Ring Light for DSLR Stills and Video Work (Video Review Below)
Continuous and Flash Light Includes High Colour Rendering Index of 95+
Aputure, the people that brought you other innovative products such as the Aputure Gigtube Viewfinder, have recently released a new ring flash/light for Canon and Nikon photographers…the Amaran Halo AHL-H100.
CRI (Colour Rendering Index)
CRI is a measure of the ability of any light source to be able to faithfully reproduce colours within various subjects or objects compared to an ideal source of light such as standard daylight. The CRI scale is from 0 to 100 with the higher the number, the better the colour rendering ability so 95+ is an excellent and accurate representation with a colour temperature of 5500k + 200k.
If your project requires highly accurate colour representation, then this light seems to fit the bill.
How Does it Work?
The ring light can either be attached to the front of your lens with the ring of 100 led’s surrounding the front element of your lens or attached to the actual unit itself and mounted on the hotshoe or anywhere else off camera, away from the camera and lens. Very useful for macro photography or video work such as nature, medical and scientific projects.
What makes this light even more versatile is the fact that it acts as a continuous light source as well as a flash light making this a perfect DSLR videographer’s companion. I myself will almost certainly use this for my next wedding shoot.
- Higher CRI values (CRI 95+), more natural colour rendering
- 100 beams in 1 compact ring
- Stepless dimmer with precise output
- AF-assist lighting
- Flash mode is 200% brighter than continuous mode
- Work with flash triggers
- Unique ring mount method
- Six light modes
- Eight lens adapter rings included (49-77mm)
- Macro friendly
This versatile piece of lighting kit can be used in a number of ways making it a steal for the price.
The universal mount attaches itself to your Nikon or Canon camera’s hotshoe allowing to contacts to fire the flash when shooting. Please note though that this is not E-TTL or i-TTL compatible…i.e. it will not work like an automatic, dedicated flash or speedlight and has a sync speed of 1/200th.
You can however, use either:
- On full power (all 100 LED’s firing)
- Half power with the left 50 LED’s being used
- Half power with the right 50 LED’s being used
…and you can adjust the output to either one quarter, one half or full power. You can even tilt the ring flash so rather than using the left or right 50 LED’s, you can use the top or bottom 50 LED’s.
The Aputure Amaran Halo will also work with flash triggers and as an AF assist lamp.
If you are working with still life and a tripod for example, the continuous light may be more suitable for your work. The 100 LED’s produce a very powerful beam which hurt your eyes close up (I know, I just did that).
Again, you can alter the output in the same way as the flash mode above.
- All 100 LED’s
- Left 50
- Right 50
- Quarter power
- Half power
- Full power
Of course, this is also perfect for video work when in fairly close proximity to your subject. You can always increase your camera’s ISO to allow the light to work with subjects that are further away.
When shooting in very low light, it can be hard to get your camera’s focussing system working well so the AF assist mode on the Amaran Halo LED light is a great bonus. You simply half press the shutter to activate the AF Assist lamp allowing the focus to lock on.
The unit is powered by 4 AA batteries and, according to Aputure, the LED lights have a lifespan of around 100,000 hours…not bad at all and LED’s are very power efficient.
The illumination is bright and obviously varies depending on distance to subject:
- 50cm = 1020 lux
- 100cm = 305 lux
- Manual x1
- Ring flash x1
- 8 adapter rings include Φ 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72 and 77mm.
- Warranty Card x1
The fact that you get all these adaptor rings means you can use the Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash Light with virtually any of your lenses. I can use this with my EF50mm 1.4, EF24-70L 2.8, EF70-200L 2.8, 100mm Macro, EF16-35L 2.8…great!
All in all this is a handy piece of kit and for the current price of $49, it is a steal. I am starting to love LED lighting more and more…mainly because it is cool (literally).
Whilst I really like this unit, my only complaints are to do with the design. For one, when the Amaran Halo is attached to the front of your lens, there is no way to lock it into position. Secondly, when the Halo is attached to the unit itself, 0n the hotshoe, it only fits at an angle meaning the left, right, up and down angles are all off by 45 degrees.
Buy from Amazon (currently at a lower price)
Go wide angle and the ring flash becomes visible…could be good for fun shots!