BackerKit

Flekt: Studio Quality Light from Your Pop-Up Flash

Created by Preston Vance (Flekt)

Flekt: Studio Quality Light from Your Pop-Up Flash
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658 backers pledged $72,158.00 on Kickstarter

SIMPLE. BEAUTIFUL. LIGHT. Flekt gives photographers a new creative tool; professional quality light from your pop-up flash!

Raised in Kickstarter
$72,158.00 / 658 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$7,627.00 / 649 backers

Learn About Our Project:

cFlekt with gold Exciter Technology™ insert
cFlekt with gold Exciter Technology™ insert

Flekt is all about the quality of light, and gives you studio-quality lighting from your pop-up flash - something that has NEVER been done before.

No matter if you're an aspiring photographer or semi-pro, Flekt gives you the perfect light to create professional-style photos.

cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™ insert
cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™ insert

From portraits to products, expand your creativity with beautiful, inspiring photos unlike anything you've ever captured. 

cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert
cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert

Flekt attaches to your DSLR camera's hot-shoe, and redirects the light from the pop-up flash 180 degrees back into whichever attachment is on your system. 

No hassle or tricky equipment, just a simple and creative way to shoot beautiful and professional quality photos with your subject looking their best.  Choose your insert, shape the light and be creative!

Flekt helps put the fun back in photography!

TOP:  cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert,  MIDDLE: cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™ insert,  BOTTOM: cFlekt with gold Exciter Technology™ insert
TOP: cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert, MIDDLE: cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™ insert, BOTTOM: cFlekt with gold Exciter Technology™ insert

If you love the feeling of looking at the world through a DSLR lens, then Flekt is for you. From hobbyists to semi-pros to aspiring photographers, Flekt helps you take your photography to the next level. 

When you love photography like we do, why settle for good when you have the power to be great. Until Flekt, there wasn't a camera accessory that gave you high quality light for affordable prices. 

Natural light in the room  vs.  Flekt lighting
Natural light in the room vs. Flekt lighting

Now you can forget fancy and expensive equipment because Flekt gives anyone who loves photography the power to create professional photos. Whether you're in a studio shooting products, at home with the family or on location capturing an indoor or nightime wedding, bring out the inner pro-photographer in you by getting lost in the fun, inspiring and creative world of your very own photo shoot. 

iPhone - natural light
iPhone - natural light
DSLR - cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™
DSLR - cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™

We weren't kidding when we said Flekt was simple and hassle-free. With just THREE parts to the Flekt system, it's easy to create high-quality lighting:

  • Simply slip the magAttach into your hot-shoe, lock it down and you're ready to go - it's that easy. It's called magAttach because all attachments connect with magnets to allow fluid pivoting to direct light onto your subject.
  • Flekt's ignitor reflector attaches to the front of the magAttach and redirects the light from the pop-up flash 180 degrees back into whichever attachment is on your system. Designed after a right-angle prism, but with concave reflectors, it is an efficient way to redirect light without losing it. 
  • We've created the first attachment and we call it cFlekt. The c stands for concave because we designed it around a modified concave reflection principle.  It attaches magnetically to the magAttach and can utilize white, silver and gold removable reflectors.  We are open to any user designing new, exciting attachments for the photography community.

Our attachments magnetically grip to the magAttach, and have fluid movement to add soft light to your subject.  Use the wall, use the ceiling, anything you can dream of to help you create the photo you want!  With each of the systems, you can have multiple texture and color choices to enhance and change your light. 

Our first inserts will be white, gold and silver.  Choose gold to warm when shooting against the sun, or choose silver with high contrast to kick up the specular highlights for fashion.  Additional inserts will come in the future as well as any other surface and color we can all think of!!

These attachments help you create high-quality photos without the hassle or expense of professional equipment.  Simply use the Flekt System with your DSLR to capture beautiful, inspiring pictures that you're extremely proud to call your own.

Because we reflect light, we have the opportunity to shape photons in ways that no other product can do. Imagine nano-structured fresnels, retroreflective focusing elements, colors, anything is possible. Our first two coatings will be Lambertian White™ and silver/gold metals with Exciter Technology™ enhancement.

cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert
cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert
cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™ insert
cFlekt with silver Exciter Technology™ insert
cFlekt with gold Exciter Technology™ insert
cFlekt with gold Exciter Technology™ insert
cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert
cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert
cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert
cFlekt with Lambertian White™ insert

As a photographer, I got to a point where I wanted to start taking better photographs, so I got into studio photography. One of the products I used to rent all the time was a beauty dish - it was consistently the best form of light I got, so I started wondering if I could create the same quality of lighting from the pop up flash. That's when I met with Impact Design Associates and we got started working on a prototype.

We came up with several different design concepts, ensuring we exercised both visual and functional ideas.

Once we had our first working prototype, we sent out a bunch of photographers for some beta testing. Using all of their feedback and data, we were able to refine the product even more.

We've been designing and refining Flekt for 7 years now but we haven't had the funds to bring it to market - tooling and production can be very costly. So, we turned to Kickstarter because we feel that what we're offering is mutually beneficial - you support our project and help us raise the funds we need to produce Flekt.  It's a win-win, right? 

The quote from our manufacturer has given us a number we are comfortable with considering our Kickstarter funding goal. We are considering a minimum of 1,000 units - the lead time for 1,000 units is 6 weeks and for 50,000, it's 3 months. We tried to reflect maximum delivery time in our promises to deliver and want to keep a realistic view of over-estimating, not over-promising. We will, of course, keep our backers informed along the way, and will be working to save time anywhere we can without compromising the quality of the product. Flekt is a long-term product with global reach and we want to keep our customers happy for the long term.   

In terms of shipping and fulfillment, we will use Amazon FBA MCF and Fulfillrite. Fulfillrite will be our kitting facility where the coated reflectors and final Flekt units will be boxed and shipped. Logistics for time frame of arrival of these elements are still being figured out, but we will advise as they get dialed in. For international customers we will ship using USPS, UPS, and FedEx.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

January Update
over 1 year ago – Wed, Jan 06, 2016 at 11:00:02 PM

Hi Backers,

Happy New Year!

This backer update has been a little late because I have taken a short vacation for the first time in two years to celebrate the milestone we achieved and release some stress.

The next big phase of Flekt is complete, and we are proud to announce that the final engineered production prototypes that will allow us to go into manufacturing are here!

They were CNC machined for precise tolerances and everything fits perfectly. We’ve checked the universality between various Nikon and Canon DSLR's and it fits. Flekt looks great on top of our Canon T2i and Nikon D300. Universality for Nikon and Canon has been completed!

This is a milestone that I’m personally proud of. After seven years and many trials and tribulations, I have the product I always envisioned. The aesthetics of the design and the functionality of the engineering have come together to make an awesome product. It is simple and elegant in its solution. All of the details are there. Our white coating is perfect as it holds maximum reflectivity with incredible diffusion. Our gold and silver with the glass microspheres have a beautiful frosted look that will be sure to attract attention for every photographer.

The light that is reflected with Flekt is beautiful! It’s smooth, silky and refined--it’s just awesome! This is why we are even more excited about Flekt. I can’t stop smiling, because it makes me so happy! It’s exactly the type of light that I was looking to create when I set out to invent the product. We will be reaching out to a few backers to shoot some photos in the next few weeks so we can generate some buzz and show everyone how cool this will be.

As an example of how Flekt can help photographers, one of our local backers (and personal friend) came to me and was having trouble taking pictures of her art. Her art piece contained small, bright flakes, and every lighting and flash based product she used blew out the highlights in the flakes, thus the resulting photo was not representative. She brought over her camera, a Canon 7D, and we used our current Flekt prototype.

Flekt slid into the hotshoe. Check! She was able to adjust in and up to set the correct position of the front reflector and it locked into place. Check! She magnetically attached the cFlekt and it held solidly in place, but allowed her to rotate and guide the light where she wanted. Check! She took some photos and got exactly the light she wanted. Check!

All of this aside, I am sure the answer everyone wants (including me) is--when do I get my Flekt?!!!!!

I want to remind everyone how big of a project this is. I bit off a little more than I can chew on this one. The light has to be awesome, the functionality precise and the engineering solid with beautiful aesthetics and it has to fit almost every Nikon and Canon DSLR with a pop-up flash in the world. Oh, and a pioneering magnetic attachment has to hold perfectly, not too strong, not too weak. The good news--all of that is done.

If Flekt is going to be attractive to users and investors, all of these things had to be in place. I am very much still moving forward and will be delivering Flekt with a renewed vigor. We are working on getting revised manufacturing quotes and timelines, pursuing our options. We are positioning ourselves so that as soon as we secure additional investment, we can quickly pull the trigger on manufacturing. Our top priority, as always, is to deliver on our promise to get Flekt to our backers. We have hit this latest big milestone and have a great, high quality product that enables us to move forward in an accurate and complete way, and it is a huge step closer to delivering Flekt. Sorry it isn’t as fast as we all want it to be. Six months ago, we didn’t have two of these giant steps done. But as we keep completing these steps, it will lead to Flekt on your doorstep.

-Preston

October Update
over 1 year ago – Sat, Oct 17, 2015 at 08:36:00 PM

Hi Backers,

I wanted to give you an update on the Flekt production prototypes.

After settling on a vendor to make our urethane casting production prototypes, we are proud to announce that we have received them and overall really like the quality. When we opened the box, we were thrilled to look at the parts and finally see the subtle textures and details we had been working toward. We placed most of the parts on a table and just stood there for a few minutes taking it all in.

We wanted to give you some insight into this process so you can get a glimpse into why this entire Kickstarter undertaking has taken longer than we would like….

Although we are happy with the aesthetics of the production prototypes, some of the parts are not fitting to my standards. Cast urethane has a shrinkage factor and that can be squirrely to get exact.

We will be sending the back cover back to get the tolerances closer to our engineering CAD files. This will take as long as it takes unfortunately but must be done.

Also, I am not happy with the detail and fit of the magAttach and after discussions with our engineer, have decided to proceed with making a steel or aluminum mold for this, as well as the cam lock and the Flekt logo badge, so we can get the fine detail that these require. There is a lot of great engineering in the magAttach and fine detail that really needs a production mold to show how perfect it is.

This of course means more quoting and more time, but in the end we will also have some of the production tools that can make thousands of parts, which means that we are ever closer to getting your Flekt to you.

This is why sometimes it just takes as long as it takes. We were incredibly excited to get these and it’s a huge milestone, but now we have to revise and make adjustments for perfection and detail. I can’t express my frustration enough at how long this is taking. It pains me also, believe me, I want nothing more than to be finished with this process and get you your Flekts and start selling them daily. That day is closer than ever my friends. But I won’t compromise details and perfection to rush something out. I literally do nothing else before and after my day job than work on issues with Flekt.

This is a huge vision and a big project for two people to be dealing with. We are so close to being done and that is why I am continuing to push so hard at this point. Thank you for being so zealous and patient about Flekt. I really appreciate it :-)

-Preston

August Update
almost 2 years ago – Tue, Sep 01, 2015 at 11:07:04 PM

Hi Backers,

What a ride the past few months have been for us. There have been highs, lows and everything in between. The amount of sweat and tears we have poured into Flekt, making it the best product it can be, is astounding. But most importantly, we are so proud of what we have accomplished!

We are so unbelievably happy to announce that we have completed engineering on Flekt!

Whaaaaaaaat???? Yes, it is true. Our long national nightmare is over.  :)

Every time we made a change we had to 3D print in SLA to check our success or failure. This took time, but has culminated in a final engineered prototype which has all of the final functionality and is universal to Canon and Nikon!

I am personally excited because all of my personal goals to make Flekt the best product it can be have been met and I am extremely proud of our final product. I am so excited to get this into your hands and see the awesome photos and creativity that will happen with Flekt.

  • We have the final part drawings with callouts.
  • We have the final Solidworks CAD files.
  • We are ordering our final production prototype.
  • We are working on getting updated tooling / manufacturing quotes.

We know that there will be twists and turns before we can get Flekt to your doorstep, but we wanted to take a moment to celebrate this milestone. Completing engineering and coming out of that process with a product we are proud of is something that we can all enjoy.

We have spent a huge amount of time working on the magAttach and how the front reflector attaches to it. We have made those two pieces thinner, lower profile, wider, stronger and most importantly, universal across a huge number of Canon & Nikon DSLR’s that have a pop-up flash. It seems that virtually every model of camera from Canon & Nikon has a different design, with a pop-up flash that is higher/lower, forward/back, wider/thinner, etc. We have successfully engineered an up & down adjustment on the front reflector with a cam lock. We have also successfully engineered an in & out adjustment on the front reflector that holds.

For those of you with Canon 60D / 70D cameras, these changes are an especially huge deal for you, as we had to reduce the overall height of the magAttach by over 35% to fit on those popular cameras. The gap in these cameras is only the height of a pencil!

These design changes are a win for everyone as the whole magAttach system is denser, stronger, and a more capable base for the whole Flekt system.


Something that does not come across in renders are the ridiculously small tolerances that can either make the product work, fit & function, or not. We are talking about changes that are the size of a sheet of paper. One sheet of paper too many and the element doesn’t fit in. One sheet of paper too few and the piece is loose and doesn’t feel strong. We spent some quality time with our calipers measuring various cameras, our 3D printed prototypes, etc. until we hit that perfect size.

Our next step is to produce production prototypes and get the entire package to investors so we can start manufacturing. We are in the process of getting quotes for this and will update you soon.

From now on our updates will be more positive and will be about things we all care about---getting Flekt out to the world!

I know you are all wondering about a timeline. I am not comfortable giving a specific timeline at this point. I want you to know that I have been going as fast as humanly possible to solve our issues so I can get Flekt to you. We now have engineering completed so when the trigger gets pulled we can go into production. That is huge for you and for me.

Thanks for believing in us and thanks for your continued patience as we take the next big step toward getting Flekt to you!

-Preston

May / June Update
almost 2 years ago – Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 10:46:46 AM

Hi Backers!

It has been a particularly busy time at my day job over the past couple months, but that hasn’t stopped me from working early mornings, late nights and weekends to keep pushing forward with Flekt. It isn’t always easy to continue working after a 12 or 14 hour day, but I continue to be so excited about Flekt and can’t wait until you can experience it, that I find the motivation and desire to push myself to get it done.

We’ve made great progress since the last update.  We've fine tuned some elements that didn’t quite work as expected or as well as we had wanted. We are happy with the vast majority of the fixes and have locked down those pieces. We did run into a roadblock on the hotshoe attachment, which we have been heavily focusing on for almost two full months now. We’ve gone through several iterations, working on making it tight, strong and more universal across the wide variety of Canon & Nikon cameras that have a pop-up flash. We think we may have found the solution we are looking for with our latest design iteration. Our engineer is hard at work getting the engineered files completed so we can make a prototype of the attachment and confirm that it does indeed work as expected.  It is a huge challenge to try to perfect universality across the Nikon and Canon product line especially when it is being done by two individuals.  We are close to that goal and won't rest until we do.  Cross your fingers for us!

We’ve made progress on fine tuning our coatings and getting the up/down mechanism smooth and tight, with as little wobble as possible. We’re currently testing the amount and type of rubber on the base of the cFlekt attachment where it holds onto the ball of the magAttach, to make sure that the magnetic attraction is at the proper level. This is imperative, as hitting the right amount of friction compared to the magnetic pull gives you the freedom to shape the reflected light by twisting and turning the attachment, while always securely holding the cFlekt upright.

As I’ve said before, this process has been the hardest and most grueling thing I’ve ever done. The sheer number of problems, big and small, that we have had to solve is staggering, and I’m so proud of how far we have come. I want Flekt for myself. I want to use it. I know how much fun it is, and how it helps make photography more creative. I know you are anxious to get Flekt, and believe me, I understand. Just know that I WILL NOT give up. We are so close now. Please stick with me and try to be patient as we solve what I hope to be our final engineering and design speed bumps.

Thanks again for your passion and for your support!

-Preston

P.S. Now that my day job schedule is calming down, I will try to get back to more regular updates.

April Update
almost 2 years ago – Sun, Jun 28, 2015 at 03:29:18 PM

Hi Backers!

We are progressing nicely with our detailed and (to be honest) grinding work of preparing each individual component for manufacturing. We are testing each slide, cam lock, groove, latch, etc. for durability, fit, function, amount of friction, ease of use and more.

We’ve found a couple points that are not quite up to snuff, so we are adjusting as needed. At this point, each change is so “minor” in scale. However, the precision needed for the fun, quick and easy use of Flekt for creative photography necessitates these changes, which will be “major” to you when in the heat of the moment. Most of these changes are a matter of a fraction of a millimeter, but affect the overall stability and the core structure of the entire system.

We have also been working on ways to make Flekt even more lightweight. We are at a really good point already as we have been slowly shaving off any excess weight that is possible. We think we found a way to make another one of the pieces even lighter, while simultaneously beefing up its strength and structure. A win-win!

We continue to focus on getting Flekt into your hands as soon as we can, but we will not sacrifice quality for the sake of speed. We have come so far, and are really happy with the results!

Thanks again for your patience, it will be rewarded! Till the next update.

-Preston