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Review: The Rogue Grid for On-Camera Flashes

by Chris Gampat on 09/02/2011

After just finishing the ExpoImaging Rogue Flash bender review and the ExpoImaging Ray Flash review, I was sent one of their newer products, the Rogue Grid. Essentially like a flash snoot, the grid will further enhance the spotlight effect from your flash. This is done with different configurations. But is it worth being a part of your kit?

Pieces of the Puzzle

In the bag, you get a grid holder, two different grids (25° and 45°) and the equivalent of a very tiny Rogue Flash Bender, but with a better way to secure it onto your flash’s head. You see, now there is a stretchable belt that just feels more secure. Don’t get me wrong, the first once felt very good, but this one is adjustable via the clippable button.

The grids can all come out, and I believe that the Grid holder itself can be mounted into the front of a Flash Bender if you so choose to do so for extra range. Otherwise, you’ve got your own little mini one.

Getting the bender into the holder is a bit of a struggle, but once it’s in, it’s in securely and snug. If you want to combine the grids to create the 16° pattern, you can push it right in and stack the two on top of one another.

Attaching it To Your Flash

To attach it onto your flash, you just need to wrap it around the head and secure it. In the photo above, I’m using it with the Canon 430 EX II. But this model seems like it may be better used with the Canon 580 EX II since that has a significantly larger head. Because of this, light loss should be minimal. However, as you see above, you may have some trouble losing some of the flash output unless you either Gaffers Tape the unit or keep the flash head in that position. If you’re triggering the flash wirelessly, this should be no problem.

For more about wireless flash control, I’ve got a post here for Canon photographers on how to become strobists.

You can also keep the head angled a bit, but this may make it tricky to use. In the photo above, the flash’s head isn’t all the way down and cannot go all the way down because of the bender being too far on.

Quick Results

This test was done very quickly in my bedroom. The Canon 580 EX II and Rogue Grid were placed on a tripod and pointed down at my Yashica Electro GSN. The flash was fired wirelessly with my Canon 7D.

One Grid

Stacked Grids

While the effect that the Rogue Grid gives off is pretty cool, I couldn’t help but think that I prefer the results of bounce flash more. So just for comparison, I took the Grid off the flash, put the flash on my 7D and pointed it towards the ceiling.

In my eyes, this look is much more pleasing. However, I wasn’t convinced that I had given it a thorough enough test.

In Practical Use

In practical use, you’ll essentially by using the grids as spotlights with relatively tight output. In the image above, the two grids were stacked to give a 16 degree output and they were held about two and a half feet away from Matt. Matt looks like he is about to rough someone up, and part of that feeling is enhanced due to the hard shadows falling the way that they are.

Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley.

Conclusion

So would I recommend the Rogue Grid? For my needs, I wouldn’t. I just typically don’t shoot enough portraits or scenes that require that spotlight effect. If I do, I find that the Rogue Flash Benders do a good enough job. But if I shot loads more products and macros, I would surely consider this an option.

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