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Gift ideas for Photographers: The MagMod flashlite modifier system

The MagMod system attached to a speedlite.
The MagMod system attached to a speedlite.

Every once in a while a product comes along that is so simple in its concept you think to yourself, why didn’t I think of that? For photographers that’s exactly what has happened with the MagMod light modifier attachment for hot shoe speedlite flash units.

The MagMod applies the very simple concept of using powerful magnets to create a flash modifier system that easily and securely attaches to your speedlite. Simple right? Not only is it simple, it works very well as a light modifier providing a broad variety of lighting possibilities dependent upon the attachment used and the photographers need with the particular shot.

Event photographers will love the convenience the MagMod provides and the ease with which the various modifier templates can be changed. All photographers will marvel at just how well it changes the characteristics of the intense light being thrown off the flash.

Everyone acknowledges that for most purposes the flash emitted from a Nikon, Canon, or other flashgun is too harsh to be of much creative use unless its intensity is softened or otherwise altered. Everyone has sought to attach a light modifier that will diffuse, concentrate or change the light’s color. Use of a flash is all about modifying the light that comes out of it! A whole line of products has been created and marketed as speedlite flash units have become more powerful.

Diffusers, gels, grids and reflectors have all been designed by various manufacturers and those attachments come in various styles and sizes from the small plastic box-like products, or the lampshade plastic attachments to the reflective but flexible panels. Some of those modifiers fit on the flash by pushing them directly onto the head. Others fit by tightening a Velcro strap around the head.

Those attachment methods are variably successful. I’ve lost several plastic box diffusers and other modifiers have all loosened and dropped on the floor as I’ve brushed past someone in my effort to get the next shot.

The MagMod has absolutely the best means of attaching the modifier to the flash head. The MagGrip is a “one-size fits all” elasticated band that is the foundation of the entire MagMod system as it also contains the magnets that will secure the modifiers. The band is more than an inch thick and provides a very secure fit for the modifier. I’ve tried it on both a 430 exII and a 580 exII and it works perfectly with both.

Once the MagGrip is attached the work is done, changing the modifier is as simple as stacking the modifying grid or gel holder onto the MagGrip. The magnets secure the modifier and hold it securely in place.

Want to really focus that light into a concentrated beam? Just stack more than one grid. The first grid will concentrate the flash to an area of approximately 50% while a second grid will reduce the spread to 25% of an unaltered flash.

Should you want to modify the color of the flash the MagGel gel holder will do exactly that and there are a full set of eight gels, including ¼, ½ and full CTO gels that will create and color the light just the way you want.

Despite its flexibility the real essence of the MagMod system is the ease with which securely fastened modifiers can be switched out or stacked. The magnets are strong enough to resist being knocked off by wayward arms or elbows but easily changed when necessary. They also easily stack to create a larger number of light modifying options.

I understand that other light modifiers are in development such that the system will continue to expand to incorporate reflectors and bounce modifiers as well. As the system continues to expand the utility will just be enhanced.

I was recently at the PhotoShop World Conference and Expo and the MagMod I modeled on my camera was very warmly received. Countless photographers were impressed with the functionality of the system and the ease with which it was used. Several others commented on just how cool it looked!

The MagMod is a very good flash modifying system that provides the user with a large number of flash modifying options at a low cost. The full kit that consists of the MagGrip, MagGrid, and MagGel and a creative gel set retails for less than $100. For beginners and professionals alike this is a great investment that will expand your speedlite horizons.

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