Update January 13 2020
I am now testing a LED/Strobe combination that attaches natively to the Aputure Spotlight without an DIY adapter.
Update December 8 2019
I was able to use the Aputure instrument during a publicity image session for Little Shop of Horrors adding a green gel to the light.
Updated November 18 2019
Unless I come across a different way to use this instrument other than what I’ve posted to date this will be my last entry. I will simply say that it is a remarkable device especially considering its price point. The ability to change lenses is really useful for my work.
Updated October 22 2019
I wanted to update this post to say how pleased I have been with the Spotlight. In most cases I am shooting in confined spaces where a narrow beam makes the use of a gobo light impractical. I recently shot a dance session and due to the 36 degree lens on the Spotlight I was easily able to use the lighting instrument. The funny part is the dancers and teacher wanted to know“What Mark is going to do with that bazooka thing?!” LOL it does kinda look like a bazooka! But once they saw the images appear on the tethered iPad everyone wanted to be lit with the device.
In the images that follow the key light was the Aputure Spotlight with an industrial window gobo. But I also added an overhead light, my beloved Saberstrip v2.0 to add fill light to the shadows. Without the fill areas in the dark portion of the gobo were almost completely black.
The Aputure Spotlight’s construction, switchable lenses and lack of fringing make this instrument extremely valuable for my work.
Updated October 12 2019
I have had the opportunity to test this instrument before placing it into my workflow. It performed flawlessly and with the 36 degree lens I am able to keep the device in close proximity to the area I am illuminating with a gobo. This is especially valuable for me since I seldom have a large distance between where I need the light to appear and where I can place the device. Well worth the money for this type of quality and versatility.
Original Post September 26 2019
This initial post is about my findings of the physical characteristics of the unit, not its actual use at this point in time. For anyone who has followed my blog it’s pretty apparent that I like to use gobos to create shots when it’s the right tool for the right job.
I’ve gone through all sorts of iterations to fabricate, modify, adapt modifier tools that aren’t really meant for still strobe photography. The Aputure Spotlight Mount Set is really no exception. I was very excited about purchasing the unit for these reasons:
- Native Bowens mount
- A choice of three lenses of different focal lengths
- It uses B sized gobos
- An optional adjustable iris
- A nice padded case
- The unit is made for the Aputure LED constant light film industry, but I ‘thought’ it would be a plug and play affair since it uses the Bowens attachment system. More on that later. I’ve used my converted Leko spotlight enough to know that in cramped spaces a wider lens would be optimum. So I ordered the 36 degree lens and if I need tighter focal lengths they are available for around 259.00.
- B sized gobos are the standard in most theatres. So I can borrow some if needed. My other now discontinued Bowens projector uses smaller M sized gobos.
- Aputure makes a very cool optional adjustable iris for the unit which I purchased. I plan to use this for upcoming sessions. I’ve never had an adjustable iris option on a spot projector.
- Although the case that comes with the unit is not ATA rated, it is well done and protective.
And last but certainly not least is the Leko stage follow spot I converted cannot be replaced. So if it’s stolen or more likely lost during airline transport I’d be sunk.
OK so let’s start off with why the unit is NOT plug and play for my Flashpoint or Godox strobes. I could not see in any of the online photos or specifications the distance between the Bowens mount and the first lens in the unit. (there are two) Using any of my Flashpoint or Godox strobes inserted into the unit cause the bulb to foul against the first lens…no bueno! So I had to fabricate (what else is new in my world LOL) a female to male Bowens adapter. Now any of my lights, the 600s the 600 Pro, the 200s the 200s with the circular head all fit! YAY!!!
I found a much easier way to fabricate a Bowens male/female extender. Here is what I use:
- Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Protection Cover
- NICEFOTO SN-10 Interchangeable Mount Mini Mount to Bowens Mount
I cut the Protection cover about 1/75 inches from the Bowens male flange. (Cutting off the top of the cover) I then slide the open end into the Nicefoto mount and screw it down. All done for $18.00 USD!
Below I am showing how versatile the unit is in using ANY of my Godox/Flashpoint strobes:
Flashpoint eVOLV Dual Power Twin Head with Bowens Mount. Two 200s with two bulbs.
So far I am VERY impressed with the build quality and optics of the system. I have no doubt it will work very well in my work. As I use it I will continue to update this post. Aputure if you’re reading this, making a strobe adapter will make us still photo guys very happy and my increase your market too!