STO-FEN Omni-Bounce - £18/$16

Essential camera accessories

This diffuser enables diffused light from your flashgun to be bounced off a surface for a softer feel. It's simple to use and there's a range of models to suit your flashgun.

Lastolite Strobo Barn Door Set - £40/$58

Essential camera accessories

Designed for use with Lastolite's Strobo Kit, this barn door set has a sturdy metal frame and non-metal panels, which makes the entire unit lightweight, enabling you direct light.

Bessel Popup 60 x 60cm (24 x 24-inch) diffuser - £35 (about $55)

Essential camera accessories

When it comes to softbox performance, bigger tends to be better. This 60 x 60cm/24 x 24-inch pop-up softbox by Bessel is big enough to provide excellent light softening, yet still compresses into a portable carry case.

The supplied adjustable metal coldshoe clamp fixes a standard speedlite flash to the softbox, which in turn screws into a standard tripod head. The only other required extra is an off-camera flash syncing cable or trigger. It's quick and easy to assemble, and quite a bargain.

Lastolite All-in-One Umbrella - £48/$60

Essential camera accessories

This multi-purpose umbrella can either be a reflector with its silver inner, a shoot-through device with the additional translucent white fabric, or even both.

Phottix Photo Light Tent Cube Softbox (80cm/32-inch) - £60/$50

Essential camera accessories

One of the larger products of its kind, the Phottix Photo Light Tent Cube Softbox Photographic Lighting Diffuser springs out of its carry vase to provide a generous space for shadow-free product photography. The cube maintains its shape with a thin but sturdy steel frame, while the provided cloths can be fixed to the cube's Velcro pads and used as backgrounds. It's not the cheapest of its kind, but is useful for photographing products of various sizes.

Lastolite Direct to Flash Strobo Kit - £115/$170

Essential camera accessories

The Direct to Flash Strobo Kit enables flashgun users to mount and dismount a range of lighting accessories. The pack includes a selection of cooling and warming colour gels, along with standard coloured options, together with neutral density and heavy frost varieties. These are joined by 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch honeycomb grids, plus four metal creative masks.

The gels and masks fit into holders, which fit onto the main adapter; this clips onto a flash head and is secured with a Velcro strap. Both the holders and the adapter make use of concealed magnets, so the accessories can be fitted and removed easily.

The honeycomb grids are encased in their own holders, so these are just placed against the adapter in the same way. The strength of the magnets means that the various accessories are in no danger of coming away from the adapter. The gels fit inside the holders easily, and can be removed with ease, but the masks take a little more persuasion.

While the set may appear expensive, you do get a good selection of accessories, and each item is constructed to a high standard. Furthermore, Lastolite has been thoughtful enough to include a Velcro-closed carry case, with separate pockets to help keep all the items secure and free from damage while not in use.

Graslon Insight Dome 4300D - $70/$63

Essential camera accessories

The Insight does a good job of softening flashgun light considering its compact size. The attachment system is also simple and secure, but the light is still harsher than through larger diffusers or bounced flash.