Spinlight 360 – flash modifier system
The Spinlight 360 Extreme is a flexible system to modify your light from your on-camera flash. It can be changed between just being a flag (similar to the black foamie thing) with either of 2 black cards. Or it can take two sizes of white bounce card, with a dome diffuser or half-dome diffuser. You can even insert a gel if you need to. The design philosophy behind the Spinlight 360 was to offer an flash modifier that is versatile and easily adaptable.
You can order a Spinlight 360 Extreme from their site.
Using the discount code neilvn10 will get you 10% off.
official website: Spinlight 360, with video clips on how to use the Spinlight 360
Clarification & transparency:
No, I’m not the creator or designer of the Spinlight. Another photographer, who I’ve become good friends with since, created and designed the Spinlight. I was graciously allowed to be the first to announce the Spinlight. Because the Spinlight, in part, follows the philosophy behind the BFT, I’m comfortable endorsing this product. I do get a small affiliate commission on sales, just as I do with B&H and Amazon. And yes, I have been using the Spinlight at recent weddings.
105 Comments, Add Your Own
First! I almost forgot you were unveiling this tonight. Looks like a winner. I may have to check it out too!
2David Tong says
Interesting and “FINALLY”… You should have a George Foreman-like signature on that thing Neil :)
mmmmm…. I think I will get myself one! Thanks Neil, looking better than ever x
Ha! Making business ventures Neil? Either way, I love it.
You should do a post that describes the advantages of this over a BFT, visually with the effects of the modifiers on the light.
Love your work. Keep it up!
doesn’t that do pretty mch the same as the phong dong with a dome on the top?
6Neil vN says
Anthony, when you use the Spinlight with the dome, I am sure the effect is similar as the Fong Dong.
However, the Fong Dong absolutely can not do this. But the Spinlight could.
I like the idea and evolution of the black foamie thing, but the price is just ridiculous in my opinion.
Agreed 100% BFT all the way! Some might like the Spinlight, but the price is way out of line. I think we at times think we need to keep upgrading our gear, and I’m guilty of that as well. I do realise these companies are in the business to make money, but their products don’t generally make a huge improvement over what’s already out there. BFT perfect example.. Best thing associated with camera flash since sliced cheese! yeah Neil !
8Neil vN says
Max .. having had close contact with the person who created and developed the Spinlight, I know what prodigious amounts of money were plowed into the patent rights, legal aspects, engineering & manufacturing of this device. With that in mind, the price is definitely in line with that.
Ultimately though, everyone will have their own idea of whether it is affordable for what it does. We all make our own decisions.
I agree that it’s a bit pricey, but it looks pretty amazing to me…I’m sure it’ll be a well-made unit that will last a long time if Neil is putting his name to it. Neil’s done a hell of a lot for the photo community with all his excellent blogs and videos, it’s about time he made some money for all his efforts! Good luck, I hope it’s a big success. I’ll buy one in the near future.
10Nathan Targett says
Hi Neil, I can’t make out from the videos or spinlight 360 website how it would work with putting gels on and off easily. How do you find it? Thanks.
11Neil vN says
There is a slot for a gel to slip in securely (under the grid), without the need for gaffer’s tape.
12Rob Mirage says
The speed at which this device allows you to alter the direction of your flag is priceless. When you’re shooting in a high pressure environment like a wedding or other event and you see a shot you’re not setup for with something like a BFT, that extra second can make all the difference between getting a great shot and either missing it compromising on the quality of light. This product is aimed at the professional guys and the price reflects this. I for one can see the value in this product and how it will help me to improve my hit rate and I’m going to be grabbing one of these asap – using the Tangents discount of course. ;)
13Winston Mattis says
Can we get this in the UK?
14Matthew Finnigan says
Has this replaced your BFT Neil?
15Alwin Koops says
Hi Neil, that looks great. I also like to know if you’re going to use this one now instead of the good old BFT? Can I nbuy this one from the Netherlands too?
This looks cool and I “trust in Neil” so I will be checking this out. I would say though, I like the easy of the bft, fits in the flash bag, or my pocket and can be replaced easily. That said this looks that but nicer and clearly sturdier and more adaptable.
Hey ! In Paris (France) too we would like to be able to buy one ;-)
BTW, a question : how much light power does this tool (especially the white dome) grabs on the top of the flash ?
18Jim Miller says
Neil, as you may remember, I have been trying to ‘invent’ a solution to the difficulty changing the BFT around quickly for years. I am thrilled someone has beaten me to it. I ordered mine today. I need it ASAP…like a year ago :)
I love this but I would love to see it at a venue where there is no white walls. If you do a video on that I am sold.
20albert mitchell says
am new to photography
can i use my honl gels with this
From looking at the video, this product practically obsoletes the BFT in all but cost. However, the price isn’t too high. There are pricier products on the market that do less than this product.
Judging from the first couple of comments, I guess Neil was the creator or co-creator of this. Given what the the product does, it does exactly what Neil normally does with the BFT and gaffer tape + gel setups.
22Neil vN says
I’ve had a number of people ask me whether I am the creator of the spinlight. I’ve added a clarification to the original text of the article.
SAY IT ISNT SO……SO WILL YOU BE HANDING OUT FREE SPIN 360’S AT YOUR WORKSHOP LIKE THE BFT?…LOL….
It looks great and very thought-through. The problem for me is that with the way it attaches it doesn’t look like you could use it at the same time you had your Radiopopper trigger attached to the flash. It’s a really terrific idea that may take Vegas by storm this week. I’m emailing my PW frineds your link when I get off the site. Later Neil.
Wow! Looks like you’ve got the thumbs-up from Fake Chuck Westfall (again!). You must be doing something right lol.
26Erwin Beckers says
The moment i finished reading this article, i ordered one!
I just hope they will ship it to the Netherlands..
27terry o keeffe says
Hi neil,ive been using the bft for few yrs now since i discovered your site!it always works perfect,i like how this just makes it easy to use quickly horizontal and vertical!My question is will you hav to buy an adaptor to fit the different flashes canon 580 ex ii ,430ex etc????
28Neil vN says
Terry … the flash attaches via a velcro strap, so it is adjustable to different flash-head sizes.
29Alexis Hadjisoteriou says
I am the owner of the Gary Fong “Tubberware” as well as the original Peter Gregg Flashright and the BBC (Better Bounce Card). The latter is the cheapest and the one that gets most use but this looks like it has the best of the Flashright and the BBC. It is a shame that both your demo and the promo do not touch on the diffusing capabilities of the SpinLight 360 – only its use as a flag. As a flag only its too expensive – are you planning more videos to cover that so that we can buy this product instead of the FlashRight?
A big fan of your from (I would say “sunny” but it’s snowing) Cyprus!
Question on usage before I purchase. Last year you ran a post on a wedding you did at ShadowBrook. I recall it was difficult to bounce off the ceiling due to all the wood so you used I think direct flash on the subject. If you had the Spinlight, how would you have used it under these conditions. I suspect maybe half dome with white card and flash pointing straight up?
31Alexis Hadjisoteriou says
I was quoted by the lovely lady at SpinLight $45 to have it sent to Cyprus. I would need to see some more demos and/or examples of use as a diffuser before committing $174. P&P of the similarly sized Flashright also from the USA was $10.
quoted 49 to send to aus express post————–i will buy product only if postage reasonable 5 to 10 std mail
33Alexis Hadjisoteriou says
I would like one but I need to see it in “diffuser” mode and also see if they can reduce the cost of postage – $45 for ordinary air mail to Cyprus is ridiculous. Until that happens I have to make do with my FlashRight and trusted BBC (Better Bounce Card). Neil?
34Neil vN says
I passed the concerns about the high cost of shipping, and the Spinlight guy told me he has brought in other shipping options via USPS. So there should be more affordable shipping options available now.
This looks interesting but may require some thought for me. Two major advantages of the BFT are that it stores flat so it takes virtually no room in a camera bag with no penalty for carrying spares, and it is so cheap that I can have one in every bag.
Firstly, thank you so much for all about flash photography, you improve my flash photography with the two books photo.
I made a BFT, for my self, but i was so excinting when i saw the BFT, i bought it quickly, with the promo.
Thank for your advice and all you do for improve flash photography.
I was really grieving the last time not being able to come to you a New Jersey.
I m linving in French and hopping i will recive the BFT quickly.
37Alexis Hadjisoteriou says
They now charge $18.55 which is very reasonable.
Any chance of another video to see how it performs as a diffuser?
Thanx again for acting on our postage cost concerns.
Would love to see a head to head comparison with the FlashRight. Especially since the Speedlight 360 cost twice as much.
Would also like to see samples in a real reception site with darker walls and higher ceilings.
39Alexis Hadjisoteriou says
Yes the FlashRight is very well priced now – would be great to see a comparison. Despite the drop in postage costs (thanx Neil) I am having difficulty cost justifying paying $148 (incl postage) for this unit especially when I have no idea of is capable of….
I read this post last week, hours after I’d ordered the BFT from Amazon. Having never ‘flagged’ my bounce flash, I was eager to see what the BFT could do for me. After dozens of test shots just now, both with and without the BFT attached to my 580EXII, the only noticeable difference I see is that the images using the BFT are much darker than the images without it. The BFT was cut to about 6 x 9 so it wasn’t too large; it wasn’t blocking the light TOO much. My camera and flash were both in Manual mode, to keep the shots consistent, so I cannot honestly say I’m a fan of the BFT. I did not see a reduction of shadows behind my subject because there weren’t any shadows to begin with (in the shots with just bounced flash, no BFT); I know how to bounce a flash well enough to stop that from happening. I suppose it would have its uses in a large church, preventing even the hint of a flash being used during the ceremony, but that’s all I can foresee using it for. Glad I ordered the BFT first and didn’t just jump right into the much more expensive Spinlight. I was really hoping for some magical transformation of my portraits, especially the vertical ones since I don’t use a flash bracket, but they look just as good with the BFT as they do without. What am I missing?
41Neil vN says
What you’re missing is the ability to create short lighting with your on-camera speedlight.
re the BFT .. you need to roll it and flex it and shape it. It’s not a huge upright piece of black foam that eats up your light. It is meant to flag the light that you don’t want to fall on your subject. It also helps block light from blitzing people in the eyes, who are standing near you.
I’m going to try it some more today, mimicking some possible wedding scenarios. The short lighting looks great in your example images so I’ll keep adjusting the BFT until I see what works.
I just purchase the spinlight they do offer a 30 day money back guarentee so why not.
why are we in a industry that always questioning what people charge for and then scream when someone complains about the price of our packages and print price.
The company spent there time and money to develop, research and now have to pay to advertise and market the product. so I am sure that is why a lot of photographer are going out of business because they do not take all of this in to consideration and give away there work and devalue the industry.
Just my two Cents.
44Lou Recine says
Quick question about the Spin light 360. What happens in a situation where you are too close to bounce off a wall .
Do you always have to switch to the half dome and white card ?
45Neil vN says
Lou … I wouldn’t have with the BFT, so I see no reason to do so here. I would simply bounce against the wall behind me, rather than bounce into the wall towards my subject.
Thank you for your wonderful website
1. I’d like to know witch way is better for outdoor flash with nothing to bounce off.
The small Ezsoftbox, or the spinlight?
2. How is it instead the big Ezsoftbox if friend hold it from the side, as an easy to carry alternative?
47Neil vN says
I haven’t done any comparative testing to see the difference between the Spinlight and the small Lastolite Ezybox. I’d guess there wouldn’t be that much difference since the size of the light source is about comparable. But I am guessing. My preference would still be for the larger 24×24 softbox off-camera.
Just bought mine with your code – the BFT is great but this saves a lot of fiddling around and looks a little more professional to the client. My daughter now gets all her hair bobbles back!
Hi Neil, Nice idea to bounce flash and would also like to know do you always keep dome attached to top of product for even spread? I am also wondering with half dome attached and large white bounce card how is outside performance with nothing to bounce off of. I have used the black foam for a long time now but if this does have good outdoor performance I will buy one. And what was the prmo code? Thanks.
50Neil vN says
I use it as an easier-to-use alternative to the black foamie thing. Therefore I don’t use it during a shoot with the white dome. I use it just with the black card as a flag.
The other paraphernalia is to make it the most versatile on-camera flash modifier, so you can adapt it to your needs.
The PROMO code is right at the top of the page in the text. :)
Looks like a great product, of course you would need 2 if you are using 2 cameras with flashes, and its a little bulky. Having said all that, being able to twist so easily, and add white cards it looks like something I’ll probably add to my bag, I have worked with designers of plastic parts and its a huge investment so I think the price is about right.
Neil, how long does it take to change gel sheets on the 360? The gaffer tape is pretty handy for quickly adding and removing gel’s on the bare flash.
52Neil vN says
Currently the gel slips in under the part of the Spinlight where the flash-head presses against. There is a slot there for a gel.
The Spinlight creator has plans to make a more universal gel holder that simply slots in. We’ll keep everyone posted.
Hi Neil – it looks like a great product and I am planning on getting one. Just a quick question however. The velcro strap holding the device on – from your experience using this, does the strap keep the device on the flash or do you need to be cautious about moving around?
54Neil vN says
Marjorie … the velcro strap holds the device securely enough, although a rubber texture to the strap would’ve been better.
Couldn’t accomplish the same effect with a Stoffen or some other ‘Tupperware’ modifier AND a BFT of WFT? You wouldn’t get the 360 degree rotation but you could certainly move the BFT/WFT if your flash head only rotates 270.
56Neil vN says
James … I suppose you could, but it wouldn’t be as easy to use and as elegant as the Spinlight.
Neil, Just wondering before I decide to try product is there any type of retun policy on Spinlight. Was also wondering what do you use white dome for. Thanks. Chris.
58Neil vN says
According to the website, the manufacturer currently offers a 30-day return policy. (Of course, this may change in the future.)
I have been following you for a few months now. very much appreciate all your helpful incites. I have been using the BFT for a few weeks now, and find it very handy. Even for architectural photography.
I due have one question. I started shooting a few weddings and I am interested in knowing if you ever use a flash bracket for your vertical shots. I would love not to have that extra weight and gear on my assignments.
I might consider the 360, but if it produces the nasty side shadows, I might have to pass on it.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
PS: if you ever need a extra set of hands when and if your down in Hilton Head or Charleston, SC area, drop me a line.
60Neil vN says
If you bounce your flash off a nearby wall (etc), you won’t get a sideways shadow when you bounce flash. If you only use the bounce card, you will get that shadow. It won’t be as pronounced and ugly as with direct flash (with the camera held vertically), but it will still be there. It’s the nature of light when you use a small light source.
61Pat A says
1. Will you be demonstrating it at AD Charlotte next month and still offer it with a discount?
2. I have difficulty bouncing flash from behind me or the side as walls seem too far away. What would you consider a reasonable distance for bounce flash with BFT to be effective?
Do you ever shoot your sb900 with the pull out diffuser and the black flag on the spin light, or always bare bulb?
63Neil vN says
With the spinlight, I use the black card .. just as if I had been using the black foamie thing.
I noticed you have the lens hood in the photo with the 360,,is that to keep guests’ flashes from messing with your exposure? Great work by the way! Would love to have you up in Boston for a workshop!
65Neil vN says
Not at all .. I use lens hoods to help against lens flare, but mostly to protect my lenses.
I assumed you used the black card, what I meant is the pull out diffuser. Does the diffuser dome accomplish the same thing as pulling out the build in diffuser while using the BFT, or is there a difference you have found between barebulb, pull out diffuser and the dome diffuser? Especially during receptions at weddings?
67Mohaimen Kazi Photography says
Neil, love the idea but I think it’s a bit expensive.
Just ordered one. Many Thanks for the discount code Neil !!
69Joedi Boediarto says
Hi Neil, I just received my SpinLight 360. Would you like to explain more detail about the dome. When should I use half dome or full dome? And also please explain about the flag, because SpinLight has two size of flag? When should I use them?
70Neil vN says
The intention with the dome is that if you need, or like an omnidirectional light, then you use it.
The half-dome are for those times where you don’t have something to bounce your flash off, and want to use the big white card. The opaque half-dome directs the light onto the card.
The different size cards are just to give you options.
71Katarina Souto Mera says
got one! wow! thanks Niel for everything!
I just watched the video and ordered the SpinLight immediately. Didn’t even give a second thought to the cost :) I think the amount is very much worth it. Can’t wait to receive it and see what it can do!!!
i purchased it with your code number Neil..it is a lovely device. but i have a question to you.. i found a big BFT and a small one as well as a big WFT and a small one..can you explain to me the situations when to use the big size black or white foamie thing ..thanks
74Neil vN says
The different size cards are just to give you options. Use whichever you think flags your flash the right amount.
I have never found a modifier that I really like.
This one looks like it might be as close as I have seen.
Before I decide to purchase, I would love to see an example of how performs in a scenario I often face.
Crowded room, cocktail party before a big event, I must shoot head to toe, mostly couples. I can’t back up more than about a 35mm, often with no decent ceiling to bounce off. No assistant to carry a softbox on a stick either. if you have an image that would illustrate that type of scenario, it would be a big help.
(the light in the image of the groom looks great!)
Does it fit on 600Ex-RT?
77Neil vN says
It does indeed fit the new Canon 600EX-RT speedlite.
78David Bell says
Looks like a great product and far more elegant than a piece of foam and elastic band. Now only if there was a UK distributor…
i too bought one with your discount code. love it! did some street shooting of a car show last weekend with the half dome and big white card. the images came out great shooting in Manual with fill flash.
i would like to see some more posts and videos of when and how to use the various components. when would you use the full dome? etc.?
i have both of your books which along with your website are like my bible.
80Neil vN says
Carl .. the Spinlight guy told me he is planning more training and how-to videos. I’ll post them here as they appear.
81Bipin Dattani says
The Spinlight looks quite amazing, but will have to wait until it is available in the UK (and at what cost). Until then I will keep using the BFT
82kurk rouse says
Hello Neil I live in Barbados, I purchased the spin light 360 and I love what the modifier allows you to do. I am still new to flash photography and if you can I would appreciate it if you briefly clarify some thing for me. Is the white cards only for use when you have no surface to bounce form and which dome would you prefer for this ? Thanks in advance.
how do u gel ur flash with the spinlight ? (with half cts)
84Allan Ashcroft says
I think the price is very reasonable,and will be purchasing asap. By the way Neil, books arrived the other day, fantastic reading you have opened pandoras box thank you.
85Delmark Joseph says
Hi Neil, hands down, Tangents is the BEST out there. So informative, yet straightforward. I used the Spinlight 360 at a wedding yesterday. I LOVE IT!! The idea to make something like that is amazing. Thanks for the simple way by which you explain photography, especially lighting. Keep up the good work. Thanks!
86F. Prieto says
Spinlight is either too stupid or too cheap to include instructions with their product. Instead, they recommend you go to a computer site for instructions. I would not waste my time or money on this again.
87Neil vN says
It’s becoming the norm to have instructions online. This way any manufacturer can be sure that everyone has the most up-to-date info, and any previous mistakes in this way of presenting the literature, is corrected.
If you’re frustrated in how to use the Spinlight, do contact them. I’m sure they’ll help you as far as is possible.
Is Spinlight 360 Extreme compatible with Olympus FL-600R or FL-50R hot shoe flashes?
Thank you Neil for showing very innovative product.
89Neil vN says
The Spinlight FAQ says that they are.
Hello Neil – Ordered mine for OLY FL-600R. Planning to follow your tips for using it. Thank you.
91John Burridge says
Neil, if you had a white piece of foam instead of a black one (aka a white foamie thing) would there be any practical difference? Would you not get some extra bounce if the side closest to the flash was white, or does the black keep things extra-directional?
92Neil vN says
The white card would be more efficient, but this article explains why I use a light modifier that is black.
Hi Neil, how do you handle the spinlight when the walls or/and ceiling are not white? Where do you bounce then? This happens very often in restaurants where the ceiling and walls are wooden.
94Neil vN says
Then you have the handy option of using the large white card.
95Laura N. says
I just used the Spinlight at a wedding this past weekend and I must say I loved it! I was using the BFT before and I was a little clumsy and slow with it when having to rotate it. This is the main reason I wanted to try the Spinlight. It was so easy to use (even putting on the gels) and I can honestly say my pictures turned out incredible. Thank you, Neil, for introducing me to this product on your site.
96John Tait= says
Hi Neil, I’m a big fan of yours and have both your on and off camera flash books. In your books you recommend using 1/2 CTS or full CTS gels in many if not most color correction situations. Since CTS gels aren’t being offered, would there be any problem with cutting gels out of sheets?
97Neil vN says
That’s what I do … cut large sheets of CTS or 1/2 CTS gels into the shapes that I need.
Are you asked in general or specifically about the Spinlight?
98Anya White says
Hi Neil! I got your product today. Tomorrow I’m photographing 5000 people NYE dance party in the huge (4 stores ceilings) warehouse. It will be full of lasers, video projections, 3D mapping and obvious dry ice. What is the best use of the Spinlight for me? I will need capture faces, dancers, whole crowd and all that art of light. Please advise. Thanks and happy new year!
99Neil vN says
There are the instructional video clips listed at the top.
But you could also start here: flash photography tutorials.
100Anya White says
Thanks Neil! Maybe I should use my Gary Fong Lightsphere (which I usually use on the parties with no walls to bounce) and leave Spinlight for my future shoots?
Looks like great product but it does not fit my flash… GODOX Witstro AD180
Have to look for other types of light modifiers in this case.
101.1Stan Rogers says
There is a set of barn doors available for the Godox/Cheetah/StreakLight (and similar Lumidyne/Quantum-style flashes) that will do many of the same things when used with the standard reflector. It can be used with the diffuser panel, grids, etc., that all fit inside the lip of the reflector (the barndoors clip onto the outside), and has a built-in gel holder (as most barndoors for studio flashes do). That’s probably the best easily-adjustable flag solution for a bare-bulb-and-reflector flash; the only thing you’d be missing, really, is the bounce card option.
Have been a faithful user of the BFT. While its price is right, having to constantly re-align it every time I change light direction was getting old, so I pulled the trigger and ordered the SpinLight Event. Has the basic parts, including a gel holder. Can’t wait to give it a spin (pun intended)