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Posted 10/11/21
Nanlite has announced the PavoTube II 15x and 30x RGBWW LED Pixel Tubes, updating the popular fixtures to include pixel-based special effects, DMX compatibility, boosted output, better diffusion, a stronger housing, and revamped app control. An on-location favorite, these portable lights can provide a splash of color, match ambient light, or be used to build up a lighting environment from scratch. The 15x is 24" and the 30x is 48" in length. PavoTube II 15x (left) and 30x (right) The second-gen PavoTube offers an expanded color temperature range of 2700-12000K with green to magenta adjustment and a CRI of 96 and TLCI of 98 for precise and accurate output. Additionally, full-spectrum RGB hue and saturation controls allow you to further tweak output to get the exact desired effect. Speaking of effects, in addition to the 15 practical effects introduced with its predecessor, the new light includes 10 new pixel-based effects, including: Hue Loop, CCT Loop, INT Loop, Multi-Color, Gradient, Scrolling, Marching, Flame, Rainbow, and Driving. Other updates include an upgraded control pack with locking buttons, enhanced app control, and DMX compatibility. A larger illumination area produces brighter output from the new light, as well as more uniform diffusion. The PavoTube II also features an updated metal housing, adding to its durability and prolonging life on set. Three ¼"-20 receivers provide a range of mounting possibilities. Lithium-ion batteries provide up to 1 hour and 26 minutes (15x) or 1 hour and 36 minutes (30x) at full brightness with a recharge time of 2 hours or 2 hours and 40 minutes, respectively, via an included AC adapter. Accompanying the new lights is a handful of accessories, including waterproof housings, fabric barndoors, and a foldable floor stand. The lights are available individually or as multi-light kits. PavoTube II 15x Kit PavoTube II 30x Kit Do you have experience working with LED tubes? Share your thoughts on the new PavoTube II in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 10/05/21
Luxli has added another instrument to its “symphony of light” with the new Cello 2 compact 10" on-camera LED light, and I was happy to get my hands on it to light a few scenes. At first glance, the light has basically the same form factor as the original Cello light, it comes with a shoe mount and L-series NP-F750 battery like the original, but the Cello 2 also includes a USB Type-C cable and power adapter, rather than a battery charger. The USB Type-C port on the Cello 2 has been updated to allow charging, while the previous model’s micro-USB port was only for firmware updates (you can now update the Cello 2 firmware via the Composer app). The advantage of this update is that you can power the light and charge the battery at the same time. It also retains a DC power input if you have a 7 to 15V adapter, allowing you to also utilize external batteries and plates with a DC output. Cello2 with adjustable shoe mount The light is easy to start up right out of the box, and I set it up with the included shoe mount on my camera. The mount is made of metal, which holds the light steady with easy adjustments. It is also very easy to pop onto a tripod or light stand using the ¼"-20 thread on the bottom. I plugged in the power adapter, and the instructions in the box, as well as on the back LED screen, state very clearly that the light requires a minimum voltage and a PD 3.0 compatible adapter, so it’s best to stick with the original adapter in the box when using the USB Type-C input. Or you can always power it using the DC input or install the included L-series battery in the slot on the back. Contents of box Also in the box is a custom photometrics sheet for this particular light―not the model line, the actual light in your box tied to the serial number, which is a handy detail on Luxli lights not found with many LED products. If you are a calibration nerd and want to ensure the color gamut, beam angle, lux vs kelvin, or Planckian locus derivations are accurate, you’ve got all the information you need. It even lists what instrument was used to calibrate the light, so the lumen heads among us can geek out some more. Another update from the original Cello is the array of 176 5-die LEDs (as opposed to 4-die in the original Cello), which feature all five colors (Red, Green, Blue, Amber, and White) in a single LED package (or die), making it easier to mix colors more efficiently, as well as to cut down on the number of LEDs installed in the light to keep it compact and require less power. Also according to Luxli, it features 20% brighter output, lower power usage, and an expanded color temperature range from a minimum of 3000K on the original Cello to 2800 to 10,000K on the Cello 2, which gives you even more choice when setting your CCT levels. Photometrics chart in the box Back display The Cello 2 is very light, weighing less than a pound, but when you add the included NP-F750 battery or another high-capacity pack, it can get a bit weighty even for the durable shoe mount (1.4 lb by my home scale). That’s why it is a great advantage to offload the power to a pro battery or other source, so you can keep that weight down when using it in a mobile setting. The NP-F750 lasts about two hours with constant use, but if you need more batteries for the light for longer shooting days, additional Watson Li-ion packs such as the NP-F975 or NP-F770 are just fine to pop onto the back of the light and charge using the USB input. Composer App CCT mode Turning on the light is easy. There are two buttons on the bottom of the light just under the LED. The power button is inset, so it can’t be pressed accidentally and can be easily distinguished from the other button by touch, which is a nice feature. The other button allows you to select the options when you use the knobs next to the LED for the different light modes, levels, and brightness. The modes are set up in the same way as on the original Cello model with HSL mode, CCT mode, Effects mode, and RGB mode, and it features easily selectable gels to mix and match. Both knobs are redesigned for easier adjustment, allowing you to change settings smoothly in 1% increments, so you have seemingly unlimited color options. When you want to inject even more personality into your scenes, the ten lighting effects, such as Color or CCT chase, Explosion, Fire, Fireworks, Lightning, Paparazzi, Pulse, Siren, and Strobe, are fun to customize. Composer App light effects For more complexity and control, Luxli highly recommends downloading the free Luxli Composer app for iOS and Android. I tried the app on iOS and Android phones, and it installs and operates on both without an issue. The updated Bluetooth 5 connection is fast and instant, and once you have it enabled (the instruction sheet tells you how to enable it out of the box), you can use it from up to 100' away, which is great when shooting in a large area while controlling several lights. The controls respond instantly, and it allows you to navigate the settings in a much more organized way than on the tiny LED screen on the back of the light. Bluetooth connection setup on Composer app Like all other Luxli lights in the “symphony,” the Composer app also allows you to add the Cello 2 to a group so you can control all your lights, no matter what the Luxli model, from a single location. It makes everything easier to control—mix different settings, save different modes, even see the light view from your smartphone camera―basically acting as your central lighting console. I found using the app much easier and intuitive to navigate than the buttons, much better on my eyes, and there is no delay whatsoever in wireless response. However, if you are not using the app and Bluetooth setting on the Cello2, I would recommend turning off Bluetooth to conserve the battery, since Bluetooth can be a power drain. Cello2 mounted on Canon 5D Mark III There are also handy, custom-made accessories available for the Cello 2, which include a barndoor set and a diffuser hood. The barndoor kit snaps right onto the light and the diffuser hood secures using a magnet, making it easy to take them on and off when needed. The diffuser hood creates a noticeably softer output, and the four-way barndoors perform as they are designed, to cut light from four sides with individual adjustment on each side. Overall, the new Cello 2 is a powerful light with color output that rates at CRI 97/TLCI 97 at 3200K and CRI 97/TLCI 98 at 5600K, which are high scores on the accuracy scale. I was also impressed with the brightness output (which shows 1500 lux at ~3' on the photometrics sheet), and the versatility of color mixing and the response of the controls were a breeze to work with. It’s a light that can definitely find its way into my kit for mobile production, vlogging, a sit-down interview, or even a studio shoot. Is the Luxli Cello 2  the right light for your production? Share your thoughts and any questions you may have in the Comments section.
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Posted 11/03/21
Making a name for itself with powerful, compact, and durable LED lights for video and action sports applications, Light & Motion is taking things up a notch with the Reflex and Reflex S —a new breed of LED fixture that supports ultra-fast flash as well as a highly capable continuous light. It also maintains a lot of StellaPro’s DNA with its ability to run on a battery, a tiny size, and beautiful quality of light. Hybrid video/stills shooters desiring a single light for all their needs will definitely be pleased. StellaPro Reflex You’ll find the Reflex to be a light that answers a lot of questions all in a single package. It’s a strobe and a continuous light. It’s lightweight and rugged. It’s battery or AC powered. It’s ultra-fast and able to offer accurate color. Whether you’re shooting weddings, events, action, adventure, editorial, or portraiture, the StellaPro Reflex can do the trick. Being dual purpose does require a unique take on the light. It features a single, large flicker-free LED to perform both the continuous lighting and flash functions. This is a solid LED, much like earlier offerings from Light & Motion, which offers TLCI/CRI of 93/92, daylight color balance, and maximum output of 9,000 lumens on AC power or 6,000 lumens on the included battery handle. Plus, in the burst (strobe) mode it will double that output and hit 18,000 lumens. It’s a reliable fixture that balances power and size, delivering similar output to similar-size LEDs and on-camera speedlights. StellaPro Reflex S One of the best aspects is the speed of this system compared to more traditional strobes, like a monolight. The Reflex S can hit speeds of up to 20 fps at full power without overheating. There is also no real recycle time, meaning that every time you hit the shutter you will have the Reflex ready and waiting. If you are looking to freeze action with the flash, then you are in luck because it does have a flash duration as short as 1 ms (1/1,000 second). It is with speed where we can identify the differences between the Reflex and the upgraded Reflex S. The base Reflex offers continuous shooting of 10 fps and a minimum flash duration of 5 ms (1/200 second) while the Reflex S will offer the full 20 fps and minimum duration of 1 ms (1/1,000 second). You’ll have to choose based on your own need, but both are good. Flexible power options are the same for both, and many will likely opt for the included battery handle for on-the-go shoots. This battery will support continuous lighting up to 6,000 lumens for 30 minutes at full power or for up to 15,000 full-power flashes at 18,000 lumens. It connects using a standard USB-C port, and with 100W USB-C AC adapters you can achieve a maximum output of 9,000 lumens. Being standard USB-C PD, you can power the Reflex with a number of accessories, including large battery packs with D-tap to USB adapters. For flash firing to sync properly with your camera, you will need to ensure a good connection. The Reflex offers built-in radio receivers to handle this, and StellaPro offers support for Profoto, Elinchrom, and Godox standards to make it easy to add a Reflex to your current kit. Alternatively, there is a standard 3.5mm input for a wired connection to other triggers or directly to a camera. Physically, the Reflex and Reflex S are tiny lights, perfectly suitable for on-camera or handheld use. They are also very durable, with IP65 weatherproofing that will let them hold up to a little bit of inclement weather when working outdoors. They are rated to survive drops from 3.3' high. With the battery grip, they are light, weighing around 1.5 lb. Plenty of accessories and modifiers will be available to work with the Reflex and Reflex S. Included is a medium optic, although a wide 50-degree and spot optics are also available. A Chimera speedring and 24" and 30" octaboxes are available for softer lighting, as well. Or you can use the Profoto C-stand adapter for using Profoto light shaping tools. Users should have no problem getting the light to look just the way they need. A cool accessory would be the bar attachment, which lets you mount up to five Reflex lights on a single stand. This will give you power equivalent to a typical battery-powered monolight if you were looking for maximum output. When using a trigger, all with sync perfectly. The Reflex is opening the door to a new type of light, one that appeals directly to the ever-growing hybrid market where stills and video are of equal importance. Having a single light for every shot is a hugely appealing idea, and the Reflex just might be the perfect light for many shooters. What do you think of the Reflex and Reflex S? Let us know in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 09/09/21
Profoto’s new 250Ws B10X and 500Ws B10X Plus OCF flash heads were designed with hybrid photo and video creators in mind. Boasting shorter recycle times and brighter LED modeling lights than the B10 and B10 Plus, the duo offer improved performance while retaining the features that made their predecessors so popular in the first place. Profoto B10X and B10X Plus With an ever-growing number of photographers branching out into video, a renewed focus has been placed on the humble modeling light. No longer afterthoughts when choosing a strobe, LED modeling lights have evolved into reliable continuous sources in their own rights. Profoto has been at the forefront of this trend, incorporating high-quality, versatile LEDs into its portable flash units. The B10X and B10X Plus output up to 3250 lumens, a 30% improvement over past models, while maintaining the ability to adjust color temperature between 3000-6500K to match ambient lighting or produce creative effects.  Profoto B10X Anyone who has used strobes to capture action knows that a light’s recycle time can mean the difference between a great shot and a just-missed shot. The B10X outperforms the B10 by 35%, offering 1.35-second recycle times, while the B10X Plus has improved over the B10 Plus by 20%, with a 2.2-second recycle time. Both lights feature built-in AirX Bluetooth technology, smart connectivity via the Profoto app, and wireless control via Profoto’s Air remotes―including the A-series.   Profoto B10X Plus The user interfaces of the B10X and B10X Plus continue Profoto’s gravitation toward simple, streamlined design and clear, visible settings. Both lights preserve the form factor of their predecessors, making them easy to carry for travel and location work. Likewise, the new lights are compatible with all of Profoto’s OCF modifiers, as well as a host of other Profoto light-shaping tools. Battery life lasts for up to 65 minutes of full continuous LED light, 400 full-power B10X flashes, or 200 full-power B10X Plus flashes, with 90-minute recharge time. Firmware updates can be installed via the Profoto app or a USB-C port. You can purchase the new lights individually or as two-light kits: the 250Ws B10X or the 500Ws B10X Plus. Have you used Profoto’s B10-series lights? Excited about its newest duo? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 05/25/21
Join Peter Hurley in his photo studio as he shows you how to light a headshot using speedlights and strobes. Do you have a preference for speedlights or strobes? Tell us about your own lighting setup in the Comments, below. Want to learn more from Peter Hurley? Watch the rest of the episodes in this series: Part 1: Natural & Continuous Lighting for Headshots Part 3: Directing & Posing for Headshots Part 4: Camera Gear & Settings for Headshots Part 5: Post Shoot Workflow for Headshots
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Posted 05/21/21
Professional photographer Tony Gale shares his portrait photography tips for lighting a backdrop, from a bright white background to one with bold, saturated colors. What are your takeaways from this tutorial? Let us know in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 02/24/21
Profoto has unveiled the Pro-11 2400 AirTTL Power Pack, adding AirX connectivity as well as a variety of internal and external design upgrades to its flagship power pack. A familiar sight on fashion, action, and high-speed photo sets, Profoto’s power packs have earned their namesake, providing dependable, top-tier performance on some of the most demanding jobs in the photo industry. Capable of firing as fast as 1/80,000 second, the Pro-11 is equipped to capture even the most elusive subjects with ease. The addition of AirX functionality not only opens the door to wireless communication with AirX-enabled devices, but also simplifies firmware updates, making it easier than ever to ensure your gear is working at the highest possible level. What's New? AirX Compatibility Adding AirX Bluetooth functionality places the Pro-11 in the company of Profoto’s most technologically advanced lighting tools and “future-proofs” its operation. The AirX App can be used to adjust settings using mobile devices from a distance of up to 100 feet Firmware updates can now be performed without needing to go through the hassle of a USB interface Joins A10 and B10 strobes to form the basis of an AirX ecosystem AirX supports all legacy Air and AirTTL equipped devices Redesigned Exterior The Pro-11 maintains a familiar design while implementing a number of tweaks to streamline workflow on set. Bolder, brighter, easier-to-read typeface on the LCD for monitoring settings Improved buttons in line with Profoto’s latest light models Minor changes to user interface for adjusting settings New sound cues Upgraded Interior A number of tweaks under the hood have been added to the Pro-11 to improve safety and performance, including: Protective earth is now separated between flash circuits and logic to reduce the risk of exploding flash tubes Creepage distances between high-voltage circuits and protective earth are increased to reduce risk of short circuit from internal condensation Dump circuit redesign New panel, flash, and power circuit boards Taking the Best from the Pro-10 The Pro-11 shares many of the features that have made its predecessor a rental-house favorite, including its 2-outlet, 2400Ws design, 0.02-0.7s recycle times, and 11-stop power range in 1/10-stop increments. Capable of quick bursts up to 50 flashes per second, the Pro-11 can handle even the fastest subjects with ease. In addition to its built-in wireless capabilities, the Pro-11 also features a ¼" sync socket and USB port. For continuous applications, it can provide a maximum power of 2 x 500W. A fan is incorporated into its build for cooling. Profoto Ecosystem The Profoto name has become synonymous with the highest-quality lighting tools available to professional photographers. The Pro-11 is compatible with multiple heads and more than 120 light-shaping tools capable of producing nearly any lighting setup you can imagine. By leveraging the power of AirX, AirTTL, and Air technologies, the Pro-11 can be seamlessly integrated into existing Profoto lighting kits, adding a boost of power and the latest technology to personal and rental kits alike. Have you used Profoto’s power packs on set? Share your experiences and thoughts on the company's latest flagship in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 12/14/20
Westcott has just added two new lights to its FJ Wireless Flash System: the FJ80 Universal Touchscreen 80Ws Speedlight and the FJ200 200Ws Strobe. As the latest additions to the FJ lineup, both lights are designed to maximize compatibility across camera brands. The FJ80 can sit atop virtually any camera while the FJ200 works in tandem with the FJ80 or FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Trigger to achieve camera-specific TTL and sync functionalities. Westcott FJ80 Universal Flash and FJ200 Strobe The FJ80 features a user-friendly color touchscreen LCD for quick and intuitive control, as well as a rounded head to produce natural-looking light and falloff. It can fire up to 1/10000s, sync up to 1/8000s, and discharge at up to 20 fps when shooting continuously. It is compatible with the TTL and sync modes of Canon, Nikon, Sony (with adapter), FUJIFILM, Panasonic, and Olympus cameras. A built-in transceiver frees it from the top of your camera, expanding creative shooting options. The FJ80 can trigger FJ400, FJ200, FJ80, and Canon RT lights from up to 328' away and can be used with 31 groups and 16 channels. It is firmware updatable, keeping it future-proof, and a mobile app is in development for early 2021. The FJ80 has a lithium polymer battery that lasts for about 400 full-power flashes and takes about 2 hours to recharge from empty. A magnetic diffusion dome and magnetic grid and gel pack are available separately to refine the FJ80's output. Additionally, the FJ80 will also be available in a 2-Light Portable Portrait Kit, where it is bundled with the FJ400. The FJ200 serves as a compact wireless strobe perfectly positioned between the FJ80 and FJ400. This sleek 200Ws strobe features an impressive 0.5-1.3s recycle time, so you never miss a moment. The FJ200 is compatible with sync and TTL modes across brands when used with the FJ80 or FJ-X2M trigger. Like the FJ80, the FJ200 can shoot up to 20 fps and sync up to 1/8000s. In Freeze Mode, the FJ200 can fire up to 1/20000s. A 5600K LED modeling light is built in to help shot setups and a bright, color LCD panel makes it easy to keep track of settings from a distance. The FJ200 also has a built-in lithium polymer battery capable of 450 or more full-power flashes between charges. It comes with a reflector, grid, and gels so you can take it out of the box straight to set for use. You can also pick up a separately available snoot with honeycomb grid or diffusion dome for even more creative possibilities. What do you think of Westcott's latest lights? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.
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Posted 06/03/20
Profoto has announced a set of updated light-shaping tools for use with its B10, B10 Plus, and B1X off-camera flashes. The new drop includes barndoors, a snoot, three grids, and 12 gels. Most of the new modifiers are compatible with one another, so you can get exactly the effect that you want out of your flash. The OCF II Barndoors can be freely rotated and individually adjusted for controlling spill. They feature a rubber collar mount combined with a metal clasp for secure attachment to any Profoto OCF flash. A magnetic mount makes it easy to attach OCF II gels for additional effects. A soft bag is included for safe transport. OCF II Barndoors For photographers looking for precise, directed light, the OCF II Snoot shapes your flash’s output into a clean, circular source. Like the barndoors, it attaches via a rubber collar mount and metal clasp and is also compatible with the OCF II Grid and Gel Holder. Its malleable construction makes it easy to fold up for convenient carry in an included soft bag. OCF II Snoot The new OCF II Grid and Gel Kit provides a variety of ways to modify your flash’s light creatively. In addition to an OCF II Grid and Gel Holder, it includes a 20-degree grid, as well as full and half CTO gels for matching your environment’s light. It is compatible with all of the other new tools and includes a soft carry bag.   OCF II Grid & Gel kit You can expand your grid collection by grabbing individually available 10-, 20-, or 30-degree grids for use with the holder. Twelve types of gels are also available individually, including: Full CTO, Half CTO, Quarter CTO, Quarter CTB, Half Plus Green, Rose Pink, Scarlet, Light Lavender, Blue, Yellow, Peacock Blue, and Jade. Have a favorite gel that isn’t available? The OCF II Gel Ring can accommodate any gel cut to size and used with the grid and gel holder. OCF II Grids (10°, 20°, 30°) Which new modifier will you use with your Profoto  off-camera flash? Let us know in the Comments section, below!
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Posted 09/18/19
The new C1 Plus from Profoto is a high-quality, handheld flash and continuous light unit that syncs perfectly with your smartphone. We took it out for a test run in the streets of New York City to see how this light performs. We also take a quick look at the Profoto C1. Both models work with your smartphone and are great for photographers and content creators looking for easy-to-use portable lighting solutions. Learn more about the Profoto C1 and C1 Plus.
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