By Laurie Excell
For the active photographer who needs a portable light solution, Photoflex (http://www.photoflex.com) has introduced the US$549.95 OctoDome nxt: Extra Small Location Kit.
Included in a single, easy-to-carry bag is everything you need to get started with a one-light studio. Beginning with the StarFire digital flash, which has three operating modes — Manual, Slave 1, and Slave 2 — as well as power adjustments for complete control of flash output, the kit also includes the FlashFire Wireless Kit, which can fire off-camera flash from 160 feet.
The OctoDome itself is a 18-inch softbox that’s very versatile with three levels of diffusion: simply use the OctoDome alone, add the baffle to further soften and control the light, or add the front diffuser for additional softening. The deep front allows room for additional grids, etc., to be added for greater control.
To support the setup, Photoflex includes an 8′ LightStand, along with a compact, extra small stand that can be used for a background light. Add to the kit all the hardware to get started and you can be shooting on location within a very short time.
I found getting the correct exposure to be quite easy, without the aid of a flash meter. I simply fired a test shot, adjusted the settings on both the camera (ambient) and the flash to get the look I wanted using both the baffle and the front diffuser, and was very pleased with the results. The light was soft, controllable, and produced some very nice portraits, as well as doing a great job for products.
For those who already have their own dedicated flashes, you can buy the OctoDome nxt: Extra Small Kit separately.
Rating: 9 out of 10
(This review is brought to you courtesy of “Layers Magazine”: http://layersmagazine.com/