Adaptalux expands its macro lighting range with new Xenon Flash Arm units

Oct 8, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Adaptalux expands its macro lighting range with new Xenon Flash Arm units

Oct 8, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adaptalux/adaptalux-flash-arms-adaptable-flash-photography-lighting

Adaptalux was launched through Kickstarter back in 2015, just creeping past its £100,000 goal. It was a new way to light macro easily with flexible magnetic arms and LED lights that you could get in close to your subject from all angles. LEDs aren’t typically all that bright, though, even when very close. So now, Adaptalux has announced new xenon flash lighting arms, compatible with the existing system.

They’ve taken to Kickstarter again to launch the new flash units. They’re backwards compatible with the previous modular “pods”, retain the same flexible functionality as the LED heads, and they can be controlled via a mobile app for Android or iOS.

As well as the campaign video above, they also posted a complete demo showing and explaining how the system works.

YouTube video

Essentially, there’s an infrared transmitter unit that sits underneath your pod, which fires each of the flash arms, and the arms themselves magnetically attach to the pod in the same way as the LED arms. You can even mix and match flash and LED arms if you wish. A mobile app for Android and iOS allows you to remotely control the power and beam angle of each light independently. That power level is also indicated on the light itself by an array of LEDs.

The main reason to shoot macro with flash rather than with continuous LED lights is not just for the amount of light they put out, but for their flash duration. With many macro subjects, particularly of the flying variety, the subjects move too fast for continuous lights and sometimes even flash to capture perfectly if the flash is at too high a power. Dialling down the flash power and opening up your camera’s ISO, though allows for faster flash durations to freeze that movement. In the case of the Adaptalux flash arms, that means speeds as fast as 1/20,000 of a second.

As with the Adaptalux LED arms, the flash arms are fully adaptable to any angle so that you can position them wherever you like to get the best light for your shot. A range of gels are also available to either diffuse them, correct their colour to match ambient light or for creative effect.

If you want to back the project and get a Flash Arm, or several, of your own, head on over to the Kickstarter where you can do so starting at £119 for a single arm and IR transmitter for an existing Adaptalux system or starting at £267 if you need a Control Pod as well. Delivery is expected in June 2020.

Do you use the Adaptalux system? Will you be adding to it with flash?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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