New on-camera flash modifier, Kobra, on Kickstarter

Kobra is a new multi-purpose shoe-mount flash accessory, seeking crowd funding on Kickstarter.

In an already crowded on-camera flash modifier market, a new party is trying to introduce the ultimate modifier. Photographer Paul McKelvey is looking to raise money to bring the KOBRA to life by raising money on Kickstarter.

The KOBRA is a flexible, lightweight and appealing flash modifier that is made from silicone rubber. It has no velcro nor magnet to grip to the speedlight, but uses a own attachment system.

The journey to the final pre-production version that can be seen on the photos consisted of 6 years of development and many prototype. Paul, the starter of the Kickstarter, indicated that he was frustrated with the current offerings of on-camera flash modifiers and decided to stop complaining and make his own.

Strength of the unit comes from a patented pending built-in reflector, which bounces the light which normally would go backwards, now forwards. Instead of spraying your light around the room it should help with giving it direction, thus reducing the power loss normally associated with these type of modifiers.

Underneath can be seen how the KOBRA stacks up against other flash modifiers.

Besides the flash modifier itself there is also a possibility to acquire a gel set that can be used simultaneously with the KOBRA using the same attachment system.

For around $60 you can back the Kickstarter and receive a KOBRA diffuser kit as reward. With just two weeks to go and only collected 20% of the $125,000 goal it will be a challenge for Paul to Kickstart his ideas. What do you think of this latest on camera flash modifier? Let us know in the comments.

  • Class A

    I would pick the KOBRA, because look, it is the only one that made the model smile!

    Seriously, this demonstration borders on fraudulent deceit, as many of the chosen comparator modifiers/techniques rely on surrounding surfaces for bounced light. Boxing the subject into a black protective space is a great way of making sure that all the other modifiers will perform as poorly as the KOBRA. Any small modifier will give you rubbish light on its own, the KOBRA included. I’m not a fan of the “diffuse the light everywhere” modifiers, but at least in some scenarios (indoors, with good reflective surfaces around), they’ll create more pleasant lighting.

    One can only hope that not too many will fall prey to this suspicious snake.

    • Ryan Lindsey

      I don’t think I’d call this fraudulent, because controlling the test scene makes this a better test. Of course yes, they had the model smile for their shot, which is going to bias towards the Kobra test shot – though I really dislike when they test a flash modifier, and they bounce it off a giant white ceiling.

      That’s not a test of your flash modifier, that’s a test of your flash modifier in a white room! I don’t care for modifiers that rely on a white room, as that’s not always guaranteed.

      • Class A

        I understand that you want to see the modifier performance on its own.

        However, you need to understand that four (out of nine) of the alternative approaches used in the comparison are designed to work in combination with other surfaces present.

        A bounce card, for instance, is not meant to work as the main light; it relies on the main light coming from a (typically ceiling) reflection and is only meant to add some fill. The designers of those other modifiers that throw light everywhere are not stupid; they designed them that way on purpose. Denying these modifiers their intended bounce support is just rigging the game. “Controlling the comparison” is one thing. “Setting up almost half of the competitor approaches for failure” is another.

        Some people think that any of these small modifiers do actually work outdoors or without reflective surfaces around. That’s just their misguided thinking, though. In other words, the “white room” is part of the design of many of these competitor approaches. If you take the room away, you should also remove the modifier (or change from “bounce card” to “direct flash”) or else you are just wasting light into all sorts of useless directions.

        And no, I don’t accept “of course … they had the model smile for their shot” as fair game. Just shows that they need to manipulate in order to convince. The fact that they are not the only ones playing such silly games, doesn’t justify the dirty tactics.

  • Klaus123

    I backed up and hope it will fit eithe my Pentax, Cactus or Metzt M400 Flashes….even I definetly do not like the “America first” rethoric!

  • davv

    – the catch light panel photo is ridiculous
    – the magmod stuff is good. i have those and they’re awesome.
    – the magsphere picture is pointed upwards when it shouldnt in this case.

  • Oh God, not another one. $60? Seriously? For that money, I got several $3 generic white domes, a couple of Vello 5×7 bounce cards, and an FStoppers Flash Disk. For portraits in a black box, I’d use a $40 37″ Octa. No amount of “patent pending” is going to turn a 6″ piece of plastic into a soft studio light.

  • Felix

    She smiled for the Kobra shot….LOL