Lighting Reviews

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Steve Bedell  |  Oct 27, 2015  |  0 comments

I had the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks with the Profoto B2 Location Kit. Said kit contains one power supply with two batteries, two flash heads, a carrying bag, and more. Profoto also sent me a bunch of light-shaping tools to experiment with.

Steve Bedell  |  Oct 18, 2012  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2012  |  2 comments

Recently I had an opportunity to test Profoto’s D1 monolight and their HR Softbox 1.5x3. To check out the combo the company sent along a Profoto D1 Air Kit that includes two D1 monolights, stands, umbrellas, and a case. I did not have the Air Remote to control the units from camera position.

Steve Bedell  |  Sep 19, 2011  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

One of the biggest advancements in recent years in flash photography has been the ability to use your camera-compatible flash off-camera and wirelessly. Canon, Nikon, and others have developed their own systems where you can control multiple units that not only fire at the same time but also can be put into groups with their own settings.

Jack Neubart  |  May 22, 2015  |  0 comments

Light is a precious commodity in close-up and macro photography. The closer you get to your subject, the more light you lose through lens extension. Move to within inches of the subject and your camera or body may block the existing daylight. Also, the closer you get, the more depth of field you lose, so it would help to stop down. All of this translates to a need for additional light—in other words, a supplementary light source. What’s more, when shooting live critters and wind-blown plants, we may also need that light source to freeze subject movement, or at least provide shutter speeds that are fast enough to contain movement. To meet these needs, I’ve often turned to a macro ringflash and, alternatively, a macro twin flash. An economical alternative is an LED ringlight.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 20, 2011  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Rime Lite (www.rimeliteusa.com) monolights are manufactured by Hyundae Photonics Co., Ltd., a company that’s been building high-quality studio lighting gear in Korea since 1981. They’re now being distributed in the U.S.A. by Dynalite (www.dynalite.com). The Fame Monolights are available in three different models that deliver 200, 400, and 600 watt-second output. (To see technical specifications on the three Fame monolights, go to the Instant Links section of our website, www.shutterbug.com, for this issue.) The monolights feature a circular Xenon flash tube and a modeling light that’s protected by a hard vented glass cover that easily screws on or off. Two knobs on the back of each light allow you to continuously vary the output for either the flash or the modeling light. A cluster of four LED-illuminated buttons let you turn on (or off) sound, the modeling light, the built-in slave, or the ubiquitous “test.”

Jack Neubart  |  Aug 29, 2011  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Many of us use the speedlight’s built-in kicker panel to add catchlights to the eyes and thereby give the subject a more animated look. Regrettably, this built-in device plays a marginal role in filling in shadows. So we turn to much larger, more functional bounce panels, and although they offer distinct advantages, these third-party panels may not be as flexible as we’d like. Enter Rogue FlashBenders from ExpoImaging (www.expoimaging.com). These panels quite literally lend a unique twist to speedlight photography.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 18, 2013  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2013  |  0 comments

In this test, Joe Farace tackles a higher-end LED light source that he adapted to still photography work. In it you will find technical sidebars outlining how we will test LEDs for the still photographer in the future. We offer this somewhat tech-heavy review as both a close look at this unit and a primer on LED output and LED lighting, which, as Joe states, will become increasing important, and prevalent, in studio and location work for the still shooter.—Editor

Joe Farace  |  Oct 15, 2012  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2012  |  1 comments

One trend much in evidence for lighting these days is the use of LED as a light source. Rotolight, distributed in the US by R.T.S. Inc. (www.rtsphoto.com), has several new products in this space, beginning with their RL48-B RingLight. As a continuous light source, the Rotolight is useful for video or still photography. The basic RL48-B includes a filter holder and a Lee Filters Calibration Filter Kit (CTO: 205, 223, and 285; ND/Diffusion: 298, 209, and 216).

Joe Farace  |  Feb 05, 2016  |  0 comments

LED lighting is all the rage with the cool kids and why not? It’s continuous and that’s important for new photographers or anyone wishing to capture hybrid—video and still—imagery. It’s also literally cool, with no eyebrow-melting hot lights making subjects uncomfortable.

Joe Farace  |  Oct 01, 2009  |  0 comments

Safari Luminations is a family of monolights and light-modification products aimed at the new shooter or someone getting started in studio photography.

Jack Neubart  |  Apr 29, 2014  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2014  |  0 comments

A handheld meter is not just for studio work. Tricky lighting situations, high contrast, and unusual subject tonalities can often pose problems for camera metering systems, as advanced as they are. Beyond that, the camera meter can’t help with studio flash.
The first step toward taking tighter control with a broader range of lighting situations is to use a handheld meter. Enter the new Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR (PocketWizard version). Out of the box, it measures incident light. This exposure meter will also prove valuable when working with studio (or any manual) flash or a mix of ambient light and flash.

Joe Farace  |  Aug 05, 2014  |  0 comments

There are two kinds of portrait photographers: the first likes to shoot with “available light,” by which they mean “every light that’s available.” For some shooters, setting up five lights to make a portrait is just getting started. The second group prefers to use as few light sources as possible because there’s less gear to fiddle with, which translates into more time spent concentrating on the subject. Isn’t that what making a portrait is all about? Using fewer lights is less expensive, reduces setup time, and results in less weight to transport on location. But can you make a portrait with just one light?

Joe Farace  |  Oct 07, 2014  |  0 comments

The first thing I did after receiving Flashpoint’s 180 battery-powered monolight was shoot a few tests to get a feel for how well the unit performed. Although impressed, more so than with some other battery-powered units I’ve used, at one point while shooting with a Canon EOS 60D, a BG-E9 battery grip, and an EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, I thought, “Wow, why is this camera so heavy?” That was when the “Small Monolight/Small Camera” concept was born and I decided to shoot this review using a Micro Four Thirds camera. And why not, so I worked with my Panasonic Lumix G5 for the test.

Joe Farace  |  Nov 15, 2012  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2012  |  0 comments

One of the first lighting kits I ever owned was a set of Smith-Victor Adapta-Lights that had screw-base sockets for photoflood lamps. Son of a gun, the company still offers Adapta-Lights as an entry-level solution for beginning portrait photographers who want to work with hot lights. On the other hand, if you prefer making portraits using electronic flash, Smith-Victor’s three-light FL700K Strobe Light Kit may be just what you’re looking for.

 

The FL700K Strobe Light Kit that I tested is designed for amateur photographers and aspiring pros and contains two FLC300 (320 ws) FlashLite and one 110i (110 ws) FlashLite monolights. The FLC300 monolights offer continuously variable flash power settings, a test button, a ready light, and an optical slave for wireless triggering and have an umbrella stand adapter that’s compatible with 3/8” through 5/8” light stand posts. To expand the kit’s capabilities, Smith-Victor offers more than 100 accessories and light modifiers for the FLC300 monolights, including softboxes, reflectors, snoots, grids, and barn doors. The 110i monolight has a full- or half-power setting, optical slave, small built-in reflector, and umbrella mount. When used together, all three lights give you lots of flexibility for lighting studio or on-location portraits.

Ron Eggers  |  Oct 01, 2009  |  0 comments

On-camera flash units have been around for some 50 years and now they’ve become much more sophisticated with the development of D-SLRs.

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