Last week one of my friends sent me a Chinese knockoff version of the MagMod Professional Flash Kit. MagMod Flash Diffusers are a revolutionary flash modification system for hot-shoe flashes. These modifiers use magnets to connect to the front of the flash and thus allow you to change them in a jiffy.
This Chinese counterfeit I received was packed in a remarkably similar looking box. External of the box was designed similar to the Magmod original, except for the photo and the name. It was a cheap paper box. Once opened, the internal contents looked identical MagMod’s Kit. The Original MagMod Professional Flash Kit contains the MagGrip, a simple and effective solution for attaching and removing accessories from your flash through the use of magnets. The kit then bundles in a variety of modifiers, including the MagSphere diffuser, the MagBounce, the MagGrid, and the MagGel with the Creative Gel Set.
The Chinese clone calls its Grip as HifGrip. The other modifiers, included in the box are – the HifSphere diffuser, the HifBounce, the HifGrid, and the HifGRL (sic) The last one is spelling mistake (should have been HifGel) by this manufacturer, which is a must-have feature in every knockoff ;).
Once I opened the box, I realized they had copied the MagMod exactly. The elasticity of the rubber feels good enough but not as tight as how MagMod feels. In fact, one of the gripes I have about original MagGrip is that trying to fit the grip to a flash is a pretty tough task. The knockoff version was easy to fit and remove. That might seem good, but it might be a bad idea when the modifier pulls it off the flash and you will be spending time trying to fit it back while missing the important moment to photograph.
I tested all the modifiers one by one. Quality of light was somewhat identical to that of the original. There was a hairline difference, but not good enough to show side by side comparison. That is why I did not show you any of the difference between original & knockoff in this blog. Softness was also almost similar to MagMod. One thing I noticed that the Gels which were provided were not exactly similar in colour. That might create a different look than what you are expecting.
Mag Grip, MagSphere, MagBounce and MagGrid all have a very powerful rare-earth Neodymium Magnet. The beauty of the genuine Magmod magnet is that they are very powerful. So your modifier will not drop off halfway through the shoot. Original Magmod modifiers have very strong magnets which hold the modifiers so strong, that it takes quite a bit of effort to pry it away. All the knockoff modifier had weak magnets. Knockoffs were so weak that simple shake will detach them from the grip and falls down. So there is a greater chance of losing them easily. If you are shooting a professional event, the safety of the modifier is pretty important.
So, what is the advantage of this knockoffs? Other than cheaper price, nothing much. I agree it is available at a fraction of price of the original. There will not any sort of warranty (Magmod Provides a year-long Limited Warranty). By going for these knock-offs you are depriving the original innovator’s incentive to innovate. I do agree MagMod’s are little on the pricey side, but their product quality is impeccable and all those who have used it vouch for that. That is why I suggest you support the original MagMod. Magmod’s magnets are tested to work with all sort of electronic products as well as solid-state hard drives, CF and SD memory cards without causing any adverse effects. For more information check out their support article about magnets There is no such test done by anyone with these counterfeits. Since we are not sure of the type of the cheap magnets they use, it might be harmful to the electronic products. So I don’t recommend them. I am not giving details of where you can buy these knockoffs I mentioned in this blog. Please do not ask. I tried to search online and I could not find any online store selling them.
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this review. My friend gave me the Chinese knockoffs for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I was not required to write a positive review. The photos of the original Kit is from MagMod website.