Q: How did the product get its name?
A: There are two reasons for the name of the product: definitional and representational. Definitionally, vertex refers to the point where two rays of light begin. In terms of visual representation, when the device is adjusted one way, it takes the form of a letter V, while adjusted another way, it takes the form of the letter X.

Q: How is this product different from others?
A: Only the VerteX™ makes it possible to (1) easily control the diffusion of light while on the move, using only one hand, (2) manipulate the flow and quality of light in ways not possible with other existing devices and (3) achieve longer battery life, faster recycle times, higher f-stop and lower ISO options (Learn the secrets of flash diffusers).

Q: I'm just a beginner. Can this still help me and how easy is it to use?
A: Everyone can benefit from the VerteX™. It is easy to use and much like your cell phone or computer, the VerteX™ can be invaluable even without command of all advanced features. With experience, various creative possibilities will reveal themselves.

Q: Can this product be used to bounce light off high ceilings or far-away walls?
A: You may be surprised how much light can return from a distant bounce, depending on the power of your flash unit. The secret to an effective bounce is to project strong specular (mirrored) light rather than weak diffused light. The VerteX™ makes it possible to project powerful specular light, for the ultimate bounce.

Q: Should diffusers be used when bouncing light off the ceiling?
A: No, and here's why. When you bounce light off of anything, you want the maximum amount of light hitting that surface, in order that there be enough light bouncing back to the subject. If you apply a diffuser, the light output will be reduced by 2 stops or more! The flash will have to work extra hard and still may not be able to produce enough light from the bounce back, due to the power hungry diffuser. So then why use the PRESSlite VerteX™ for bouncing? Simple. You don't use it as a diffuser but rather as a bouncing device, by virtue of its mirrors. If you check out our YouTube videos (Binary Star and 9-3) you will see that just one mirror is all you need to place the bounced light at two different spots simultaneously, like the ceiling and a wall or two spots far apart on the ceiling , creating more flattering, wraparound lighting.

Q: Will the VerteX™ work when there are no nearby walls or ceiling off which to bounce light (outside, in sunlight, for example)?
A: Yes, we emphasize bouncing light off nearby objects, as this is the only way to produce the largest, softest light source from a small external camera-mounted flash. The mirror(s) help to redirect light at its maximum intensity for the most efficient bounce. When there aren't any nearby objects to bounce, then the white diffusion panel(s) may be used to soften the light somewhat. Without ceiling, walls or nearby objects to bounce the light, however, it's simply impossible to avoid harsh shadows with a camera-mounted flash. Even increasing the size of the white diffuser panel to three or four times its size will not eliminate the harshness of the light. Outdoor daytime conditions often call for the full power of direct flash in order to offset the effects of the sun. No diffuser should be used in this situation. So while the VerteX™ may not help here, it also does not interfere, as it can be easily moved completely out of the way without having to remove it from the flash head.

Q: Can I still use gels, with your product?
A: Yes. The VerteX™ leaves ample room for adding gel strips.

Q: How much light is lost through the use of the mirrored insert?
A: The mirrored insert has incredible specular reflective properties, because of the aluminized coating on both sides. The light loss through reflection off this surface is only 1/3 of a stop, compared to the average light loss of 2 stops or more with typical translucent diffusers.

Q: Can the mirror/white panel inserts be replaced?
A: Yes. The VerteX™ inserts are easily replaceable. You may replace them, creatively, with your own materials, or with our selection of inserts.

Q: How should I clean the mirrored insert?
A: Use a piece of cloth diaper or polishing rag and Lemon Pledge. Do not use paper towel or terry cloth.

Q: How can the VerteX™ help with "colorcast" from colored walls and ceilings?
A: Many diffusers currently on the market emit light in all directions, leaving you no choice as to where the light hits. The VerteX™ offers the ability to steer and project light selectively, in the form of Target Bouncing™. Even more important is the ability to "steer away" from heavily colorcast areas or objects (Learn how to bounce off color ceilings).

Q: Will your product work with flash brackets?
A: The VerteX™ works wonderfully with brackets. To reduce weight and bulk, however, why not go bracketless? One important point to keep in mind when using brackets is that the auto-focus assist light may no longer function effectively if not well-aligned with the lens axis.

Q: Are you saying that your product defies the laws of physics, by producing additional light?
A: No. The laws of physics cannot be defied. But they can be creatively exploited! The VerteX™ offers additional freedom and options, by successfully leveraging and exploiting the physics of light.

Q: Which VerteX™ model is the one being sold: Dual Panel Regular, Dual Panel Rotate or Single Panel Regular?
A: Actually, these are not different models but rather different configurations that are all possible with the same VerteX, which comes with two panels, two mirrored inserts, two white inserts and the superstructure that mounts over your flash head. Prices quoted refer to just the one existing model.

 


Q: What kind of flash units will the VerteX™ fit?
A: It will fit virtually any rectangular-shaped flash unit designed for on-camera hot shoes, including these popular models:

Canon 580EX(I-II)/430EX(I-II)
Kodak P20
Metz 40MZ1-i/(48,58 AF-1)
Nikon SB-900/800/700/600
Nissin Di866/622(I-II)/466
Olympus FL-50R/36R
Panasonic DMW-FL500/360
Pentax AF540/360 FGZ
Promaster 7-Series
Quantaray QDC/QTB Series
Samsung SEF-54PZF
Sigma EF 500/530 Series
Sony HVL-F56/F42/F36AM/F58AM
Sunpak PZ42X
Yongnuo YN460-RX/460(I-II)/465/467/468/560

 

Q: Do I need to modify my flash, in order to install the VerteX™?
A: No, it straps on like a rubber band. There's no sticky adhesive or noisy Velcro. The mounting mechanism is a hybrid elastic band with rubber-like bumpers that ride over the contours of your flash head (your flash head will not be marred).

Q: Is it easy to remove?
A: Yes, it comes off like a rubber band when you want it to. What you will find, however, is that you don't have to remove it, because it folds easily off to the side of your flash head. You may want to remove just the panels, for compact storage, which is easily done with one free hand.

Q: It looks fragile. Will it break easily?
A: The VerteX™ has been designed for convenience and durability. Don't be misled by its sleek, compact look. A built-in safety release mechanism will cause the magnetically coupled panels to come loose, rather than break, upon impact to your flash head, protecting the vulnerable hot shoe. Likewise, the arms have been designed to pop out before they break. A generous one-year warranty stands behind this promise: as long as the VerteX™ is not abused, it will last for years.

Q: Does the VerteX™ come with a flash, as shown in the demos?
A: A flash unit is not included with the purchase of the VerteX™. It is included in illustrations out of necessity.

Q: Can I use my flash's built-in catchlight/wide-angle pullouts together with the VerteX™?
A: Yes, you can use them in conjunction with the VerteX™. The VerteX™ can easily "partner" with all the functions of your existing flash, either actively or folded quietly in the background.

Q: What does the mirrored panel do?
A: It is important to first understand that the panel actually has TWO different sides. Each side has four-point fingers into which an insert can be securely placed with no adhesives. These inserts can be easily removed, replaced and customized. The VerteX™ is sold with a white insert on one side of the panel and a mirrored insert on the other side. You can rotate and flip the panel to either side, as desired. The purpose of the mirrored inserts is not to light your subject but rather to "steer" or redirect light, at walls, ceilings and other surrounding objects, to bounce light, increasing the apparent size of the light source. The white surface, on the other hand, is used to diffuse light or to create catchlight. It is the white surface that can be used to light your subject if you want to.

Q: Now that I have this amazing PRESSlite VerteX Pro, how do I use it for taking great flash photos? What's the purpose of the mirror? Where do I use this device? When do I use which combination, to get the shot?
A: First, don't get overly caught up with all the various configurations that are available. Once you know the basic concepts of desirable lighting, you will have the confidence to use the appropriate tool for the job.

Second, rest assured that the various configuration options will not slow you down in the least at fast-paced events like weddings, because by the time you so much as process this thought, you could have cycled through two different configurations with just your thumb and without even having to look at what you're doing! The patented PRESSlite VerteX Pro is the fastest device of its kind in the world.

And finally, don't think that you will need to constantly change to different configurations. Once you've dialed in, you only need to make a change when it becomes necessary. An obvious time to make changes is moving from indoors to outdoors and vice versa.

Let's begin by discussing the purpose of bouncing light and the options that are made available to you by the PRESSlite VerteX Pro.

It's important to understand, first of all, that bouncing the flash light off a ceiling or wall is the most effective way of creating the desired soft lighting effect. Bouncing light off of another larger surface is what increases the apparent size of the light source. This substantially larger light source relative to the subject is the fundamental principle behind soft lighting.

Let's talk here in terms of bouncing light off the ceiling. The direction of the bounced light striking the subject is from above. Light coming from above is the most natural way we see things in our world, whether it be from sunlight or artificial overhead lighting in a room.

Light from above, however, can create shadows around the eyes, under the nose and chin areas. To reduce these shadows, use forward fill light. Outdoors, with direct flash. Indoors, by using the white diffuser.

Indoors is where you want to use the white diffuser to project a small amount of fill light to brighten up those shadowy areas on your subject. Set the white diffuser panel to vertical, so that virtually all the light is sent to the ceiling. This setting will reflect sufficient forward fill light to your subject. Our "VerteX™ Speed Guide - 298KB" can be downloaded at http://www.presslite.com/downloads.php.

The mirror is used to redirect the flash light for bouncing purposes. In the examples presented here, the mirrors are used to redirect light to a bounce surface.

Normally, you would just point the flash head to where you want to bounce the light. But sometimes you cannot twist the flash head to where you want it to point, so the mirror is designed for this purpose.

For example, you turn your camera with flash to the portrait orientation and you want to bounce the flash light off the right wall. Due to mechanical limitations in this orientation, however, you are unable to point the flash to the right. The solution is to employ the mirror.

Another example is the use of the mirror to bounce light off the ceiling AND wall simultaneously. You can do this with just one mirror. Take a look at our instructional video on the 9-3 Configuration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfMX_VexA9w

Yet another example is use of the mirror to split the light into two beams, for an extra-wide ceiling bounce. This creates even softer lighting and provides more coverage than a typical ceiling bounce. You can do this with just one mirror. See the instructional video on the Binary-Star Configuration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkfllQ5MlAs

Exciting ways to use off camera flash (OCF) with the PRESSlite VerteX Pro await you. If you want to place a remote flash in a corner, the mirror(s) will allow you to send light to multiple bounce surfaces. If you want to hold the flash at arms length, you will appreciate the exclusive one-handed maneuverability and lightweight construction.

In this video, you will see how to maneuver the single-panel setup with one hand, while on the move and without having to look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr4VUEX-l6o

Now that you know how the diffuser and mirror are used, you can experiment to find the best ways to achieve your preferred results. Once you apply this to your own shooting style, how and when to flip the panel(s) will become second nature for you. There's no need to fiddle with the panel setting during an event. Just set it to your preferred position and leave it there until there's a reason to change it.

 
 
     
 

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