The Premise. To get that perfect shot, serious photographers rarely rely on just a camera in their hands. Any photographer’s assistant can tell you that there’s plenty of ancillary equipment like tripods, beauty dishes, extra lenses and external flashes that needs to be lugged around. But sometimes one needs to lug a little less.
The Product. Flekt is a diffuser that works with the built-in flash on your DSLR in order to eliminate the need for a much larger piece of equipment. Photographers use diffusers to prevent the harsh contrast of dark shadows common when using a flash. The accessory attaches to your DSLR via a magnetic piece called a Magattach inserted into the camera’s hot shoe. Light is then redirected by the reflector onto the Flekt attachment with a white, silver or gold reflector. The purpose of Flekt is to give professional photographers and advanced amateurs a way to achieve studio-quality lighting using just the camera’s pop-up flash, eliminating the need for other equipment. One can bend the shape of Flekt to create some variety in its lighting effect.
The Pitch. Flekt’s inventor, Preston Vance, and partner Max Beach present the concept of Flekt and explain the details that went into the product’s design. Preston explains that he hired 10 photographers to give him feedback on the initial beta version in order to refine later product designs. While Flekt is the first in this product line, Preston’s ultimate vision is to have the photography community design attachments and reflectors which will then be created by his team.
Reading the rest of the campaign page, you’ll see that Flekt has been seven years in the making and that the founders are looking to raise $70,000. Other tidbits include sample photos and a few gifs which show how easily the system comes together. In a bold move, the site compares an image taken with an iPhone to an image taken with Flekt on a DSLR. While not really comparing apples to apples, it does capture the potential of image quality the product versus the common alternative.
The Perks. Material rewards for Flekt backers start at $65, which nets 150 early birds a Flekt system with the white reflector coating. From there, options continue to $150, which provides backers with the entire Flekt system including all three audaciously named reflector coatings – Lambertian White, Silver Exciter and Gold Exciter. If the project meets funding goals estimated, delivery of the systems will be September – October 2014.
The Potential. Several camera accessory brands have versions of pop-up diffusers, but Flekt is unique in that it offers a full system of interchangeable reflectors and was designed with several camera brands in mind. The photog community will likely put Flekt through a variety of tests to understand whether the innovation truly stands up in terms of image quality. The flip side is, that if Flekt passes the test, it will likely be eagerly embraced. What Flekt has going for it is its portability, simplicity and versatility.