Two Speedlight Grid Spot Systems: Flashpoint and Rogue
If you need to create a tight beam of light, it's as easy as wrapping a little cardboard around your flash head. Bam -- instant cheapo snoot, to go.
But what you'll find with a snoot is that the edges of the beam can be a little abrupt. If you want a nice, feathered transition to that edge, you'll want a grid.
I have long been a user of the Honl grids. But there are a couple of other interesting grids floating around that deserve consideration, depending on your particular needs.
Inside, a quick look at speedlight grids from Flashpoint and Rogue.
One key feature both grids have in common, which makes the pretty interesting: They are both convertible, offering multiple beam spreads. This is a neat development, and the Flashpoint and Rogue grids go about it in completely different ways.
The Flashpoint Snoot Grid
Leading off is Flashpoint's version. Flashpoint is an Adorama house brand, so one has to assume this is something they had especially created OEM, just for them, in the magical far east.
Weighing in at $35, it is actually a snoot (complete with those rougher beam edges) with two grid attachments (for feathered edges) that cap onto the front. So you have a three-way flexibility designed right into the system.
1. Good build quality. This thing is metal, and will take some abuse.
2. Multiple beam widths, done with two small caps that you swap out.
OUT OF SYNC:
1. It's big, and does not collapse down -- a little bigger than a loaded-up, jumbo-sized waffle cone. (Mmmmm… waffle cone…)
2. It is not a universal fit. There are two different sizes, which could be an issue depending on your mix of speedlights.
It ships with a rubber band to help the velcro/plastic mount stay on firmly against the flash. I have already ditched this in favor of pieces of sticky craft foam attached to the inside of the mount. One less thing to lose, and very stable.
More info: Flashpoint Snoot Grid Size A and Size B
The Rogue Grid
This is an interesting combo which gives you three different beam spreads. It is $50, but it's a lot of versatility in a small package.
1. Triple threat: A (45 degrees) B (25 degrees) and A+B (16 degrees)
2. Universal fit: One size fits all (although I do not know if it'll fit a monster-head Vivitar 285; prolly not).
3. It's small.
OUT OF SYNC:
1. At $50, it is priced at a $15 premium to the Honl grid. You do get multiple beams, but you could also get a 1/4 and 1/8 Honl grid and cover two flashes for a little more. A pick 'em, I guess.
2.This is a judgement call, but I really would simplify the mount. It is a grippy elastic band that forms into a skirt that then you slide into a ridge around the grid holder.
I am already thinking about that hack for mine, which brings us to …
I plan to drill my mounting flange and attach elastic bands -- a typical hack for me. I'll probably need to build up a little lip on the grid holder (with some gaff) to offset the ridge on the top of my SB-800 face.
Instant on, instant off, very secure.
More info: Rogue Grid