Much of Adorama’s Pro Imaging Department was lit with the Rosco products in a range of sizes, and they had brought in a model so everyone could see for themselves how effective LitePad can be for both portraiture and still-life work.
LitePad Quality, Convenience, and Value… Finally Available as a Ring Light for Beautiful Portraits and Macro Shots!
It's no secret that we're huge fans of the LitePad product line from Rosco Labs. What's not to love about these lightweight, low-power, slim-profile, no-heat, versatile, flattering, and — by the way — attractively priced light sources? For years, LitePad has been available in sizes from 3" squares and circles all the way up to massive four-by-eight-foot custom-made panels, but has never been available as a ring light… until now! LitePad Loop is a ring light with the soul of a LitePad.
Macro photographers — those who take extreme close-up photos of things like flowers, insects, and body parts (you know who you are) — prefer to get very close to their subject. With standard light setups, that usually means the tip of their lens will cast a long shadow across the subject. A ring light, on the other hand, can be placed at the very tip of the lens, so it's impossible to cast a shadow.
In fact, since ring lights are "on axis" lights (meaning that since they're parallel to the camera's lens and image sensor), they create almost no shadows at all, giving a very pleasing, clean look. This works out very nicely for portrait photographers and product photographers, as well — and it's well-known that good photography results in higher sales, whether on you're selling on Amazon or eBay.
How LitePad Loop Works
LitePad Loop was designed to work with hundreds of cameras — from entry-level SLRs up to full-blown motion picture cameras. (And yes, Virginia, it even works with the iPhone, if you have a tripod mount.) Included with each LitePad Loop is a mounting sled which accommodates all these form factors. The sled provides a standard 1/4"-20 tripod screw to mate to your camera, and a strong magnetic plate mates to the LitePad Loop. The rig can then be mounted on a tripod or other gear via the 1/4"-20 socket underneath. For extra security, a safety cord (included) can be attached to guard against accidentally knocking the LitePad Loop off its magnetic mount.
Once attached, the mag-plate slides back and forth along a set of 4" rails (8" rails also available) and can also be raised and lowered to position the LitePad exactly where you need it, no matter what size your camera or lens is. See the video below for a demonstration:
LitePad Loop Kits and Accessories
LitePad Loop is available as a standard kit, with just the essentials, and in a Pro Kit, which adds useful accessories such as a AA battery kit, dimmer, color filters, and more. The standard kit includes a drawstring storage pouch, while the Pro Kit comes in a full zippered soft case with shoulder strap.
Other accessories include round color-correcting gels used for color balancing and enhancing (included in the Pro Kit), and pre-cut light masks, which can influence the shape of "catchlights" (reflections) in your subject's eyes.
Where to Buy LitePad Loop
Are you as excited about LitePad Loop as we are? Want to be the first on your block to own one? The premier dealers in the US to carry LitePad Loop include:
Since LitePad Loop is so new, you may find that your favorite dealer hasn't had a chance to update their online database, yet, so be sure to call or email if you find that's the case. If you don't see your local dealer listed, tell them to get in touch with us (or tell us, so we can tell them about LitePad Loop.)
How Do You Improve on an Amazing Product Like the LitePad? Give it Twice as Many LEDs, Add a Steel Frame, Universal Mounting System, and a Gel Slot!
Our longtime readers already know we've always been huge fans of Rosco's LitePad product. How can you not love a light source that fits almost anywhere, runs for hours on almost any power source, and weighs next to nothing? By the same token… how could you improve on something that was already so good? The wizards at Rosco Labs have managed to do just that, and now we'd like to introduce you to LitePad Axiom.
LitePad Axiom is a whole new class of LitePad. Designed specifically for the film and TV market, this more rugged and versatile product is a LitePad HO+ in a metal housing. LitePad Axiom has LEDs on all four sides and a “sunk” internal power connector. The extra LEDs mean your LitePad is now even brighter, while the slim-profile metal housing means your LitePad is now much more durable. The housing also enables you to quickly and easily mount the LitePad using one of the new Axiom brackets or by conventional LitePad mounting methods – even Velcro or rubber bands!
All LitePad Axiom units are available in either daylight or tungsten color temperature, and are built in various square and rectangular sizes from 3"x6" to 24"x24" (non-reinforced 3" and 12" circular LitePads are still available in the LitePad HO+ line.) The LitePad Axiom housing has a gel slot for color correction or other filters and is deep enough to hold more than one filter. On the back of the unit, there is a universal LitePad Axiom mounting system, allowing different Axiom brackets to be slid into the mounting system for various applications. For example, a 1/4-20 bracket could slide on for use with one of the new accessories or a Baby Pin could be used for attachment to a C-Stand. The new Axiom brackets will work with any size LitePad Axiom.
LitePad Axiom is meant to be a stand-alone unit; the housing was not designed for the LitePad to come out nor be taken apart. However, current LitePad owners can purchase LitePad Axiom conversion kits to upgrade their current LitePads to a tough new steel frame.
As we wind down 2010, everyone seems to be searching for unique gifts and stocking stuffers for the holidays. As the distributors of quite a few unusual photographic products, we can offer a few suggestions. If you've got a friend who's into photography (or just want to get something nice for yourself) read on for some ideas…
The Strobist Collection
One of the most popular blogs for photographers, www.Strobist.com is a great place to learn to use off-camera flash techniques. Using gels on multiple strobe units can create some really striking lighting effects. David Hobby, the founder of Strobist.com, spoke with our friends at Rosco labs about packaging some of their most useful gels for "strobists" pre-cut to fit precisely over a standard strobe unit. These 55 pieces of filter come in a convenient clamshell case that fits into any pocket or camera bag; all you need is a piece of tape to hold them in place…
Gaffer tape is a wonderful thing. It may be the most useful thing on a set, next to the camera itself (and the photographer.) The problem is, it's HUGE! A roll of gaffer tape can easily weigh more than your camera. A while back, we noticed how ridiculous that was and invented microGAFFER. It's identical to professional gaffer tape, but fits in your pocket (or camera bag; or glove compartment.)
We love, love, love LitePad. The 3" circular LitePad is thin, lightweight, and can be powered by your choice of a wall outlet, your car's cigarette lighter adapter, or (best of all) AA batteries. Being able to take a daylight-balanced light source anywhere (along with your imaging tool of choice, be it camera or iPhone) makes it possible to capture all kinds of wonderful photos from daily life.
While the standard three-pound Steadybag is a bit too big to fit in a standard stocking, the half-pound, 7"x5.25" Steadybag Junior is perfect. And it's perfect for supporting any point-and-shoot camera, allowing you to use longer exposure times and lower ISO settings — which means less noise in your shots. It lasts for years (unlike a beanbag), comes in three great colors (again: unlike a beanbag), doesn't attract insects or mice (absolutely not like a beanbag), and sets up in about one second.
If you're still stuck on just what to get for that special someone, give us a call! We can make recommendations for just about any type of photographer or filmmaker, young or old, amateur or professional.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in New York City to visit one of our newest dealers, Production Junction. Its owner, Chris Edwards, describes the company as a 'boutique rental house' operated by experienced film and video shooters. They're right — that's a perfect way to put it, and you should put them in your contact list. Just off First Avenue in the East Village (and about a 7-iron from Momofuku and other great restaurants), PJ is a prime example of the kind of small but expert companies that independent filmmakers can turn to for every item they'll need in a production package, as well as for help in securing the permits needed for filming in urban locations.
By chance, during my visit with Chris and his team, I also met Ross Kauffman, whose film Born Into Brothels won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary a few years ago, along with a long list of other prizes. Ross was finalizing his equipment package for a trip to Africa later in the week to shoot a group of short films on education.
Since they're so light[weight], I always try to have a Rosco LitePad or two with me in my shoulder bag; after Ross told me about his lighting needs on location, I showed the LitePads to him. On seeing the accessory dimmers and AA-battery packs that can power LitePad for hours where there isn't any plug-in power, he immediately realized that they would be essential for his shoot. So, with a phone call back to our offices in Connecticut, the LitePads and accessories were on their way to Production Junction later in the day.
One of the things I like best about running Visual Departures is meeting other shooters (in all media), learning about their needs and experiences, and being able to introduce them to the tools and resources (not necessarily our own) that will be of real help in the studio and on location. Because we have dealers like Production Junction all over the country, just send us an email if you think we can help solve a problem for you.