Every photographer wants to have awesome light, right? That's why we love golden hour, those rich warm colors and soft shadows as the sun slowly tucks itself below the horizon. Unfortunately, we can't always command the incredible luminous powers of the sun. Fortunately for us, we have off-camera flash and the Fstoppers FlashDisc.
If you're like me, you carry your camera with you a lot and sometimes find yourself in a situation where you wish you had a softbox. So, I decided to pick up the new Fstoppers FlashDisc. It's incredibly small, yet produces a surprisingly soft light.
It has a silver interior lining and a white front. There's also a thicker section of fabric that covers the front of the flash unit to protect against hotspots. Turn it over and it has a white, gray, and black card. It's constructed just like a foldable reflector, so it folds down to a size you can literally fit in your pocket. It's your one-stop-shop for a super portable soft flash source.
PocketWizard FlexTT5 & MiniTT1
I decided to take some portraits with my sister Abbey to show just how compact and portable the FlashDisc can be. When I shoot with off camera flash I use the PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceiver and the MiniTT1 transmitter. Unlike infrared, the radio signal is not restricted by line of site and the TTL can enable you to use high speed sync to shoot at higher shutter speeds and maintain a shallow depth of field. It's a fantastic setup for single light shoots.
Using this setup on a stand enables you to more free around the flash, not having to worry about tucking yourself under a larger softbox. Lee Morris over at Fstoppers made a fantastic video showing how to light a beer bottle with FlashDiscs and using their small size to his advantage. Check it out here.
Because the FlashDisc is so small, it means you have the ability to pull it off stand and handhold it if you have to. This can be really handy if you are work an event and want soft light on small groups of people and want to enhance off to the side a little rather than on top of the camera firing straight at your subjects. Check out these images that I shot handholding a Canon 600EX-RT flash with a PocketWizard FlexTT5 and the FlashDisc attached.
Here I decided to have my sister stand between two trees with me on the other side. I placed myself in this small cluster of trees to show just how portable this light modifier is. I was able to hold it close enough in a fairly combined space and get incredibly soft light. In a tight situation like this, it would be difficult to use a larger softbox.
Lastolite Joe McNally Ezybox Hotshoe Softbox
Now don't think for one second that I think the Fstoppers FlashDisc can replace your traditional softbox, because the simple truth is... it can't. Larger light sources produce softer light though the Stoppers FlashDisc produces incredibly soft light for it's size a softbox like my Lastolite Joe McNally Ezybox Hotshoe softbox still produces softer light.
Not too long ago, I purchased the Joe McNally Ezybox Softbox made by Lastolite. I had seen him use it in one of his videos and I was impressed. I had also had the chance to use one before purchasing it and I was in love with the quality of light it produced. I needed a softball that I could used as a one light setup for portraits. This was it. Here are some sample images.
Here are a few more. It produces excellent soft light.
Fstoppers FlashDisc vs Joe McNally Softbox
If you're still wondering how good the Stoppers FlashDisc is, here are the images I captured with it compared to those I captured with the Joe McNally softbox, side-by-side.
In conclusion, the Stoppers FlashDisc is a fantastic portable light modifier. This was a simple and quick test and review. I plan to do another more in depth review in the future in more difficult lighting conditions such as a bright sunny day at noon. Also, please check out fstoppers.com, it is one of the best photography websites out there for news, tips and amazing photography.
Let me know what your thoughts are and feel free to leave a comment below. You can also hit me up on Instagram @kalebhart. Cheers!
Fstoppers FlashDisc - Purchase from Amazon
Lastolite Joe McNally Ezybox Hotshoe Softbox
Canon 5D Mark III
Sigma 50mm f1.4 ART
Canon 600EX-RT flash
PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceiver
PocketWizard MiniTT1 Transmitter
Manfrotto MA1004BAC Aluminum Master Riser 12' AC Stand
Lastolite Non-Rotating Extending Handle (29 to 91")
Lastolite Grip Head for Skylite