Westcott LunaGrip designed by Kevin Kubota
2. Add a LunaGrip!
The LunaGrip is versatile and also holds reflectors flatter than a pancake for bounced light that is smooth and even. It can be hand-held via the luxurious, soft-grip handle, or mounted on a light stand via the convenient 1/4" socket – that's light stands and tripods, baby.
LunaGrip makes a perfect reflector holder. Here the silver reflective cover is used for sparkling fill light.
SHOOT NOTES: 85mm f1.4 lens set to f2.8 at 1/100 sec. ISO 100. Zoom your speedlight to the widest setting for softest light.
(28mm was used here) A portable electric leaf blower was used to animate her hair.
Play with positioning the main LunaGrip slightly to the side or directly above the lens to achieve the shaping you want.
SHOOT NOTES: 85mm f1.4 lens set to f2.5 at 1/80 sec. ISO 100.
LunaGrip lighting is soft, yet shapely. A neutral density filter was used over the lens to darken the afternoon sky, also allowing the use
of the f1.4 aperture for beautiful background softening. High Speed Sync can often be used in place of the ND filter.
SHOOT NOTES: 85mm f1.4 lens set to f1.4 at 1/100 sec. ISO 50.
A second speedlight was added on the hood of the car, behind the model, for a nice edge light.
SHOOT NOTES: 85mm f1.4 lens set to f1.6 at 1/100 sec. ISO 50.
Flash and transceiver are shown in photos for example only and are not included.
OUTDOOR LIGHTING SETUPS
BALANCING NATURAL LIGHT
A: An umbrella creates a different quality of light. If used in a reflective mode, the light from the umbrella will be harsher than from a diffuser in a LunaGrip. The umbrella surface must be further away from your subject, and one of the general principles of light modifiers is that the closer the light source is to your subject, the softer it will be. The diffuser surface of the LunaGrip can be placed very close to your subject, just outside of camera view, for one of the softest light sources available. If you use your translucent umbrella in a diffuser mode (flashing through it) then you can place it closer to the subject, but you now have a parabolic light source, which is not as soft, even, and wrapping as a flat surface diffused light source – like what you get with a large soft box or the LunaGrip. It is widely known that soft boxes are preferable to umbrellas for portrait lighting and the LunaGrip functions as a large soft box. See next question for more info.
Q: What is the difference between a LunaGrip with Diffuser and a large, 40" soft box?
A: The light quality will be very similar – which is why the LunaGrip is so useful. However, the large soft box will be 3-5 times more expensive, will take considerably more time to set up and take down, can not be easily hand-held, and will not fit in the side of your camera bag for travel. For static use in a large studio, the large soft box is great, but for location and event photographers, or those looking to travel and carry light, the LunaGrip is a much more practical option.
Q: I have flash transceivers without flash shoe mounts, how do I attach them to the LunaGrip?
A: If you use transceivers like basic PocketWizard Plus III, then you can simply wrap the wrist strap from the receiver around the thumbscrew of the LunaGrip "L" bracket and let it dangle. Or, you can use a simple cold shoe universal mount and attach it to the unused part of the "L" bracket, next to the provided flash mount. Normally it is mounted on the underside of the bracket, so that it hangs upside down, opposite the flash. Here is an example of a mount that can be purchased separately if needed: http://d.pr/1aHv9
Q: What speedlights will fit to the LunaGrip?
A: Any speedlight with a standard hot shoe connection on the bottom should work. Nikon & Canon have standard mounts as well as most generic brand speedlights. Some Sony flash units do not have standard hot shoe fittings, and will not mount securely to the LunaGrip, but you can get an adapter like this one to use it with any standard cold shoe mount (like ours): http://bhpho.to/1U4iWfn
Q: Will the LunaGrip work with other types of flash units, besides speedlights?
A: If your flash has a hot shoe/cold shoe mount OR a standard 1/4" x 20 threaded socket on the bottom, there is a good chance you can use it with the LunaGrip. The mounting bracket is adjustable in two directions, making it very adaptable. We've tested it with the Quantum Q-Flash and several other small portable flash units.
Q: What is the collapsed size of the LunaGrip?
A: When collapsed in the carrying bag, it is about 16-1/2" across by about 3" thick. If you have a laptop pocket on the side of your camera bag, it fits neatly in that slot.
Q: Can I use the LunaGrip with my own reflector or diffuser disc?
A: Absolutely! You can get the LunaGrip solo, or as a package with a Westcott 40" 5-in-1 reflector/diffuser. The LunaGrip was designed to hold most all standard round wire-framed pop-up reflector/diffusers. It will work with discs sized from 24" up to 42". If you already have one disc, you may still consider getting a LunaGrip package so that you can use your existing disc as a fill light reflector and the LunaGrip as your main light. You can also purchase a second LunaGrip solo to hold your existing disc.
Q: What size disc is best to use with the LunaGrip?
A: We like the light quality of the 40-42" disc best. This is the most versatile size and can also be used to diffuse the sun, when you don't have or want to use your flash. By simply zooming the head of your speedlight, you can reduce the effective size of your diffused light source, mimicking the look of a smaller disc, but with the distinct advantage of softer, feathered edge falloff.
Q: Can I mount the LunaGrip on a light stand? I don't have an assistant to hold it.
A: Yes, it has a standard 1/4"-20 thread in the handle for tripod or light stand mounting. We suggest using a tilt-bracket on your light stand so you can angle the LunaGrip up or down as needed. One of our favorite ways to use the LunaGrip on location is to mount it on a mono-pod or extension pole. This gives your assistant freedom to move as needed and quickly position your light wherever it's needed. We find that we can achieve a greater variety of images, in a shorter period of time, by keeping it mobile vs. fixed to a stand.
Q: What is the advantage of using the LunaGrip as a reflector holder vs. just hand-holding the reflector?
A: The LunaGrip can also be a reflector holder when you use the reflective covers on your pop-up disc. If you've hand-held a large reflector before, you know how they can twist, bend, and blow around if you aren't holding it attentively. The LunaGrip holds the reflector securely and flat as a pancake so you have consistent, even illumination. It is much better than arm type reflector holders as they tend to allow twisting of the disc.
Q: Will there be spill light from the sides of the LunaGrip?
A: Yes, because of the open sides, the LunaGrip will spill some light. As far as the subject is concerned, this has no effect. You can minimize the spill by simply adjusting your flash head zoom to make sure it only covers the disk, and is not too wide. If you have a background that is close to your subject, you shouldn’t see the spill. If you have a medium distance background, you may see some spill light depending on the angle and the placement of the LunaGrip and the backgound. Generally, when used outdoors, the spill is completely undetectable. When used in a small studio space, you might see the spill on your background. Sometimes we actually incorporate that spill as part of the background light for effect. If completely eliminating the spill is necessary, then a traditional soft box might work better. You could also create a fabric covering for the back of the disc to use in those situations, and that is something we may add as an optional accessory in the future.
Q: How was the LunaGrip invented?
A: Kevin Kubota invented the LunaGrip after years as a wedding photographer and asking his lovely wife/assistant to hold a speedlight with one hand and the large diffuser disc with the other. The effect was beautiful, but the process was inconsistent and frustrating – usually ending in quiet car rides home after the wedding. The 5-in-1 disc is an essential tool that most every photographer seems to love, but he needed a better way to adapt it for use as a speedlight diffuser. For years he would say, "I need to create a way to hold my speedlight at just the right spot behind my diffuser, it works with one hand, and quickly collapses in to the side pocket of my camera bag." The LunaGrip is the result of the daydreaming!
JOE HY, Joe Hy Photography
ROBIN MARIE, Robin Marie Photography - Food Photography
One of our Westcott LunaGrip users found that it works perfectly for her food photography business. Robin Marie Photography has a beautiful senior and family portrait business going, but her secret passion is food photography. Robin has found that the LunaGrip is the perfect compliment to her clean, natural, fresh style of culinary imaging and the portability makes shooting on location (where the food tends to be) a breeze. All she needs is a single speedlight behind the LunaGrip to make your mouth water with her photographs!
Robin had this to share:
"Let me start by saying "the LunaGrip has changed my life". Lol. :). No seriously I am excited about how easy my set up was with my LunaGrip. I was able to carry everything into my shoot in one trip. No heavy lights, batteries etc...I was able to achieve the same results that I get from my expensive, heavy pro light system. Food photography is all about the light. If it's not spot on it can appear inedible and unappetizing. The LunaGrip is perfect for my on location food shoots."
Simple, fast setup -
The LunaGrip creates the equivalent of a 40" soft box, with faster setup and more lighting options.
A single speedlight was used.