broncolor Picolite – A System Within a System

 In Broncolor, News

When most photographers think about the broncolor line of studio strobes, they usually think about their high-end power packs like the Scoro or the new Satos.  Their very extensive line of light modifiers, such as the very popular Para parabolic light shapers are also very well known.

One item less known in the broncolor arsenal is the Picolite lamp base, which is more of a system within a system than just another lamp base.

The Picolite is a very compact 1600ws lamp base with a built in 120-degree reflector that works with most modern broncolor power packs.  Size-wise, think of a can of soda. 

Being very compact has always made it popular with travel photographers, special event photographers, wedding photographers, etc.  Slap an umbrella on it, and with the built-in reflector, you are all set.

However, where it really shines is in the studio using the dedicated light shapers specifically made for it, as is shown by this photograph by one of broncolor’s photographers, Urs Recher, using the Picolite’s optical spotlight.

The projection attachment is perfect for projecting fine lines, patterns, gobos, slides, etc.  It comes with a matt protection dome, which replaces the standard clear one the Picolite comes with, some aperture masks, templates, and a gobo holder.

There is also a very compact fresnel spot attachment made for the Picolite, which has an adjustment range of 15 – 35 degrees.

However, for me, what really sticks out as the most versatile attachment for the Picolite is the grid attachment.  It clips to the front of the Picolite and has three different grids you can use as well as two aperture masks.  Using the fine grid and smallest aperture mask, you can get a very small splash of light.

Here is another picture shot by Urs Recher using three Picolites, with two of them using this attachment.

I have also seen the Picolite being used on very exquisite nude shots where the photographer has the model lying on the floor of a darkened studio with the Picolite and grid attachment attached to a Scoro using the interval mode and flash sequence mode for about 20 flashes.  The modeling light is turned off and the camera is set to the B mode.  Once the camera shutter is opened, the photographer goes all around the model with the strobes going off.  The shadows come from all directions in the final shot.  It is very hard to see how it could have been shot without seeing how it was done.

Even though you can use other various broncolor reflectors etc., on the Picolite, the last light modifier made for the Picolite exclusively is the Picobox.

It is a 6 x 9.8” hard sided plexiglass box with two internal baffles that do a really good job of evening out the light.  I have had several photographers use this combination to shoot negative or slides.

I will end with this.  In my 25 years of working for Sinar Bron Imaging and having visited the broncolor factory many times, I have done many demos of all types of broncolor equipment, but one demo really sticks out when I was writing this blog post.

I got a call from a photographer at Mattel about needing some help to change the style of their shooting of the Barbie doll collection.  They wanted the lighting on the dolls to resemble fashion shots instead of boring product shots.  I demoed the entire Picolite system to them.  A 6 x 9.8” Picobox became a 6-foot box in relation to a Barbie doll!  Problem solved.

So, there you have it.  The Picolite, the small and versatile light system from broncolor.   As always, I am happy to answer any questions and discuss any broncolor needs you might have.

Greg King

As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Take care and stay safe!

Greg King

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