Magmod stuff?

Messages
1,435
Name
Jon
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
has anybody used any of it? I'm specifically after the light sphere for out and about but I would be getting the "starter kit" so I'd have a grid and a gel holder as well. Everything on their website says it's amazing but reading the reviews, people have only owned the product 1 or 2 days before they leave the review.
 
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#2
has anybody used any of it? I'm specifically after the light sphere for out and about but I would be getting the "starter kit" so I'd have a grid and a gel holder as well. Everything on their website says it's amazing but reading the reviews, people have only owned the product 1 or 2 days before they leave the review.
I don't need to use MagMod to know that it's just another gimmicky set of expensive flash attachments that mostly do things I don't want to do, and one or two other things that are easily achieved, and probably better, by other means. Flash accessories in general are fertile ground for marketing hyperbole, misleading example images, and bull-crap. Many photographers don't really understand how light works, what makes a difference and what doesn't.

The MagSphere is basically no different to a simple flash diffuser cap, eg Stofen or similar items from Amazon/ebay for three quid. When you say 'out and about' they have their uses indoors, but outdoors the main effect is a dramatic waste of power/light with zero impact on the image. They need a nearby ceiling or light-toned walls for the light to bounce back off.
 
Messages
23,659
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
#3
I don't need to use MagMod to know that it's just another gimmicky set of expensive flash attachments that mostly do things I don't want to do, and one or two other things that are easily achieved, and probably better, by other means. Flash accessories in general are fertile ground for marketing hyperbole, misleading example images, and bull-crap. Many photographers don't really understand how light works, what makes a difference and what doesn't.

The MagSphere is basically no different to a simple flash diffuser cap, eg Stofen or similar items from Amazon/ebay for three quid. When you say 'out and about' they have their uses indoors, but outdoors the main effect is a dramatic waste of power/light with zero impact on the image. They need a nearby ceiling or light-toned walls for the light to bounce back off.
This^
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
1,435
Name
Jon
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
I don't need to use MagMod to know that it's just another gimmicky set of expensive flash attachments that mostly do things I don't want to do, and one or two other things that are easily achieved, and probably better, by other means. Flash accessories in general are fertile ground for marketing hyperbole, misleading example images, and bull-crap. Many photographers don't really understand how light works, what makes a difference and what doesn't.

The MagSphere is basically no different to a simple flash diffuser cap, eg Stofen or similar items from Amazon/ebay for three quid. When you say 'out and about' they have their uses indoors, but outdoors the main effect is a dramatic waste of power/light with zero impact on the image. They need a nearby ceiling or light-toned walls for the light to bounce back off.
I liked the idea of the coloured gels too but thank you for your opinion, I thought the Gary fong was expensive for not very much, I have used a stofen before but I didn't think it added anything, on the Magmod website there is a bit of a preview of what the magsphere does and it looked like a soft light, added to the ease of using everything with it, it seemed like a good deal. Would you suggest I get something else? I have a light stand and beauty dish w/sock and umbrellas to play around with whilst I'm at home so it's mainly for at the park or on trips
 
Messages
23,659
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
#5
I liked the idea of the coloured gels too but thank you for your opinion, I thought the Gary fong was expensive for not very much, I have used a stofen before but I didn't think it added anything, on the Magmod website there is a bit of a preview of what the magsphere does and it looked like a soft light, added to the ease of using everything with it, it seemed like a good deal. Would you suggest I get something else? I have a light stand and beauty dish w/sock and umbrellas to play around with whilst I'm at home so it's mainly for at the park or on trips
As Richard said, outside there's not a lot you can do to soften a speedlight that doesn't soak up more power than you can really afford to lose.

Speedlights are only really bright enough as fill in bright sun so softness doesn't matter, by the time you're close to dark enough to use them as the keylight, make them work properly with a softbox or brolly.

The Magsphere (just to be clear) does the same thing as the Fong dong or Stofen, basically it chucks light about randomly. You can make that look 'soft' by using it in a controlled environment, but you don't study the environment in the video, just the modifier and result, it's slight of hand. No piece of Tupperware attached to a flash can break the laws of physics, but many of them claim to have magical powers.
 
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#6
I liked the idea of the coloured gels too but thank you for your opinion, I thought the Gary fong was expensive for not very much, I have used a stofen before but I didn't think it added anything, on the Magmod website there is a bit of a preview of what the magsphere does and it looked like a soft light, added to the ease of using everything with it, it seemed like a good deal. Would you suggest I get something else? I have a light stand and beauty dish w/sock and umbrellas to play around with whilst I'm at home so it's mainly for at the park or on trips
Gary Fong is guilty of some of the worst marketing excesses. One that springs to mind is a pretty girl in a low light situation, with candles as I recall. Shot with direct (bare) flash it looks predictably harsh and unflattering, then fit the Fong and she's magically bathed with soft shadows and attractive warm light. What is not mentioned is the environment where the Fong blasts everywhere and the soft light is being bounced back from the ceiling and walls. In addition, the shutter speed has been dropped a long way to pull up the warm ambient light level. Basically you would get the same result with a little knowledge and a Stofen, or very similar with a simple bounce-card, or even the little pull-out hi-light panel from the flash gun.

One of my favourite flash accessories is the Lumiquest QuikBounce. Again, it works on the same principle as the Fong or bounce card etc, but is quick/easy and reliable, doesn't waste light, works in vertical or horizontal, and packs flat. It's big enough to give a useful amount of softening of the direct light component when used quite close (eg solo portraits and couples) and works outdoors with the flaps closed. The Rogue Flashbender is another good accessory, very versatile if you know how to use it, and good for learning. I also like the Black Foamie Thing, costs pennies, which is more of a flash technique really, pioneered by Neil Van Niekirk. Again it needs some knowledge, and only works indoors, but NVN gets some wonderfully natural results with it http://neilvn.com/tangents/about/black-foamie-thing/
 
Messages
4,215
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
I made a flash diffuser from a polypocket folded in half width-ways. I put some white A4 folded in half in the "back" side and a single sheet of kitchen roll on the "front" side. I then cellotaped it over my flash, pointing vertically.

I'm going to guess it cost somewhere between 3 and 4 pence and it worked (ish) for softening the light a bit indoors as I walked around a party, shooting.

Best of all, I got some great happy expressions from the guests because they kept telling me I had a willy on my camera.

Not sure if this helps?
 
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#9
I made a flash diffuser from a polypocket folded in half width-ways. I put some white A4 folded in half in the "back" side and a single sheet of kitchen roll on the "front" side. I then cellotaped it over my flash, pointing vertically.

I'm going to guess it cost somewhere between 3 and 4 pence and it worked (ish) for softening the light a bit indoors as I walked around a party, shooting.

Best of all, I got some great happy expressions from the guests because they kept telling me I had a willy on my camera.

Not sure if this helps?
That kind of thing works well (y) Speedlites and DIY attachments go very well together. With lighting, knowledge is more important than kit, and understanding how light works.

Plastic milk bottles are a great starter. Cut off the top, turn it upside-down over the flash head pointing up, and you have a Fong LightSphere. Line the back with kitchen foil for max light output. Cut off the base, line it underneath with foil and re-attach with a gaffa-tape hinge and you have a Lumiquest QuikBounce.

To OP Jon, with flash outdoors (and guessing it's a typical family outing kinda situation) the usual technique is fill-in flash where the flash is carefully balanced against the ambient light. This usually looks best/natural when the flash is less bright than the daylight and indeed the pop-up or on-camera flash is quite good for this. The fact that it's close to the optical axis means it's good at lifting shadows as seen by the camera. Or, for a stronger flash effect, hold the gun up and to the side with your left hand to create more attractive shadows.

The stronger the flash effect, the more you'll want to soften it, and the larger the light source, and the closer to the subject it is, the softer the shadows. The opposite also applies - move a larger light source further back, and shadows get progressively harder. So size is key, and the limiting factor is what's practical. The Lumiquest Big Bounce works well outdoors, and on-camera too http://store.lumiquest.com/lumiquest-big-bounce/ and I also have a RoundFlash Dish that's even better, though at 45cm across it won't fit on-camera and either needs the left-hand-up technique or a flash-bracket or stand. Very easy to put up quickly and put away in its little bag http://www.amazon.co.uk/RoundFlash-Collapsible-Softbox-External-Mounted/dp/B00QIJZ6VU?ie=UTF8&keywords=roundflash dish&qid=1459387454&ref_=sr_1_1&s=electronics&sr=1-1

Edit: some good video tutorials here, and refreshingly free of bull from Lumiquest. Check out the Myths and Misconceptions http://lumiquest.com/tutorial-videos/
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,215
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#10
Back to the OP, Jon - it's worth seeing how outdoor shots you like have been set up before buying kit, especially kit that costs into 3 figures. Some of the best outdoor shots have been achieved with natural light and a reflector - because the reflector has the ability to compete with the sunlight in terms of power. A flash won't easily do that (as Phil explained) and once you start modifying it to soften and/or direct the light, you can be losing even more effective power.

For setup shots which are obviously artificially lit (this thread in the portraits section is an example which shows this well: https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/sunset-portrait-c-c-welcome.620491/ - I hope @Jez doesn't mind me linking to his thread) you'll need to be using a "proper" modifier and either choosing to shoot when the sun's power is lower or having a sufficiently powerful artificial light source. Killing ambient sufficiently for hotshoe flashes to really "work" when you're shooting into the sun is nigh on impossible at flash sync speeds. I think battery powered studio heads are the only way of achieving this TBH, in that sort of situation.

Then again, if you're just looking for fill-in flash when the kids are mucking around in the part that's different and easily achieved with a flash :) (As @HoppyUK and others have already said)
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
1,435
Name
Jon
Edit My Images
Yes
#11
Thank you for all your help, it was probably a bit of GAS, I'll practice a bit more with my flash and get a new reflector (mine all stuck to itself and has pulled off the silver).
 
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#12
Back to the OP, Jon - it's worth seeing how outdoor shots you like have been set up before buying kit, especially kit that costs into 3 figures. Some of the best outdoor shots have been achieved with natural light and a reflector - because the reflector has the ability to compete with the sunlight in terms of power. A flash won't easily do that (as Phil explained) and once you start modifying it to soften and/or direct the light, you can be losing even more effective power. <snip>
This is very true (y) Outdoors in daylight, a simple reflector (say 80cm white/silver fold-up jobbie for a tenner) can work really well. They're big for a start, so the light is soft, and it's automatically in close balance to the ambient daylight level, avoiding the flash power and sync problems that can be a real PITA (or even a show-stopper).

I like white, silver can be too bright and harsh but has its uses. The main difficultly is you really need an assistant to hold the reflector in position, or a stand, so flash is often easier. But a reflector will often give the better result - and you can see it while you're working too, WYSIWYG :)
 
Messages
3,552
Name
Marcus
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
I use magmods for everyday pro use. They are so quick and easy to take on or off, with multiple stacking of grids, gels, etc. allowing super control of light. Fair enough you can buy cheap gels and stuff which do the same job, but the main point about using these day by day is their is no faff. I have to say in the 7 years I have been playing around with speedlite ocf, this is one of the best purchases I have made. I use them all the time.
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
1,435
Name
Jon
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
Wow, a good review haha, just a tip for anyone wanting to buy them, if you leave them in your basket long enough, they send you an extra 5% off code, if you've signed up by email. I think that's on top of the 10% after $200
 
Messages
3,552
Name
Marcus
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
I'll tell you that stacking the magsphere on top of a grid does produce a nice directional light with a little bit of spread. Its hard to get your head round but a good tool.
 
OP
OP
J
Messages
1,435
Name
Jon
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
I bit the bullet, I figured I would have a play and see what they're like but I also got a reflector too... All I need is a spare body and I'll be booking my first wedding ;) ;) ;)

I'll tell you that stacking the magsphere on top of a grid does produce a nice directional light with a little bit of spread. Its hard to get your head round but a good tool.
Just wondering but what attachments did you go for? I got 2 kits for my 2 flashes and a magsphere and some coloured gels, I wasn't interested in the snoot or the bounce
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,552
Name
Marcus
Edit My Images
Yes
#17
Just wondering but what attachments did you go for? I got 2 kits for my 2 flashes and a magsphere and some coloured gels, I wasn't interested in the snoot or the bounce
I basically have the creative plus standard gel kits, then four maggrips, four grids, four magboobs. Pretty much covers all bases for me at the moment. The bits that gets the most use is the grids however, usually combined with a straw or orange gel to balance a bit with tungsten. Make sure you hook up with the magmad area on facebook, great work, very inspiring. Have fun!
 
Messages
7,123
Name
Steven
Edit My Images
Yes
#19
Since this popped up again... I'll update and admit that I have since purchased the mag-beam wildlife kit. But I'm not particularly happy about it. I do think it may be the most effective fresnel "beamer" available, but I'm still not sure it's worth the money. If the Harbor Digital version would have fit the AD200 (and packed as compactly) I would have gone with that instead.
 
Messages
6,545
Name
Tel
Edit My Images
No
#24
That are cheap and the magnets are crap

Mike
Is their any issue with having strong magnets around your memory cards ? just something I read in relation to this Magmod kit which if you have the whole kit their is a lot of magnetic power sitting in your camera bag.
 
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#25
Is their any issue with having strong magnets around your memory cards ? just something I read in relation to this Magmod kit which if you have the whole kit their is a lot of magnetic power sitting in your camera bag.
No.
https://magnetmod.com/article/will-magnets-damage-my-flash-camera-or-memory-cards/

And while I'm on, maybe a chance to moderate some of my earlier comments :oops: :$ MagMod stuff is expensive (very, for what it is) and some of it a waste of money, but it also does a few handy things and does them well (y)
 
Messages
6,545
Name
Tel
Edit My Images
No
#29
I was watching a few videos on YouTube last night from the Magmod channel, some of the results looked great but I was also thinking the results look to good to be true, and you know what they say about if something looks to good to be true.
 
Messages
11
Name
F Davies
Edit My Images
No
#32
As this thread is old I was in two minds as to posting on it. Anyway, I thought it was with adding too. Like most things in life, modifying flash can have benefits and limitations depending on numerous factors and what you are trying to achieve lighting wise, but if you think all small modifiers are just gimmicky expensive flash attachments, I would encourage you to have a rethink and they can be invaluable. Magmod make a modifier called a Magbounce and yes you can bounce flash of of wall and ceilings, but if you think why would I bother spending money to bounce flash, here is an alternative reason. Stick a Magbounce on a lightstand at 10 feet away from a subject and you can have the lighting look of an umbrella without the setup faff and and issues of the wind that umbrellas suffer from. The Magbounce or Kobra modifier is very portable, packs small, is quick and simple to use. However, are some of theses modifiers overpriced? Yes, they are, but if they can solve a problem and make life simple and creative, they could be a wise investment. I guess the only point I wanted to raise is that you don't have to use large lighting modifiers to create great images. If your requirements are for really soft light, then yes a larger modifier is better suited to the task, but that does not mean, it's the only tool to use.
 
Messages
7,123
Name
Steven
Edit My Images
Yes
#33
Stick a Magbounce on a lightstand at 10 feet away from a subject and you can have the lighting look of an umbrella without the setup faff and and issues of the wind that umbrellas suffer from.
A bounce panel at 10ft looks like an umbrella? I suppose if the umbrella is also too small and too far away... or they are both used in a smaller space where much of the light is bounced spill.

I do agree that bouncing light is a great choice, and that really soft light from a large modifier is not the only/best way to light something.
 
Messages
11
Name
F Davies
Edit My Images
No
#34
SK66 Steven, Yep very good point, I shoot a lot of equine portraits using flash and although the flash does not bother the horses, some larger modifiers can put them on edge and some horse are not phased at all. As a result, I have been looking for alternatives to softboxes and brollies for various reasons and the Magbounce is about as good as I can find for spread and quality of light I need, I think its worth the cost personally, I just got fed up with faffing around using home made modifiers. I think bang for pound lighting wise panels are really great, but just not for mobile equine work. Love your icon image Steve, I think I need to change mine now, I just logged in with Facebook, hence the wife and me image. Steve, if you are using the Magbeam and not happy with the look of the light, if you have the HD200r round head the lighting pattern is a lot nicer.

Red Squirrel using Magbeam with Godox AD200 & round head Geled with Rogue
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Messages
11
Name
F Davies
Edit My Images
No
#35
I bit the bullet, I figured I would have a play and see what they're like but I also got a reflector too... All I need is a spare body and I'll be booking my first wedding ;) ;) ;)



Just wondering but what attachments did you go for? I got 2 kits for my 2 flashes and a magsphere and some coloured gels, I wasn't interested in the snoot or the bounce
Jon, hope the practicing with the MagMod stuff you have is going well. Like everything you have to practice with any lighting kit to get the most out of it. There are lots of YouTube videos that promote various brands of off camera flash modifiers and show you great images, but if you are looking for the how and why in relation to learning lighting, Damien Lovegroves Lumen video is a good investment and Joel Grimes, Rembrant Cross light Video is also vey good. Over the years I have watched all manner of lighting videos, but the two above I found very useful and informative. Both of theses video will provide you with some great learning and starting points that will improve what you are trying to do with lighting, but you will still need to practice, there are no short cuts.
 
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#36
While it's thread revival time (and welcome Noodles8 :) ) a small confession.

No, not MagMog for me, but I've recently bought this £50 Godox AK-R1 kit of various magnetic bits and bobs. That's good value, even if only for a little experimentation. Not actually used them yet, but I'm sure I will.

They fit straight on the Godox V1 speedlight and Round Head accessory for the AD200, and are easily attached to any regular speedlight with the £7 Godox S-R1 adapter.

Godox AK-R1 kit
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07LF5VNGB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Godox S-R1 adapter
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PCQXHC3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
Last edited:
Messages
11
Name
F Davies
Edit My Images
No
#37
Hi Richard, Hoppy UK, I also have the AK-R1 kit, managed to put a bid on one on Ebay and got it for £25 brand new from China about a year ago. I do like the grids and the Gel holder, but to be fair have not really played with the Barn Doors or Dome or the reflector panel. I think I figured it was worth a punt for £25.

In relation to Magmod kit, I like their grids and gel holder, the Magbounce is really useful for my needs, but some of the other Magmod kit just sits in a cupboard these days, I guess I should put the stuff I don't use on Ebay, but then the wife will kill me when I make a loss.

To be honest, it's taken me a few years to work out what I need lighting wise and how to use it. I myself have been a victim of, "if only I had that one thing I could do this" Only to find out that it was my skills and experience that were lacking. However, I guess we all have to make a few mistakes to learn and benefit from them.
 
Last edited:
Messages
23,096
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#38
Hi Richard, Hoppy UK, I also have the AK-R1 kit, managed to put a bid on one on Ebay and got it for £25 brand new from China about a year ago. I do like the grids and the Gel holder, but to be fair have not really played with the Barn Doors or Dome or the reflector panel. I think I figured it was worth a punt for £25.

In relation to Magmod kit, I like their grids and gel holder, the Magbounce is really useful for my needs, but some of the other Magmod kit just sits in a cupboard these days, I guess I should put the stuff I don't use on Ebay, but then the wife will kill me when I make a loss.

To be honest, it's taken me a few years to work out what I need lighting wise and how to use it. I myself have been a victim of, "if only I had that one thing I could do this" Only to find out that it was my skills and experience that were lacking. However, I guess we all have to make a few mistakes to learn and benefit from them.
Good for you, we're all different, it's fun to experiment and find what works, and times change. I'm now using flash outdoors much more and that's a completely different challenge. Flash is also an area when smartphones cannot follow, or more accurately, an area where smartphone users will never bother :)
 
Messages
7,123
Name
Steven
Edit My Images
Yes
#39
Steve, if you are using the Magbeam and not happy with the look of the light, if you have the HD200r round head the lighting pattern is a lot nicer.
I don't mind the pattern of light at all... it's just that the magbeam is big/floppy/expensive and provides only a small benefit of increased distance/lower power setting (battery use/recycle time). Normally I don't use an extender at all anymore.
TBH, I don't see any real evidence of flash in that image...
 
Messages
11
Name
F Davies
Edit My Images
No
#40
Steven, the light in that image of the squirrel is from a geled Magsphere to recreate the look of sunlight and a geled magbeam. The idea is to create the look of light, not make the light look like flash. I also use a Apeture Fresnel lens which can create beautiful light. Geling flash for outdoor use is where you can be really creative, with lighting and the more you do it the better you get.
 
Top