Sunday, September 8, 2019

Installing CTO Gels On A Godox V1

Profoto A1: Buy yours here.
In an earlier post I made some observations about the Godox V1 round-headed flash, aka Adorama's Flashpoint Zoom Li-on x R2 TTL Round Flash Speedlight. They are one and the same. This installment is to address the issue of color correction gels. It was introduced in early 2019, and it made quite a splash because until that point, those wishing the convenience of TTL metering combined with the even lighting pattern of a parabolic reflector had only one choice: The Profoto A1 Studio Light.  At $800.00, the flash, though very versatile, was expensive for what you were getting. In spite of the hype, it is NOT a replacement for a studio flash, but can serve a photographer well if s/he knows its limitations. For the cost of a single A1, you could buy three Godox V1 flashes, which if you're not a hard on your equipment, would provide years of service. I purchased two V1s: One is dedicated for Nikon and the other for Fuji. And in a pinch, both can be simultaneously adjusted using a single dedicated, on-camera Flashpoint or Godox controller. Honestly, there's a lot of value in the Godox.


Adorama Round Head Flash Kit
The flash's round head is a double-edged sword. The parabolic reflector gives a very even light pattern without any obvious hot spots. However, the head shape makes it incompatible with many popular on-camera light modifiers. Neither the Gary Fong Light Sphere nor any of the Mag Mod accessories can be used with the V1, which for me is a definite drawback. A variety of add-on accessories are included with the Round Head Flash Kit (about $60), which includes a set of barn doors, a snoot, a bounce card, and a grid that are held to the flash head with magnets. Also included are some accessories for changing the flash color, including three warming filters, one florescent green color correction filter, and two clear filters along with a magnetic filter holder. You can buy CTO gel sheets and cut out properly sized disks and could them between the two clear filters. You will now have yourself an easily installed and removed color correction filter that coincides with the incandescent white balance preset on your camera. 


C.T.A. S. Get yours here.
If you are interested in more precise color adjustment or don't want to do the cutting yourself, you'll need to add the Color Temperature Adjustment Set (about $15) provides 16 pairs of pre-cut color correction gels (CTOs, the CTBs, and the Plus Green gels). One photo of the product on the Adorama website shows how a round, blue gel is sandwiched between the two clear gel holders that came with the Flash Kit.

In the mean time, I find my stash of gel sheets and cut myself a full and quarter CTO gel disk to balance incandescent ambient lighting or to warm up a subject. 

Leader Wallet: Order yours here.
To install one of the pre-cut gels, you lock one of the clear retaining disks into the slots inside the holder. Next, drop in the gel of your choice. Finally, attach the filter holder to the flash head. The gel will be held in place between the clear gel holder and the flash. This is the simplest method, although storing the relatively fragile gels may become a problem. I'm thinking about using a fly-fisher's leader wallet, which I found on Amazon. It's certainly large enough to accommodate these gel and keep them safe and organized. 


This closeup photo makes it easier to see the retaining tabs, along with a magenta gel sandwiched between the two retaining disks.

I am looking forward to the speed and convenience of mounting a magnetically attached CTO gel to the Godox flash. Although I purchased the full Mag Mod kit, I never really liked the gel attachment system. This approach for the V1 is just as fast and much more compact. 

Finally, a warning: The flashtubes generate a fair amount of heat, and if you attempt to machine-gun your flash exposures, you might fuse the gel to one of the filter retaining disks. So slow down.