Best reflector for photography: 5 top models tested and rated

PhotoPlus - Help Me Buy feature on photographic reflectors. 4 March 2014.

Whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors, in bright sunlight or under clouds, the direction and strength of the light has a big impact on your images, and making the most of the available light can be the difference between a good photo and a great one.

Cue the photographic reflector – one of the most basic but most useful pieces of kit you’ll ever use.

A photography reflector is simply a piece of reflective material that’s used to bounce light onto a subject, to fill in harsh shadows and brighten highlights.

SEE MORE: What is color temperature: free photography cheat sheet

They’re ideal for portraits, product photography and still life setups, and offer a cheap and portable way to light subjects where you don’t want to use flash, as well as giving your more options if you are using flash.

Photography reflector kits usually include a variety of surfaces that enable you to alter the colour of the light, and some come with a diffuser panel for softening harsh sunlight or flash.

SEE MORE: When to use a reflector – the effects produced by different colour surfaces

We’ve rounded up a variety of reflectors for photography ranging in price from just £17 to £75 to see which gives you the best value for money.

Best reflectors for photography: 01 Interfit STR122 Strobies On-Camera Reflector

Price: £17

The cheapest and smallest photographic reflector in our test, the STR122 is part of Interfit’s Strobies accessory range.

The disc-shaped reflector has silver and white sides, and an aperture in the centre which simply pops over the front of your lens, making it great for when the main light source is directly behind your subject – eg shooting into the sun.

It’s ideal for products, macro, and portraits; with the round shape creating nice catchlights in the eyes.

It’s available in two sizes, 30cm (12in) and 58cm (22in), and folds down to a third of the opened size to fit easily into any kit bag, making it handy if you’re travelling light.

SEE MORE: Photography lighting – how to take control of everything from natural light to flash

Pros: Compact, portable and easy to deploy; ideal for product shots and close-up portraits

Cons: Tricky to use in windy conditions, as you’ll need to hold on to the reflector to direct the light

Photoguard – specialist insurance provider
When will you think about insuring your camera and equipment? After you’ve read this? Or after you’ve dropped your beloved camera potentially smashing or damaging it? Photoguard – here for photographers before things go wrong. Receive an online insurance quote in seconds.

Best photographic reflectors: 01 Interfit STR122 Strobies On-Camera Reflector
Best photographic reflectors: 02 Interfit 5-in-1 56cm Reflector
Best photographic reflectors: 03 Metz 80cm 5-in-1 Reflector
Best photographic reflectors: 04 Lastolite Mini Trigrip 45cm Sunlite/Soft Silver
Best photographic reflectors: 05 Westcott 50cm 6-in01 Reflector Kit 
Best photographic reflectors: the verdict


See the light like a pro: everything you were afraid to ask about using natural light
10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)
DSLR Tips: the best settings for preserving detail in any situation
Bracketing Explained: how to capture fine detail in shadows and highlights
10 portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)