The PopSpot Ultra: Versatility in a Portable Package

December 20, 2020
The PopSpot Ultra: Versatility in a Portable Package

The PopSpot family began in 2017 with the original PopSpot J-500 – a small soda can-sized LED light with a fresnel. With the light's adjustment ring, the PopSpot could focus light from a wide beam to a narrow spot while offering great output. Videographers raved about its compact size and portability, while also being compatible with the standard Sony NP-F batteries. The light was great for interviews, films, and photography. The PopSpot J-500 was a major crowd-pleaser and its success prompted us to do what Fotodiox likes to do best: innovate! Our customers gave us feedback and we listened. Our engineers got to work on taking the PopSpot J-500 to the next level and here came the PopSpot Ultra.

New and Improved, with Plenty of Options!

The PopSpot Ultra line comes with new features like bi-color LED chips, a Profoto-style mount, choice between battery and AC power, a dedicated mounting bracket, and higher overall brightness. The PopSpot Ultra is available in 50-watt or 100-watt versions, as detailed below.

The 50-watt PopSpot Ultra 50 bi-color option has an average brightness of 2,620lx. This is the equivalent of a TV studio set. One PopSpot Ultra 50 can be used to create a dramatic one-light setup. It can also be paired with other lights to be used as a hairlight, accent light, and more. While available as a single-light kit, the PopSpot Ultra 50 is also available in a three-light kit that includes a heavy-duty travel case (it even has wheels!) This variant is our most versatile lighting kit that delivers a compact multi-light setup that can be taken anywhere.

The larger 100-watt PopSpot Ultra 100 comes in a bi-color option, but it also comes in a daylight-balanced option (akin to the original J-500.) The bi-color Ultra 100 offers an average of 7,136lx across all color temperature and beam angle ranges. The daylight-balanced Ultra 100 is stuck at 5600K, but it trades its flexibility for output, offering 9,266lx instead. The PopSpot Ultra 100 brightness equivalent is a floodlit football field.

Whether you’re going for the Ultra 50 or the larger Ultra 100, both offer plenty of light for various shooting conditions. These readings were taken at one meter and a more in-depth data can be found on our website.

Easy-to-Adjust Flexible Color Temperature

Our bi-color options offer a color temperature range of 3200K to 5600K. Color temperature adjustment can be used to match the ambient lighting already available in a scene. Color temperature and brightness can be controlled seamlessly by pressing the dial on the interface panel. The brightness level of the light can be set from 10-100% allowing for precise control.

One important factor about the PopSpot was to keep it lightweight. Despite the size increase and the addition of a studier housing, we managed to keep the PopSpot Ultra compact, restraining it to the size of a monolight. That form fact is augmented by the Profoto-style mount that lets you use any light modifier with a Profoto mount. Modifiers such as reflectors and softboxes can be attached to shape the light when at its widest beam angle. Take things to the next level by pairing the PopSpot Ultra with our GOBO and Fresnel lens attachments.

Power Wherever You Need It

The PopSpot Ultra 50 comes standard with two Sony NP-F750 style batteries that offer an average run time of about an hour and thirty minutes at 100% power. This feature allows our PopSpot Ultra to be used practically anywhere (as long as you’ve got some charged batteries handy). The PopSpot 100 allows for battery power as well, but instead uses v-mount batteries (which are sold separately). At 100% power, the PopSpot 100 offers approximately two hours and thirty five minutes of run time.

If you have any outlets available, we do include ballasts to enable AC power. Cord management is much easier now with the cleverly-designed ballast brackets that integrate a passive v-lock connection, so that the ballast can be mounted securely onto the v-mount plates found on PopSpot Ultra models.

The beam angle of both PopSpot Ultras can be controlled via a dial on the barrel of the housing. This helicoid system allows you to focus from 60° to 30°. For use with light modifiers we recommend keeping the PopSpot Ultra in its 60° angle position.

Final Thoughts

The PopSpot family of LED lights is one of our smaller LED lights at Fotodiox, especially when sized up against the FACTOR and SkyFiller families. Despite its size, the PopSpots do not compromise in power. They are fully capable lights, and while they aren’t large and diffused, they offer a lot of potential in a compact package. It’s a great choice for smaller filmmaking crews, since they are easy to transport, and small adjustments are easy enough to do.

Maybe the PopSpot Ultra isn’t quite the light for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that; as the industry changes, so do the needs of creators. Fotodiox offers a variety of LED lighting options in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit different needs.

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