Thursday, 12 February 2015

What's This? I am totally sold on Rotolight RL48-B

It seems like only yesterday I was using a featherweight LED panel for my iPhone reportage. Then I saw a recommendation for this thing called a Rotolight, looks like a ringlight, what's the big deal? Ringlights are hefty juice-sucking encumbrances when you are running-and-gunning, right? Er, wrong. In fact I couldn't find anyone with a bad word to say about this particular Rotolight product. Well ... where to start.

How about starting by showing you the contents of the ~£100 package I bought from Amazon (reduced from £170):

And what's this? They are a British company?! Yaaaay!

My opinion based on a day's play?

It's lightweight. Not featherweight but definitely no heavyweight. Mere grams.
It takes AA batteries. A boon if you are like me and keep zillions of the things around.
It only takes three AA batteries.
It's rated last for three hours continuous use on common alkaline, or four hours Energiser Lithium.
It's surprising bright (I'm not really sure why this would be a surprise, perhaps I was skeptical of all the positive reviews).
The kit includes basic filters and a bunch of other creative filters (gels).
The filters are stored in the light housing. Genius!
The filters are Lee filters. Hurrah!
I think I read somewhere it's weatherproof. There's certainly a decent seal, I would easily take this out  in the Great British weather without thinking twice about it.
Decent build quality.
High quality LED, you can tell they are the pricier type just by looking (without it switched on).
The kit comes with a carry pouch that is actually useful and well considered. Hurrah!
It's highly mobile and versatile, it's just what I have been looking for.

There's no electronic dimmer, so that is accomplished by adding in the included ND. Can't help thinking if only it had a dimmer then those AA batteries might chug along for an hour or two longer at dimmer settings. It's not really 'bad' and it does keep things simple and presumably reliable. I just have to complain about something, right?!
Adding in the gels is a bit faffy. Though I expect to get better at this the more I use it. So this is more a reflection on me rather than the Rotolight, hmmmm.

There is just nothing ugly about this light. I've loved ringlights forever (since I first had to hold one up for Spidercom on an early music video - D:REAM was it, I forget?!) - this is the first one I've owned. Which is rather capitalist. Is capitalism ugly? Maybe. You can tell I'm struggling to find fault here.

Really looking forward to using this on a forthcoming Tagsta (working title) shoot.

Click the Amazon link above, save £70 while stocks last.

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