One of the signs of a great cinematographer is the way they shape and control light. And one of the most fundamental tools a filmmaker can have in their arsenals to accomplish that is a multipurpose collapsible reflector/diffuser. A few days ago we received a new twist on this trusty standby in the form of the Pixel Addix PA-TR1 5-in-1 Grip Reflector.
After spending no more than five minutes with the PA-TR1 I was so impressed that I immediately ordered a pair for our church film team and another pair for my own personal rig. It’s that impressive.
Traditionally speaking, collapsible reflectors have been lightweight and portable, but very unwieldy to use in all by the most controlled environments. With the Pixel Addix 5-in-1 you retain all that same mobility while gaining far more operational control through the addition of a handle that can mount the reflector directly to a tripod. It’s one of those innovations that feels so obvious in retrospect that you wonder how you ever lived without it.
It’s one of those innovations that feels so obvious in retrospect that you wonder how you ever lived without it.
The PA-TR1 itself has multiple applications, the first being the ability to use white, silver and gold surfaces for bouncing light. Secondly, it includes a black side for flagging, or cutting, light to your subject. Finally, it has a translucent function that diffuses light to soften shadows, which is especially useful when filming with direct light or sunlight.
At first blush the build quality seems rugged, including the soft case that comes with it. The reflector collapses down to a disc roughly 14” wide by 1.5” thick, easy for fast setup, tear down and transfer. While it can easily be utilized by a small crew out in the field, solo operators will be the ones most likely to benefit for the PA-TR1’s new design. Just don’t forget to grab a sandbag for your tripod if you’re going to filming in high winds.
Best of all, the Pixel Addix 5-in-1 Reflector currently retails for only $25, which makes it a no-brainer for almost any film team in need of a portable reflector. It’s easily one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your cinematography.