ANTON BAUER UltraDAYlight
Sing it with me! “Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, and I say… it’s all right…” In these times of ’60’s musical sell-outs perhaps Anton-Bauer should consider this George Harrison ditty as a way to sell one of its newest products.
The UltraDAYlight is the latest addition to Anton-Bauer’s Ultralight camera-top light system. This HMI style light produces 5600k light without the need for a dichroic filter. The powerful 25 watt bulb and ballast system delivers over 300 Ft. Candles 3 feet away.
The unit is about the same height and width of a traditional Ultralight, but nearly double the length. Despite the added length, the UltraDAYlight remains surprisingly lightweight and manageable. The rig weighs in at 13 ounces.
The brilliance behind the engineering of this camera top light is the fact it is interchangeable with the original Ultralight 2 3200k light, using the same Ultralight 2 base. This means photographers can swap between a tungsten balanced light and a sunlight balanced light without the hassles of removing and remounting the entire appliance. The user simply pops one light off the base and drops the other one on. Both of the lights store easily in any run-bag.
The UltraDAYlight works exceptionally well. This camera top-light fills in dark shadows and helps illuminate faces against overcast skies. This works especially well for hand-held interviews where the interview subject stands significantly taller than the photographer does. The light is also great in shade, bringing out the subject from the background. Back-lit situations are a little tough for the light to overcome, but if the back-light is not too intense the light can work wonders.
There are two drawbacks to the UltraDAYlight; the biggest drawback is the price. Anton-Bauer is obviously very proud of this light. The unit will cost you just under a grand. The bulbs will run you 200 bucks or so. A smaller operational drawback to the light is using it when other photographers are around. While you will be balance for 5600k, other photographers may be using their 3200k light, and mixing the two can create some funky white balance situation. The key to overcoming this obstacle is to simply communicate with the other photogs that you are using a 5600k light.
The UltraDAYlight is amazingly bright and intense. I suggest you add the Ultralight Soft Box to the UltraDAYlight to disperse the light and give it a subdued texture. While the Soft Box cuts out too much light for a lot of outdoor situations, it can swing aside to allow the full intensity when needed. The Soft Box works great for shaded or indoor use.
This light is obviously not for everyone. The high cost will probably keep it out of the hands of most staff photogs. But I suggest stations could buy one or two to assign out to photogs when they needed them. Freelancers may choose to buy one for themselves, this one little light could easily save you in tough lighting situations.
So as the song aptly fades away; “Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes…” perhaps some you may finally have a little piece of the sun to keep in your light-kit.
For more information on Anton Bauer products, check out their web page: www.antonbauer.com.