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Cateye LETS Flash Reflector/Diffuser Hybrid, for use with DSLR pop-up flashes
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- Transforms your pop-up flash into a pro-quality indoor photography light source
- LETS (Laser-Etched Translucent Slit) mirror construction improves lighting quality over conventional mirrors
- Compact, fits neatly in the smallest of camera bags for go-anywhere flash photography
- Mounts on hot shoe
- This one isn't compatible with Canons, search "Cateye Canon" to find the Canon-specific version
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The Cateye LETS (Laser-Etched Translucent Slits) represents the state of the art in pop-up flash reflectors, combining the best traits of flash bouncers and diffusers. Laser-etched slits let a fraction of your flash's light pass directly though the reflector in a diffused manner, which fills in shadows and throws a bit of spark in your subject's eyes. A perfect photography gift for new and experienced photographers alike!
The Cateye flash reflector is the answer for those who want to take professional quality indoor photographs without the bulkiness and cost of an external flash unit. A pop-up flash alone casts harsh, direct light on your subject, whiting out faces and creating shadow halos. The Cateye works by bouncing light from your DSLR's pop-up flash off the ceiling, where it then scatters back to your subject from all directions, resulting in soft, pleasant lighting. The Cateye's slim design lets you put it in the smallest of camera bags, or even your coat pocket. Its laser-cut mirrored perspex construction makes it flexible and ultra-durable while weighing only 22g.
Nikon D40, D40X, D50, D60, D70, D70S, D80, D90, D100, D200, D300, D300S, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D810, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D7000, D7100, D7200.
Pentax *ist D, *ist DS, *ist DS2, *ist DL, *ist DL2, K100D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K10D, K-30, K-50, K-m, K-x, K-r, K-3, K-5 series, K-7, K-500.
Olympus E-3, E-5, E-30, E500.
Panasonic G1, G3, G5, G6, G7, G10, GH1, GH2, L10.
Samsung GX1S, GX1L, GX2, NX10, NX11, GX10, GX20.
Sigma SD-14, SD-15, SD-1.
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It's flexible, and very light, so you can slip it into a zip pocket of your camera bag, or just in a trouser pocket for when you need it. Seems very durable too. Kudos to the designer for creating such a simple and effective product.
I reckon this device is perfect if you either don't want to spend £100+ on a separate flash or just want something light and pocket-able to carry around on the off chance that you may need to bounce your flash.
I think my only concern would be the strength of the part that links the diffuser to the hotshoe, not just in installation/removal, but also during storage as it sticks out of the supplied bag a little bit. I'll be looking for a suitable little hard case to keep it in (it'll still be smaller and lighter than a flash anyway).
Small, simple and straightforward to use (albeit awkward to fit -- see below). I found workable settings within a minute or so of trying it -- f6.3 to f8 at 400 ISO on aperture priority, with flash metering changed from ADI to pre-flash TTL, produced good results for fill flash for me with no need for exposure compensation.
Balance of diffusion and bounce produces warm and natural-looking shots with no red-eye and no harsh shadows.
Fitting the Cateye to the Sony's non-standard hot-shoe requires a low-profile cold shoe adapter such as this, and the fit is much more straightforward if the flanges on that adapter are filed back a bit to provide the Cateye with more clearance: however, this issue is not specific to the Cateye, but also applies to any similar product, such as a LightScoop, that fits into a standard accessory shoe. (It works best if you slot the Cateye through under the pop-up flash, then fit the adapter to the camera, then slide the Cateye into the adapter.)
The Cateye provides only a fixed compromise between bounce and diffusion: some other products, such as the Demb Pop-up Flip-It, would allow you to adjust the balance to suit the shot. On the other hand, the Flip-It is not available in the UK (AFAIK), and appeared to me to be fiddlier to use than the straightforward simplicity of the Cateye. (Disclaimer: YMMV -- I haven't tried both to compare.)
Although this doesn't achieve the same results as an off-cam flash gun, it does offer a huge improvement on my camera's built in flash, which until now has sat largely unused atop my Nikon.
It lets a little diffused light through the slits on the front and bounces the rest upward giving a nice even, natural looking light to your subjects. Just remember it won't be much good if the surfaces you're bouncing off of are dark or if there is no ceiling at all.
Based on the price, and a fair amount of digging around on the internet, I thought I'd give this a try. Most of my flash photography is done in and around the house, where we have nice bright walls and ceilings so it seemed like a good fit.
It arrived yesterday and so far I have been hugely impressed. Photos taken with the popup flash now look softer and more natural. The only adjustment I have made so far is to boost my flash up a notch (to help counter the fact that a lot of the light now has to travel further as it bounces off of the nearest wall or ceiling).
If I had to criticise this product, the only thing I could say is that it feels a little clumsy to mount - You have to feed the arm under your popup flash to clip it in - but I'm sure I will get used to it as I inevitably use it more.