Fully funded on Kickstarter within just a few hours, and with over 1200 backers in just a week, its pretty obvious the high demand for a good convenient speedlite modifier system. And MagMod have delivered in a huge way with the new magnetic silicon rubber based gel and grid system.
This ones not just running for speedlite modifier of the year, more like the best speedlite modifier system ever made!
The MagMod MagGrip uses a super tough elastic silicon band, with very powerful Neodymium “rare-earth” magnets placed inside. Allowing instant attachment of grids and gels to the flash, very simply, cleanly, quietly, and securely. And being elastic the MagGrip mount is universal, fitting just about any speedlite head just as neatly.
The grid and gel holder are also made of silicon rubber so they can take a beating and not get damaged, unlike most regular grids which are generally pretty delicate. When you’re constantly putting these in your pocket and all over the place in a hurry, that durability can be a big advantage.
And the MagGrids are designed to be reasonably thin to fit on your pocket easily as well.
The grids are all the same, and you simply stack more on to produce a tighter beam. So you could literally throw these on the flash in the dark and know exactly what you have.
But what I really like is that MagMod didn’t stop with the Grid, they have also made much more practical custom gels out of more rigid material.
Thin Gel sheets are fine if you’re only using them occasionally, but it gets a bit ridiculous having screwed up flimsy CTO etc gels on the flash all the time. The MagMod gels are solid, but still flexible, and not delicate when futzing around sliding in and out of holders etc.
Again you can easily have gels already mounted in the holders, and stack as many of those as you want in an instant. Or you can even stack a number of the gels directly in the same holder.
Spencer Boerup the man behind MagMod in Tucson Arizona USA, explains the MagMod –
And Dave Cheung shows a great comparison with the other current popular alternatives here –
Magnets near electronic and photographic gear and memory cards scare me as much as other people have expressed. Spencer has uploaded a video explaining that really shouldn’t be an issue. But like many people I would rather be safe than sorry, and I would just make sure these are not stored close to the camera or memory cards. The convenience factor just far outweighs the fear in this one.
I’m also impressed with the way that Spencer has put his own money into this to get the initial molds done before offering this for crowdfunding. I have priced silicon molds previously, and its a very expensive process. This could have very easily turned into a hugely expensive exercise of trial and error. So its not a small undertaking, and MagMod have really gone the right way about offering a great product.
One thing not mentioned above though, and it seems few people are actually aware off, is that Lastolite (a Manfrotto Lighting brand) have also had a “Strobo” magnetic speedlite gel and grid system for a while now as well.
However the flash mount is not nearly as clean and compact, and doesn’t have quite the appeal of the MagMod. And watching the video here you can see what I’m talking about when it comes to futzing around with flimsy gels in holders. The Strobo kit does look like a reasonable alternative though if you can’t wait for the MagMod, or for people based in the UK where Lastolite are based.
MagMod already have other products and modifiers in the works, this radio transmitter holder band just a small example –
Many wedding and event photographers will be thinking straight away though, this is all great for off camera flash use, but how can a flash bounce card, or other modifiers for on camera flash be used with the MagGrip band in place on the flash head?
It looks like MagMod already have one bounce card in the works. How good the other solutions they come up with will determine how useful the MagMod will be in the (rather large) on camera flash modifier market. Its obvious MagMod are trying to create real convenient solutions at this stage though, not just searching for something to produce.
I know there is nothing wrong with DIY black straw grids, and velcro gel samples, but a lot of people would gladly pay whatever it requires for faster more convenient and durable (not to mention professional looking) options like this.
MagMod is really looking to be one of the cleanest, neatest, practical, systems I have come across.
Price and Availability –
The MagMod kits are currently available on Kickstarter from $55 for the basic MagGrip and MagGrid kit.
Delivery for those purchasing now, will be in February 2014.
MagMod – Website