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Add-On Modeling Light for Speedlights

Hi - I don't have a lot of situations where I am posing someone for a portrait, so I'm using speedlights if/when I ever have to do it. Other than power, the one thing I feel is sorely lacking is a modeling light. The one that is "included" with the speedlight (like a Canon 580EX series), makes a buzzing sound as it lights for maybe two seconds. When I watch on-line tutorials regarding portrait photography, and they have studio lights with continuous modeling lights, I always wish for one that could be used with a speedlight.

Eventually, one of my next purchases will be a good monolight with a great modeling light. But until that time, does anyone have any info on something that could be paired up with a speedlight?

I saw something last night from Flashpoint while doing an internet search, but the reviews were mixed, mostly because there wasn't enough power to have it inside a modifier such as a softbax. It is the "Flashpoint Speedlight Partner". I think the concept is great, but just not enough power.

I think the regulars on this forum who have seen posts about equipment can tell I'm a bit "parsimonious" (gee I love that word) and, while accurate, I try to get what I need for the least expense, especially where it isn't something that I must have to work events.


Any suggestions or links would be appreciated.

Thanks - Dave


  • There are definitely pros/cons with any set of gear.  Personally, I love speedlights and now have six.  While I do agree that lack of a modeling light is a con, the units have a nice set of pros such as portability.

    I think you'll need to elaborate a bit more about where you'll be taking the portraits.  If at a studio, I would definitely lean towards gear that offered more power and setup efficiency, and give up portability.  This includes having heavier stands (perhaps on wheels) with nice boom arms, etc.  With such a setup, you can quickly adjust lights and can get instant feedback on their direction.

    However, if you plan to shoot portraits on location, having heavy gear is a huge downside.

    If sticking with speedlights, I would just rely upon the built-in "modeling" pulse and not worry about adding extra gear.  The most important thing to do is practice.  Eventually you'll get a good idea of angles and distance of your lights with/without modifiers.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited March 2017

    In addition to rs_eos's suggestions, for a really cheaper solution with no 'buzzing' why not simply get a strong flashlight (we call them torches in Australia) you would normally use, point it from the position of the camera flash and see how the shadows fall, when you see an angle you like, remember it and move the flash to it.

    I used to do that a long time back. Cheap, quick, easy.

    This would mean you need to be able to 'see' the flashlight of course so it really only works in shaded areas, or inside rooms.
  • Dave,

    Take a look at the flashpoint speed light partner on adorama's website. Might be just the ticket.
  • Oops never mind! lol I didn't see the rest of your post as I was on my phone. I guess I needed to scroll further.
  • Sry I'm late to the party but I couldn't help chipping in with my suggestion to this latest edition of lighting being offered in the near future, might just be what you're looking for, I think the price is rumored around $325.00.  Hope this helps.  


  • Here it is the cheetah CL- 200X check it out at cheetah stand.com
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