Callum McInerney-Riley tries out a multi-purpose reflector that's perfect for portraits
Lastolite Circular Bottletop Reflector 120cm kit at a glance:
- Lastolite 5-in-1 120cm diffuser with sunfire, silver, gold and white bottletops
- Website: www.lastolite.com
- Price: £79
For portrait, studio and still-life photographers, a reflector is a must-have piece of kit, whether you’re shooting inside or out. I take a reflector to most of my shoots, and the Lastolite Circular Bottletop Reflector 120cm kit is about as useful as they come.
It comes with two reversible covers and the main body of the reflector is translucent. The idea of the translucent part is that it lets a lot of light through, giving photographers the ability to diffuse harsh sunlight. The covers boast four different coatings to allow photographers to manipulate the light in different ways.
First, the white side is perfect for reflecting direct light back at your subject to fill and soften shadows. The silver side achieves much the same, but it reflects more light than the white and casts a colder light. Gold reflects roughly the same amount of light as the silver, but the effect is a much warmer, vibrant light. Sometimes, this gold side can be overpowering and rather obvious. Thankfully, on the opposite side of the silver is a sunfire colour that is a mix of both silver and gold. This results in reflected light that is slightly warmer than the colour temperature you would expect from sunlight.
Lastolite Circular Bottletop Reflector 120cm kit – key features
The elasticated edges are more durable than zips and help when putting the covers on and taking them off.
With the 5-in-1, you can fold the whole thing into a carry case for easy transportation
Lastolite Circular Bottletop Reflector 120cm kit – our verdict
Overall, the Lastolite Circular Bottletop Reflector 120cm kit packs up really well and is big enough to reflect a good amount of light on everything up to a full-length portrait. The elasticated sides keep the fabric nice and taut, and provide a pleasing quality of light. All five sides of this reflector have their uses, but Sunfire is the one I use most.
There are also 50cm (£35), 75cm (£45) and 95cm (£65) versions available.
SCORE: 5 out of 5
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Due to the shape, the Phottix 5-in-1 Premium Triangle Reflector 80cm is ideal for portraits, especially for lightening under the chin when taking a headshot. It has two handles, making it easy to hold in position.
Interfit 5-in-1 Reflector 56cm
Although smaller than the Lastolite reflector, the Interfit 5-in-1 does boast black, white, silver, gold and shoot-through translucent. Covers attach via zips and it comes with a carry case.
Sunbounce Pro Silver/White
At the top end of reflectors is the California Sunbounce. The large reflectors are designed primarily for professional photographers, built to the highest standard possible and commonly used for high-end portrait shooting.