Many claims are made by manufacturers about how good their own branded equipment is, but seldom live up to the claims or can justify the increased price tags they seem to be accompanied by. The #Rotolight Interview #LED Lighting Kit is an exception.
I was looking for a small but portable continuous light source for my #Nikon D4 video capability that could double as a supplemental head and shoulders portrait light and found one in the Rotolight RL48-B. I am generally a dyed in the wool sceptic, and was unsure of the potential in such a small unit, however, having used the larger #Anova system by the same company it was definitely worth a good workout.
The first thing to note is that it uses the same LED technology of its big brother. These patented light sources give a truer, cleaner, more accurate quality of light than any other units that I have used. Some other units have a non-linear, occasionally pulsating light quality that plays havoc with video productions. This becomes more apparent in mixed lighting conditions such as a client’s office fitted with strip lights or dimmable tungsten sources.
The interview Kit (around £250) comprises 2 lighting units with mini stands, which can be fixed to camera hot/cold shoes or separate lighting stands. Each unit includes #lighting guides and gelatin Lee filter packs for light calibration and colour effects, which are stored in the back of the unit cover for ready access. The filters can then be placed under the removable clear lens that protects the LED array. The kit also includes a handy belt pouch to carry the complete kit and spare AA batteries that power the RL48’s.
I have two simple set-ups that I use which tend to work no matter who or what I’m shooting (see #diagrams below). My preferred method (A) is to shoot with lights mounted on separate stands 180°apart. This gives good light modelling and allows me to place the units closer or further from the subject to vary the light intensity without resorting to using the ND filters (which are included in the kit). The second method (B) is less flexible as one of the units is fixed to the camera and quality will depend on the lens used on the camera, however, both produce excellent results.
The #images below show a head and shoulder portrait shoot ‘on the fly’ using the two head kit (setup A). My son had just passed his Krav Maga grading and I wanted to capture the ‘spirit’ of his achievement without a complicated lighting set-up or cumbersome equipment. Although taken in my #studio, it was shot against a plain background and in less than 5 mins. That’s about all the time he could spare for his old man…..
The quality of the light is unmistakable and very little retouching was done to preserve the gritty nature of the martial artist that he is and trains heavily for. It’s an incredibly #versatile kit for very little money and will fulfil a multitude of roles where time is of the essence and quality will not be compromised. An #essential part of my ‘away’ kit from now on.