This is an article I originally wrote for the Vistek All About the Image blog and have reproduced with minor edits here.
It’s not too often that we get to go out and play in the mud, so when the opportunity arose to put Light & Motion’s rugged & fully waterproof Stella Pro Portable lights to the test, we knew just where to take them…
Cherry Beach in Toronto, is probably one of the most pothole-filled parking lots in the city, and thus, it was the perfect location to take our Stella Lights and put them through our own version of the infamous “Tough Mudder” course.
So on a cold, grey Wednesday, we piled into the car and drove the short distance down to the beach to set-up for our shoot.
The rain from the previous day had done what we had hoped and filled the potholes with lots of water giving us the perfect set-up to get down and dirty with the Stella Pro lights that we had brought with us.
The Stella Pro lights are really quite remarkable and their small form factor means you can take them just about anywhere. But don’t be fooled by their size, these lights are extremely rugged (as we were to accidentally find out), completely waterproof and provide a consistent (and very bright) output and colour temperature.
The three lights we tested that day were the Stella Pro 5000, Stella 2000 and Stella 1000 which offer an output of 5000, 2000 and 1000 lumens respectively. For lights as small as these, this is an incredible amount of light and they have no problem illuminating subjects even when shooting outdoors as we were.
Putting the Stella Pro Lights to the Test
Video Producer Dale Sood set about capturing the action using a Sony FS5 covered up to protect it from any errant splashes while we captured the behind-the-scenes stills shooting on a Canon 1DX Mark II equipped with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L zoom so as to be able to capture images at the crazy fast 14fps that it’s capable of.Once we had everything in place and ready to go, we began our test runs which consisted of driving the car through the same puddle over and over again while filming and capturing stills of the results.
I mentioned earlier how we accidentally found out how rugged these lights really are. Well, as it turns out, during one of the trips through the puddle, we accidentally clipped one of the lights with the car and sent it tumbling as you can see in the gif below.
If this had been any other light, it probably would have destroyed it, however, in the case of the Stella Pro 5000, we simply picked it up, brushed it off and got back to business!
Officially, the Stella Pros are waterproof to a depth of 100 meters (328 ft) and can withstand repeated 1-meter drops onto concrete, but unofficially, as we can see, it looks like the Stella lights can take a whole lot more…
To sum up, if you’re a photographer, videographer or even just someone who is looking for an insanely rugged, waterproof and really portable lighting system, the on/off camera, Stella and Stella Pro lights are a solid choice for lighting your indoor studio work or your outdoor adventures.