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.

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.

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.


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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Aaron Brown is a Northwest Indiana wedding & portrait photographer. In his off time, he enjoys grooming his beard, consuming assorted meats and craft beers, and battling friends and foes alike in blitz chess. Follow him below, and feel free to drop him a line anytime.

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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).

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

Does the heat from the light melt the acetate?

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...

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.

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?

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!

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?

Late to the party here but for anyone that comes across this article in the future and is looking for an easy way to cut these to size...

Pick up this:

Most excited I have been to go into Michael's and likely my first Martha Stewart product but if you use the 3 9/16" circle, they fit beautifully in the B1s and B2s.

Additionally an x-acto knife and the lid to a large JIF peanut butter jar works in a pinch.

Thank you Aaron,

I have got to the same idea, purchasing Lee Filter gel sheets and cutting them of the right measure... very cheep, quick to switch between colours and easy to carry (no need to bring along big rolled sheets).

However I have noticed that, using them on my Profoto D1 1000W, although careful to never keep the modelling light on, they tend to melt when the flash power is high (at max power you can see a clear smoke plum and it smell of burnt plastic).
See the picture of one of my gels, after just few flashes...

I am using the new OCF filter holder on my B2, but that is not usable, for the same reason, on the D1. It would be nice if Profoto could come to a similar solution for their "bigger" lighting (not the clumsy old filter holder that goes on the old zoom reflector).

Can anybody help?


I realize this is an older article, but I thought I'd respond nevertheless. Thanks for sharing this creative method, I will have to give it a try! Gels and D1s are somewhat of an issue. I am shooting D1 and D2s in studio and occasionally on location (commercial photography), and in order to use gels with Profoto, I have been using a Fotodiox Universal Barndoor Kit with regular Profoto a speedring adaptor. The kit comes with some gels, but you will have to custom cut other sizes/colors for more color options. Disclaimer: the barn door is cheaply made, but it works, and allows for quick/easy gel changes without having to touch the hot flash (during a session), and the gels are far enough away from the heat that there shouldn't be any heating/melting issues. However, this method is limited to use this with a barn door, but for me this works for most of my studio gel applications and being able to change gels during a session is important to me as you can't change gels with this particular method with a head that just has been used. I have been considering getting Profotos gel filter reflector adaptor, but this requires a reflector mounted ...