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Equipment Review: The Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector

The review after equipping: the Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Sean McCormack.

The Halo Compact is a new reflector / diffuser design from Lastolite (a Manfrotto company). In January I got a glimpse of the first batch at the Manfrotto stand at The Societies Convention in London. It looked great on the display and in the demo it was packed very small. It was also attached to the standard standard for light standards. As the owner of a few Lastolite products, I am well aware of how innovative they are and that they make high-quality products. Some of these are used day in day out in the studio (for example the Hilite and the Triflector).

The Halo Compact at the Lastolite / Manfrotto booth at the Societies convention.

Now I have many reflectors. From large 5-in-1 disc reflectors to the aforementioned triflectors, to 6 ' X3 ' frame reflectors; I even have a California Sunbounce. I don't really need a new one, and certainly not something that is well on its way to being € 100 with shipping.

However, I was still interested in an important selling point – how compact it is when it is packaged. When I saw that I had flown to the convention, I knew it would be a perfect travel reflector. I went to buy one. No luck. The small supply that had disappeared in the store at the convention, so I left empty handed.

My next look at the Halo Compact was personal at The Photography Show in March. I happened to chat with one of the people in the gallery and it turned out to be Matt Bailey. Matt had taken over the role of Gary Astil as a product designer, so we started talking about the Halo and how it solved a lot of problems.

Needless to say, I also bought the diffuser version with frame and a silver / white reflection cloth to offer me the best variety for shooting situations. I could have had the reflector with frame and diffuser cloth if I preferred.

The Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector set-up

The blue bag

The Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector comes in a small, dark blue zipper bag. It has a carabiner to attach to clips, belts or even belt loops. The material and finish are much better than the old cobalt blue material that Lastolite used to use, which fell back behind the zipper, making the zipper unusable.

When you open the zipper, you see what looks like a tent pole rod (but pre-curled) and a fabric. You will also find a ¼ "20 screw, back to back in the pouch, so that it can screw to a magic arm.

The bars resemble a tent pole, but are bent.

You will see that the assembly is easy. Attach all the bars together. Finish the frame by pushing the two sides of the handle onto a sort of pigeon tail connection.

The handle pushes against each other to make the frame stiff. It also includes a tripod connection.

A quick glance at the handle and you'll see the built-in ¼ "20 holes for a light stand in the handle. This is one of the great features of the Halo.

That is it. It is sturdy and sturdy.

To put both fabrics on, click a clip into place on either side of the handle and clip them all at the same distance around the frame.

The handle on the handle is great and I found it fairly easy to keep out, despite keeping it in my left hand on my right.

I'm not saying it's not a kite, but it was much better than the floppy eBay reflector I used earlier that day.

Why do you need this?

So why worry about having this?

The answer is simple.

You want to control the light.

This is what the unscattered evening sun looks like.

Although it is not as hard as the afternoon sun, it still has hard shadows and causes squinting.

By using the diffuser, the light is diffused, making it softer.

It is clear that it also has a lower intensity, so you have to open your shutter to compensate.

Another typical way of shooting with the evening sun is the use of background lighting.

Here you can lose the direction of the light, but adding a silver reflector can reduce contrast and shape.

You can also opt for a more subtle white reflector.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • robust
  • Good modifier options with reflection and diffusion
  • Compact, perfect for traveling
  • Reliable brand with known quality
  • Built-in stand adapter

Cons

  • Longer switch-on time than a popup
  • More expensive, but still not the most expensive

Conclusion

Although a bit on the expensive side compared to eBay's pop-ups, the Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector is still an affordable product. Despite the longer setup time, I feel that the compact package means that this product will remain permanently in or on my camera (via the carabiner), compared to the bangs that remain when I travel more compactly.

I have included the downside of the price and longer setup time in my review, but in reality I am very happy with this product.

Now to sell some of my other reflectors!

Have you used the Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector? what's your opinion? Share with us and our readers in the comments below.

The review after equipping: the Lastolite Halo Compact Reflector first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Sean McCormack.

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