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The Rosco LitePad Loop
Chris Cardno is a Production & Rental Manager for Visual Edge. Visual Edge is a video production company and rental house in the Washington DC area and has been owned and operated by two cameramen since 1994. They have over 20 cameras in-house, numerous accessories, lights and grip equipment, and they work on a variety of projects including documentaries, sports, commercials, corporate and nonprofit – for a wide ranging base of clients.
We were sent the Rosco LitePad Loop through our friends at Crews Control for review purposes.
“LitePad Loop is a sleek, easy to use ring light that produces a great quality of light. Loop is just over 9 inches in diameter with a 4.4 inch center hole. Its housing is manufactured in a durable, shatter resistant plastic. The LitePad inside the Loop has LEDs on both the inside and outside perimeters of the “O” shape, allowing for maximum brightness. LitePad Loop can be dimmed using either the Rosco Single Fader Dimmer or the 2 CH/DMX Dimmer.”
The LitePad Loop arrives in a handsome and well-designed padded soft case, with foam cutouts for the various pieces and accessories for the unit. The LitePad Loop and mounting assembly are robust, and I do like the magnetic accessory collar for attaching color filters – it’s an elegant solution and allows for quick swaps on-set. I was also happy to see that the kit came with additional 8” rods and a longer bracket, to allow for the use of longer telephoto lenses, something for which I’m sure many manufacturers would charge an additional cost. The light itself worked flawlessly, and I would have expected nothing less from Rosco. Our issues, however, were with the general usability of the unit for us a video production company/rental house and some general design problems.
In The Field
The LitePad Loop has obviously been designed for use with DSLR cameras, and in that regard it cannot be faulted. However, we prefer to have accessories that have a wider range of uses and we could not find a way to rig it to any of our full size video cameras due to the height offset/centering with the L-bracket and the bracket’s attachment point to the LitePad Loop itself. The robust build of the unit and accessories does add weight to the unit when using handheld, and I would imagine could become tiresome after a while. The need to attach the AA battery pack for handheld use is a drawback, especially as it slows the transition from tripod to handheld. In fact the Battery Mounting Adapter installed to the Mounting Assembly made it impossible to use the LitePad Loop on anything but a small still photography tripod, again limiting its use across a variety of platforms.
The other issue I ran into is one endemic to mounting to any DSLR – there is only one ¼-20 mounting point on the bottom of the camera and extended handheld use eventually caused the screw, and Mounting Assembly, to work loose.
In conclusion, the LitePad Loop is a fine device and I would recommend it to any photographer or photography studio, but I’m afraid its limited use across in a wider range of situations make it a specialty item that would prevent us from purchasing it for our business.
It would nice to see Rosco come out with a version specifically to be used for a wider range of ENG/ EFP cameras. I can see this product being used in many situations, but without support to a wider range of video cameras it has very limited applications.