Four Different Modifiers · DEDPXL

Welcome to #LightingWeek on DEDPXL! We’ve got a number of things coming up each and every day this week and it’s all about lights and modifiers and techniques! OneLight 2.0 is on sale this week and we’ve got the new Lighting Field Guide ebook getting ready to drop as well as the much anticipated John Keatley video that we filmed last summer. Stay tuned!

Today we get started with some different modifiers:

There are a lot of modifiers on the market today. Some are invaluable, some are sort of useless, and some are handy in certain situations. Today I’m going to show you four different modifiers that I like using. Those are the MagMod, the Lastolite StroboGobo, the Orbis ring flash, and the SaberStrip. All of these modifiers are for hotshoe flashes and are pretty much universal, although you will see that I have to modify my LumoPro LP180 just a bit. Note — I have not been paid by any of these companies to review or use their products.

1. The MagMod System

For a long time my grid solution for hotshoe flash was a hot mess of a painted LightSphere that I called the DarkSphere, and then I bungeed a 7″ grid to. The good thing about this solution was I could use the same grids for my hotshoe flash or strobe and I could use anything from my 10º grid to my 40º grid even though 90% of the time I typically just go with a 20º grid. All this took up a good chunk of real estate in my bag, though. I used Honl grids for awhile, and while I liked those I always had an issue with how they attached to the front of the flash. That’s all fixed with the MagMod.

The MagMod is small, efficient, and versatile. They are expanding their line of products to include some new attachments as well. Check them out at Here’s a photo where I used two MagMod grids to create a rim light on each side of my subject.

magmod grids

2. The Lastolite Strobo Gobo

I saw this Strobo Gobo at Photoplus a couple of years ago and it was the only piece of gear on the entire showroom floor that got me excited. Fresnel attachments for strobes have been around for years but they are really expensive accessories. At $125 the Strobo Gobo is a steal of a deal compared to things like the $1,000 Profoto Small Spot or their $2,100 Fresnel attachment. The Strobo Gobo accepts widely available B size gobos and you can remove the middle Fresnel lens to slightly defocus whatever it is you are projecting. You can also use your laser or inkjet printer and print things on transparent film to experiment with your own patterns. As stated in the video above, I hacked my Strobo Gobo by gluing some strong magnets inside the body of it so that it can attach to my flash via the MagMod system.



3. The Orbis Ring Flash

A ring flash is kind of a one trick pony that some people love and some people hate. The ring flash “look” can run from “dated” to “fresh” on any given week. I like having one on hand for those times where it makes sense or when a client specifically requests that sort of look. I used to have an Alienbee ring flash but it was rarely used so I sold it and used about half of that money to get the Orbis ring flash.


orbis ring flash

4. The SaberStrip

The SaberStrip is one of the most underrated modifiers out there on the market today. It’s a cool modifier that is unlike many modifiers out there today. Scott Krebs, inventor of the SaberStrip, gave me a few of these when he first designed them and told me all about the inspiration and design of the thing. While it was a standard shipping tube that first inspired him, this product has evolved far beyond a standard shipping tube. Scott spent a lot of time researching manufacturing processes and worked with a company that could make a lightweight but very strong tube to be the main body of the SaberStrip.

The diffusion material and the adhesive used to attach it comes from the sailing industry. Scott asked me to test the Strips not only for the quality of light but the quality of the construction. I have packed these in soft sided stand bags, with light stands, with zero protection wrapped around the SaberStrips and have flown internationally with them many times like this. The tubes have never been crushed, the diffusion material has never ripped, the adhesive has never come loose.

Another great thing about SaberStrips is their ability to stay standing in the wind on a regular light stand with no sandbags. Check out the video above to see our thorough testing of this fact. Combining a few SaberStrips on a stand adds further functionality to these things. Check out their website to see the many configurations you can create with these.

The SaberStrip

If you have any questions about any of these modifiers hit me up in the comments below! Be sure to check back each day this week for new stuff! Remember… OneLight is on sale this week and a new Lighting Field Guide and the John Keatley video is coming up!


Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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