ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us in Hanoi This Fall!

Our Fall 2022 X-Peditions travel photography workshops, based in Hanoi, Vietnam, have opened for enrollment. Currently, we have limited spots remaining in one of the sessions. Full details at our Fall 2022 program page.

Hacking the Grid

Regular readers of this site will know I am a big fan of the Honl 1/8-inch grid. It is built like a tank, and designed to fit onto nearly any speedlight made.

The first day it arrived at my house (one of the first production samples in the country, as I would later find out) Dave Honl asked to me to test it out and see if it was tough enough.

So I ran over it with my car…

If memory serves, it was the exact grid pictured above. And to be fair, I have do drive a Scion XA, which is a pretty small car. And I ran over it pretty slowly. But still.

And he did say to test it for toughness. I emailed him back and said, "Yeah, it's pretty tough."

(That'll teach Dave to use me as a beta tester.)

These days I use it so much that it merited a little head-scratching, to see if I could make it faster to slap onto a flash. Dave's velcro mount was made for versatility across lots of different flashes, but I carry half a dozen identical SB-800s with me. So I am more interested in quick-change speed and ease of use.

To that end, my cheapo speed hack:

Rather than the velcro and speed strap mount, I modded mine to go on with an elastic band -- just looped through the grid. I went to my local Target store and got a pack of "Goody Ouchless Comfort Fit Headwraps" for about $2.00 for 8.

Cut into a strip, they fit perfectly through the 1/8" grid patterns -- and of course would also fit the 1/4" grids. I was gonna give the rest of them to my daughter, but they look pretty useful for other black mini bungee-related hacks. Sorry, Em.

In this case, it makes it a near-instant mount whenever I want to restrict the beam of my SB's with the even falloff that only a grid can give you. (That's the main difference between a grid and a snoot.)

And the mod is no knock on the grid, either. I tend to only mod things I use frequently. (And even then, only after finding DIY changes I can make to speed and/or ease my workflow.)


Got any cool mods of oft-mentioned small flash gear which may be helpful to other readers? Hit us in the comments with your favorite hacks.


New to Strobist? Start here | Or jump right to Lighting 101
Got a question? Hit me on Twitter: @Strobist
Grab your passport: Strobist Destination Workshops