Honl Photo filters (gels) and Filter Roll-Up review

Oct 05 2010
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Honl Photo Color Effects Filter Kit
Honl Photo Color Correction Filter Kit
Honl Photo Roll Up Filter Case

If you are looking at the options to modify the color of your flash light, you may want to consider the filters (gels) from Honl Photo. There are four currently available filter kits: Color Correction, Hollywood, Color Effects, and Autumn. Each kit has its own set of colors. The Color Correction kit is aimed to be used for matching a specific color temperature (tungsten light, for example). The other kits are great for special effects. They add dramatic colors to your images.

All Honl Photo gels are meant to be used with Honl Photo Speed Strap that is sold separately. Alternatively, you can use any Velcro strap that attaches to your flash head (like LumiQuest Cinch Strap, Aurora Loop and Lock Strap, etc.). If you don't use straps, but have self-adhesive Velcro pads on your flash head, that of course works just, as well.

Honl Photo filters have narrow Velcro strips along the longer two sides (which allows them to stick to a strap). We find that, because the strips are quite long, they deliver a grip that is too strong for the task. It takes a bit more of an effort to pull a filer off than we would like. Other than that, the use of Honl Photo gels is as easy as it gets.

Each filter can be trimmed to better fit the size of a particular flash head. Leaving the filters untrimmed, however, allows you to use them with flash heads of different sizes. So, we recommend trimming Honl Photo filters only if they get in your way (typically while using some particular flash light modifiers).

Honl Photo filters (gels): Rust, Medium Blue-Green, Egg Yolk Yellow Honl Photo filters (gels): Rose Purple on Canon Speedlite 580EX II, Honl Photo Strap

Honl Photo gels can be used with virtually any flash accessory, which is not necessarily made by Honl Photo. The following images show the gels being used with Honl Photo Speed Reflector (left) and LumiQuest Quick Bounce reflector (right).

Honl Photo filters (gels): Full Green with Honl Photo Speed Reflector Honl Photo filters (gels): 1/2 CTB with LumiQuest Quik Bounce reflector

While having many colored gels gives you plenty of options in your creative process, carrying them around and being able to quickly identify them can be a messy task. You can, for example, have a few dedicated small bags to carry and sort them, but that is not as convenient as a dedicated Filter Roll-Up case that is offered by Honl Photo. The idea is very simple: a 20" long Velcro strip on a 20" long piece of fabric, which rolls up (with the filters inside) into a very compact unit. The roll-up case can accommodate up to 30 Honl Photo gels (enough to cover a wide range of applications), and it makes finding the right gel a breeze because the labels are easily accessible. If you use Honl Photo filters, Honl Photo Filter Roll-Up case is a highly recommended addition to your gear list.

Honl Photo Filter Roll-Up: compared in size to Canon Speedlite 580EX II Honl Photo Filter Roll-Up: hanging vertically
Honl Photo Filter Roll-Up: open, filter labels are easy to read Honl Photo Filter Roll-Up: rolled up

The example below shows the use of Rose Purple Filter from the Hollywood Filter Kit. The setup includes two flashes. The main light (with Honl Photo traveller8 Softbox) is positioned to the left and above the subject. The background light (with the filter) is shot through two wine glasses filled with water.

Honl Photo filters (gels): sample image using Rose Purple filter

To summarize, Honl Photo Filters and Filter Roll-up Case are essential accessories if you are in a position to use filters (such as color matching, artistic effects, etc.). The filters are very easy to use despite the fact that they are a bit too "sticky". The roll-up case makes the handling of a large number of filters a very easy task.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.