WPPI 2019: Manfrotto and Lastolite Demo Latest Innovations

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I have no idea if it is lucrative, but it sure looks like fun to be a designer and engineer at photo companies these days. All over the Wedding and Portrait Photography International (WPPI) show are products that are cooler and offer smarter ways of doing things than we have done in the past. Leading the charge in the photographic accessory category is Manfrotto, and the brands that fall under a giant Manfrotto reflective umbrella.

Reflectors are quite portable these days. I don’t know if it was the vehicle sunshade or the photo reflector or something else that started the twist-to-fold fashion, but, even large reflectors are not too cumbersome. However, once they are folded down, they do take up space—almost like a rain jacket. And, if you ever have packed for a trip, sometimes you really don’t want to pack a rain jacket, unless it is going to rain. So, is there a way to make the already compact reflector even more compact? Is there a way to make it into a form factor that fits inside of a camera bag? Yep. There sure is. The 32" Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector is the most exciting development in the reflector world since the aforementioned twist-to-fold invention. The namesake “halo” is like a multi-segment tent pole that breaks down into its individual connected rods. The reflector clips to the halo quickly and easily. Is it faster to set up than a traditional reflector? No. Is it still quick to set up and easy to use? Yes. And, the best part is that you can pack this reflector and your rain jacket and head out into the field.

Also from Lastolite is the Joe McNally Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 Plus speed light modifier. Anyone familiar with Joe McNally’s work will be aware that he is the master of on and off-camera speed light work. And, while it is nice to think he does all his work with a bare speed light, those who shape light for a living know that modifiers are more than a nice-to-have. The Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 Plus has a one-size-fits-all ratcheted attachment system so that it fits on almost any modern speed light, to render a very nice soft box look to your small portable flash.

And, even more portable than the Ezybox is the Lastolite EzyBounce Bounce Card that is the closest thing to origami that your speed light has ever encountered. Most speed lights have bounce cards built into their tops, but they cannot be positioned and are fixed at the angle in which they deploy. The EzyBounce Bounce Card is extendable and angle-able to accommodate your light bouncing desires.

Of course, Manfrotto has beautiful Gitzo tripods on display at the B&H WPPI booth, as well. Tradition lives on at Manfrotto, but the engineers at Lastolite are coming up with some very innovative products that keep photographic accessories exciting and evermore useful.

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