Manfrotto, known for its tripods, has been manufacturing high quality lights and selling them at reasonable prices, allowing several filmmakers to use good quality lighting tools for their film projects.
Manfrotto’s SMT (Surface Mount Technology) claims to improve efficiency and offer better color rendition; most of their new fixtures now use SMT.
Manfrotto makes a range of high-quality and low cost lights: on-camera lights, specialty lights, and traditional panels.
Manfrotto has a few on-camera lights worth looking at.
Spectra2 LED Light: Starter light (SMT is being used even on this entry-level product), throws a clean daylight temperature (5600K) light with a brightness of 650 lux (at 1 meter) when at full power (lower, when dimmed). They have a CRI of 93 and it runs off of 6 AA batteries, an AC adapter, or it can be powered by L-Type Li-ion batteries when the optional battery adapter is attached.
Here are couple of more powerful lights (attaches on top of your camera)
- MicroPro2 LED Light (if you need just a daylight version)
- Croma2 LED Light, if you need Bi-Color light
Both blast 900+ lux (940 with the MicroPro2) and can be dimmed. They also feature the cool SMT feature.
The same 6 AA batteries, an AC adapter, or L-Type Li-ion battery (when the optional battery adapter is attached) can power the unit.
You need Specialty lights if you want a quick little kick of light or blast of color in your shot.
Manfrotto’ portable lights from Lumie series are perfect for such situations.
Coming in 3 different versions — 3, 6, or 8 individual LED lights blast light at a high CRI of 92 and color temperature of 5600K (daylight). They’re very compact (will easily fit in your palm). They all have a rechargeable, non-removable battery that lasts up to an hour and can be mounted on a hot shoe or by a 1/4″-20 threaded stud. They can be accessorized with color temperature or party-style colored gels that are pre-cut to fit their integrated gel holder.
Lastly, we have the panel lights (thanks for sticking with us on this. Lots to go over for something as simple as lights).
While normal panel lights are available as a basic 12×12 (or similar) panel with a yoke and basic knobs, Manfrotto’s LYKOS lights come with an actual handle.
Available in two versions (bi-color & daylight), the side-handled lighting fixture turns out an impressive 1500+ lux (the daylight version throws 1600 lux) at 1 meter with a CRI of 93. You basically get the same output of the original 1×1 panels, but with a smaller form factor and more efficiency. Battery life is about an hour max power (small screen gives you that info). An optional soft box has been created to give you the option of softening your look.
You also get a Bluetooth dongle that attaches to the LYKOS lights and allows you to control them via your iphone (using their app) or, more impressively, the Manfrotto Digital Director. Now you can use your iPad to not only monitor your subject, but also adjust and control your lighting.
Now that is impressive!
As you can see, Manfrotto offers a range of lights for various creative situations and projects.