A short while ago my wife Lorraine and I were in the position to test some photography equipment new to South Africa.

The company SMDV hails from South Korea and has recently introduced a vast range of light-shaping equipment to the market.

We were delighted to receive a number of light shapers, just in time for a portrait shoot I’d been planning for a month or so already.  The light shapers arrived two days prior to the shoot and we wasted no time in becoming acquainted with the product.  It felt as if I were back in my childhood on a Christmas morning, as the excitement at seeing and handling the SMDV products were palpable.

Using the light shapers a day later during an interior shoot for an Air BnB and two days hence at the portrait shoot, was a highlight (no pun intended, but appreciated nevertheless) during the shoot.  What made the experience even more pleasant, was that all the light shapers used were from the FLIP PRO SOFTBOX and the FLIP NEMO SOFTBOX range.  This implied that the softbox, initially folded and closed like an umbrella in sunshine, opened up (again the umbrella analogy, but this time when it is raining) into its desired shape when the circular aluminium ring joined to the base, is pulled up towards the handle and clicked into place.

The FLIP 44 (110cm) PRO softbox took only a few seconds to be ready for shooting.  It proved to be an excellent light shaper, diffusing the light from my strobe very satisfactorily.  I appreciated the compact size of the light shaper when collapsed, as I often do shoots on location.  Being able to comfortably fit the FLIP 44 PRO into my car and assembling (Can one really call the five second-long procedure “assembling?”) it on location, is a huge benefit, as far as I am concerned.

I have found the other SMDV light shapers to be as easy to use and store.  The FLIP 60 x 90 Rectangular provided very, very pleasing light coverage on the model during the shoot, as did the FLIP 30 x 120 Flip-Strip.

Not to be outdone the SPEEDBOX-FLIP 24G (24 inch) for Lorraine’s camera flash performed extremely well.  It was slightly bigger than her own 20 inch light shaper and provided a slightly larger field of well-controlled light.

What struck me from the onset was the quality of the materials used.  Nothing, and I mean nothing about the construction and materials used, conjured up the use of the word, “flimsy.”  The light shapers are well made and seemingly made of qualitative materials that should see years of use in any photographer’s studio and/or on location.

So what if I have a particular brand of strobes, while my friend down the road has a different brand?  SMDV has adapters available for various brands of lights (strobes) viz. Broncolor, Elinchrom, Godox, Profoto and many others as well.  Adding the adapter is extremely easy and quick.  This makes the excellent SMDV light shapers accessible to most, if not all, photographers requiring shapers of good quality.

SMDV has developed a range of products for which the slogan, “Nothing is complicated; it’s all very easy to use,” rings true.

If you wish to purchase SMDV products, please contact HD Global who are the agents in South Africa


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