Sunday, 21 April 2013

Rosco Strobist flash gels - The review

Strobist gel packs

As mentioned in my previous post  I recently go myself a set of the awesome and amazing Strobist gel packs.  My reason for getting a pack, well who doesn't want to capture images like David Hobby ?

David Hobby really was my main reason for going into Speedlight’s and the whole strobist scene. Before reading his blog I never EVER used flash, but after seeing his blog I saw what a few lights where capable of and I had caught the lighting bug! Enough about Hobby though and onto the review!

The Strobist gels come in a small plastic casing which is alright to use as a permanent case, but isn't really ideal (more on this later).
In this soft plastic casing is what we are really after, the collection of 55 total plastic gels. Of the 55 we have 2 main sets – Correctional filters and effects colours. The correctional gels allow one to correct for dodgy lighting, for example those dodgy florescent lights, or create beautiful sun kissed skin tones like in this photo: 

Girls under passage of archways

The effects gels are useful for creating stunning backgrounds to otherwise boring pictures (you have to admit those isolated images do begin to look a bit boring sometimes!). Here is some background awesomeness:

The Lone Rose
I have read of people complaining about gels melting when using a flash on full power for a few shots. Firstly a Speedlight shouldn't really be used above ¼ power unless its really necessary and secondly I have tried this and mine seemed fine with 2 pops in 4 seconds. If you need more flashes than that you definitely should lower your flashes power and increase your ISO or aperture.

One of the things I really like about these gels is they are pretty accurately coloured. What this means is that if you take a full blue and a full CTO and put them on two different flashes.. the point where they meet will be damn near close to a normal white flash. This can be used to create some interesting images!

One of the worst things about these gels though is organizing them . The plastic cases that come with the gels inside do an ok job of holding them but if you want to get a specific gel out, it becomes a bit of a mission.
After doing a quick Google search it turns out quite a few people feel the same. The solution; A business card holder. It allows you to separate the gels by colours and you can also keep those little white info slips! This is exactly what I ended up doing as can be seen in this final picture:
Gel organizing

So, in the end, my verdict of the Rosco Strobist gel packs is that they are a must have for anyone who uses off camera flashes. Without them you can still get some amazing shots, BUT with them you can take your images to a whole new level!


  1. Hi Wez

    Great blog post, Where can I get the Rosco Strobist collection locally?


  2. You can get them on There are a handful of people who sell them on there. Some are cheaper than others. So make sure you look around.