As many of you know, the relentless pursuit of the perfect image is so often dependent on the perfect light which, in turn, is often a result of your choice of modifier. Three big names in the world of lighting, Elinchrom, Profoto and Chimera, have all recently announced some noteworthy new products that are (or could be) worthy additions to your lighting arsenal.
Elinchrom’s Rotolux Deep Inverse Octa


Swiss lighting manufacturer, Elinchrom, adds the Deep Inverse Octa (59 inches) to its Indirect Light Bank product range. The Deep Inverse Octa is Elinchrom’s second octagonal indirect product. It is based on the Indirect 190 known as “ the El Octa” and the popular 39” Rotolux Deep (Throat) Octa, the “DI”  (shown above without the interior baffle and front diffuser) promises to be as versatile as these boxes and should produce a soft even light when used with the front diffuser, and a more “contrast-y” light without it. Like the El Octa, the 150 includes a tilt head and handle, but uses the Deep Throat’s Rotolux set-up/break-down system. The Deep Inverse, which is just under 29 inches deep (excluding the handle and tilt head assembly), should be available in early 2012 in the US at an estimated retail price of $599. An optional  hooded diffuser will be available to help limit light spread.

Umbrella XL from Profoto

Swedish lighting giant Profoto recently introduced the Umbrella XL. The Umbrella XL, which is available in silver, white and translucent finishes, is approximately 65 inches in diameter and has a deeper parabolic shape than most umbrellas, and can be used with Profoto heads and monolights, as well as with their ProDaylight and ProTungsten continuous light products. The lighting effect and distribution can be altered by repositioning light along the umbrella shaft or changing the position of the zoom reflector. The Umbrella XL are  priced (Street) at  $310, $460, and $540  USD for the translucent shoot-through, white and silver interior models respectively. There is an optional front diffuser available ($150 USD)  which gives an effect similar to an octabox, as well as an optional stand adapter ( $110 USD) available. It should be noted that the optional front diffuser cannot be used with continuous lighting products.

Chimera’s Octa 2 –A Beauty Dish ? An Octabox? For Studio Lights? For Speedlights?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, you win! While Chimera is not the first company to bring a “portable” beauty dish to the market, they might have brought us the most innovative. The Octa 2 is a 24-inch lightweight and truly portable beauty dish: It’s collapsible, just like a Chimera soft box. The basic Octa 2 ($240 Street Price) consists of eight pre-shaped aluminum rods, the 24-inch fabric body, a center reflecting disc, and a front diffusion panel. With the disc in, you have a beauty dish; without it you have a reflector; add the front diffuser and you have a shallow octabox. The Octa 2 requires the addition of a brand-specific speed ring which is sold separately.
For the speedlight user, the Octa 2 really shines as the “Strobist” Kit ($399 Street Price) allows the Octa 2 to be used with your favorite speedlight.


 In addition to the basics, The “Strobist”  Kit adds the Versi Bracket Speed Ring for speedlights, a back closure to prevent light loss, and an accessory shoe.

So images makers let the light shine!

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