And here’s the Jagmin DIY Gel Holder.
OK, so first my little disclaimer. I’m a bit embarrassed that my photos suck since this will mostly be read by other photographers. But this was done in a hurry after a long day of work, after the last diaper was changed, after the kids were in bed, and I was exhausted. So this is what you get. Also, I know the haters are going to say “you can spend 3-grand on a camera, but not $20 on lighting accessories!?” Well, my answer, not that I need to answer it at all, is that a) I enjoy making things like this, and b) if I could have made my own D700 from a few items at the craft store for a tiny fraction of the cost of Nikon’s version I would have done that too!!
I’ve been looking for a gel solution for some time. I’ve seen the big, clunky DIY plexiglass holders, the name badge holders, the tape on the end of the gels, etc. But they all seemed too big and too DIY to me. So I embarked on a journey to make my own.
I made some little pieces of foam with slits that you slide the ends of the gel in that attach to the velcro on the sides of the flash (cinch strap). I tried to make the credit card holder were you sandwich a gel between a couple old plastic cards with a window cut in the center large enough for maximum flash exposure yet small enough to rest on top of the flash head without it being able to push through the window. Bulky and tacky, IMHO.
So as I was searching and experimenting, I found some old business card sleeves that I was going to use as a gel folder. The light bulb went off. I could cut the end off of the business card holder and use it!
So here it is.
The first one on these I tried I used some crystal clear business card holders that I already had. But for this I bought a package and this is the closest I could find. They are slightly hazy, but I thought that might add a bit of diffusion so it was probably OK.
So just cut one business card sleeves off, being very careful not to cut the entire edge off of the adjacent sleeve if you want to be able to use it too.
Then cut it in two.
On the sides that are connected I attached velcro to both sides, on both sides. I put “loop”velcro on one side (face) of the sleeve to attach to my cinch strap. I then put “hook” velcro opposite of the “loop”. This does 2 things, a) covers the exposed sticky on the piece of “loop” and b) puts “hook” back in place over the cinch strap for other modifiers. It also makes the velcro attachment to the sleeve very strong.
Then put the gel in and attach to the top and the bottom of the cinch strap.
IMO, this is clean, easy, and not nearly as bulky as most other DIY gel holders I’ve seen.
Now, you’ll notice I leave my velcro a bit long – it’s because I want the freedom to have my cinch strap very close to the flash head or pushed down some. You can obviously make your’s shorter if you want to.
The design of this allows other modifiers to be easily added.
I have a part 2 for those flashes that have the slide up white card and wide angle diffuse. But basically, you just use the entire business card sleeve and run your velcro on the sides instead of top and bottom. To me they don’t seem to fit as well that way, but some may be willing to make that sacrifice to be able to use their built-in accessories.