Flash Bender: anyone has tried off-brand?

Started Jan 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mahmoud Mousef Senior Member • Posts: 2,604
extortionate pricing on accessories

Nikonparrothead wrote:

Extortion: The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.

Are you having fun just listing one definition of extortion? See definition 3 here:


You've heard it used in this context, I'm sure. Consult your favourite non-legal dictionary, it's there.

Why would a company charging what it feels it needs to charge to cover: production, advertising, distribution, R&D and profit be appropriately filed as "extortion?"

A company can charge whatever it feels necessary (and the retailers can mark it up on top of that). And a customer is free to call it extortion

Just like some companies charge $30 for a lens hood or $80 for a speed ring or $300 for a softbox or $15 for a lens cap or $40 for a simple camera case or...

And just like Nikon can charge you to get your sensor re-mapped out of warranty (or inside warranty) instead of providing the facility (for free) in-camera like so many others have for the past 10 years. Yes, they are free to charge what they want and I'm free to call it extortion

The patent office can charge thousands for common-sense patents that should never be patentable too. And I am in my rights to call it extortion. But I think we are seeing the slow demise of overpriced accessories these days, with more buying online and direct-ordering from China. They are getting smarter and bypassing their local retailers, and more getting into photography as a result of it.

When durability (as Sailor Blue noted) is factored in, the Rogue product may be a better deal or a break even situation.

The Chinese product could be better, the same or worse.

We don't know unless we compare. Have you compared them? That's the kind of info I'm after, not assumptions or shills shilling for one company or the other. Not suggesting anyone is doing that here, by the way. Just saying.

So it can go both ways here. Lots of things could be better. We will never know if we don't try them. So I intend to try this first. If it satisfies me, then I've won. If not, well then better luck next time.

I made a similar thing years ago actually, out of thick insulated bendable wire and paper (and masking tape to keep the wire bonded to the paper).

I'm paying for the more durable materials used here and getting the delivery thrown in for $15+ dollars. Speaking of delivery, if I tried to send something like this overseas from Australia, I doubt $15 would cover the postage to China. Another example of extortion.

The Flashbender is $40 ($39.95), excluding delivery. You can't convince me there's much R&D in this.

Advertising costs I couldn't care less for; lots of good info travels cheaply on the internet and large advertising budgets and distributor agreements and traditional wholesaler/ retailer mark-ups are excessive enough as they are when it comes to accessories.

I can buy a manual flash unit from China for under $50, delivered; the Flashbender is frigteningly close to the same price and it's a far simpler device. That puts things in a more real context. Who pays for the R&D of the Chinese company who made the flash unit? Who pays for the materials? What about their advertising? I still do.

The accessories biz is where the real extortion happens. While complex devices like cameras and flash units from smaller companies get marked-down to ridiculous cheapness, with many of them selling for well under $100 and some under $50.

I'd rather reward those doing real work. This is a simple device that should come with a price to match. It doesn't, so I shop elsewhere.

It's that simple.

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