Our 7 Favorite Flash Accessories and Modifiers

Use these third-party modifiers to get the most out of your hotshoe flashes

_Modifying the softness, direction, color, and amount of the light coming from your off-camera flash lets you create moods that can perfectly complement your subjects. While major flash makers (Canon, Nikon, Metz et al.) don’t generally offer the accessories that do this, an entire universe of independent companies exists to help you finesse your shoe-mount’s output. Sized to fit accessory (and even pop-up) flashes, such products include modifiers to soften light; grids, snoots and flags to focus and direct it; and gels to adjust its color temperature. Using them can help you produce light that’s every bit as sophisticated as is possible with expensive studio strobes. Many of the best modifiers, such as the extensive line of shoe-mount flash accessories from Interfit (Strobies) and Adorama (FlashPoint), can only be used when you’ve taken your flash off the camera._ F.J. Westcott’s 28×28-inch Apollo softbox: It sets up like an umbrella, and its front panel is recessed to give you some control over where the light flies rather than throwing it in a wide arc. No speed ring needed. ($115, street; www.fjwestcott.com)
Rogue FlashBender:”When I want hard light on my subject, I’ll strap a large Rogue FlashBender on my flashes either as a flag or rolled up as a snoot,” says Arena. ($40, street; www.expoimaging.com)
**Manfrotto’s 5001B Nano stand: **We here at Pop Photo agree this lightstand is the one best suited for use with shoe-mount flashes. More than 6 feet tall, it folds up small and weighs just 2 pounds. ($50, street; www.manfrotto.com)
Stickyfilters: Sized for shoe-mount or pop-up flash heads, Stickyfilters are adhesive, color-balancing gels that slap into place and stay there. ($30–$50, depending on size; www.stickyfilters.com)
**Honl 1/8-in Speed Grid: **A great choice for focusing light. It’s compact for easy transport, accepts color gels, and is truly inexpensive. ($30, street; www.honlphoto.com)
Gary Fong’s Universal Lightsphere: This softens light, but if you remove its dome, you can selectively apply hard light, too. ($38, street; www.garyfongestore.com)
Lastolite’s TriFlash bracket: Lets you mount three flash units in a single softbox for studio-strobe-type power with TTL exposure control. ($60, street; www.lastolite.com)