My favorite studio lighting product from last year’s WPPI trade show was Rotolight’s RL48-B. As a continuous light source, the $249.95 Rotolight kit is useful for video or still photography. The basic RL48-B includes a filter holder and Lee Filters’ Calibration Filter kit (15/16th CTO, ½ CTO, 1/16th CTO.) This compact LED light source produces shadowless light at a default color temperature of 5600K (Daylight) with 6300K, 4300K and 3200K (Tungsten) available by using the color correction filters. The RL48-B does not use a rheostat to control light output because the company feels that dimmers not only lower the light’s intensity but also can affect color temperature. By using the bundled Lee neutral density (ND one stop, ND 0.5 stops, and 216 Diffusion Screen) filters, Rotolight’s RL48-B is controllable over a range of 1.5 stops.
Unlike the 55-degree coverage produced by some LED light sources, the LEDs used in the RL48-B have a wider 140-degree beam so that the light wraps around your subject. Because of this wide-angle source, the Rotolight can be mounted on your SLR’s hot shoe to produce a shadowless ringlight effect without producing annoying red-eye. , Using continuous light sources like the RL48-B also maximizes the number of “open eye” shots for subjects who are prone to blinking during portrait sessions
The RL48-B is available as a single light but I tested Rotolight’s Interview kit that includes two RL48-B Ringlights along with a Lee Color FX Kit with eight Color FX filters (063 Pale Blue, 712 Bedford Blue, 020 Medium Amber, 182 Light Red, 765 Sunlight Yellow, 730 Liberty Green, 052 Light Lavender and 128 Bright Pink) and two cosmetic filters (184 Cosmetic Peach and 791 Moroccan Frost) for skin tone enhancement.
The two stands included in the kit have a standard ¼-inch tripod screw mount allowing you attach it to a tripod, lightstand, rail system or to a camera’s accessory shoe. A well-crafted storage pouch has a partition for the color effects filters, two lights, and stands, plus a cell phone and six spare AA batteries. In addition to what’s in the kit, Rotolight offers a full line of swivel mounts, clamps, and articulated arms that provide lots of flexibility when working with the system.
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