Product Reviews: Lastolite 18” TriFlip 8:1 Reflector Kit

Photo of Lastolite TriFlip 8:1 Reflector Kit by Lastolite
Image provided by Lastolite

If Mother Nature’s light, or your interior or flash lights, are just not providing the correct lighting you need when creating your images, then you can control the direction and amount of light by changing the color tone, diffusing, bouncing, angling, reflecting, softening… the creative choices and versatility are yours when you utilize the Lastolite TriFlip 8:1 Reflector Kit.

It contains a triangular 18” TriFlip 2-stop diffuser and two double-sided reflector slip-covers offering double-coated reflective surfaces in gold, silver, Sunfire, Sunlite, soft silver, white and black. Why double coated? Lastolite wanted it to last a very long time, so the coatings prevent them from cracking or splitting after repeated use and reversal from one surface to the next. They are very flexible and stretch tightly and evenly across the TriFlip diffuser frame.

Fully open, it measures 22 inches long (reflector is 18”) x 21.25 inches wide at the widest point, with an 8.5 x 2.5 x 0.75 inch rubberized handle.

Reversing or changing the reflector sleeves is quick and easy. If you want to utilize one of the interior reflectors, just turn it inside out. To change the sleeve on the TriFlip, just release the Velcro along the bottom edge of the sleeve, fold the two longest sides of the TriFlip together and slip the sleeve on or off.

If you’re working alone, the TriGrip handle offers good support to the TriFlip, is comfortable in your hand and is easy with which to work. It has adjustable Velcro strips on both sides, so you can choose to slide your hand between the handle and Velcro for a bit more support. I found I used the Velcro strips more for transporting an open TriFlip when walking a short distance from one image making area to another. It was certainly easier to just leave the TriFlip open and use the strips to hang it above one of the quick locks on a tripod leg. Now granted, having an assistant would make using it a whole lot easier, so pay attention that your hand has not moved from your chosen position before you click on the shutter release.

The 3/8 inch collapsible, supporting spine of the TriFlip appears sturdy and when open, its rigidity easily supports and holds taut the diffuser and reflector sleeves. To collapse the TriFlip down to its portable size of 8 x 10.25 inches, you merely twist it around and it curls within itself. Now just slide it in its carrying case and you’re on your way.

Note – A Little Caution Here: If you are a new user or haven’t used collapsible reflectors in awhile, remember to face the curled up diffuser panel away from you when you open it, or it will pop open in your face! Yup, I did that!

In the Field

I focused in on the edge of a rose petal and then used different reflectors to show what effect they have on an image. The intensity of the reflection will depend on how close you place the reflector to your subject. Here there are subtle, but obvious differences within each image. You can use reflectors to remove the darker shadows and create softer images. It will be an artistic choice on which effect pleases you most.

 

Macro photo of rose petal edge in natural light by Marla Meier

No Reflector Used

Macro photo of rose petal edge using Lastolite silver reflector by Marla Meier

Silver Reflector

Macro photo of rose petal edge using Lastolite white reflector by Marla Meier

White Reflector

Macro photo of rose petal edge using Lastolite gold reflector by Marla Meier
Gold Reflector

Extreme example of wasp and flower using Lastolite 2-stop diffuser by Marla Meier

This is an extreme photo to illustrate how much difference can occur when using a 2-stop diffuser. I purposefully placed the diffuser close to the subject, while leaving one area open to the sun.

While 2-stop diffuser filters can soften the light, be sure to adjust your camera settings so you don’t loose the subjects color or contrast as seen here.

You’ll also want your diffuser to shade the background or you will have extreme exposure contrast between the subject and the background.

Reflectors play an important role if you’re creating portrait images. You’re going to have great fun as you watch the shadows disappear and the skin tones change before your eyes.

Note: It would be quite a challenge to try to do portraits alone, so see if you can recruit a friend to be your reflector-holding assistant. You may find they get just as excited about “seeing the light” as you do – thank you Jane.

Close-up portrait of woman with hat in natural light by Marla Meier
Natural Light

Close-up portrait of woman with hat using Lastolite gold reflector by Marla Meier

Gold Reflector

Close-up portrait of woman with hat using Lastolite Sunlite reflector by Marla Meier
Sunlite Reflector

Close-up portrait of woman with hat using Lastolite gold reflector and Tiffen Warming Filter by Marla Meier

Gold Reflector & Warming Filter

Conclusion

The Lastolite TriFlip 8:1 Reflector Kit size is quite easy with which to work and convenient if you’re working alone in the field. It’s versatile, easily portable, lightweight and perfect for single or maybe double portraits and smaller photo subjects. I would surely recommend this kit to all levels of photographers and suggest adding this to your Holiday wish list.

Price point: $128.00 – Lastolite TriFlip 8:1 Reflector Kit

Visit the Lastolite website to view all of their products.

 
Visit Manfrotto Distribution to choose from a wide array of camera gear and accessories.

by Marla Meier, APM Editor
Review and photos: © 2012 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

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