September 20, 2017

Watch: How to Get the Most out of Your 5-in-1 Reflector

It's one of the most versatile light modifiers you can get, but how exactly do you use a 5-in-1 reflector?

Light modifiers are just about as important as lights themselves because they give you more control over the light you do have. There are many different types that do many different things, but when it comes to versatility you can't really beat a 5-in-1 reflector. As their name implies, these modifiers come with five different surfaces that reflect light in their own way, adding a bit of color (or not), brightness, or diffusion so you can get the look you want. 

If you're unfamiliar with how to use these reflectors, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter goes over six ways in which you can put these handy lighting tools to work on your next project.

For the uninitiated, it's critical to know what each surface is meant to do.

  • White: produces soft, even, neutral-colored bounce
  • Black: used as a flag to block light, negative fill
  • Gold: very reflective, increases highlights, adds warmer color 
  • Silver: very reflective, increases highlights, no color change
  • Translucent: used for diffusion

Knowing what each surface does will help inform your decisions when it comes time to modify your lighting. The black surface is just a big ol' flag that you can throw up to block any unwanted light, and the translucent surface is your generic diffuser that will come in handy when you want to soften the light on your subject. For the white, gold, and silver surfaces you'll most likely be using them as bounces to fill in shadows and increase your highlights. The gold and silver will provide a bit more brightness than the white, but keep that in mind that the while the silver doesn't affect the color of the light, the gold absolutely does (that's kind of the point).

Again, these 5-in-1 reflectors are very versatile, usually are collapsible for easy storage and transport, and are extremely affordable at about $20-$50 depending on the size you get. Not bad!     

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3 Comments

He shows the very basic use. But, this is very useful for beginners.
Thanks V Renée for the video.

September 23, 2017 at 11:23AM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
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I'd highly recommend a reflector with a "wavy-gold" surface, which is about 2/3 silver and 1/3 gold in a wavy pattern. The 1/3 gold takes away the cold and harsh look from the silver without making the light too warm or too brown.

September 25, 2017 at 11:16AM

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October 11, 2017 at 11:01AM

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