So, I finally gave in to the march of progress by buying a 285HV. As you can tell, I’m a bit ambivalent about it. I’ve been reading and re-reading the “Lighting 101″ section in Strobist, and I’ve ordered quite a bit of extra gear (although, as always, cheaping out wherever possible). However, for now I’m just experimenting with the flash itself and whatever modifiers I can cobble together from bits of paper, etc.
For example, this is a plastic bag diffuser:
And this is with the flash working through a couple pieces of curved office paper (you can dimly see the watermark in the reflection):
I’ve also experimented a bit with off-camera fill flash for birding, which is a real pain in the ass without an assistant: