better quality light from your pop-up flash, and in that respect it seems like the design is succeeding. However (and I feel like I need to say this again), it is not a better option than a speedlight. It isn't smaller, it's barely cheaper, and it's nowhere near as versatile.

However, it is clever and there isn't a doubt in my mind that it will hit it's funding goal.

Go check it out for yourself

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Jon Sharman's picture

So the title of the article is "Studio Quality Light From Your PopUp Flash" and then you go on to emphasize:

"However (and I feel like I need to say this again), it is not a better option than a speedlight. It isn’t smaller, it’s barely cheaper, and it’s nowhere near as versatile."

So it's studio quality light, but oh hey, it's not better than a speedlight.

Seriously, why do you guys mine for hits with some of these article titles? It cheapens what you do.

The article title is the Flekt slogan. It is exactly what you will find on the Flekt Kickstarter page. Now, they still could have chosen to title the article something else, but I think it's worth noting that they didn't string those words together themselves specifically to mislead us, Flekt did.

Jon Sharman's picture

Fair enough, and thanks for the info. But as you said, they could - and should - have changed the title.

Nah, I wanted people to get the complete experience of utter dissapointment I had after I read the project title and saw what it really was.

Jon Sharman's picture

So why not put a question mark at the end of it?

Just for you...

Putting tupperware on your camera is so 90's.

Yeah-you just stay up there near that "cutting edge" of gadget technology. LOL-those of us that know a variety of ways to use light have no qualms about using anything at hand to modify light.

As can be seen from the photos above, the thing is a joke.

Also, for the price you cold buy a Chinese flash and possibly a modifier and get much better photos.

The inventor apparently got carried away when devising this whimsical contraption.
My take : If a photographer is so picky about proper lighting his subject he will probably opt for an external speedlight with an light modifier attached to it instead of using this monstrosity.

I use a Lumiquest Softbox attached to my speedlight and it gives awesome subject illumination on short distances.

Promising Headline, and disappointing Product and Images.

it's funny how they use DSLR examples in their video that don't even have a pop up flash

You should look more closely at the DSLRs. There's a pop-up flash there with the Flekt surrounding it.

I was talking about the example of the 5D mkIII ...

You can get roughly the same effect by just taping some white paper in front of your flash. But honestly, like the article suggested just buy an external flash and go read The Strobist lighting 101. You'll be far better off.

Hmm, I like the idea of making the popup flash more usable, but I think most of us use it as an absolute last resort. If a photographer is willing to carry something extra, why not a speedlight?

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Gosh :/ I just bought some new Elinchrom stuff… if only I'd known this piece of plastic could also give quality light but in such a small form factor hahahah

Seriously? Studio quality light? You start to watch the video, the guy speaks about a beauty dish and they show you an octa with a deflector. How can you not trust this company/product? :D

That was fun part for me as well... I was like: What? Is this realy beauty dish as well?

Is this compatible with my 5D Mkiii? -_-

Just buy an external flash. They aren't expensive and they are just way way better. You can find Manual ones for $50.

Aran Y's picture

what a fucking waste of money. who ever buys this should not be a photographer. Srsly? We are gonna spend money to make our pop up flash better? Spend money on a speedlite ffs

It doesn't matter how soft it makes the light, if it comes from the camera's point of view, it still looks flat and non dimensional. Studio light to me is where the light comes from a source that is away from the lens to create shadows and highlights and gives depth.

-"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

-"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming."

-"We do not see that this device will be ever capable of sending recognizable speech over a distance of several miles. Hubbard and Bell want to install one of their telephone devices in every city. The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?.. ignoring the obvious limitations of his device, which is hardly more than a toy. This device is inherently of no use to us. We do not recommend its purchase."

-"Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company."

-"good enough for our transatlantic friends [Americans] but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men."

-The FLEKT IS a fucking waste of money. who ever buys this should not be a photographer...

Sorry Osvaldo but the FLEKT doesn't belong here. Unless you have money to burn, go cut up a milk jug and you'll get the same diffused effect.

Yongnuo YN-560ii: http://www.amazon.com/Yongnuo-YN-560-Speedlight-Flash-Nikon/dp/B0079M711S

$60 and the same star rating as the Canon 600 EX-RT, but 1/9th the price.

Filip Kowalkowski's picture

why not, it does give you this Terry Richardson effect. If you don't have any other modifiers I would use it. Still prefer my 120cm octabox on a lightstand, but each to their own :)

Pff.. The light that come out of that crap will only make difference if you are few inches from the subject -_- Which is not good for studio work. (studio quality..lmao)

You'd get better results using a business card to bounce the flash off the ceiling.