Adaptalux lights up macro photography with improved Xenon flash modules
UK-based Adaptalux hit Kickstarter in 2015 with a modular lighting system aimed at macro photographers that featured bendy LED arms for creative lighting opportunities. Fueled by success, the development team returned four years later with Xenon flash arms for the system, and now the newly redesigned flash arms are available to buy.
Like many tech solutions, the Adaptalux system was born of frustration. A Bournemouth University student named Sam Granger decided to tackle the many problems associated with macro photography lighting in 2013, partnering with Martin Brenig-Jones the following year to take his degree project into production via Kickstarter.
The original Adaptalux lighting studio comprised a bunch of LED arms that plugged into a battery-powered control pod that could sit atop a camera or stand on a tripod. The user could manipulate up to five flexible arms at once for precision placement, and a range of diffusers and filters were also included for creativity.
Xenon flash arms were added to the system to give photographers the option to freeze fast-moving subjects and create sharper images at adjustable brightness levels. The Kickstarter to fund this project was also successful, but then the world was hit by COVID and pandemic-related delays followed.
But Granger used this trying period to improve and update the design, giving the flash head a new look as well as improved durability, redesigning the emitter to use modulated IR for triggering (in addition to iOS/Android app activation) and powering it with more common AAA-sized batteries instead of AAAA-sized batteries, and including 10 colored gels in the package, as well as creating three diffuser heads.
The first of the Kickstarter flash packages were shipped toward the end of last year, with the remainder going out to backers over the next couple of months. And now the Adaptalux Xenon flash lighting arms have been made available for general sale.
"Since designing the original Adaptalux Studio products, it was always a goal of mine to introduce Flash lighting to the system," said Granger. "I am thrilled that they are finally now available, after a difficult few years of product development due to COVID and the silicone crisis. I am sure Adaptalux Flash will open even more creative opportunities for macro photographers and we cannot wait to see more of our customers photographic results."
One flash arm plus a set of gels is priced at US$132.99, diffuser hoods start at $12.99 and the emitter comes in at $62.99.
Users will also need a Control Pod if they don't already have one, and Grainger and team have used the frustrating downtime caused by the global pandemic to take this into its third generation. It benefits from a more durable design, a 20 percent increase in battery capacity (12 hours), a new brightness control dial, better Bluetooth connectivity and improved mounting capability. The Control Pod 3.0 carries a $199.99 price tag.