Photography News Issue 31

Photography News | Issue 31 |

53 Accessories test








Scanlite Halogen Head


LITEPANELS Astra 1x1 Daylight E LED





BRONCOLOR HMI Kit Crossover Kit


Litepanels Astra 1x1 Daylight E LED£420

ElinchromZoomScanlite HalogenHead £290

Pixelstick LEDbar £330 If you’re into low-light photography you’ll probably have seen images created with a Pixelstick – they are quite simply amazing, and it all comes down to the product’s innovative LED lighting design. Physically the stick extends to 1.8m long, features 200 LEDs and runs off eight AA batteries.Butthecrucialpart isthateachof those LEDs can be set to a different colour or shade. On its most simple level, this means youcancreate colourful swathes of light during your long exposures. But you canalsouploadmorecomplex imagesand patterns to the device; these are broken down into single lines and the output updates as youmove horizontally, so each LED becomes a pixel and you can paint a whole picture or symbol into the scene. Upload of images is via SD card and there’s a simple converter on Pixelstick’s website to correctly size any image you want to use – the possibilities are therefore almost endless. The stick itself has a sturdy but light aluminiumhousing and it’s controlled by a simple four-way pad and LCD screen. The device comes with a padded carry case and an extension handle allowing you to spin the lights more easily or hold them steady. Additional diffusing ‘lenses’ for the LED arrays are available. 8

LumeCube LED light £60 The Lume Cube is perfectly

Broncolor HMI F200 Crossover Kit £3,500





named, being first, a light, and secondly a cube. But take a closer look at what this tiny continuous light can do and it will surprise you – it can be used as both a continuous light or as a strobe. Bought either singly or indual or quad packs, the Cube is powerful for its size; it’s only 1in square, but has a maximum output of 1500 lumen, adjustable down to only 1 lumen. The light is balanced at 6000K, making it a little warmer than daylight, and it can run for 20 minutes at full brightness on a single charge, rising to an impressive-for-its-size 2 hours at 50% brightness. The light can be controlled manually via small buttons on its body, or using a Bluetooth connection to iOS and Android devices. For its strobe function, the Cube can also be triggered via an optical sensor and the flash has a variable duration of 1/8000 to 1sec. The device is waterproof to a maximum of 100ft, so can easily be used in wet weather conditions where you might not feel comfortable using your flash. It has a 1/4in tripod thread for attachment, and there are plenty of accessories, for mounting it to DSLRs, smartphones, action cameras and more.

This is one of the entry-level Astra models from Litepanels, which supplies high- quality LED lighting for photography and videography. The light follows Litepanels’ traditional form of a square light and the actual unit measures 45x41.3x13.4cm. This large area makes softened looks easier to generate while the individual premium- quality LEDs that make up the panel are tightly placed and give a bright output of 1696 Lux at 1.5m as well as faithful colour rendition. The light is dimmable from 100% to 0% and is flicker-free throughout, as well as lacking any colour shift across the range. Construction is hard-wearing aluminium which provides plenty of protection as well as acting as a heatsink, so thermal management is improved. All mounts and the rails which accept filters and lenses are alsomachined aluminium. The light’s frame is a yoke-style design that allows lots of freedom in positioning, and batteries can be mounted there for location work as well as it running from the mains. The 1x1 lights also come in bicolour versions allowing a change of colour temperature and there’s a range of accessories like diffusion panels, honeycombs, gels and barndoors on offer.

Elinchrom’s Scanlite is all about simplicity with an innovative zoom feature. The zoom function, accessed via a dial on either side of the head, takes the spread of light from an angle of 20° to 50° when the included 21cm reflector is fitted. This saves you time andmoney as multiple reflectors aren’t required and gives a variety of styles from flood to spotlight. For further modification, such as umbrellas, there’s a centred 7mm fitting, and an extra umbrella fitting for other shaft sizes. The Scanlite can use 300W or 650W halogen lamps (both with a 3200K temperature), and these are protected by a transparent glass dome. To prevent overheating there’s a low-noise fan-cooling system which adjusts its speed depending on the temperature, and if it does overheat the head shuts down. It accepts all standard Elinchrom bayonet-locking modifiers and most Elinchrom reflectors, softboxes and umbrellas can be used with a 300W lamp fitted (most Elinchrom metal reflectors can be used with a 650W lamp, too). The large grip on the rear improves handling especially when fitting it to light stand and at only 1.2kg and measuring 24.5x15.5x20.5cm it’s highly portable.

Well sure, that might seem like a hell of a wedge, but once you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, you can be fully assured that broncolor’s HMI lights are worth every penny. As an HMI (Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide) light the F200 at the heart of theCrossover Kit ismade for high- level applications like movie work and the quality of light is much admired. It’s also extremely efficient, and its generous daylight-balanced output, which is far more substantial than LED lamps, draws three times less power than a halogen light would. Light can be focused between 14–51° when the open face reflector is attached and is adjustable from 60-100%. Power comes from the included ‘ballast’ powerpack, which is attached by a 5m cable, and the Crossover Kit also includes adapters for broncolor light shapers, a Speedring, a 55x40cm Video Pro XS softbox and a robust carry bag so you can easily transport the kit to location. Like others in the range, the HMI F200 lamp housings are robust and weather resistant, so you’ll be able to shoot where other lights would succumb to rain or spray. But despite being strong, it’s also compact and light.

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