Lighting Reviews

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Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 19, 2017  |  0 comments

If it wasn’t so corny I’d call the LitraTorch a pocket full of sunshine. Instead I’ll call it the future of portable constant lighting for videographers and photographers. 

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Aug 01, 2019  |  1 comments

The LitraPro is a compact, rechargeable, high-output LED light source that offers a broad spectrum of color temperature settings and is fully dimmable from 0% to 100%. The LitraPro operates up to 45 minutes at the highest power setting and, should you land on it when you fall into a 90-feet deep swimming pool, no problem—it won’t break or suffer water damage. Sounds incredible, no?

Steve Bedell  |  Apr 01, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

The digital camera revolution has brought about many changes, not the least being the ability to photograph in low-light levels that were only wishful thinking a few years ago. That ability has also spawned significant changes in lighting equipment. In many cases, high-powered flash equipment is no longer needed when you can simply turn the ISO dial on your camera to achieve the desired f/stop. And with small product photography, it makes more sense for many of us to use inexpensive constant light sources rather than high-powered strobe setups. There’s no doubt that the trend to more constant light options in both daylight and tungsten color balance will continue.

Jack Neubart  |  Dec 04, 2012  |  0 comments

I’ve worked with numerous macro flash systems. Most focus on the flash being on axis with the lens, often in the form of a ring flash mounted directly onto the lens. Alternatively, a twin-head system can be used, which attaches by way of a mounting ring. Here, the ultra-lightweight/ compact heads practically hug the lens. Usually, the flash heads are tethered to a controller, which also serves as the battery housing. While they may have some freedom of movement, the individual flash heads can’t be easily used entirely off-camera because they have nothing to support them when you’re shooting handheld.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jul 11, 2014  |  0 comments

You may have used a beauty dish in the studio. Here’s a very portable model that you’ll find hard to leave at home. It’s quite affordable, too.

Jack Neubart  |  Nov 01, 2010  |  0 comments

I prefer to shoot macros and close-ups handheld, so, when I need to augment the existing light or replace it entirely, I look for a compact solution. And for me, that often means a ringlight. It’s a simple and undemanding yet effective tool. For my really tight close-ups at or near life-size, I set focus manually in advance so there’s no worry about the AF sensor trying to lock on...

Jack Neubart  |  Dec 19, 2014  |  0 comments

Shoe-mounted flashes are handy tools. Where space or weight is a concern, a kit with two or three shoe-mounted flashes is much easier to carry than even the smallest power pack/head combo or a low-output monolight, and more versatile.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 24, 2012  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2012  |  2 comments

If you’re looking for European build quality at a reasonable price, Multiblitz’s series of Profilux monolights are a good place to start. Built in Germany, the two Profilux models—250 and 500 watt second versions—are the perfect tool for the serious amateur or established professional and feature fast recycling times, short flash durations, and consistent color temperatures. The Profilux 250 has a five-stop power range that’s adjustable in 1/10-stop increments with a modeling lamp that delivers an expected service life of 2000 hours. The Profilux 500 delivers all of the same features as the 250 but with twice the output power.

Jack Neubart  |  Dec 13, 2011  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2011  |  0 comments

I was quite impressed with Nissin’s initial lineup of shoe-mount strobes. The Di866 Professional (now the Di866 Mark II) is quite innovative and versatile in its own right, sporting a full-color menu interface, while providing TTL wireless operation. There’s also the Di466 (for Nikon, Canon, and Four Thirds cameras). And the Di622 has been updated to the largely revamped Di622 Mark II, now the subject of this review.

Jack Neubart  |  Feb 07, 2013  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2013  |  1 comments

The Nissin Di622 Mark II offered some notable improvements over the original Di622, but that flash didn’t offer the firepower of the Nissin flagship Di866 Professional. So I was curious and eager to see what the new Di866 Mark II Professional had in store.

Jack Neubart  |  Nov 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Wow! That’s all I need to say about the new Nissin Di866 shoe-mount flash. This baby has to be experienced to be believed. I was impressed with the other flash units Nissin first sent me, but this new flash sets new standards in technology and user-friendliness. For starters, the Di866 features wireless TTL that lets me take advantage of the latest camera/flash exposure advances. Second, it...

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 30, 2013  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2013  |  0 comments

The Nissin MF18 fully supports Nikon’s i-TTL autoexposure as well as Canon’s E-TTL system. I tested with the Nikon 60mm Micro, but also had success with a zoom, namely the Tamron 70-300mm with a Marumi DHG Achromat Macro (plus-diopter) lens attached, both on my Nikon D300. Much of my close-up work with the MF18 involved Manual shooting mode set on the camera for tighter exposure control, and manual focus.

Steve Bedell  |  Dec 20, 2016  |  0 comments

When I first heard about the AlienBees DigiBee flash units, my reaction was probably mirrored by many: An AlienBees light with a digital back, what’s to get excited about? And while the new DigiBee might not have all the whiz-bang features of some of the higher-priced lights on the market, there are several hidden surprises that may make you want to take a look.

 

Steve Bedell  |  Aug 25, 2011  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Photography is all about light and photographers are always looking at ways to modify it. Visit any studio of a working pro and you’re bound to see softboxes, umbrellas, cones, snoots, grids, beauty dishes, parabolic reflectors, etc. Each has their purpose in changing the shape and/or character of the light. Using the same light source, you can modify it from a sharp, harsh, point light source with distinct shadows to a soft, even light source with very little or no shadows. With that in mind I decided to give one of these modifiers a test, the Paul C. Buff PLM v.2.

Steve Bedell  |  Mar 07, 2012  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2012  |  0 comments

Let me tell you about my first experience with a Vagabond Mini. I was teaching one of my lighting workshops, using a flash unit with its battery pack. The light and battery pack were a kit I’d purchased as a combo. We’d been shooting a while and the battery pack was almost dead when one of the other photographers there told me he had a Vagabond Mini in the car. We unhooked my dead battery, and using the AC power cord from the flash unit, proceeded to just plug in to the Mini and keep on shooting! And shooting, and shooting… You see, this thing really supplies a lot of flashes and can be used with many flash units. But let’s start at the beginning…

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