Top 6 Reflectors for Filmmaking Professionals

Filmmakers and photographers often use reflectors for various reasons during production. They help fill and control lights on subjects, giving you greater freedom when shooting in difficult lighting situations. Reflection mirrors can redirect the light from one place to another.

Here is a guide explaining how different colored reflectors will affect your photographs to help you decide which reflector to use. Some reflectors are sold as a 5-in-1, which allows you to unzip and change the color of the reflective panel depending on what you are photographing. The benefit of these reflectors is that you do not have to carry multiple reflectors with you, and you can quickly change colors.

reflectors for filmmaking - filming setup with lighting reflectors

Types of Reflectors

  1. White: White reflectors provide a soft, natural appearance and are one of the most popular choices for reflecting light.
  2. Silver: When shooting in dull, gray conditions, silver reflectors are ideal because they reflect more light. It will be too harsh in bright sunlight.
  3. Gold: When shooting at sunset, go for gold to maintain a warm appearance. Do not overuse this product, as it is easy to make your model appear bronzed.
  4. Black: It is important to note that a black ‘reflector’ does not reflect at all. A black reflector will reduce the amount of light around your subject. Black reflectors used on the left and right of portraits will provide more depth.
  5. Diffuser: Multi-surface reflectors are usually constructed with a translucent diffuser panel that softens direct light. You can then convert this diffuser into a reflector by adding a zip-on cover in a variety of color options.
reflectors for filmmaking - studio setup with black backdrops and lighting reflectors

Best Lighting Reflectors Diffusers

The Movie Squirrel recommends Manfrotto. The Manfrotto Lighting Reflectors and Diffusers are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and serve as fill lights in studio lighting systems. It is not always possible for photographers and videographers to achieve the best light conditions, but having access to good-quality reflectors and diffusers is crucial to making the most of the available light. Most reflectors and diffusers have two different surfaces.

Circular Reflecnd diffusers provide a much stronger and more stable structure.

The Manfrotto Pro Scrim All In One is a collection of lightweight professional light control kits that include all of the essential components required for creative image makers both shooting stills and moving images to take control of their lighting setup by bouncing, diffusing, and flagging the light source. Included are a lightweight frame, textile covers, grip heads, ears, and a carry case, with an impressive compact folded size making it extremely.

reflectors for filmmaking - studio setup with multiple light reflectors

Top 6 Lighting Reflectors and Diffusers

  1. Selens 5 in 1 60cm Light Reflector Photography 

Handles make it easy to hold, and it comes in all the colors you may need. It is difficult to justify spending more money on a premium product over this budget model when collapsible reflectors are so simple to use. A 5-in-1 reflector from Selens is not only affordable, but also comes with reversible colored covers for shooting in a variety of situations. Compared to some reflectors, it is relatively small, but the advantage is that it can be held in one hand while shooting. A larger version is also available in 80cm and 110cm if you need to shoot larger groups. The device folds down to just 38cm, making it ideal for travel.

  1. Manfrotto TriFlip 8:1 Kit 75cm

The ultimate in color versatility in a conveniently sized panel. The TriFlip is an improvement on the original design developed by Lastolite which developed the first pop-up circular reflector. It is sometimes difficult to handle large-diameter round panels, but this panel’s triangular shape makes it manageable, while still providing plenty of surface area. A single handle is all that is required to keep a good grip, and the handle is easy to hold.

It is available in two sizes, 45cm, and 75cm, with the latter being a more versatile size for portraiture. There is also a 120cm Trigrip version available, which can be used for full-length shots, but is only available in two-in-one configurations.

It is possible to create almost every lighting effect with the TriFlip because it has eight different surface options. Despite the fact that the bare panel is a two-stop diffuser, two reversible covers provide seven options, which include White, Silver, Softsilver (a whiter silver), Gold, Sunlite (a silvery gold), Sunfire (a darker gold), and Black.

  1. Godox Collapsible 5-in-1 Reflector Disc

This is one of the best value reflectors, and it is easy and quick to erect and pack up. Godox reflectors may not have handles, as the Phottid reflectors do, or Lastolite’s handy triangular shape, but they will still do the job and are the cheapest. You can choose from gold, silver, black, white, and translucent versions of the Godox 5-in-1 reflector disc, or you can choose a version with a softer gold side.

It springs out easily and can be packed away into a carry case with ease, as is the case with all collapsible reflectors. It features a steel frame, which makes it very sturdy, and when packed down, it reduces to a third of its maximum size, making it ideal for travel. In any case, the lack of a handle should not be a major concern. If anything, it makes it easier to carry on location since it is less bulky.

  1. Lastolite HaloCompact

This is a compact, portable design, but be warned that it is a little difficult to set up. A standard pop-up reflector collapses to around one-third of its open diameter. The HaloCompact packs into a carry case measuring 27 x 6.5 x 6.5cm and weighs just 335g. It has an opening diameter of 82cm, making it very versatile. Detachable fabric options include silver/white reflector surfaces or two-stop diffuser surfaces; these can be purchased separately, so you only need to purchase one frame.

Due to Lastolite’s RapidExoframe collapsible lightweight aluminum frame, the space-saving design is remarkable. Afterward, the fabric is simply clipped to the frame. There is a handle on the collapsible frame that incorporates a 14″ thread for attaching the panel to the tripod head.

The 12 clips can be difficult to maneuver and stiff to attach, especially when tensioning the fabric with the last couple of clips. With practice, it becomes easier, but it will never be as simple and effortless as a conventional pop-up. The extra set-up time is negligible because most photographers will open and collapse a reflector only once during a shoot.

  1. Profoto Collapsible Reflector 120cm

The Profoto reflector is a very robust option if you do not mind spending a little more. Profoto has built a reputation for professional, high-end lighting, and while it is quite difficult to make a reflector stand out, Profoto has succeeded. Two sizes of the collapsible reflectors are available: a large 120cm version suitable for small groups, or a medium 80cm version suitable for individual portraits. It is often easier to handle smaller reflectors, especially if you are shooting without assistance on location, as they are lighter to hold and are less prone to catching in the wind.

Although several color options are available, you can only purchase them as double-sided, 2-in-1 reflectors, which means you will need to purchase more than one if you wish to achieve different effects. Silver/White, Sunsilver (light gold)/White, Gold/White, Black/White, and a translucent diffuser are available. As a matter of fact, if you were to buy just one, we would recommend the Sunsilver/White option, since the pale gold side adds some warmth to your sitter without producing an unflatteringly yellow reflection, as can occur with a conventional gold surface.

  1. Interfit 5-in-1

It includes a stand – perfect for shooting solo – and is suitable for a variety of situations. It is the Interfit 5-in-1 that will meet your needs if you are looking for something that is not too demanding, will pack down well, and will arrive at your location without causing too much stress. Despite the fact that it is a fairly straightforward, no-frills reflector, the Interfit name ensures that you will be receiving a quality product. The generous surface area of this reflector allows you to take control of your light in a variety of ways, and for the photographer who simply requires a reliable reflector that works well, this is an excellent choice.

In addition to the reflector, the Interfit 5-in-1 comes with a stand and a convenient carrying case, making it much easier to transport and set up the reflector at your shooting location. The Interfit 5-in-1 will give you the ability to control the light quickly and effectively while on location if you plan to get out of the studio.

In conclusion, there are many great reflectors available for filmmaking professionals. Lighting is an essential component of the storytelling process, and you will want to make sure that you are capturing the right lighting. The Profoto Collapsible Reflector 120cm is a robust and reliable option, while the Interfit 5-in-1 is an excellent choice for those who need something more lightweight and portable. Both of these reflectors offer a variety of options to control the light on location, making them ideal for filmmakers looking to create an even distribution of light, reduce light noise, and produce a high-quality film.

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