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Lastolite Hilite - anyone used one?

Mark_C 14 24
6 Jan 2007 1:29AM
Hi There

I've just spotted this on the Warehouse Express Website:

Lastolite Hilite

And I'm wondering if anyone has bought one? used one? seen one in the flesh??

I can find lots of info on the web about them, but sadly no reviews or user experiences.

It looks good, and could be just what I'm looking for, but it's a lot of money to blow that I could alternatively spend on a background support system and paper / vinyl if it's just a gimmick (not that I would expect that from Lastolite).

Also if you have any experience, what light set up did you use?

Thanks for any and all help.

Snapper 15 4.5k 3 United States Outlying Islands
6 Jan 2007 1:47AM
Haven't used or even seen one, but I think it is a good, solid, professional answer from Lastolite, as you might expect from a company with their track record. By this I mean that they have come up with a good product to satisfy the "high key" background market with fold-up portability. Question is, do you actually need this and would it save you time(=money) if you had one?

I don't see a great deal of use for this in a studio situation, but if you move about then it might be just the thing for your needs.
User_Removed 16 17.9k 8 Norway
6 Jan 2007 11:12AM
I have a VERY old Lastolite BG Mark - s'probably 18yrs old now - which has been extremely useful at times. I use it mainly for for head 'n shoulders indoors and it works well.
newfocus 14 647 2 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2007 11:24PM
Not as such, but I have been using a large lastolite pop up diffuser for a while with a single light behind it as a high key background (or just in front of the window if the light's strong) and been happy with the results. Although I have to qualify this with the fact that I'm just shooting friends and family for fun here.

I guess the principle's the same as the Hilite though.

Mark_C 14 24
11 Jan 2007 1:18AM
Thanks everyone for the comments so far, but I'm looking specifically for anyone who has one of these or has used one.

I am just about to splash out on my studio kit:

2 x Elinchrom BX to go kits
1 x Prolinca infra red trigger

and either
1 x manfrotto background support
1 x white paper roll
1 x Lastolite Hilite

I like the portability of the Hilite, as I am hoping to use this for events and parties, and would also make house visits a whole lot easier but the paper and background is larger and more flexible in it's uses.... The drawback being that the paper is nearly 3m and so portability becomes a bit of an issue. This is where the Hilite could be very useful. However I don't want to hang around (6 week delay on delivery) for the Hilite and spend 2-3 times the amount of money..if it's not that good.

Thanks again for your responses
seanmcfoto 13 5
12 Jan 2007 2:49AM
I have the reversible B/W collapsable- It's great. I wish I'd bought one with a train though. I've the colorado/maine BG with train too and never use it.
If you are only going to shoot hi key at events this looks like a good product. 3 lights with one large softbox and you're away..
Matheson 13 192 Scotland
12 Jan 2007 11:54AM

Quote:2 x Elinchrom BX to go kits
1 x Prolinca infra red trigger

Eli BX400s - great piece of kit, good control, stable output.
Prolinca trigger - sh!t in my opinion; buy some cheap radio triggers from ebay like these.

I hope to have a test of one of a Hilite soon.
seanmcfoto 13 5
12 Jan 2007 4:20PM
I use one of these triggers. Much better than IR. It does miss shots very occaisonally, but doesn't require line of sight so much..
Mine was $30 so this is really a bargain...
Mark_C 14 24
13 Jan 2007 11:56PM
Thanks for the Link and info Matheson and Seanmcfoto....

I've just had a bit of a look around the site...hadn't thought about the radio triggers up until now, but this looks better than the infra red.. is that where you bought yours from??

Thanks again

seanmcfoto 13 5
15 Jan 2007 3:50AM
Not 100% sure, it was out of hong kong like that one. I'm salivating at the prices on their shop page..
Matheson 13 192 Scotland
15 Jan 2007 12:13PM
The triggers I linked to are the ones I use. Over a years use and no complaints, have only had to change the Tx battery once.
Mark_C 14 24
16 Jan 2007 11:54PM
Thanks Matheson...the triggers look good and a great price...

Hadn't really looked at the radio triggers so not sure entirely the setup I'd need....I take it I will need 1 Transmitter for the hotshoe, and then a receiver on each light (that means I'll need 4).. is that right??

Thanks again..

Mark_C 14 24
17 Jan 2007 12:09AM
So....today I spoke to a guy from Karlu photographic regarding the Hilite.. I called to see if he had them in stock..unfortunately not, but it did give me the opportunity to have a chat about what his thoughts were about this new bit of kit from lastolite...

He mentioned that due to the nature of the Hilite, and the fact that it's backlit, it gives a slightly wrap around effect to the lighting, which he stated in his opinion, was good for a Glamour style setup, but no so good if I had a guy in a black diner suit in front of it ("end up with a grey hue around the edges").....so, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about that...

I'm still quite keen on the Hilite due to it's portability, the paper rolls I'm very aware that transportation will be an issue..AND, the larger length rolls are really going to be a problem should I need to take it to a clients house. so that leaves either a muslin, cotton or velvet background, which, from reading the posts on the forums, are prone to creases....

so hypothetically, based on al the above posts...what would YOU go for??

Thanks for all your help... And thank you to the gentleman at Karlu for the advice.

seanmcfoto 13 5
17 Jan 2007 12:19AM
Don't forget Lastolite also do collapsible backgrounds
FatHandedChap 14 1.3k England
17 Jan 2007 12:32AM
I've two collapsibles, a smaller one ideal for clients living rooms, and a larger one with train which I use for fundraising events in church halls etc. I got them from Photodeals.

I've now got a big roll of vinyl for the studio and events, but will keep the collapsible for trips to peoples living rooms.

Creases do show up a bit, but if you overexpose the BG by around a stop don't really notice them. The easiest way I find to clean up the BG in photoshop is to use the dodge tool set to highlights around 5-10%.


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