Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rogue Grid Review!

ExpoImaging has come out with a cool new modifier for speedlights called the Rogue 3-in-1 Grid.  These are the same guys that brought us the Rogue Flash Benders for speedlights which are essentially snoots, gobos, bounce cards and flags all rolled in to one customizable shaped modifier.  For photographers who like to pack light, you can't beat the small size and portability of this latest series of flash modifiers.

The Rogue Grid is a really nice system because it has three different grid sizes in one small package.  These grids come in 45 degrees, 25 degrees and 16 degrees spreads that have a somewhat soft-ish fall off to the edges, unlike using a snoot.  This system comes with the two grids (stacking them makes the third grid), the grid holder and a cool little bag to carry the system in.

These guys are made of a very hard composite plastic that seem very durable and can probably take a good beating ...or at least a lot wear and tear.  These grids are attached to speedlights with the included grid holder.  You simply take the grid holder and strap it around the head of your speedlight.  It has a pretty unique system in that it will stretch and can be velcroed in to place which makes a pretty secure connection.  You don't need anything like a speed strap or extra velcro to attach these to your speed lights and by design, the grid holder can be adjusted for different size speedlights.

Once you have the grid holder fastened to the flash, simply choose which degree grid you want to use, and fit it into the end of the grid holder.  This is the only part of this system that I'm not exactly wild about because the grid takes a little work to slip in to the holder and then its only held by the tension of the holder itself.  So far I haven't had any problems with this, but I do use an extra speed strap wrapped around it to make sure it stays secure.  This is really just more of an annoyance than an actual ding on the system.

The internal grid pattern is slightly hexagonal but you can see in the photo below that it produces a circular style spread of light.  Another cool feature about these grids is the really tight 16 degrees pattern you get.  As far as I know, this is the smallest light spread by a grid for speedlights that you can get.  To get the 16 degrees grid, you simply stack the 45 degrees and 25 degrees on top of each other and place in the grid holder.  These go together quite easily as well because each of the grids are notched so that there is only one way you can stack these together.  The 16 degrees grid makes a really small spread of light, especially when used in close.

The photo below shows the various light size spreads of the three different grids.  The flash head is approximately three feet away from the wall, and I have an X and Y axis graph diagram in inches taped to the wall so that you can see the approximate sizes.  Keep in mind these sizes will vary based on your flash to subject distance.

I have enjoyed using the Rogue Grids thoroughly and can without a doubt recommend them to anyone who uses speedlights.  They do the job nicely and are compact.  These are definitely worth the money in my book!  You can pick up the Rogue Grid at Outdoor Photo Gear along with all the other cool products by ExpoImaging.

A quick word to the wise... when you first buy these and take them out of the box, it would appear that there is only one grid in the box.  That is because they come stacked together. :)  I figured this out only a few minutes after a little frustration.

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