N(Ice) Light 2 from Westcott

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

ice.Joy.borderWestcott says their Ice Light 2 LED light is 50% brighter than it’s predecessor while maintaining a nearly identical form factor —the handle is actually half-inch or so longer. My field tests show that yes, it’s brighter but maybe not quite so much as a full stop, although it’s close.

Ice Light 2 has a CRI output of 96 with ten-step dimming that’s accessed via the built-in digital display handle. That color accuracy makes it an ideal fill light when used for some window light portraits I made. Options include a set of barndoors. The ergonomic shape lends itself to handheld use but there’s a 1/4-20 thread at each end for lightstand mounting.

The light has a USB port and built-in Bluetooth technology for wireless control via a new iOS app that lets you control multiple Ice Light 2’s from up to 100-feet away. The removable Lithium-ion battery gives you 60+ minutes of runtime and you can charge a backup outside the fixture. The Ice Light 2 comes with gel clips, battery, 100-240 VAC power supply/charger, cord storage bag and a carrying case.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 11.26.45 AMSomething I’ve mentioned in my Shutterbug and our sister blog’s reviews of LED lighting is that some subjects find them to be harsh and tend to squint. I had a portrait shoot using the Ice light 2 that when placed in the center of my camera room produced beautiful ring light-style lighting but the subject could not tolerate looking at the light, although when I used it for daylight fill it didn’t bother her. If you look at her eyes in the example shown at left, you’ll see the stick-shaped catchlight.

Image above right was shot with Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/1.8 and ISO 800.

Barry Staver has gone all-LED in his studio and the next time we have coffee I plan to ask him about how this affects his portrait subjects. In the meantime, look for a post from Barry next Tuesday on how he uses LED lighting for on-location portraits.