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Using the BFT off camera?

I bought a back foam sheet after reading NvN's tutorial about the now famous "Black Foamie Thing" and have been experimenting with my Olympus OMD EM5 MkII and Olympus FL600R flashgun. Predictably, results have been patchy thus far but I am still on the learning curve.

What I wanted to ask was, can the BFT be used on a flashgun mounted off camera on a flash bracket? I also have a more powerful Metz 54 MZ4i gun fitted with an Olympus spec adapter and it gives full TTL functionality plus Auto and Manual. In the Auto mode the Metz fires based on its own built-in light meter reading. It is too bulky for comfortable on-camera use but is ideal mounted on a bracket next to the camera.

If the BFT is used on a flashgun mounted on a bracket, are there any particular issues that one should be aware of?


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2016

    Hi Mayandi,

    I have used the BFT on off camera flash when I wanted to 'flag' some of the light (block it from spreading right out) with great success, and I use it virtually all the time when indoors if using my flash on camera.

    It will be a trial and error thing and once you get used to it, honestly it will be like second nature. My use I say would be around 90% with BFT and 10% without when I want to use flash outdoors for fill (if I use on camera flash).

    You will soon know what works and won't work, and it won't take long for you to figure that out yourself.

    As for any particular issues you asked; not really, you just need to point the head of the flash towards where you want the light to come from, that's about it, all about maths/angles.

    One hint, when bouncing indoors, zoom the flash head in to it's maximum, that will give greater power to reach the ceiling/wall/object you wish to bounce off of, and since it's bounced it will come back as great soft directional light.

    You can twist the flash head around, up/down, etc. and don't forget you can slide the BFT around a bit on the head also, you don't need to keep it in the exact same position all the time, and you can have more or less sticking out from the front of the flash head, it's all down to practice and trying different angles.



  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Here's an example where I used the BFT with an off-camera speedlight, to contain the spread of light. In this example it is to control the spread of light, but in other instances, I've used it so that the camera doesn't see that blip of light. 

  • I use the BFT all the time when shooting events. Mostly, I am bouncing the flash behind me, so the BFT is in the "don't-blind-the-people-behind-you" mode (good tip by Neil), but I do find myself pulling it around to the side of the flash when I want the light to come from another direction, as Trev has said. I have to get more efficient at this - it doesn't adjust as quickly as I would like because it's on the flash tight.

    As far as using it on a bracket, I can't see any issues other than the extra step to adjust it after you flip from horizontal to vertical, or vice-versa.

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