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Review: Kaiser R60 LED Ring Light

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Kaiser R60 LED Ring Light review

LED ring light with 60 daylight LEDs


The R60 LED ring light from Kaiser Fototechnik is a light weight LED ring light.

It can attach to the end of a lens and be used to give a smooth flat lighting that reduces shadow intensity.

Keith has been looking at a light unit, supplied by Fotospeed in the UK.

Note: Earlier this year, Keith also reviewed the more powerful Kaiser R90 LED ring light – that article has more examples covering lighting setup and colour management.

kr60 LED light

The Kaiser R60

The device is supplied with a set of spacer rings to fit your lens.

The unit only weighs 128g (without batteries) so is light enough to use with quite basic lenses – although be careful if you have a cheap kit lens where the end rotates as the lens focuses.

Kaiser R60 kit

Specifications

* Minimum working distance: 3 cm (1.2 in.)
* Operating time: approx. 120 minutes at full power, up to 30 hours when dimmed
* 60 White Light LED’s
* Colour Temperature: 5600K
* Output of approx 2300 lux at 30cm
* 52 Degree angle of illumination
* Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 2.8 cm (5.9 x 5.9 x 1.1 in.)
* Weight (w/o batteries): approx. 128 g (4.5 oz.)

The batteries go round the edge of the unit – I’m using ordinary NiMh rechargeable cells (not supplied).

batteries

There’s a power switch and dimmer at the side. There is a 5V input at the side too, although I didn’t have the right voltage power supply at hand to test it.

light-controls

The supplied adapter rings (49/52/55/58/62/67mm) let you fit your lens.

adapter-rings

I’m attaching the unit to my TS-E90mm tilt shift lens with a 58mm adapter.

ring-fitted-to-lens

The adapter ring slides in a slot at the back of the light unit.

slide-ring-to-fit

It clicks into place, and won’t fall off.

adapter-ring-in-place

Here’s the unit attached, with the LEDs switched on to a medium intensity.

fitted-to-lens

Dimming the surrounding lighting shows the LED pattern more clearly.

led pattern

The light pattern varies with distance, as you can see from this piece of card, illuminated from the edge.

I’ve exposed this image to emphasise the light fall off – it’s not so obvious in normal use, but you should be aware of it.

light distribution

Using the lighting

Like any ring light, the biggest concern is control of reflections – The four objects below show how what you’re photographing makes all the difference, as they go from very reflective to matte.

glass

Glass shows the reflection the most, although the shiny ceramic below picks up the ring shape.

ceramic

The wooden die has a slight gloss to it from wear, but is giving a smooth look, with the sides not too dark.

Your working distance can make quite a difference to the light angles.

orange wooden die

The match box shows in many ways the ideal subject for such lighting.

Colour management

I’ve tried different lighting over the years and know that what you see may be quite different to what the camera records.

Just to check, I took some shots including a ColourChecker Passport in them.

cc card included

The little cars are strong colours which easily show up lighting imbalences.

Converting my camera RAW file to a DNG and making use of X-Rites free ColorChecker Passport software, I was able to make a DNG profile, for use when processing my RAW files.

dng-profile

Here’s an animated GIF file showing the image processed straight, using Adobe Camera Raw, and when using the DNG profile.

LED profile use

The difference is quite clear (note though that this is a GIF image so only intended to give a feel for the change).

I’ve seen far worse with artificial lighting, but it’s enough that I’d definitely make a DNG profile for improved colour accuracy if I’m just using the R60.

Conclusions

A very simple to use device with surprisingly bright light output.

With the multiple LED lights you need to take care with specular reflections, which can appear as a ring of dots rather than a solid ring.

Great for flat shadowless lighting if you’re doing cataloging work, and don’t want the peak intensity of a flash unit which might damage delicate specimens.

Unit supplied for review by Fotospeed in the UK.

See also Keith’s review of the more powerful Kaiser R90 LED ring light – that article has more examples covering lighting setup and colour management.

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