We have seen many lights up in 2021, and believe me, it is not over yet. But many are relatively similar, mainly due to higher yields. It's not that it's not a big deal, because high-output LEDs are very much needed.
Today, Light and Motion released the 100-watt StellaPro Reflex and Reflex S. This lamp is doing something different. They combine a high-output, very portable continuous light, and they are also a wireless flash capable of shooting at high frame rates. Add an optional 60-watt battery grip, if they need it at the same time, this combination will definitely excite mixed shooters.
Wedding and event photographers are the first choice for professionals who like this design because it is very portable and suitable for travel. It's always great when equipment like a lamp can do two things, so you don't have to double it, but can one lamp do two things at the same time?
Reflex is not the first lamp to provide dual use. For example, Rotolight AEOS and NEO 2 have continuous and strobe options; however, they require the use of Rotolight Elinchrom EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus, which retails for $250. In contrast, Reflex can use cheaper 3rd party products, such as Godex, which retails for $69.
Rotolight has released AEOS 2 and NEO 3 with built-in Elinchrom receivers, but they are not yet on the market.
Godox and Profoto also have products. Godex FV200 retail price is 450 US dollars, FV150 retail price is 349 US dollars. The Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL 1-Light To-Go kit is priced at US$2,590. I haven't used these two options before, so I can't judge them.
The Kelvin color temperature of Reflex is 5600K. I tested several output settings to see if it maintains Kelvin temperature throughout the range. I found that it does a pretty good job and is closer to 5600K at higher output.
At 7000 lumens output setting, Stella reaches 5600k.
At 9000 lumens setting, I measured Reflex at 5590K.
Interestingly, when set to 2000 lumens, Kelvin will drop to 5307K. When you increase the brightness, the color temperature will increase. Another interesting result is that the medium lens adds approximately 100K Kelvin to all output settings. There are not enough factors for correction when using the lens.
Modern LED lamps have been greatly improved, but it is important to know whether the lamps are accurate in color, so let's do some tests.
Let's start with the complete output of Reflex and see how it performs. The test chart shows a good score, with an average CRI of 91.4 and an extended CRI of 88.24. The score received several hits from R9 Red 70 and R12 deep blu, and the score was as low as 70.2. Is this bad? Not entirely because the more important R15 score on skin tone is very good at 92.7. In practice, the colors will look good.
Similar to the Kelvin test, when the light output is low, the color does change somewhat, but in most cases, this is not a problem because it is so small that you will not be able to see the change. Below are all readings for several output settings.
It is also worth noting that the Kelvin temperature is listed in the lower right corner of each chart.
Reflex uses lumen settings for output instead of 1-100%. I set the light on the transparent COB cover 1 meter away from the Sekonic C-700-U Spectromaster and took multiple readings using multiple output settings. I chose to use bare COB to improve color accuracy, because modifiers can change the color of the output. Yes, it is rare to use light in this way, but it works well if you want to flood an area so that the overall brightness bounces to the corner or ceiling.
Remember, this unopened COB is in extreme flood mode, with no modifiers added.
StellaPro Reflex is equipped with a medium 24° lens that can focus the light a lot. I ran the same type of test from 1 meter and installed a medium-sized 24° lens. In order to understand the spread, I read it twice. One is from the center and the other is 12 inches from the center. The following results are obtained.
I know it looks very intense at 1 meter or 3 feet, but it shows that the lens did what it was supposed to do. At longer distances, it can balance transmission and control well. Jump to the modifier options to see what is available. The 50° wide optics and the soft dome diffuser are both good.
One thing to remember is that the lens is not Frenel. It is designed to control the beam width, but does not make the edges of the light sharper.
To say that the reflection is small is an understatement. The fixture fits in the palm of my hand. It only needs a USB-C cable and power adapter to power it. At the bottom is a cold shoe receiver, similar to what you see on the camera. You can install the lights in many different ways by simply turning to male cold boots.
The clip has many plastic parts. This is not a bad thing, because it can reduce weight. The cold shoe seat on the fixture and battery is also plastic. The lamp head slides into the battery handle and clicks in. It is firm without shaking. There is no tilt option between the lamp and the battery. To get this feature, you can remove the battery and add a light stand receiver with a cold shoe holder to the fixture, or add it to the bottom of the battery. I would say that the build quality is very good and it feels like a premium product.
Reflex can be installed on the battery handle or directly on the light holder adapter of the optional product.
At the bottom is the reverse cold shoe into which the lamp holder adaptor slides. It is locked in place using hexagonal screws. This design is the same as the battery handle. When using the battery handle, the lamp holder adapter will be connected to the bottom of the battery handle.
Reflex has a 60-watt battery option with a separately sold Reflex battery handle. You can also use it with AC.
It can also be powered by any USB-C power supply rated at 100W. When using a 100W power supply, the maximum continuous output of Reflex is 9000 lumens.
Reflex battery handle 60W continuous: 100-6000 lumens 100W external USB-C power supply-continuous: 100-9000 lumens
As you can see, when used with a 100-watt charger, Reflex outputs 3000 lumens more. This is a large number and should be considered if battery options are important to you.
The Reflex quick switch battery handle is used as a handle for the lamp holder. It is connected to Reflex using a cold shoe connection. The 60W battery is a high-capacity rechargeable 38 Whr lithium-ion battery. The battery handle does not include the PD charger. It does include a longer 2'USB-C cable, which fits perfectly in both the light and the battery.
It is worth mentioning that the USB-C cable connector is designed to fit on both. The included cable is very snug and is designed to do so because it is safer than using a general-purpose cable. Having said that, you can use different cables, but there will be no benefit of a tight fit. I think some kind of lock is a good idea for improving compatibility. I don't know how much the cable directly provided by Light and Motion costs.
The charging time for a fully exhausted battery is approximately 4 hours. A full charge will provide 15,000 full-power Digital Bursts.
Continuous full power (30 minutes) Low power (600 minutes)
When using AC power, the situation is slightly different from what you are used to, which makes more sense when you take into account the size of the Reflex luminaire itself.
Since the main power supply interface is a USB-C connector, you need to use a 100 watt USB-C PD charger to provide enough power for the lamp to obtain a complete output. These blocks are smaller than ordinary AC ballasts, but are designed to plug into a wall socket, so you need to find a way to mount them on a bracket and connect the longer USB-C cable that comes with it. Light an Motion provides a 9.8-foot cable with a fitted end.
I found a way to do this easily using the Teather StrapMoore neoprene stand. In many similar situations where AC power bricks are used, this thing worked for me.
It is different, but in practice it is the same as a traditional AC brick. If you use the battery handle option, you will need a charger anyway. The 100-watt charger is not included in the Reflex or battery handle. The cost of the 100-watt version is approximately US$30 to US$50.
StellaPro Reflex is designed to use modifiers because the front is a bare COB LED. Nothing is attached, it is bright and wide. Reflex does not use a hood reflector, but a lens. It is equipped with a medium-sized 24° condenser lens. These lenses are not considered Fresnel type because they do not produce sharp edges. They are designed to focus/spread light.
To understand the spread using the modifier, I set the reflection to 2000 lumens and position the light 5 feet 10 inches or 1.77 meters away from the flower.
My four personal favorite lenses are dome diffusers. This is not surprising, because I like soft light. I also like the Chimera softbox because it diffuses light well and eliminates harsh shadows.
One important point is the performance of the lens. You don't need a barn door, because the use of optics can control overflow well. Especially point and middle. These are great for back and hair, or when you need a little pop music.
The sample comes with a Chimera speed ring (69.99), which can be twisted and locked in place. It is made of plastic and is very light. This is where plastics perform best. It is very strong and very light.
Chimera Octa Beauty Dish ($248.99) is not very deep, but it has an extra layer of diffusion inside the softbox. This helps prevent hot spots and spreads the light well in front of the diffuser. If you want to punch a little more in the center, you can add a lens to Reflex when using Chimera Softbox. You can add Soft Dome to make the output softer. There are many options, and I like this.
On the left side of the self-portrait is Chimera, Reflex is set to 2000 lumens, and the other one has Dome Defuser set to 400 for filling. I like it, the model needs to be upgraded, but this guy works for free!
The next example from the same beautiful model above is the same Chimera setup, but using another Reflex as the backlight using the condenser. Be dramatic. I know these are not the best examples, but I think you get it.
With Chimera softbox, the light looks beautiful and soft. The shallowness is in line with the compact design concept. In addition, Reflex is not a large and heavy fixture, so if a long soft box is connected, the physics will work and make it somewhat unstable.
With such a compact head, Reflex does not have enough space for a large fan in continuous mode to keep it cool.
The round head is surrounded by metal heat sinks. On the side it appears to be a 1.5-inch fan, which can take heat away from the lamp. The fan only starts when the Reflex setting exceeds 4000 lumens and remains on. If you reduce the output, the fan will turn off. It has two speeds. Start at 4100-6000 at low speed, and start at 6100-9000 at high speed.
As for how loud is the sound? It is not quiet, and when you need an extra shock, problems may arise in a quiet environment. If you keep Reflex et at 4000 lumens and it is bright at this setting, this may not be a problem. I have a better understanding of the volume of the fan. I tested the level with a decibel meter and this is the result
For Light and Motion lamps, fan noise is nothing new. Matt checked the CLx10 and found that it was louder than he liked. Reflex also has some fan noise issues. It does adopt the shape of Light and Motion lamps.
To see if I can use Reflex without a fan, I set Reflex in a low-light area about 5 feet away from me, and can use F4 aperture and C200's 500 ISO at 4000 lumens. According to the camera's sensitivity, this is a critical value. However, ISO 500 is lower, and I can easily use ISO 850 and further reduce the reflection output. The challenge is to set the light close enough to the subject and keep the light brightness not exceeding 4000 lumens to avoid fan noise.
It will vary depending on how much ambient sound is in the area where you are shooting the interview or sound. The fan has a higher pitch, so if the light is less than 5 feet away from the microphone, it will seep into the audio.
I am not a professional photographer anyway, flash photography is something I don't do. Oops, I don't even have a flash. With this, I will try my best to test the flash function, but I know the value of having these two options as flash options in one fixture is very cool for those who make video and still images at the same time.
Reflex can use several different flash triggers. The Light and Motion provided for the evaluation is a low-cost $69 Godox XProC TTL wireless flash trigger for Canon cameras.
I used the Reflex and Chimera box to shoot the DJI Action 2 shooting water. The Canon R5 was set to high-speed continuous shutter release, and I took countless shots to make the camera fall just right. No, but this photo looks very cool! The Reflex S flash mode makes every frame a technical goalkeeper without any problems.
Using batteries, Reflex can generate 15,000 full-power, 5 millisecond (ms) pulse trains on a single charge.
Although using Reflex as a basic flash is great, its ability to perform at high continuous shooting speeds is impressive. I have said it before, and I will say it again, there is a light that can both flash and continue to tick events and wedding photographers that need to take still photos and videos. Reflex S in continuous shooting mode can reach 20 fps. And the reflection does 10 fps. If you are primarily a video shooter and do not need a higher burst rate, then Reflex will save you some cash.
Reflex is a lamp that wants to do two things well. This is not easy. Being a flash and continuous light means that it must have a great impact, and Reflex does so, and it is very small.
Using USB-C for power supply is something I have to get used to because it is the only device I have used that relies on it as the main source. This requires a 100-watt PD type charger used with many consumer devices. I am accustomed to using AC cables and fixed sturdy connectors, but I understand why StellaPro Reflex cannot have them because it is too small, just like other fixtures. My main concern is the durability of the USB-C cable and charger combination in the field and daily use.
These chargers are designed for wall sockets, and using a 3rd party USB-C power cord will not provide you with a secure connection like the fitted power cord that comes with it. These cables are designed for computers, not for main power cords like traditional cables.
If you are a hybrid shooter and want to make your lighting kit small and light, then Light and Motion StellaPro Reflex is the light you should consider. I like the idea of a powerful combination of high-speed flash and continuous light. The damn thing is even waterproof!
The retail price of StellaPro Reflex is US$849, and the retail price of Reflex S is US$1,096. It is available now.
Erik is an 18-time Emmy Award-winning photography director. He has over 20 years of photojournalism experience and works in newsrooms across the United States. Over the past ten years, Erik has turned to broadcast television and film production, where he discovered a passion for visual narrative and production. In addition, Erik is an outstanding educator who teaches filmmaking through Linkedin Learning and courses on Lynda.com.
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