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REVIEW Crack Light: card sized LED lighting with incredible color profile

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Fortigurn, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    13,176
    Location:
    taipei.tw
    The Crack Light from Blind Spot isn't exactly the same size as a credit card, but it's only as thin. You can buy it with an optional dimmer switch.

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    Specifications

    * 5V, 5W
    * 760 lux @ .5m
    * 5,600K
    * 19 grams
    * LED color ratings CRI 85/TCLI 97 (this is where the magic happens)
    * 120 degree beam
    * Waterproof
    * USB-C port
    * Optional dimmer switch

    You can plug the Crack Light directly into your phone if it has a USB-C port, but I prefer to plug it into a palm sized battery pack so I can hold the light in one hand and my phone in the other, allowing me more flexibility with the way I position the light.

    Main features

    The Crack Light has three standout features, from my point of view.

    1. It's tiny and tough; shove it into a cargo pocket and forget about it.
    2. It belts out a tremendous amount of light for its size.
    3. The color profile is utterly outstanding. This has been made by photographers, for photographers, and it really shows.

    Performance

    Here are some photos from my ASUS ZenFone 6, in a fairly dark corner of an English pub, without any auxiliary lighting.

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    These are not bad given how dark it was. However I did have to tweak them in my phone to brighten them up.

    Here are some photos taken in another English pub, with the Crack Light. Ambient lighting was only slightly better than in the other pub. I did not alter these at all, they're straight from the phone. The Crack Light made a huge difference.

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    Notably, there's no horrible LED glare, and the color temperature is superb. Here are some more examples, showing its strong performance in a range of lighting situations (including rooms lit with only sunlight through the windows), and with a range of different food subjects.

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    I'm particularly impressed with its lighting of bread, meat, and cheese. The color profile is gorgeous.

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    Note that all the photos I show here taken with the Crack Light, were at full power. I haven't used the dimmer switch attachment yet.

    Use case & caveats

    Aside from its usefulness to photographers needing a portable fill light for candid indoor portraits or something similar, the Crack Light is tremendously useful for travelers or anyone else who commonly shoots on the run, and for foodies in particular. Using the Crack Light I was able to position the light to my satisfaction, then just snap a photo without needing to re-shoot or worry about fussing over editing tweaks, especially color correction.

    As you can see from the photos, the Crack Light does a great job of providing illumination without betraying its presence. However, take care with highly reflective surfaces, which can pick up the individual LEDs, as shown here.

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    Final verdict

    The Crack Light doesn't do everything, and it's not for everyone. However, it does exactly what it was made to do, and it does it incredibly well. I cannot get over the sheer flood of light it can put out, and I am constantly amazed at the color profile.

    I carry my Crack Light at all times. It's a superb companion for anyone taking spontaneous shots with their phone, and it's a total game changer in low light situations, especially when food is involved.
     
    T4orce, boneburner and Agg like this.

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