With all the oohs and aahs and hashtags going around about the game changer in photography that is MagMod, I eventually decided to give in and ordered myself a handful of accessories from the range. Originally launched as a kickstarter idea, this was an instant hit that overachieved its goal sum by over $1,50,000. Clearly, the demand for a good convenient speedlite modifier system is something us all photographers have felt over the time. But is it worthy of all the hype it has garnered over the last two years?
To test the waters, I bought five of the accessories which were MagSphere, MagBounce, MagGrid, MagGrip and MagGel. One quick tip I learned while ordering these was that contrary to the popular belief, ordering from the official site turns out to be far more feasible and cheaper sometimes as opposed to e-commerce options. Shipping was hassle free and all in all, I had my MagMod family from internet to my lap in a matter of 15 days. For those of you who are worried about custom charges, simply break your purchase in multiple orders of nothing more than 10-15k and you’re sorted! Yep, I paid no custom charges for my babies.
The system in Magmod uses a tough silicon elastic Grip, as well as unique durable silicon rubber modifiers for an efficient performance. All with powerful neodymium magnets placed inside which allows quick, simple, and secure attachment of grids and gels to the flash heads. The magnets are really strong, even if you shake them. Simple and elegant way of applying modifiers compared to the old cumbersome set up.
Anyway, without boring you with the generic details, here is my opinion on the five individual pieces I have added to my collection so far:
More on the heavier side of accessories from MagMod, the tool is so much of a relief from the previous softboxes, umbrellas and what not’s. This ensures I get awesome looking (and directional) light throughout my photo session without compromising on the quality. Being a wedding photographer, I am often in a hurry as capturing emotions and candid shots doesn’t allow you that kind of time for set ups and any prep. With this bouncy babe, not only is it a no-brainer to put it on/of, the surface and special design of this is hardcore at maximizing your results while minimizing the effort of using a bounce card or other alternatives. It’s been only a short time but now I frankly can’t think of a time when I was shooting without this.
The MagGrip is the foundation of the MagMod system, and without it making any other purchase from the kit is rather useless. The Mag Grip mounting band grip is thick, high quality and though it’s a bit of a struggle at times to put it on, it feels like it’s built to last. Since it’s elastic, fitting any large speedlite is not at all a problem. Not At all. It’s easy enough to remove when you want it off, but there’s no need to worry about it while on a shoot. Best thing happened to speedlite modifiers in a while!
The simple MagGel holder comes with a set of solid gels, which are very easy to tuck inside the silicon rubber holder. The MagGel are excellent for bare flash use or mounting with the MagGrid. And provide a really neat clean and organized system. It can hold two filters or even three at a stretch. Besides the ease of setting it up (it offers a simple stick on and off method), the MagGel makes it a really smooth experience against the fiddly experience you tend to have with a lot of kits. Highly recommended!
The MagGel Kit comes with the commonly used color correction gels.
- Full CTO (Rosco #3407)
- 1/2 CTO (Rosco #3408)
- 1/4 CTO (Rosco #3409)
- 1/2 Blue (Rosco #3204)
- 1/2 Tough Plusgreen (Rosco #3315)
- 1/2 CT Straw (Rosco #3442)
- 3-stop Neutral Density (Rosco E-211)
- Opal Frost Diffuser
Super portable, super versatile, this is one omnipresent light modifier that easily tops my personal favourites. It hardly takes any space in my bag, almost no time to set and does a fantastic job of diffusing the light evenly without making me rattle my brains over bouncing the flash to get the desired result. All I need to do is focus on my main object in the photo and there you go, you just got your perfect click. Definite purchase for me from the entire offering!
The MagGrid is made from the same silicon rubber as the grip, making it very durable unlike the hard plastic grids which crack or chip off easy. The slim profile of the Grid is again intentional so that it is easy to slip in and out of a pocket when not in use. It can be stacked with the Gels, or a number of Grids can be stacked together to provide a tighter beam and more control.
The MagGrid does a good job of controlling the spill and helping avoid lens flare, making it handy when using the flash as an accent light, or simply to avoid contaminating certain areas of your scene with unwanted light. Dramatic looks are a breeze with this as I find more control over speedlite spill and directing the light. With a grid plus gel stacked combo, nothing rattles, and everything stays perfectly in place, almost like it is an integrated part of the speedlite.
– 1 Grid alone is a nice 40-degree beam
– 2 grids will provide a very tight 20-degree beam
– 3 grids will give you a 15-degree beam.
MagMod is a fantastic system for anyone looking for a fast, durable, less fussy, (and even quiet), speedlite gel and grid system. It’s an incredibly well designed solution for portable light modification. In fact, one of the best design solution for portable strobe light modification. And while the prices may set your off by a couple of grands, know that it’s a specialty item and they’re always going to carry a higher price tag.
And, if you’re going to worry that magnets are going to affect the electronics, then don’t worry, they only affect things like spinning hard drives and old-school floppy disks. This is just a common myth.
Still not convinced? Check this link:
For a standalone off camera Grid and Gel system for wedding and event photographers, I think the MagMod would be hard to go past. As they say on their website, “MagMod is the simplest, easiest, strongest, fastest, and sexiest speedlite modifier system for Canon and Nikon hot-shoe flashes, PERIOD.”
Still don’t believe the hype? Check out a peek from my work using MagMod accessories: