Flash light is boringly white until you add a coloured gel filter to it. That converts your flashgun into a creative tool. You can buy a sheet or roll of Lee or Rosco gel, cut it up into pieces, and attach it to your flashguns using duct tape or whatever other sticky stuff you care to use, but ExpoImaging had a cleaner and more efficient idea: they use a specially designed rubber band or your Rogue Grid to hold the gel. Additionally, they print information on the borders so you can instantly see f/stop loss and more. With Rogue Filters you can colour your flash light in any of the 20 colours they include in their new Rogue Lighting Filter Kits. There are two of them: the Universal and Rogue Grid kit.
Under the trade name “Rogue Gels”, ExpoImaging is selling Lee gel filters pre-cut to a specific size and form. Rogue Universal gels are large enough to accommodate the biggest shoe mount flashguns, and have two ‘winglets’ or slightly rounded ‘tabs’ so they will fit the rubber band that is included to mount them. The Rogue Grid gel filters are disc-shaped, and have three small grooves that fit the ridges of the Rogue Grid bezel.
Each gel filter has its name, f/stop loss, and the Rogue brand printed across the side. This makes it very easy to recognize the filter and compensate for the f/stop loss when a manual flash is used. When you’re using a TTL flashgun, the flashgun will automatically compensate for the loss of light transmitted through the filter. In addition, the correction filters have an icon printed on them that instantly shows you which lighting condition you can compensate for.
Each set has twenty filters, with fourteen of them creative gels in the yellow to red and in the blue to green colour range. The other six filters are correction filters. Of those, one is a “frost” diffusion filter, while the others are compensation filters for difficult lighting environments, with one greenish filter that will compensate for specific fluorescent lighting. The filters are presented in a pouch with three cardboard tab dividers that repeat the full information printed on the filters.
The Rogue Grid filters are pre-cut to the exact diameter of the Rogue Grid bezel. All you have to do is insert them correctly and you’re ready to shoot. I found the Universal filters a little bit more awkward to use as you need to stretch the rubber band while inserting the filter’s ‘winglet’. It feels like if you’re not careful, either your flash could move away from the hot shoe or the filter itself will break. This will probably not happen soon, as Lee gel filters are made of .08mm thick polyester film, while the winglets or tabs have been made with rounded corners, making it extra difficult to tear them. After changing filters a couple of times, you’ll also find you’ll get handier doing it risking neither flash nor filter.
The quality of the filters is undisputed. These are Lee gels; they should deform less when heated than the .05mm Rosco filters. Deformation in the form of a circular hot spot was visible on two of the filters I used with the flash on full power. These were two of the filters with the highest f/stop loss. The Rogue Grid gels don’t deform at all, as they don’t get in contact with the flash, but sit at the front of the rubber grid holder.
Of course, both kits also offer comfort in that you don’t have to fiddle with sheets of polyester, a cutter or pair of scissors, and sticky stuff that you will ruin your flashgun’s plastic with.
I for one love to keep my stuff neat and tidy. I am a big fan of well-designed kit that helps you work better, faster, and the Rogue Filter Kits certainly have all of that. They’re typically ExpoImaging: well thought out, excellent quality, and a keen eye for detail.
The Universal kit costs approx. 24.00 Euros, the Rogue Grid kit approx. 22.00 Euros.