Callum McInerney-Riley tests out Manfrotto's latest LED offering, the Spectra2

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At a glance:

Manfrotto recently updated its range of LED continuous lights with three new models designed to sit between the smaller Manfrotto Lumimuse and the larger, high-end Manfrotto Lykos lights. The Manfrotto Spectra2 sits at the bottom of the trio of lights, but is no less impressive. It boasts 12 LED lights with Surface Mount Technology, designed to give more light output, a better quality of light and better colour accuracy. Power can be supplied to the Spectra2 in three ways: using AA batteries (six of them in total); by adding a special power adapter to run the Spectra2 from a Sony L-Series battery; and through an AC input, which can be bought cheaply online. The Spectra2 is designed for photographers and videographers alike, so Manfrotto has ensured there are no flickers from the LED light; there’s also no flickering when the dimmer switch is used. At maximum power, the Spectra2 is rocking a hefty 650lux at 1m, which is decent for most photographers.

I would happily use this light for macro shooting, placing it at a distance to make it appear as natural light, especially when used in conjunction with the colour-balancing filters and/or diffusers. There are two orange filters and a diffuser included in the kit, and these simply slide over the front of the panel. It would also suit portrait, still-life and product photography just fine. Also included is a ball head with a 3/8in female thread, a 1/4in male thread and a cold-shoe adapter. In conjunction with the mounting points, female thread and cold-shoe, users can mount this light on anything from a flash stand to a monopod. At over £150, it’s pricey, but it’s a serious piece of kit.

TESTBENCH GOLD 5