LumiQuest LQ-114 Snoot
Snoots are handy light modifiers capable of limiting light dispersal to a narrow angle of coverage. While these handy light modifiers have long been a staple of studio photography, it’s only been in the past decade or so that a growing selection of smaller snoots have been designed to work with hot shoe mount flash versions.
Different manufacturers have taken different approaches to snoot design and construction. Some, such as the Zoot Snoot, use neoprene for durability and versatility, while others, such as the Interfit version, are made of durable metal. Then there are ones that are made of less rugged materials. LumiQuest’s LQ-114 snoot is one such entry.
This is a lightweight product that folds flat when not in use. Like many of these small light modifiers designed for use with shoe mount flash units, it attaches to the flash head via Velcro. Its four flaps Velcro to each flat surface of the flash head requiring attaching matching Velcro squares to your flash. LumiQuest also offers a Velcro strap you can use instead of the permanently attached Velcro strips. A snoot can be useful as the only light source for creating a spotlight effect on your subject or it can be used as a supplemental light positioned off camera to use as a hair light or rim light.
Pros (4 out of 5)
The LumiQuest LQ-114Snoot takes up very little space in your camera bag and does a nice job of restricting of the flash unit’s light output. When folded flat, the snoot is 5 3/4" by 7 3/4" and can be stowed in the flap compartment or side compartment of many camera bags. It’s designed so it doesn’t block the flash’s sensor either, a nice precaution by LumiQuest since it allows for E-TTL units to perform properly. The snoot can fit a pretty wide range of portable flash units too, although it does have trouble fitting onto larger flash heads such as Canon’s 550EX.
Cons (1 out of 5)
Now for the bad news. Fitting the LumiQuest Snoot to a flash unit is a bit on the difficult side, particularly if you’re trying to get a solid fit instead of a loose one. Light leaks are hard to avoid too since the edges don’t line up very well when you try to wrap it around the head of the flash unit. When using mine I find I need to use some Gaffer’s tape to tape it into the proper shape, an annoying and time wasting process. This isn’t a particularly durable or rugged light modifier either. When placed into heavy use, cracks in the material occur and functionality is compromised. I’m doubtful it will last very long under heavy use. Also, keep in mind that the restricted area of coverage the snoot provides can throw off the camera’s metering system since the illuminated area will be small.
Price to value (3 out of 5)
At $28.95 (some websites offer it for $23.95) this light modifier just isn’t worth the price, especially when you consider how flimsy it is.