LumiQuest makes it easy for the on-the-go professional or amateur photographer to setup their flash equipment easily and quickly when on location. You’ll be able to effectively get a handle on lighting problems in the field, at home or in the studio – bounce, soften, enlarge, diffuse and color the light. Professional looking results can be achieved with these light modifiers at very affordable prices and they adapt to most on-camera, hot shoe or handle-mounted flash units.
“LumiQuest products are fabricated in the USA using only material formulated for precise photographic application. They carry an unconditional guarantee.” Now, I have only had the items for a short period of time, but in checking various user comments, I’ve found that these plastic accessories hold up to continuous use for many years. That tells me they are durable, making them even more cost effective.
All the various accessories are lightweight, compact and very portable, as each item folds down flat so they can be placed in your camera bag without taking up a lot of space.
Setup is a Snap
First, there is a choice of attaching self-adhesive Velcro strips to all four sides of the flash head or you can use the UltraStrap (included with Kits and Bundles) – non-adhesive Velcro mounting, stretchable strap with a non-skip surface the fits snuggly around the flash head. Second, you merely unfold the chosen accessory and attach the tabs to three or four sides of the Velcro on the flash head. That’s it – you’re all setup and ready to create images.
There are many LumiQuest items from which to choose for specific purposes, but for this review, the following items were used:
Lumiquest Mini Kit: Soft Screen for popup flash and Mini Softbox
Lumiquest Starter Kit: Pocket Bouncer, Gels, Velcro strips, and UltraStrap
Lumiquest Snoot XTR – a telescoping snoot
Note: I chose to photograph hard, reflective items. All images were taken from basically the same distance with minor adjustments for exposure – ½ to 1 stop. You will be able to see the differences in the images when various accessories were used. You’ll see the light was more evenly distributed, the glare off the subjects was reduced, which enhanced the details of the subject, or when being more creative, the light source was directed to a desired location.
Now, if you enjoy portrait, product or macro work, these accessories will have the same effect – provide soft, even, non-glaring light with reduced shadows. Or, maybe you need to remove the shadows on a foreground subject when focusing on a distant subject in contrasting light. The applications are endless.
MINI KIT: Mini Soft Screen, Mini Softbox and UltraStrap
On-camera pop-up flash devices on digital SLR cameras produce harsh light and this handy little flash diffuser will create more even light and reduce red-eye or the amount of flash bounce off of reflective surfaces. Light loss is approximately
It is super quick to attach when the flash is in the up position – a little tab on the back slides into the hot shoe plate and the front opaque screen folds over the top of the flash. An opening at the bottom slides over the nameplate. If it happens not to fit your camera brand, no problem, a little piece of self-adhesive Velcro is provided.
Talk about easy to transport! This little diffuser is 4 x 4 inches and fits easily into your pocket or camera bag.
On-camera Flash with No Light Modification
This is a 3 1/4 x 4 1/2 inch Softbox (when folded flat) for a hot shoe mounted flash – attached with Velcro or UltraStrap (included in the kit).
Its purpose is to diffuse and enlarge (4-5 times) the light from the flash when it is directed straight forward. This is a great tool for reducing red-eye and for softening those harsh shadows. You may have up to 1 stop of light loss, so be sure to do a text photo in order to get your exposure the way you desire.
The UltraStrap is a 1 x 11 inch non-adhesive, non-skid flash mounting strap that wraps around the flash head. The loops on the strap allow it to stretch up to the 11 inches, making it versatile – not only for the flash head, but think outside the box, and it can be used to temporarily attach other things when needed.
When mounted properly/snuggly, it is very secure – not moving when an accessory is attached.
STARTER KIT: Pocket Bouncer, Fxtra Flash Gels and UltraStrap
Once again, compact in size and easy to transport – folded flat it is 4 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches. This pocket bouncer attaches when the flash is pointed straight up, redirecting the light at a 90° angle. It will enlarge the light source approximately 6-8 times. With that comes softer shadows and more even, natural light.
Per LumiQuest: While no exposure compensation is necessary with automatic flashes, operating distances are somewhat reduced. You may get light loss up to 1 1/3 stops. It can be used with or without slaves where low ceilings are not available, or where more direct but softer fill light is desired.
You can also purchase silver and gold metallic inserts that will add beautiful effects to your images.
It attaches with the Velcro strips or UltraStrap and is another great accessory to add to your flash kit.
But who says you have to point the flash straight up? See what you can create.
FLASH GELS and Fxtra
Are you seeing blue when you photograph in ambient light? Add a Color Temperature Orange (CTO) filter to your flash and neutralize the blue coloration. Or, maybe you just want to have some fun and change the color of the subject totally – who doesn’t love a red, green or blue face?
The gel kit, used with or without the other LumiQuest light modifiers, includes eight Rosco gels: CTO, 1/2 CTO, 1/4 CTO, Plus Green, 1/2 Plus Green, Sky Blue, Canary Yellow and Fire Red, and comes with a handy pouch in which you can store them. You’ll need to check your light source and exposure, as it will vary according to the get color used.
They can be attached quickly and easily using the included self-adhesive strips or with the UltraStrap.
Image above: Indoor light with hot shoe flash and no accessories.
First image below – used a ½ CTO.
Just like the mini Softbox, the shadows will be reduced and light in your photographs is going to become more even, soft and warm when the flash is in a direct position. Again, with a possible 1 1/4 light loss, check you exposure before moving on.
But there are a couple of differences. This 5 x 7 inch Softbox has a center-weighted, frosted diffuser that will enlarge the flash light source around 10 times. That’s a lot of soft light in a compact flash accessory and it does it well. And because of its size, it has a unique design. The bottom edge is notched out so it doesn’t block the camera’s sensor or auto focus assist beam.
Same Velcro or UltraStrap attachment is used.
SNOOT XTR – Telescoping Snoot
This is a fun tool. It isolates the light source, which means you can direct the light to a chosen area at around 10°. Included with the Snoot is piece, that when inserted into the hole of the Snoot, acts like a telescope. This means you can now isolate the light to an area that is 5° or less. It takes a bit of playing with to get the light where you want it, but it is quite fun and you’ll like the effect.
LumiQuest suggests… Since automatic exposure may be affected due to a limited area of illumination, bracketing and/or testing is recommended.
Once again, it’s easy to attach with the Velcro or the UltraStrap, easy to assemble and compact, as it folds flat to 5 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches.
Note: LumiQuestaccessories fit most standard bounce flashes. If you have any doubts, they welcome you to contact them.
If you need to learn more about using these handy light modifiers and gels or other accessories, LumiQuest has easy to follow articles, tutorials and videos to help you along the way.
These innovative flash accessories would be an asset to any photographer’s tool kit, whether professional or amateur. They are easy to carry, easy to assemble and use, and will solve many of your lighting problems.
Visit LumiQuest to find what flash accessory will work best for you.
by Marla Meier
Article and photos: © 2014 Marla Meier. All rights reserved.