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Gear & Apps

Panlight |A Remote Control Off Camera Flash Assistant

By Chris Nachtwey on November 25th 2014

At some point in every photographer’s career, we find ourselves in that interesting situation of not having a lighting assistant. Meaning, if we need to adjust our off camera speedlights, we need to stop what we’re doing and adjust the light and let’s be honest, that can be a pain when you’re trying to work efficiently.

[REWIND: ONE LIGHT, ONE PHOTOGRAPHER: SHOOTING DRAMATIC PORTRAITS WITHOUT AN ASSISTANT]

Enter the Panlight. The Panlight is a new remote controlled panning and tilting head that can be attached to a Light stand, allowing you to mount a speedlight or mirrorless camera to it and control it via a remote. Check out the video below to see the Panlight in action!

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Features

  • Cold shoe mount making the Panlight nearly universal with all hot shoe speed lights
  • 360 degree panning and 140 degree tilting
  • 4 channels: allowing individual control of up to four different Panlight units
  • Uses 4 AA Batteries
  • Standard 3/8″ thread for mounting to light stands or tripods
  • Support for up to 2.2 lbs of gear weight
  • Remote control allows you to control units up to 100 feet away

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Thoughts

Costing only $149 USD,  I could see the Panlight having a place in my wedding photography lighting kit. Having the ability to control the angles of my off camera speedlights from where I’m standing in a reception hall, ceremony or virtually anywhere is great. It would be awesome for when I want to bounce light for a group photo, then tilt it down to backlight and create a rim light during the first dance. I also think it’s great you can mount a small mirrorless camera to it at a unique angle, maybe on the balcony of the church for a high and wide shot of a wedding ceremony. Wedding photographer or not, I could see any photographer who works with off camera flash finding a use for the Panlight.

Panlight hopes to being shipping in March of 2015, so if you want to be one of the first to get your hands on the Panlight, you can check out more on their Kickstarter page or website.

Via: ISO1200.com

Images captured via screen grab

 

Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. William Emmett

    I think I’ve seen this type of equipment on sale before. I think Camranger makes something like this. At only 2 lbs of weight, it is limited to a speed lite. It doesn’t say if it will fire the flash by radio. The flash can be set to flash off another flash. A built in Rx and Tx would make this a real product.

    WE

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  2. Sebastian Martin

    I really like the concept of this device.

    However I would never find myself working without an assistant or two.

    Nothing beats a good assistant with walkie-talkis with earbuds for communication of instructions during an event.

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  3. Gustavo Urena

    I see a few problems.
    Battery life: How long will this last? I mean the heavier the equipment the more power it requires and with the weight limitation of 2 pounds I think this will not last long to be reliable.
    Speed: How fast does this make the adjustments? I mean coming back again to the weight limitation speed will also be a point to think about.
    and finally range: 100 feet, but imagine a reception full of guest? This could have some problem performing…
    Just my thoughts. Maybe they were able to get all of this and more and it works perfect. who knows. I just do see it as a plus but a extra gadget to manage on an already stressful day. Nothing can replace a great assistant .

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  4. Fernando Lachica

    This is awesome and think it’ll give positive results.

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  5. Nick Viton

    p.s. I hope this Panlight doesn’t make my photo-assistant gigs obsolete

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    • Stan Rogers

      Not likely, Nick. (Although its inevitable successor might ;o) ) The first thing I noticed is that it can’t handle much weight, and even a decent-sized brolly (once you factor in the leverage) would probably be way too much for it to handle. The scenario Chris described, changing a remote bare speedlight from bounce to direct (or top bounce to side bounce, or what have you), is right around its limit — but for a one-man band, that would be enough to make the difference between “I’d like to, but…” and “no problem” (or getting really, really good at being unobtrusive — and quick, while remaining sprightly, fresh and good-tempered — with a large stepladder).

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  6. Nick Viton

    Sweet!
    I’d like to be the first to coin the acronym “OCC” for off-camera camera (as opposed to OCF for off-camera flash) …on second though, nevermind, that’s a stupid acronym

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    • Barry Cunningham

      How about “OCD” for off-camera device?
      Oh. I think that’s already taken.
      Still, I would probably be wanting the 10 kg model for doing time-lapse with a DSLR. But that’s a whole other product.

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