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Honl Light Modifiers

By Robert Jensen

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. That 'keep it simple' ideology is what led photojournalist David Honl to develop a versatile, easy to carry, line of light modifiers for your hot shoe flash that simply mount to a strap that wraps around the front of the flash head. No muss, no fuss.

First off, what is a 'light modifier'? Its anything that changes the original light source to soften, bounce, block, broaden, condense or affect its color balance. For the most part hot shoe strobes don't have much of a selection of light modifiers because flash manufacturers, like Canon and Nikon, make only a few very basic items. Lack of such accessories has given incentive for some creative individuals to produce their own tools to improve their flash photography. Sometimes they prove so popular that a new business is born. Enter David Honl.

David Honl's idea was to design a system of lighting accessories around a hook and loop strap with a grippy, rubber-like material backing. Just wrap it tightly around the head of the flash, and that's it. Put it on or take it off in a couple of seconds. No mess left behind. It does the job beautifully. A single Speed Strap goes for just $9.95 and should last a long, long, time.



Now, we've had accessories that attached to flash heads via Velcro for decades but in the past you've had to glue the strips onto the flash, a sticky business fraught with problems. The problem I've found with using the glue on straps is that over the years the glue turns into a gooey mess that ends up everywhere, or dries out and comes off at the worst possible moment. At the very least they are hard to remove and leave their mark behind on the flash.


Simply wrap the strap around your flash. For some accessories its recommended to mount the strap to form a lip around the head as shown on the Nikon flash in this picture. This is to keep the flash tube cool.

Wraps and reflectors
Initially of most interest to me were the two wraps, one for use as a long snoot and the other as a shorter snoot. As an added plus both can also be configured as bounce reflectors. They come in two sizes: the 5" Shorty and 8" Regular. Either size goes for $29.95.

Both are made from tough black ballistic nylon material on the outside with a silvery, gray fabric on the inside, and edged on two ends with the hook material. The color of the reflective material puzzles me, it doesn't look like it would be as effective as a white fabric would be. Still, the manufacturer states that there's only a 1-stop loss which is pretty good and the results are terrific.

Caption: Eight inch Regular Wrap on Metz 58 AF-1 and example of its effect. Click image for full view

 

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Related Keywords:camera lighting, digital photography, digital camera, digital imaging, studio lighting

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  • Honl Light Modifiers by DMN Editorial at Oct. 07, 2009 8:47 am gmt

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