Lighting Gifts for Studio Photographers

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With the deluge of new cameras hitting the market, it has been easy to miss the latest studio tools that have been released over the past few years. Never fear! We’ve rounded up the most-wanted studio gear from our holiday wish lists so you can treat your favorite photographer—or yourself.

The season of lights is upon us and nothing brightens up a studio more than a new set of lights. Two new releases this year top my personal wish list: Profoto’s B10 Plus OCF Flash Head and Rotolight’s Titan X2 LED DMX Light Panel. Profoto has done an admirable job in recent years of creating lights that are both up to studio quality and extremely compact and lightweight. The B10 Plus doubles the power of its predecessor B10 while remaining very portable. Its lithium-ion battery lasts for up to 200 full-power flashes per charge, so you can shoot without tripping over wires, or take it on the road with confidence. Finally, its LED modeling light with adjustable color temperature is perfect for setting up shots or using for video applications.

Profoto B10 Plus OCF Flash Head

The second light I can’t stop dreaming about as the holidays approach is Rotolight’s Titan X2. Offering 15,525 lux at 3200K and 16,800 lux at 5600K, this light is a powerhouse. Among its laundry list of capabilities, the Titan X2 allows you to tweak diffusion, focus, and spread electronically using its new SmartSoft Technology. It also provides high-speed sync flash (1/8000s) with no recycle time for shooting stills and CineSFX capabilities for simulating the lighting of fires, lighting, televisions, and other effects when shooting video.

As the technologies inside of mobile phones advance, so do the accessories you can add to them to simplify studio workflow. Lumu’s Power 2 Power Light Meter for iPhone connects to the Lightning port of iPhones and, using the Luma Power 2 app, transforms your phone into a light meter. This very pocketable accessory can calculate ambient and flash exposures, as well as measure color temperature, chromaticity, and illuminance.

Lumu Power 2 Power Light Meter for iPhone

Profoto’s Connect Wireless Transmitter is another accessory that is able to strip down its design by incorporating the iPhone’s computing power. The Connect offers the ability to shoot fully automatic or use the app to make adjustments to Profoto AirTTL lights. You can read my review of the Connect here.

Profoto Connect Wireless Transmitter

One of my favorite studio additions this year was Westcott’s Eyelighter 2 Reflective Panel. This reflector not only has the ability to add clean, semi-circular catch lights to eyes but, generally, provides flattering fill for headshots and easily balances on a light stand. I recommend picking up the optional White Fabric, because it provides a much more subtle reflection than silver, especially when working with studio lights. Check out my review of the Eyelighter 2 here.

Westcott Eyelighter 2 Reflective Panel

Another recent release that has found its way into my studio is the V-FLAT WORLD Foldable V-Flat. As cumbersome as they are useful, v-flats typically live in-studio for most photographers. V-FLAT WORLD, with a few clever adjustments, reduced a standard v-flat by 75%, making it much more portable (and storable) when needed. Folded down, it only takes up 40 x 40 x 2" of space. When built up to its normal size, its touch-fasten connections maintain its shape surprisingly well. Finally, it comes with a carrying case to further simplify transport.

V-FLAT WORLD Foldable V-Flat

Among the battles that come with maintaining a functioning studio is organization. Light stands can be particularly challenging objects to get out of the way. Think Tank Photo Stand Manager 52 provides a simple means of storing up to four C-stands and other tall studio accessories like umbrellas or softboxes. And since it is a rolling case, it provides a convenient means of transporting your stands when necessary.

Think Tank Photo Stand Manager 52

Speaking of storage, another clever studio accessory is the Kupo 4-In-1 Nesting Apple Box Set. You can never have enough apple boxes in studio—until you run out of space to store them. With Kupo’s nesting apple boxes, you get four different-sized boxes within the footprint of one full box. A sliding panel on the full box opens to fit a half, quarter, and pancake apple box inside.

Kupo 4-In-1 Nesting Apple Box Set

What’s on the top of your studio wish list? Let us know in the Comments section, below.

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