Rayzr MC120 and Astora SF200 LED Panel Lights

Our initial thoughts on receiving the Astora panel lights (Rayzr units) are that they are well constructed. They appear to be weighty, solid bits of kit that would be welcomed by serious amateurs and professionals alike who would require them to hold up to significant demand on usage. In the future we hope to be able to test this aspect with a longer review period.

These units are available from various retailers who may offer service contracts if that is something that you require. However we are generally impressed with the build quality of these units and are confident of their longevity.

We are using good quality stands because of the weight and size of the units. And we suggest that if you are investing in this quality product, then you should also invest in high end stands to support the product effectively and safely whilst in use.

Rayzr MC120                                                   Astora SF200

For long-term storage, personal use and transportation of these lights, we would suggest that you would look to invest some more money into quality cases such as a wheeled pelican case or a strong fabric travel case with sufficient padding.

We also liked the length of the power lead which was 3 metres, which in our case means that we didn’t have to use an additional extension cable. Just remember it would need to be stored somewhere and if you are adding soft boxes or diffusers you will also need to be able to carry those around in some form of case or bag. One small thing that we really like is the retaining hook at the back of the unit which keeps the power lead under control! This means that you can make any adjustments by hand very easily, keeping the power lead out of the way and making all this accessible to use.

Cable tidy on Rayzr unit

The lighting units themselves can pivot so that they can tilt not only downwards but upwards. They also came supplied with metal black painted barn doors with which you are also able to take control of the light spread. Sadly we cannot comment on the remote control but hope to do this in the next review.

The Astora SF200 unit allows you to increase and decrease the Kelvin which means that you are changing the colour of the light it projects on to a given subject or background. This enables you to go for either a cooler looking picture; more like a daylight balanced picture, useful if you’re doing product photography. If you go warmer then that would be more suitable for portraits, I would suggest.

Colour temperature reduced to 3200k

The Astora SF120 is square in shape ( Rayzr MC 120) and in many ways is just a smaller version of the SF200. It is smaller but just as flexible in the amount of available light and temperature it provides, which we think some video photographers would enjoy and for whom this product is ideally suitable. Fitted with barn doors for control or using a soft box would work equally as well. In our opinion a soft box provides a more pleasing image. This smaller unit is probably better for home use. M could use this in his kitchen set up if necessary.

It could also be used as part of a bigger studio setup. Where it could be used to light the background or be used as a fill light.

Mark adjusting the lighting

Colin also shot various examples of the light using both units. The SF120 was projecting the yellow light and the SF200, the blue light, rather than just a pure daylight balanced.

Colin is trying this to show you some of the effects. This could be very useful to develop creativity within the shot and can be viewed instantly without the need to Photoshop.

Daylight                                  Blue                                                       Yellow

We only used both units with mains power, although you can run them from their own battery pack.

Having spent time today using the Astora SF200 we have been finding that the top and bottom barn doors where not staying in position. With the correct tools these can be adjusted no problem. We suspect as these are demo models that they have had some wear and tear. These can be removed and other accessories from the manufacturer can also be added.

We certainly enjoyed our GCM ” First look” and hope that you enjoyed it too and have been able to benefit from the test content if you are planning on buying one of these products.


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