No Tape, No Bands, No Velcro- DIY Custom Fitting Gels for Your Profoto B1/D1 Monolights

No Tape, No Bands, No Velcro- DIY Custom Fitting Gels for Your Profoto B1/D1 Monolights

One of our loyal readers, Rogier van Bakel, recently contacted us with an article suggestion that we decided to share with you. Rogier is a wedding photographer based near Bar Harbor, Maine and he has a custom tip on how to gel Profoto B1 or Profoto D1 monolights without the use of any tape, rubber bands, or Velcro. His method allows the lights use of modifiers since they're free of obstruction and keeps them looking good too, as tape and Velcro have a tendency to scratch at surfaces and leave unnecessary residues behind.

My photography bag always has a roll of gaffer tape inside of it along with an assortment of zip ties, Velcro strips and bungee cords should I ever encounter anything on a shoot that might need to be attached to something else. Although I kind of enjoy slapping tape and Velcro around to hold things together, Rogier went about a much neater and cleaner way to utilize colored gels with his monolights, and the best part is... you really don't need much to do it!

Step One

Gather your materials. Rogier recommends a 20x24" roll of your favorite colored gel, a marker and a pair of scissors. You must first carefully pry the frosted glass away from the light's spring-loaded clips.

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Step Two

Using the frosted glass front cover as a template, trace circles around the glass on the gel sheet. Next, cut along the inside of the circles you've drawn. The goal is to end up with a gel that is 9 centimeters (just over 3.5 inches) in diameter.

fstoppers-aaron-brown-profoto-gel-tip-2.jpg

Step Three

Put the frosted glass cover back on your light and then work the gel circle underneath the spring-loaded clips as well for a perfect fit! Your Profoto flash is now gelled, sans tape, and without getting in the way of any modifiers you might use.

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Thanks again to Rogier van Bakel of Eager Eye Photography for sharing his tip with us.

Do you have something interesting to share with us? Contact us today and we may just feature your idea or tip on Fstoppers as well!

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9 Comments

John Sheehan's picture

If we know the exact diameter of the frosted glass, then we can use a compass to draw the circle you need to cut out. With a diameter of 9cm, then the radius is 4.5cm. That might be safer than prying the frosted glass off the spring clamps (I don't own the Profoto monolights, so I don't know how hard or simple that is).

Rogier van Bakel's picture

The frosted glass is trivial to remove, in part to enable users to use a Profoto glass dome attachment instead of a glass disc.

Lee Christiansen's picture

How amazingly simple. How did I not think of that...!

Now we just need an equally good idea for the D1 domes.

Mark Darren Mui's picture

Does the heat from the light melt the acetate?

Rogier van Bakel's picture

I haven’t had issues, but I suppose it's theoretically possible if you fire many full-powered flashes in a row. Keep in mind that the thick glass disc shields the gel from the flash heat, though. The possibility of the gel melting seems remote, but as always, proceed at your own risk...

Bruno Inácio's picture

Rosco and Lee has a Hight Temperature Colection of Gel's to use with HMI's ang Tungsten bulbs! They resist very high temperatures. There's also a gel, that's used to protect gobos and other kind of fragile materials from burning! I think that both Rosco and Lee sell them.

Patrick Hall's picture

What about when you use the modeling lamps? I melted a ton of gels recently on the D1s but maybe the B1s have less heat because they are LED?

Bruno Inácio's picture

I work almost all the time with generator BRons and Profoto, so, I never used gel's on that kind of monoblock lights, but the HT gel's from Lee resist to at least 4 kW HMI lamps, so, there's no problem, for sure, to use them with this kind of flat front panel flash's!

http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/colour-list.html#&filter=ht

Check Lee'scatalog of High Temperature Filters.

why isn't there any company who sells 9cm rounded tells for the Profoto systems? Have no time for DIY. I saw there are some systems for Profoto but this looks much better?