Reduce Light Spread with More Control & Precision

Review by Michael Corsentino

Elinchrom light modifier users rejoice! The long wait is finally over. It only took 25 years, but Elinchrom has finally released Rotagrids, a much-clamored-for line of egg crate grids for their Rotalux softbox range. (Until now, the only grids that worked with Elinchrom Rotalux softboxes have been those sold by Lighttools, a fine company with fine products, and price tags to match.) Any lighting geek worth his salt knows that grids—both rigid (grid spot) and soft (egg crate)—are indispensable, light-shaping tools. By channeling a strobe’s light into a narrower beam as it leaves the softbox, grids allow a greater degree of control over where the light begins and ends. Using a grid increases the speed of light falloff, which happens as light radiates outward from the center of a softbox. In many cases, this creates a darker, moodier effect. In all cases, grids do a superb job of controlling unwanted light spill. 

Elinchrom’s new Rotagrids are 30º across their range, and they’re available for all 12 Rotalux Square, Recta, Strip, and Deep Octa softboxes. The smaller the degree of the grid, the narrower the beam of light you get when using it on the front of a softbox. While I do wish there were additional grid pattern options available, 30º is a great place to start. Arguably, it’s what I use most often, and it’s the most useful all-purpose grid. Perhaps additional grids are forthcoming, Elinchrom? To quote Elinchrom, Rotagrids are made from “durable, lightweight fabric” designed to maintain their shape over a lifetime of use. Setup and take down are quick and easy via the Rotagrid system of hook-and-loop fasteners. As an Elinchrom user myself, I can vouch for their superior build quality. Every grid also comes with a clearly labeled storage pouch. ■