One great thing about dSLRs as compared to film shooting is the immediate feedback.  When learning a new technique, such as working with artificial lighting, this can really flatten the learning curve so that you take a shot, see what you need to do to adjust the results, make another shot and repeat as needed.

I recently purchases some light modified from Rogue, a Flashbender 2  XL kit, which includes a reflector, soft box and strip grid.  The other purchase was a Rogue 3-n-1 honeycomb flash grid, which has inserts to restrict light to 45, 25 and 16 degree (combo of other 2).

This shoot was with my Pentax K-5 IIs and Tamron 28-300mm F3.5-6.3 Ultra zoom XR.

With soft box and my Phottix Mitros speed light:


Zenit 3M

With strip box.

Hook Knife