Colour correction gels may be the most often used accessories in a strobist’s arsenal of tools. The Rogue Flash Color Correction Filter Kit v3 includes a full set of LEE Filter gels, including two gels of each colour — 1/8 CTO, 1/4 CTO, 1/2 CTO, Full CTO, 1/4 CTB, 1/2 CTB, 1/4 Plus Green, 1/2 Plus Green, 0.3 Neutral Density, White Diffusion (2 f/stop). Also included are two regular sized rubber bands for normal flash heads and one for smaller flashes, as well as an instruction guide.
The original Color Correction Filter Kit included 18 correction gels including three 1/4 CTO, 1/2 CTO, Full CTO, Plus Green, 1/2 CTB, and White Diffusion (2 f/stop). It also included three Rogue attachment bands (blue only), the gel pouch, and instructions.
The Rogue Flash Color Correction Filter Kit v.3 comes in that same nylon padded pouch, which is my only real criticism. It’s very easy to make creases in the gels as the pouch isn’t rigid. I love to keep my material as new-looking as possible but most photographers I know don’t give a hoot and crease their gels, even stick them on their flash heads using gaffer tape or similar.
ExpoImaging, the company that designed, developed and markets the Rogue Flash Color Correction Filter Kit v3 were the first and are still the only company to print directly onto the gels to help users identify and use them in the field. It is really hard to print and die cut the polyester film these gels are made from and the extra printing cost and yield loss from the process effectively doubles the cost. Having the gel details on the actual gel makes it easy to select the right one because you can instantly see your f-stop loss and what the gel is for — both in terms of Kelvin temperature adjustment and corresponding camera white balance icon.
That by itself makes the Rogue Flash Color Correction Filter Kit v3 a must-have. Another reason is that the gels are made by LEE, a first class brand in the industry. Furthermore, ExpoImaging were the first to introduce the tabbed gel bands for attaching gels to flashes. They are of excellent quality, fasten really well and the tabs make it so much easier to attach a gel filter as you have something to hold on to when stretching the material to mount the filter. Anyone who has had the pleasure of trying to mount a gel on a flash using velcro (really bad), gaffer tape (even worse) or plain rubber bands (try getting your fingers from between the band and the gel without moving the latter) knows what a pleasure that is. Even on my LumoPro LP180’s that come with a gel mounting ridge I never use the included gels as they come off too easily and are too close to the flash head — a flash does get hot with using it.
The tabbed attachment bands, though are unique because they are designed to fit the full range of on and off-camera flashes on the market, including the super small flashes like the Nikon SB400, the Godox TT350 for mirrorless cameras, as well as full sized flashes for professionals.
But why would you still use colour correction gels nowadays? The first reason that comes to mind is that, no, you can’t get the same results in post-production, not even when your editor is AI-driven. The light from the flash wraps around your model, which AI still can’t do in a natural way. In addition, thinking about the light and making adjustments while shooting makes you a better photographer and makes you think more about your composition and shooting the best photo you can. That’s an art and a pleasure many of us seem to have forgotten with the availability of powerful smartphones, tablets and post-production software.