Review of the Lastolite RAY D8

Manufacturer: Lastolite
Model: RAY D8
Price: £230

Tungsten lights have traditionally been a low-cost entry into studio lighting, but, unless you used black and white film, were a bit of a pain to use with colour film. This is because tungsten has a much higher colour temperature than daylight, so produces a yellow light which becomes a yellow cast on film. You could use cool-down filters to correct for the colour shift or use tungsten film, but I never found either as accurate as using flash and daylight film. With the advent of digital SLRs though, and the ability to accurately adjust the colour temperature in camera, or later in RAW (though it’s always best to get it right in-camera), tungsten lighting could soon become popular again.

Another advantage of tungsten over flash is that the continuous light allows you to see precisely where the light is falling and the shadows are appearing.

This kit from Lastolite has everything you need to set up a simple home studio, with two lights and reflectors, brollies and stands, though single heads are also available for £90. The heads offer a 500W output, which can get hot for models sitting under direct lighting for an extended length of time, but they’re more comfortable if the umbrellas are used.

The lamps are well made, with a robust metal casing, and the quality of the accessories is happily up to Lastolite’s usual standards.

What Digital Camera Score: 85%