Kaiser K5850 LED desktop light
Kaiser K5850 LED desktop light
96 LED flat lighting panel
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not subscribe to Keith's YouTube Channel
...Keith's book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.
Our site contains affiliate links - these help support the site. See our Advertising policies for more
The Kaiser K5850 is a flat lighting panel ideal for basic product photography.
It’s an LED based light that gives a bright flat light with a near daylight colour rendition.
Keith has been looking at it as a lighting solution for photography of smaller objects.
Our test unit was from Fotospeed in the UK.
Kaiser LED light
LED lighting has improved dramatically in recent years, both in power and in colour rendition.
The Kaiser K5850 light is a mains powered panel wth 96 LEDs behind a diffuse cover.
- LED panel: 96 High-CRI-LEDs
- Colour rendition index: CRI = 95
- Colour temperature: 5600 Kelvin
- Max. illumination: 480 lux (at 1 m / 3.3 ft.)
- Angle of radiation (half value angle): 110°
- Panel size: 14 x 20 cm (5.5 x 7.9 in.)
- Operating voltage: 110 – 240 V
- Power consumption: 18 W
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 140 x 200 x 20-35 mm (5.5 x 7.9 x 0.8-1.4 in.)
- Mains lead: approx. 190 cm (6.2 ft.)
- Weight: light with mains lead: approx. 335 g (11.8 oz.)
- foot with hinged bracket: approx. 270 g (9.5 oz)
- Maximum height with foot and hinged bracket: 48 cm (18.9 in.)
The panel has a range of mounting options, so can easily be used as part of a larger product photography setup.
The kit comes with clear instructions.
The mounting brackets can be used in a variety of ways. Note the threaded mounts (1/4″) and flash style mounts.
The adjustable arm is a little less stiff than I’d like. You just need to take a bit of care and realise this is not big hefty studio lighting. Mechanically, it works fine though. I’d also prefer a slightly longer mains lead, but these are minor quibbles.
There’s no dimmer on the unit, so when you switch it on you do get a bright flat light source.
A much shorter exposure shows the LED light sources.
Where you need to remember this is if you have direct reflections of lights.
It’s very noticeable in this shot of an old lens I had laying around.
Whether this is an issue depends on you – there are some occasions the dots might work.
Without the direct reflections the light give a smooth coverage.
As with any light source the illumination drops off with distance, so remember that the closer the light is to the subject, the more obvious difference in illumination there will be from near (to the light) to far.
You can control this by moving the light, but for consistent product shots it often helps to keep things in the same relative place. So, if shooting a collection of items check your setup with the largest and smallest to see if differences are too much for you. A second light and/or reflector (see below) can help with consistency and control of shadows.
One potential problem with LED lighting is that whilst it looks white when you look at it, the colour captured by a camera can show all sorts of colour variation.
A way of fixing this is to make a custom camera profile. I use DNG profiles, created by photographing my ColorChecker Passport. These work fine with my Adobe RAW processing software (and now with DxO PhotoLab V2)
You just need a correctly exposed photo with the ColorChecker target in it.
The (free) software automatically finds the coloured patches in the photo.
Once the profile is made, restart your editing software, and the profile will be available to use when processing your RAW camera files.
Here’s an animated GIF file switching between using the profile and not using it (click to enlarge).
The difference is relatively small – certainly better than many light sources I’ve used in the past.
Do you -need- a profile?
Well it depends on what you’re photographing and the level of colour accuracy you require. Of course to see these changes reliably you need to be using a reasonable monitor, and have calibrated it (see my recent Benq SW240 review for an example).
Flat single light sources can give a distinctive look to smaller product shots not dissimilar to using a single window. A simple reflector (sheet of white cardboard) off to the other side will help fill shadows if need be.
As with any shiny subject look out for bright reflections. Make use of them or move some part of your camera/light/subject arrangement to reduce the effect.
A very good flat light source that will not produce sharp shadows.
It’s also a light that won’t damage fragile subjects, since it’s free of UV light, and runs quite cool. Colour rendition is good with a near daylight output.
The unit reviewed was kindly lent by Fotospeed – it’s listed at £88 (inc. VAT)
Enjoyed this article?
All the latest articles/reviews and photo news items appear on Keith's Photo blog
Keith explains tilt and shift lenses
Keith has written a book that looks at the many ways that tilt/shift lenses can benefit your photography from a technical and creative point of view.
There is also a specific index page on the site with links to all Keith's articles, reviews and videos about using tilt and shift.
We've a whole section of the site devoted to Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews. Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1200 articles/reviews here...
Articles below by Keith (Google's picks for matching this page)
We're an Amazon.com affiliate, so receive payment if you buy via Amazon US