If a compact flash modifier promised to make the head of your flash 300% larger, what would you do with it? It would surely offer much softer lighting–or at least that’s what the Magmod Magsphere claims. The closest thing that we’ve seen to taking on the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible and offering a nice output came from a recent Kickstarter. The Magmod system isn’t totally revolutionary, but it is surely quite smart.
In fact, it’s so smart that it may change the way that light modifiers are attached to flashes in the future.
Trust us, Gary Fong is going to want to look very closely at this one.
Pros and Cons
– Compact size
– Pretty durable feel, much better than the Gary Fong Lightsphere
– Easy connection to your camera
– Very soft light in the right situations
– A bit weird to the touch despite its durability
We tested the Magmod Magsphere with the Magmod attachment, Lumopro LP-180, Fujifilm X Pro 1, and the Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II.
Tech specs taken from the website’s listing
Weight: .5625 lbs
Dimensions: 2.500 x 5.000 x 3.250 in
The Magmod Magsphere is an interesting and different type of flash modifier. It’s got almost a bulbous shape to it, but not really. It kind of plateaus at a point in its design. What you see on top is the Magsphere and the area around the head is the Magmod itself.
To attach the Magsphere, you use the magnets on the Magmod and sphere and connect the four together to create a magnetic lock that you really feel. It’s much different than using a belt system.
The Magmod Magsphere is pretty straight forward in its ergonomics and can be attached to the Magmod or flipped for either direction. It’s a very clever system.
When you look at it straight on, you see that you can almost clearly see the flash head. The Magsphere amazingly doesn’t need more diffusion if used correctly.
The Magmod Magsphere feels durable and is very pliable. But it also has this weird texture. The texture of the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible is much nicer, but you’re not buying this product to sit there and fondle it all the time.
Getting the Magsphere in place is as simple as attaching it onto your Magmod via the magnets. There’s nothing more to it.
Ease of Use
For the most part, you’ll need to snap the light modifier onto your Magmod after it’s been attached to the flash. Attaching the Magmod to the flash is honestly the toughest part because you need to use your hands and thumbs to stretch it and get it into place. You’ll also want to ensure that the Magmod is placed a bit further down the flash head.
Once that’s in place, attaching the Magsphere is as simple as popping it on and shooting as positioning your light in just the right spot. For the best results, we recommend using a light meter, but in TTL it can work fairly well.
What we’re really impressed by with the Magmod Magsphere is just how well it tends to diffuse light from the flash. We’re not talking about the same amount of diffusion that you get when pointing a light at the ceiling or in a bit softbox, but it can be very subtle and very much like something along the lines of the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight series.
Here are more sample images.
The Magmod Magsphere is a very fun and very useful flash modifier that we think may change the way that manufacturers create their products. It’s a great item for photographers using small flashes and that can’t carry around a large softbox. But it surely isn’t a replacement either. However, it wouldn’t hurt for most strobists to have one in their camera bag.
We award the Magmod Magsphere four out of five stars.