It’s been just a under a year since I first came in contact with iLux lighting on the Photomart stand at at very last Focus on Imaging show at the NEC. Like a Magpie I was drawn to the clean lines of the slick design that would look good in any environment and mighty impressed with the build quality I would have associated with well known brands at a significantly higher price ticket. Unfortunately, there is an awful lot of snobbery attached to studio lighting and from a consumers point of view, just like selecting a trainer, its a nightmare. Begging the question, ‘how do you choose a set of lights?’
For the Social Photographer (Portraits,Weddings & Events) that should be an easy answer! After all, surely the whole point of great lighting is to emulate that which our creator gave us for free. Outside, we find a single ‘Keylight’ source, the Sun, but as we know, topshade, reflection and flagging offers us the added benefit of more diffuse fill, known more commonly as omnidirectional ‘Ambient light’. We also know that ‘less is more’ and it does not take a great deal of power to illuminate a subject well. After all, spare a thought for those Renaissance Masters who with nothing more than narrow high windows and candles, produced some of the most beautiful images in creation!
More power is not exactly your friend when it comes to studio lighting for the portrait photographer which makes the iLux RD 300’s a perfect choice! Bearing in mind that there is an equal need for separation of your subject from its background inside as well as out, it is not in your interests to be shooting with excessive depth of field. An output of 300 WS is more than enough for anyone. Of course if you are shooting outside and want to ‘balance’ flash with ambient light and your speedlights are not quite up to the task, the 600 WS cordless iLux E lights provide an excellent solution. These are available in the ever popular Bowens S fitting which will integrate with the entire iLux light modifier (Softbox) range and also in Elinchrom fitting too.
Where the range scores very highly is not only on construction and reliability but with unbelievable value for money. At under £400 for an RD 300 two light set up complete with stands, radio trigger, soft boxes and a carry bag, its unbeatable. Why spend substantially more for kit that will achieve the self same results. As a professional trainer of photographers I spend countless hours emphasising that the most expensive cameras in the world will never make you a good or even a great photographer, so it follows, neither will super expensive studio lights! After all, light is light and its how you use it that truly counts.
I am certainly not saying that there isn’t an important place for lots of power and fast recycling but perhaps think hard before embarking on that journey and the adverse affects on your bank balance. To me, the iLux system is my studio and location lighting of choice. From the versatile ‘Delta’ Studio Series ranging from 150 WS upwards to the ideal location cordless ‘Recce’ with 600WS of sure controllable power. Stylish looks, great build quality, excellent range of accessories and at an incredible ‘value for money’ price!