Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED C-218AS
Company: Fotodiox, Inc.
Photography is all about light. The photographer needs to control the light to produce the desired image. The Fotodiox Pro FlapJack series of lamps brings a nice even diffuse light into the studio or on location with a minimum of size, weight, and hassle.
Until the FlapJack, LED lamps tended to be harsh with the LEDs aimed at the subject. Fotodiox moved the LEDs to the edge of the enclosure and aimed them toward the center of the lamp with effective diffusion. The result is a small portable lamp having illumination that is normally associated with a much larger soft box.
The controls on the rear of the unit allow the photographer to control both the quantity and color temperature of the light. The output can be balanced with the other light sources used for the photo session. The FlapJack is ideal to add light to an intimate indoor scene lit by warm white bulbs or opening up some shadows at an outdoor location. When used in a studio in conjunction with other continuous light sources the color temperature can be matched to give the best effect.
The battery power of the FlapJack is welcome in the studio even though AC power is available. Every trip hazard that can be eliminated is welcome. This brings up the topic of battery life. My informal real world testing correlates with Fotodiox’s published battery guide. A full charge will last about 2.5 hours when set to 100% power. The same charge will last over 5 hours when set to 50% power.
The battery charger provided can accommodate two batteries at a time. My testing shows that the recharge time can be nearly twice as long as the time for a full power discharge. This suggests that for professional use one or two extra batteries are a recommended additional purchase.
The FlapJack’s sturdy metal frame features two attachment points threaded for the tripod standard of 1/4″ – 20. Included in the kit is a small ball head that which, at first glance, does not appear to be up to the task of supporting the lamp. Upon using it, I found that the ball head was quite robust for its diminutive size. The long length of the lamp and resulting leverage of that weight will place a strain on the mounting point when used in the vertical orientation. Even given the sturdy mounting hardware, I would hesitate to use the FlapJack in the vertical mode except in the most controlled conditions.
Fotodiox Pro FlapJack LED C-218AS is a versatile, high quality, photographic lamp will be a welcome addition to the photographer’s kit. It is useful to both the videographer and the still photographer. The inclusion of a 12v DC power cable, for use with the lamp or charger, will be of help to the photographer on the move.
There are a couple of misses to go along with the lengthly list of hits. There is a bright orange release button to disengage the battery from the lamp. Unfortunately this is not the case with the battery charger and getting the battery out of the charging unit is a fussy challenge. The provided ball head is barely adequate. The fitted case is a nice addition but it is not built to the same quality as the lamp. It is doubtful that the case will stand up to years of travel to and from location work.
MyMac.com Review Rating: 8 out of 10