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View Full Version : The New Black Formie Thing - Spinlight 360 by Neilvan Niekerk


Tigerkn
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 09:40
If you love the black formie thing, you could like this better:

http://neilvn.com/tangents/about/spinlight-360/

XxDJCyberLoverxX
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 09:43
I was just looking at that! The concept is really, really nice! Much better than all the Gary Fong products, but honestly, the price is a little tad steep for me.

BufordFZ1
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 09:44
Just a bit too expensive for my taste. Black Foamie thing works pretty well and @ $1 too.

Tigerkn
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 10:29
I will not be surprise seeing a ton of DIY after seeing this invention. I am guilty ;)

AlanU
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 10:36
I think I'm gettin' one

jwp721
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 11:05
I guess he realized his commissions from the sale of the black foamie thing were not going that far...

mtimber
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 11:10
Bit pricey and I wonder how heavy it actually is.

alduin
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 11:53
According to that page, it's not Neil's product.

Scatterbrained
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 12:02
According to that page, it's not Neil's product.
No, but he does get a small commission from it. ;) After all, it is based on his idea.

KRUSH
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 16:13
Bit pricey and I wonder how heavy it actually is.

...rather how heavy does it make the flash feel after putting it on.

scorpio_e
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 16:22
I really like the concept. I think it is too bulky and will stick to the flash bender.

AlanU
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 16:38
I really like the concept. I think it is too bulky and will stick to the flash bender.

The rogue flash bender is quite heavy too though.

My interest is the fact that I can flag left or right to the subject in a matter of seconds. And in the situations where bouncing on items/walls isn't ideal you can use it as a bounce card. Even with Niels "discount" its not chump change.

gremlin75
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 18:08
Neat invention off of the black fomie thing but yeah a bit pricy for my tastes.

Still nice to see ingenuity make a simply idea a bit more complex but quicker to use.

rudy_216
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 19:22
I think it is a very good design. Looks very quick to use. And that could mean a lot to an event photographer.

ChunkyDA
2nd of April 2012 (Mon), 21:52
Nifty device but $149...yikes. Promo Code: NEILVN360 brings the price down to $129, still too much for me given that the foam card and rubber band is the alternative that is cheap and takes up no space in the camera bag.

mtimber
3rd of April 2012 (Tue), 05:00
Nifty device but $149...yikes. Promo Code: NEILVN360 brings the price down to $129, still too much for me given that the foam card and rubber band is the alternative that is cheap and takes up no space in the camera bag.

And folds back onto the flash when not needed...

Shooting
8th of April 2012 (Sun), 19:06
Talk about flash heavy, the Fong's collapsible Lightsphere is really heavy, glad I got my money back. Bad problem about the black foamie thing is that it doesn't work well shooting in portrait orientation. I have one and tried it at a wedding but having it for landscape orientation and then trying to twist it around for portrait is a little too difficult. Any pointers on that?

dmward
8th of April 2012 (Sun), 22:25
I attach my foamie thing (white inside black to keep from killing light that is bouncing) to the Speedlite with a length of velcro strapping. That makes it easy to twist around based on where I want the light to go and were I want to flag.

This spin 360 is a nice $39 device, too bad they missed so badly on the price.

mtimber
9th of April 2012 (Mon), 05:38
I attach my foamie thing (white inside black to keep from killing light that is bouncing) to the Speedlite with a length of velcro strapping. That makes it easy to twist around based on where I want the light to go and were I want to flag.

This spin 360 is a nice $39 device, too bad they missed so badly on the price.

I just use two hair bands and grab them and a quick twist and the BFT has moved...

dmward
9th of April 2012 (Mon), 07:50
I just use two hair bands and grab them and a quick twist and the BFT has moved...

I used hair bands but kept loosing them. I had the velcro straps in my bag and started using them. Either works well.

mtimber
9th of April 2012 (Mon), 11:41
Black hairbands can go missing if females see them... :-)

Shooting
11th of April 2012 (Wed), 21:12
None of the videos or pics show how the spinlight is mounted on the flash..I wonder if it can be mounted on the narrow end so it can be used as needed for portrait orientation or is it only mounted on landscape orientation.

drvnbysound
11th of April 2012 (Wed), 21:33
Heh, I love how the no-flash picture taken in the video is SOOO underexposed. Even if the room lighting isn't good, and/or doesn't compliment the subject, it doesn't mean that you have to take underexposed pictures...

Shooting
27th of May 2012 (Sun), 19:24
Since they have a 30day money back guarantee I ordered a Spinlight360 and there are no videos explaining how or when you should use the various modules and cards and I had such a hard time with it I returned it and posted some comments questioning why there was no training on it anywhere, just a short video of Neil in an all white room using it which is not a true representation of everyday shooting. I can say he does not like anything he is involved with to be questioned, almost like he is God or has a bad self esteem problem. I kept questioning him on some things cause he never would directly answer me, he just said a professional photographer should know how to adjust and adapt. Well that is fine but what if a non professional got it. I am not the only one on there questioning it either and more than me wanted to see a video on using it or something and he didn't like me questioning him. Anyway, if you get one don't count on any good responses from him if you question something about it.

bdillon
27th of May 2012 (Sun), 22:07
Since they have a 30day money back guarantee I ordered a Spinlight360 and there are no videos explaining how or when you should use the various modules and cards and I had such a hard time with it I returned it and posted some comments questioning why there was no training on it anywhere, just a short video of Neil in an all white room using it which is not a true representation of everyday shooting. I can say he does not like anything he is involved with to be questioned, almost like he is God or has a bad self esteem problem. I kept questioning him on some things cause he never would directly answer me, he just said a professional photographer should know how to adjust and adapt. Well that is fine but what if a non professional got it. I am not the only one on there questioning it either and more than me wanted to see a video on using it or something and he didn't like me questioning him. Anyway, if you get one don't count on any good responses from him if you question something about it.

I actually agree with him. You have to know what you're doing before you get into something. You can't expect a softbox or umbrella to come with a manual telling you how to use the thing in different scenarios. Do I use the baffle, do I use it as bounce or shoot through? These are things you need to know before you get into it as a tutorial would be more like a book, and it still wouldn't teach you everything you need to know. You have to know light, once you do the same basic principles apply. Go learn how to modify light, once you do nothing you buy will need an instruction manual outside basic assembly.

mtimber
28th of May 2012 (Mon), 03:32
Since they have a 30day money back guarantee I ordered a Spinlight360 and there are no videos explaining how or when you should use the various modules and cards and I had such a hard time with it I returned it and posted some comments questioning why there was no training on it anywhere, just a short video of Neil in an all white room using it which is not a true representation of everyday shooting. I can say he does not like anything he is involved with to be questioned, almost like he is God or has a bad self esteem problem. I kept questioning him on some things cause he never would directly answer me, he just said a professional photographer should know how to adjust and adapt. Well that is fine but what if a non professional got it. I am not the only one on there questioning it either and more than me wanted to see a video on using it or something and he didn't like me questioning him. Anyway, if you get one don't count on any good responses from him if you question something about it.

There are articles on the internet on how to use the black foamie thing.

This is used with the same principle.

You need to figure out how to use ettl etc, and how to use light sources (in this case bounced light sources).

I think an attack on Neil's character because you are experiencing frustrations is inappropriate.

Shooting
29th of May 2012 (Tue), 08:39
I was just attacking the total lack of planning releasing a new product and say "here, you figure it out" attitude. You may know how to type but set a typist down in front of a computer and say "you figure it out" is what it amounts too. There are many photographers asking for help on that and asking him questions and he just refuses to answer and he also refuses to reveal who made it, just calls him the "spinlight guy". Gary Fong did it right when he released his lightsphere II, he provided a dvd to show the best way to use his product in different situations. It is like Neil thinks he is God and don't question him. I believe too many compliments have given him the big head. Oh well, doesn't matter, his attitude lately has cost him some customers.

alduin
29th of May 2012 (Tue), 09:36
I don't think i've ever purchased any sort of light modifier that came with any sort of instructions beyond "How to fold this contraption so that it'll fit back into the tiny case it came in".

As for Fong's release of the lightsphere being called "doing it right", I'll leave that to the other piranhas. =P

mtimber
29th of May 2012 (Tue), 10:30
I was just attacking the total lack of planning releasing a new product and say "here, you figure it out" attitude. You may know how to type but set a typist down in front of a computer and say "you figure it out" is what it amounts too. There are many photographers asking for help on that and asking him questions and he just refuses to answer and he also refuses to reveal who made it, just calls him the "spinlight guy". Gary Fong did it right when he released his lightsphere II, he provided a dvd to show the best way to use his product in different situations. It is like Neil thinks he is God and don't question him. I believe too many compliments have given him the big head. Oh well, doesn't matter, his attitude lately has cost him some customers.

You are missing the point.

If you know the basics of using bounce flash, you would not need instruction on how to use the lightsphere.

Here is a tutorial (from Neil) on how to use the BFT:

http://neilvn.com/tangents/2009/11/21/the-black-foamie-thing/

Same principles apply to the spinlight.

Just read through Neils tutorials on the BFT and you will find all the info you need.


No need to attack his character because of your frustration with learning this lighting technique.

gremlin75
29th of May 2012 (Tue), 11:25
It is like Neil thinks he is God and don't question him. I believe too many compliments have given him the big head. Oh well, doesn't matter, his attitude lately has cost him some customers.

First off it isn't Neil's product! It is a product produced by someone else based off of Neil's principle of bounce flash using the "black foamy thing". So don't attack someone for not giving you a manual when they didn't make the product but are just supporting it and created several video's showing its use.

Hell you want a manual for it? HERE you go!! (http://neilvn.com/tangents/about/book/)

BigDil
29th of May 2012 (Tue), 11:48
Hmmmmm...............I've always been a sucker for gadgets!

Peacefield
29th of May 2012 (Tue), 14:24
I like the foamy thing; about $1 and 10 minutes of my time. And I don't know that I've ever found anything in its class that does the job better.

Shooting
30th of May 2012 (Wed), 08:02
I wasn't attacking Neil. Just letting him know that a product that he endorses has some shortcomings and he needs to think twice before endorsing a product that just has a short video of him showing how it works in a room with all white walls which is not everyday practical shooting, that's all. It's like it wasn't test much before putting out there with no instructions (yes even some pros need instruction on new equipment, we aren't magicians or mind readers). I don't like the lightsphere, I was just using that as an example of how Gary thought things thru all the way to include a dvd. If you look at Neils site, there are LOTS of photographers asking lots of questions and asking for more training video's so I am not the only one. One guy even has both of Neil's books and asked for training video's because he had the same problem as I did, It produces more harsh side shadows than any modifier we have ever used and you may as well forget about shooting a large group, none of that is even menioned. Anyway, not slamming the guy personally, just the product and his endorsement. That's all I have to say about it. Not getting another one cause the different sizes of abetterbouncecard does a lot better and is so much cheaper.

indianweddingphotographer
30th of May 2012 (Wed), 11:55
I like the foamy thing; about $1 and 10 minutes of my time. And I don't know that I've ever found anything in its class that does the job better.

I have to agree with this statement.

Can't imagine what it would cost in the UK!

safecracker
9th of March 2013 (Sat), 17:46
Well - for the sake of full disclosure - I now own the Spinlight 360 system but have yet to use it during a shoot. However, I do think there's a pretty large fly in this ~ $140.00 bowl of soup... :lol:

First though, some background. As an advanced amateur, I've been using my own homemade version of the BFT for the last couple of years with great success. All was/is well, except that my version is difficult to orient so that I can quickly shoot effectively in portrait mode.

Reason? Since I was using the black art foam in conjunction with Velcro on my 580 EX II, turning it quickly to get the most effective bounce in portrait mode was impossible.

So when I saw the Spinlight 360, I saw an answer to a problem that I had. (And yeah, I'm aware that replacing the Velcro with a hair band could have resolved the issue. But not elegantly like the Spinlight is supposed to.)

Ok, down to the steak & potatoes; here's the problem I've run into: The torque generated by turning the Spinlight is greater that the torque required to turn the 580's flash head.

The result of this is that, unless you put down the camera & use one hand to hold the flash head in place, turning the Spinlight (to orient the flag) will cause the flash head to turn as well - around 50% of the time.

Anyone else run into this? Or am I doing something wrong? (I carefully followed the mounting instructions on the Spinlight website.)

TIA for your thoughts.

- Mike.

Ps. for those wanting to know, the Spinlight is much lighter & WAY more effective (if you understand bounced flash, that is) than the Fong Dong I bought many years ago.

SFzip
11th of March 2013 (Mon), 12:39
Well - for the sake of full disclosure - I now own the Spinlight 360 system but have yet to use it during a shoot. However, I do think there's a pretty large fly in this ~ $140.00 bowl of soup... :lol:

First though, some background. As an advanced amateur, I've been using my own homemade version of the BFT for the last couple of years with great success. All was/is well, except that my version is difficult to orient so that I can quickly shoot effectively in portrait mode.

Reason? Since I was using the black art foam in conjunction with Velcro on my 580 EX II, turning it quickly to get the most effective bounce in portrait mode was impossible.

So when I saw the Spinlight 360, I saw an answer to a problem that I had. (And yeah, I'm aware that replacing the Velcro with a hair band could have resolved the issue. But not elegantly like the Spinlight is supposed to.)

Ok, down to the steak & potatoes; here's the problem I've run into: The torque generated by turning the Spinlight is greater that the torque required to turn the 580's flash head.

The result of this is that, unless you put down the camera & use one hand to hold the flash head in place, turning the Spinlight (to orient the flag) will cause the flash head to turn as well - around 50% of the time.

Anyone else run into this? Or am I doing something wrong? (I carefully followed the mounting instructions on the Spinlight website.)

TIA for your thoughts.

- Mike.

Ps. for those wanting to know, the Spinlight is much lighter & WAY more effective (if you understand bounced flash, that is) than the Fong Dong I bought many years ago.

Take a look at the Presslite Eclipse light shield. It's 20 times lighter and offers landscape and portrait coverage without adjustments. http://www.maxbounce.com

Shooting
11th of March 2013 (Mon), 17:22
I checked out the demo and every video the flash is in horizonal orientation..no different than the black foamy thing.

Shooting
11th of March 2013 (Mon), 17:25
Well - for the sake of full disclosure - I now own the Spinlight 360 system but have yet to use it during a shoot. However, I do think there's a pretty large fly in this ~ $140.00 bowl of soup... :lol:

First though, some background. As an advanced amateur, I've been using my own homemade version of the BFT for the last couple of years with great success. All was/is well, except that my version is difficult to orient so that I can quickly shoot effectively in portrait mode.

Reason? Since I was using the black art foam in conjunction with Velcro on my 580 EX II, turning it quickly to get the most effective bounce in portrait mode was impossible.

So when I saw the Spinlight 360, I saw an answer to a problem that I had. (And yeah, I'm aware that replacing the Velcro with a hair band could have resolved the issue. But not elegantly like the Spinlight is supposed to.)

Ok, down to the steak & potatoes; here's the problem I've run into: The torque generated by turning the Spinlight is greater that the torque required to turn the 580's flash head.

The result of this is that, unless you put down the camera & use one hand to hold the flash head in place, turning the Spinlight (to orient the flag) will cause the flash head to turn as well - around 50% of the time.

Anyone else run into this? Or am I doing something wrong? (I carefully followed the mounting instructions on the Spinlight website.)

TIA for your thoughts.

- Mike.

Ps. for those wanting to know, the Spinlight is much lighter & WAY more effective (if you understand bounced flash, that is) than the Fong Dong I bought many years ago.

I got so tired of trying to change "cards" on the fly during a wedding. Abetterbouncecard is the way to go.

Pi_314
11th of March 2013 (Mon), 19:03
Made this just a few days ago for a whole lot less than a dollar.;)
The felt piece came from a pouch for a flash, and the velcro elastic band came from a purchase of a Ryobi product. I knew I'd find a use for the elastic band someday.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8097/8549363379_52bf38a000_c.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8097/8549362579_e849a0cd18_c.jpg

Shooting
14th of March 2013 (Thu), 14:40
Looks good, but only really good and fast in horizotal. When you need to switch to vertical position you are going to have some trouble moving that around to the right position on the flash in a hurry to catch a good shot during a fast paced wedding or other event.

AlanU
14th of March 2013 (Thu), 14:55
I've been using my spinlight for a while now. I can't consider anything else for bouncing flash at the moment.

digital paradise
14th of March 2013 (Thu), 15:13
I think it is a good concept. To be able to quickly shield spill when busy is appealing. Based on what I have read weight is a a bit of a concern and one person stated it is not smooth when rotating. I would not want all the extras therefore cost wise would also make me hesitate.

1KIND
14th of March 2013 (Thu), 15:18
I think it is a good concept. To be able to quickly shield spill when busy is appealing. Based on what I have read weight is a a bit of a concern and one person stated it is not smooth when rotating. I would not want all the extras therefore cost wise would also make me hesitate.
The spinning wouldn't be smooth. It clicks. If it was smooth, it would spin by itself and you wouldn't want that. It needs something to "lock" the position.

If cost is an issue, they sell the SpinLight with less of that stuff and just the basic...spinlight ring, dome and bounce cards for $89.

SpinLight now also sells the spinlight ring by itself for $50

SFzip
14th of March 2013 (Thu), 16:53
I checked out the demo and every video the flash is in horizonal orientation..no different than the black foamy thing.

You can see that it flanks the short sides of the flash regardless how the flash head is tilted, thus in either the horizontal or vertical orientation, the light is flagged.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81PMLE32rQL._SL1500_.jpg


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71ZVTpe7jlL._SL1500_.jpg

digital paradise
14th of March 2013 (Thu), 17:13
The spinning wouldn't be smooth. It clicks. If it was smooth, it would spin by itself and you wouldn't want that. It needs something to "lock" the position.

If cost is an issue, they sell the SpinLight with less of that stuff and just the basic...spinlight ring, dome and bounce cards for $89.

SpinLight now also sells the spinlight ring by itself for $50

Thanks.

Shooting
15th of March 2013 (Fri), 15:52
I would love to see some examples of how the eclipse improves anything. Their website is totally void of any examples of before and after shots or any showing the flash in portrait orientation and examples of everything. All that is on their site are a few cartoon like demos anyone can make, no real world examples. Would love to see some before I am sold. If you shoot someone with that thing on the light being flagged heading up toward the ceiling, seems like all the light hits the ceiling with none hittingthe person,thus no different than pointing the flash upward, causing eye shadows, etc with the light coming down..you want some light to hit the subject to fill in the shadows.

Need to see examples.

safecracker
16th of March 2013 (Sat), 10:08
Here's a quick shot using the Spinlight in portrait mode.

- Mike

Shooting
16th of March 2013 (Sat), 17:04
Here's a quick shot using the Spinlight in portrait mode.

- Mike

Looks good. You can get the same thing from a $1.00 small betterbouncecard.