Portalite+Speedlight= KickerLite

I love gear. It's the little kid in me. But as much as I love getting new stuff there's always a certain - shall we say economic? - reality to contend with.

I was reading about Lastolite's KickerLite recently. It's essentially a softbox that goes on the floor and angles upward, allowing to fill a subject from beneath. Great for portrait. It folds up nicely (a bit like the Hilite) and I'm sure it's a joy to work with. It's $265 (CDN). Well worth it I'm sure. But still...

So anyway... I was cleaning up my studio yesterday, trying to organize things a bit better. It's a small studio, with space at a premium, and I was thinking of folding up the two Portalite softboxes that came with the Elinchrom BX500ri kit I bought a while ago. They're fine but a little small and I don't use them all that much (I usually prefer the 60" Softlighter). I put one down on the floor while trying to decide what to do and noticed its angle: more or less 45 degrees. And stable. I also thought: "hmm… an SB-900 would fit perfectly through that Elinchrom speedring."

I was right. And now I have my KickerLite:
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In fact, I can even have two of them if I want :-)

This diagramed shoot shows the effect it has. It works really well for a clamshell lighting look,  and since it's used as fill the SB-900 doesn't even flinch at the job: I'm at 1/128 power, shooting at f6.3 with the BX500ri as key. I could go way up with this setup.

New gear is nice. Finding uses for the gear you already have: priceless.