Best known for its FlashBender range of products, Rogue Photographic Design has released a new set of flash modifiers, the Rogue Round Flash Magnetic Modifiers. The product range has adapters for regular and small rectangular flash heads. The products have superior resistance against wear and tear.
The Rogue Round Flash Magnetic Modifiers are compact and lightweight. As their name suggests, they attach directly to round flashes. Rogue concentrated on the most popular flashes currently on the market, i.e. Godox, Geekoto, Westcott. If you happen to have Profoto A10 or an A1 or A1X, you need the Rogue PF Adapter.
The Rogue Round Flash Magnetic Modifiers come as separate products or a kit that includes a pouch to hold everything together. The gels are stored in the Rogue-typical nylon padded envelope with a velcro closing strip.
The first thing you’ll notice is the quality of the materials. The silicon dome’s translucent white is neutral when measured with a color meter. The silicon adapters for rectangular flash heads made me doubt about their fit; the silicon is thick and it looked like it was impossible to stretch them to fit.
Tests with a Mecablitz Metz 64 AF-1 and a LumoPro LP180 showed that although the former is not as robust as the latter, there’s a small risk in breaking things. You do need to wiggle the adapter in place while firmly holding the head.
Once the adapter is in place, it’s easy to remove, but if you use a flash regularly with modifiers, I would leave it on permanently. That does mean you’ll need to reserve a bigger space for these flashes in your camera bag, though, as the adapter adds to the bulk.
My next focus was on the magnets. They’re strong. You need your fingernails to pry off the gel lens from the diffusion dome or the hexagonal filter. The magnets themselves are embedded in the polycarbonate plastic of the filters. Polycarbonate is tough; it was the material the first iMac – the colorful round model with a CRT screen built-in – was made of. It’s so tough that, when I exchanged that iMac for a Powermac, I remember accidentally dropping it with its corner on a concrete floor. The plastic got chafed but didn’t break or crack and that iMac was a heavyweight.
With the magnets glued and embedded inside the material, I don’t think they’ll ever come loose, no matter how hard you need to pull on the accessories to mek them come off.
Except for the idea of using polycarbonate as plastic, another indication of good design is how the gel lens fits together and the gels “stick” to the lens. The gel lens is made of the same polycarbonate — including the transparent disc on which the gels rest.
Polycarbonate is sensitive to static electricity. The lens has a small recessed edge in which the round gels fit and, due to the static electricity, they are attracted to the lens surface, automatically “fly” into the recessed area, and stay put until you remove them.
All those little details show how much attention went into the development of the system. It also implies that you don’t need to worry much about being careful when using the system. It will withstand the daily handling of photography under time pressure.