With a price of $495 and a ~94 CRI for “superior color rendition” the Lustra 50 is a portable, high-output LED light for photographers that capture portraiture, wedding, product, corporate and video imagery.
The new LED panel is the first product from PRL Lighting, a company founded in 2016 by industry leaders Rudy Pohlert and Pat Ralston, 30-year veterans of the motion picture and photography industries. With a passion for engineering, they have pioneered LED lighting for motion pictures and television. PRL Lighting was formed to meet the need for flexible, portable, high-performance LED panels designed for photographic use… and for video.
The Lustra 50 is a portable, high-output LED light for photographers and videographers. It provides continuous light that allows the photographer to use a “What You See Is What You Get” approach to lighting for immediate results and is, according to the company, “a true alternative to the use of strobes & flash for a great variety of applications.”
“Our primary objective for launching PRL Lighting is to enable photographers and videographers to capture superior images,” noted Pohlert. “Full dispersion of light across the spectrum, high output, ergonomics, every choice we have made has been in service of the creative vision. The Lustra 50 fills the need for a high-quality, reliable source for dimmable, flicker-free continuous lighting.”
PRL Lighting goes on to state that “continuous light allows photographers to make real-time adjustments to lighting setups, eliminating the guesswork involved when using strobes and flash. Portraits, wedding, food, beverage, product stills, and corporate imagery all benefit from the “what you see is what you get” technique of continuous lighting.”
While I do agree about the benefits of continuous light – coming from a background with tungsten studio lights… – it should be noted, though, that the Lustra 50 is not a substitute for flash, as some may think. There are advantages to both, and being a regular user of both LED panels and flash, I do believe each of them has a place in a photographer’s arsenal. As for video, yes, the LED panel is a welcome addition to the market, although I do not see, from the specifications, that it offers more than other models available on the market.
The Lustra 50 offers a full 100% dimming range, powered by an internal microprocessor, guaranteeing a completely flicker-free performance at any frame rate or shutter angle. It’s Daylight balanced (5600K), with a CRI: ~94 for superior color rendition and the output performance is 1200 Lux at 5ft. Each fixture is paired with a dedicated 12V power supply and incorporates circuitry for portable power via a Sony NPF L-series 7.2V DV battery.
I understand that the use of Sony’s NPF battery has become a standard, but I wish that PRL Lighting would look at ways to implement, in their future light fixtures – and the suggestion is for other companies – adapters that would allow users to use different batteries with their LED panels. Being able to use one’s camera batteries with your LED panels makes complete sense and there is no reason, from where I see it, to not offer that option to users. Some of Phottix’s LED panels included adapters for Canon LP-E6, Nikon EN-EL15, Panasonic CGR-D16S, Sony NP-FH70, NP-FM55H, NP-F550, giving users the option to choose the adapter fitting their camera. This way you do not need to carry another charger for batteries. It is also economic, as you do not need to buy different batteries from those you already use with your camera.
One important optional accessory for the Lustra 50 is a SoftBox, which gives photographers a softer light source, ideal for some uses. It’s another tool in the lighting kit, offering a wrap-around look with a single fixture when used as the key light source, and by creating separation or providing fill and edge lighting when used as a secondary source. The Lustra 50 SofBox is specifically dedicated and optimized for the Lustra 50 fixture to provide a softer light and a broader footprint. The SofBox easily attaches to the front of the Lustra 50 and secures with Velcro straps.
The Lustra 50 list of accessories also includes a FilterSet, consisting of three distinct filters, which may be used to improve the color rendition and quality of images. The Lustra 50 FilterSet consists of 3 filters usually available for use with LED panels: 1/8 CTO, 1/4 CTO and Opal Frost diffusion.
“The Lustra 50 augmented with a SofBox or FilterSet is the perfect complement for photographers shooting static in-studio or on location, capturing video, or shooting news on the go,” added Ralston. “We are excited to bring this first product to market and look forward to advancing lighting technology for artists across many disciplines.”
For more information, visit PRL Lighting.
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