Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot review: first impression

Found in: ReviewsHonl Photo
Jan 20 2010
Buy from Amazon.com
HonlPhoto Reflector/Snoot, 8"
HonlPhoto Reflector/Snoot, 5"
Honl Photo Speed Bundle

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot is a pretty unique flash accessory. It looks like it's being marketed more as a snoot than as a reflector, but it is still rated very well as a flash diffuser (best flash diffuser rating: 8.91).

Honl Reflector comes in two sizes: 8" and 5". In this review, we show the 8" version, which is measured approximately 8" by 11". Gold-Silver version of the Honl Photo Reflector became available recently. (For comparison results please refer to Honl Photo Gold-Silver Reflector vs. original (silver) article.)

The design of Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot is very simple. It's a piece of cloth, black on one side and silver on another. The material is rather thick and can hold the shape when in use. At the same time, it is soft enough to be put anywhere in your gear bag: in a pocket, around a lens, around a flash, or underneath a camera. Basically, any free space you have you can use to stash your Honl Reflector away. This makes it extremely portable.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: reflector mode Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: top view
Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: black side Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: silver side

If you wrap Honl Reflector around your flash head, you get a snoot. If you attach it to a side of the head, you get a reflector. Honl Photo also sells Speed Strap, as a universal attachment solution. You do need one of them to be able to use Honl Reflector/Snoot. Alternatively, you can put self-adhesive Velcro tabs on you flash head if you don't mind the glue.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: snoot mode Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: logo

We have to note that, when attached to a flash, the reflector does not feel rock solid. This is not a surprise, of course, giving the fact that it is made of cloth. We find it not to be a problem, though, since the reflector sits tight on the flash and is unlikely to fall off even if you're shooting in a dynamic environment.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector is designed to be used on a wide side of a flash head. This means that to go from a landscape camera orientation to a portrait one, you would need to use a flash bracket. If you don't like the idea of a flash bracket, you can try attaching the reflector to a narrow side of you flash head and turn the head 90 degrees when in a portrait mode (the same way you do it with other reflectors, like LumiQuest Quik Bounce or Spectra Light, for example). When on a narrow side of a flash, Honl Photo Reflector feels even less stable, but we believe it is still usable that way.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: on wide side Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: on narrow side

While being a variable angle flash light modifier, Honl Reflector does not offer the same degree of convenience and control as some of competing light modifiers, such as Demb Flip-it! or Hanson Skin Glow!. It is possible, however, to change the ratio between the light bounced off of ceiling and the light reflected towards a subject. Changing the angle requires detaching of Honl Reflector from flash head and re-attaching at a different angle, which is just not as convenient and fast as with products mentioned above.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: vertical Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: 45 degrees

Overall, Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot is a great flash light modifier. It's one of the most portable solutions, and it has a very high quality. It creates a relatively large source of light, as a flash light reflector, and it can be also used for dramatic lighting, as a snoot.

The image below is sample shot taken with Honl Photo Speed Reflector from about 4 feet. The reflector is off camera at about 4 foot distance from the subject as well. There is also a white reflector to the mannequin's right to fill the shadows.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: reflector sample shot

The next image is taken in the "snoot mode". Honl Snoot is raised higher above the camera than in previous picture.

Honl Photo Speed Reflector/Snoot: snoot sample shot

For the light coverage Honl Photo Speed Reflector provides, please refer to diffuser frame coverage test.

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