I think a grid is one of the most underrated yet most useful lighting tools that are available. A grid provides a wider beam than a snoot so it’s useful for focusing light on a particular part of the subject and lets you produce multiple looks from a single light source.
Since a grid blocks some of the light, your light source produces less output so you’ll need to either crank up your light’s power or increase your camera’s ISO setting to maintain the same aperture as an un-gridded shot. How much less? In my not quite perfect tests using a handheld grid, it’s approximately one and one-thirds stops.
Paul C. Buff offers a 20 degree honeycomb grid that snaps into its new Omni reflector’s recessed outer lip that eliminates spill light and provides soft, selective lighting. Attaching a grid to the Omni is a simply a matter of snapping a few clips to its edge; ultimately mounting flush with the front of the reflector and it can be used with or without the diffusion sock that’s included with the Omni.
Here is a shot of Sarah Dean giving her best turn as Rosie the Riveter that was made with a B800 Purple Haze Alien Bee monolight with an Omni reflector mounted that was placed at camera right. A honeycomb grid in mounted on the monolight and a 32-inch reflector is at camera left. Shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens attached and an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/9 and ISO 200.
If you’re interested in studio lighting, pick up a copy of my book “Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as Amazon.com, where your purchase helps this blog.