Camera Lighting – Rotolight Makes for a Handy Extra Lighting Tool

2 min

RotoLight RL48 

Many of the principals of DSLR still photography lighting or video lighting are exactly the same.  Any time you have a shoot, you’ll want to make sure your lighting setup is done well before your subjects are around.  This will ensure a much better looking final product if you spend some time setting camera lights up properly.


Now I realize lightings a pretty broad topic and I plan to go into more depth specifically about 3 point-lighting and green screen lighting, but not today.  I’ll be back with in-depth videos on both of these topics at a later date.


Today I specifically want to talk to you about cool accent light that we’ve been using on some of our video shoots called a Rotolight RL 48.  Now I say accent light because that’s how we sometimes use it, but this puppy is certainly strong enough that it can be used as a main key light as well.


I’ve used this light to augment our standard 2 or 3 point lighting.  It does a great job of adding a little kicker to our scenes, or as we like to call it – putting the twinkle in the eye of our subject.


This light is also very versatile.  It’s small enough and light enough that you can stick it just about anywhere.  It’s very lightweight – under 6 ounces.  It runs on just 3 AA batteries, which will give you about 4 hours of constant illumination.  The power output is 100 watts. 


The light temperature of this fixture is also adjustable.  The fixture comes with a series of filter gels that are placed over the lights – ranging in color temperature from 3200 degrees K to 6300 degrees.  In case you don’t know, 3200 is the approximate temperature of the typical indoor tungsten light bulb, although I realize that’s changing as more and more people start using florescent bulbs to save money, 5K is the approx. color temp of many cool white fluorescent tubes and 5,600 and over gets you into the natural daylight zone of color temperatures.


I’m a big fan of having small accent fixtures like the Rotolight RL48 in my lighting toolbox. 


Sometimes I’ll use it as a set light to bring attention to a set piece in the background of the shot.  This is especially useful when space for larger fixtures is a concern. 


If needed, this light is powerful enough that you can add a 2nd one as a fill or back light.


A small light, in general, also gives off very little heat which is good to know when you’re shooting in a tight shooting area and have many hours of potential shooting ahead of you.


It comes with an adaptor that will allow it to sit in any camera hot-shoe, whether it’s a DSLR or a video camera.  The centre of the lights also pops out allowing you to slide it over a shotgun mic.  This thing’s very handy.


I wanted to share with you because I’m a big believer in any quality tools that can make our jobs as videographers and producers more productive.  And I certainly found that this Rotolight to fit the bill.


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Rick Davis


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