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Photography Video

The Peragos disk video/photo lamps review

Vibesta’s Peragos Disk comes in three models: the 30C (RGBWW), a 304B (Bi-colour) and 304P (Daylight). They are inexpensive, especially in view of their built-in electronic gels and colour temperature dial as well as the HSS flash capabilities..

Vibesta’s Peragos Disk comes in three models: the 30C (RGBWW), a 304B (Bi-colour) and 304P (Daylight). They are inexpensive, especially in view of their built-in electronic gels and colour temperature dial as well as the HSS flash capabilities. The question is: do they live up to expectations?

The Peragos Disk is made of polycarbonate plastic for a low weight and has everything on board, including a 2.5mm power adapter port, a sync cable port for the 304 models and built-in support for Sony NPxxx-F as well as AA batteries. The discs come in a sturdy carry case and my test units also came with hotshoe camera mounts. They are ArtNet compatible with an optional RTX1 router.

The lamps have built-in button and rotary controls for setting up electronic colour gels and for dialling in colour temperature and light power. The menu system is simple with only a few commands and feedback is provided through a small LCD screen in a recessed area on the back of the unit. Through this menu, you can set up a router channel and a frequency setting of up to 16kHz — the latter serves to make the light flicker-free for HSS photography and high-speed video.

The buttons and dial all look a bit outdated. For example, the On/Off switch is a small toggle switch you would expect on a kitchen utensil, not a photo or video lamp. The rotary dial knob has an odd design that’s equally out of tune with the touch-sensitive controls we have come to expect from a modern photo/video accessory. However, that’s not to say these things will break easily or be worn out after a couple of uses — indeed, perhaps quite on the contrary.

So, how do the lamps perform? I tested with all lights set to 5600K and at a 100% output. I used new Sony NP–970F batteries for the tests and positioned the light at a 1m distance from my light meters. I tested with an Illuminati iOS light meter and my preferred second generation Lumu Power Pro light meter.

The test models differed somewhat in terms of colour accuracy and there were differences between the lights themselves. Luminous output was really good, especially for the 304P, but it wasn’t 100% stable as it started drifting — up and down about 2% — a minute after I switched it on.

The colour gel feature is, of course, nice to have, but I can’t comment much on it. It seems to be kind of hard to decide which gel you are using when the system seamlessly cycles through the entire spectrum with no reference to gel names or gel systems.

The HSS flash functionality is as bad or as good as that of the Rotolight NEO, which is the only other LED lamp I am aware of that offers this capability. That means it doesn’t work well due to a lack of power and too long a light burst. For HSS to really work, you need a very powerful speedlight that is capable of a very short burst of intense light. Neither LED lamp delivers well in that area.

Verdict

The Peragos Disks have impressive specs and as continuous light source they are very recommendable. In some areas, though, they don’t fully live up to promise. The best one of the flock is the 304P, which is quite powerful and a great lamp despite it drifting about 2% in both directions. The 30C is an RGBWW lamp that should be capable of outputting 5600K according to its menu setting, but mine delivered a somewhat warmer white at this setting.

We should take into account that these lamps cost a fraction of what competing LED lamps cost and if we do, the Peragos Disks perform well. A 30C costs €229, a 304B retails at €159 and a 304P is yours for €139. All of them are available directly from the company’s website.