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GEAR: Phoxle Flash Match filters
Phoxle Flash-Match Filters
Review by Nikolai, photos by Pederson Quist.
I had a chance to field-test Phoxle’s new product, Flash-Match Filters.
The kit consists of a sturdy plastic holder with a quick release lanyard and a little booklet with 5 self-adhesive gel filters inside. The booklet is held together by a simple rubber band, so it’s very easy to take out only the one or a couple that you need, if, for whatever reason, you don’t want to carry the whole thing.
The filters inside are:
Each filter can be easily peeled off the laminated booklet sheet and attached to a working surface of Canon 580EX or a similar hot-shoe mounted flash. After performing this operation a few dozen times I didn’t notice any residue neither on the sheets, nor on the flash. Each filter has a non-sticky peel handle with the company logo on it and a small print with the color temperature and a little “hint glyph” on the opposite side of the film.
I am not going to cover the theory of the flash color matching here. Suffice to say that the provided selection will cover a vast variety of the fairly typical cases, such as tungsten, fluorescent, shade, direct sun, sunrise/sunset, high altitude, etc. My test shots (direct sunlight, shade, tungsten and fluorescent) proved that for each of these scenarios one of the Phoxle filters gave a nice match to the ambient light as opposed to the open flash. I used all 5 filters plus open flash for each of the four typical lighting scenarios I could easily find at home/on location. I shot RAW in AE mode, thus using my 580EXII in ETTL mode as a fill flash. Later I simply set the White Balance in ACR4 according to the original shooting environment (Daylight, Shade, Tungsten, and Fluorescent). In each case one of the filters gave me nicely balanced picture.
The test results can be seen here.
What I liked: Nice convenient product at an affordable price
Filter size matches 580 working surface height-wise perfectly
Non-residue self-adhesive system is very convenient and easy to use.
Package is very easy to carry, either with the holder or without it (see below).
What I didn’t like: The aforementioned height perfection requires nearly perfect application technique. A smallest tilt (application at an angle) or shift (lower/higher) leaves part of the flash working surface exposed, thus leading to a light spill. Not a show stopper and very easy to fix, but I’d say I would prefer a larger height margin so I wouldn’t have to be accurate to a fraction of a millimeter.
A relatively thick “handle” may prevent (or at least make a bit inconvenient) the usage of many popular snap-on diffusers made of relatively hard plastic, such as Omnibox, etc.
What I would like to ask for:
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