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My thoughts on the NANlite Forza 500

The only light you need?

This video is related to the following behind the scenes/ review blog posts:

I shared my feelings on the NANite Pavotube 30c RGBw led lights and mentioned the Forza500 a few times, but never really talked about this crazy powerful light and the fresnel that is often attached to it. So let's do it now!

It is a daylight color temperature of 5600K light with a CRI/TLCI of 98 and 95. So it’s pretty damn accurate, to say the least. It has an output of up to 46613 Lumens or 66300 Lux at 1 meter, and it is cooled by a quiet fan. The light is dimmable from 0 to 100% and the Forza500 is currently the most powerful light of the NANlite Forza family, but don’t take my word for it, please go check out their official website if you are all about the specs.

You can plug it and use it at home, or run it on optional V-mount batteries if you have nothing to plug this into. Lightweight, compact, if brightness is what you are looking for with accurate colors then this one might be it! It’s a Bowen's mount fixture, so you will be able to use a lot of light modifiers available on the market, and that is all I am going to say about the technical aspects of this light. I needed something powerful because I knew I would use it in scenes where I needed to raise the ambient light and I usually work in big large spaces. Plus this light gives me the option to diffuse heavily my light for a softer look and still have a lot of output. I use the grid to control the beam and spread. I used it on my recent reviews of the lark 150.

I can mimic the light usually coming from my main window with the 120 parabolic light modifier and the grid for my talking heads. I also used it for my interview for Fujifilm entirely shot with the Forza 500 and 2 Pavotube led lights in the back. Some of you have noticed the sudden change of one of my latest talking heads too. Again I used the parabolic 120 and the grid with the Forza for this look. I did use a lot for video. We recently filmed a short dance film (coming out at the end of July) to test the capabilities of the Fujifilm GFX100s in video and a lot of the scenes used the Forza 500. On another project, the Fresnel was used to project the light from a distance. Being light and compact makes it easy and quick to set up especially when I have to place it overhead. Now did I use it for photography? You already know the answer. I featured the Forza 500 multiple times in the past. Combined with the Pavotube 30c led lights, I have a perfect setup for beauty or headshots or to capture expressive portraits. For all these sessions where I don’t want to have my flash firing every 2 seconds, this setup is perfect!

Maeva K. (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s - GF 80mm F1.7 R R WR 1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 100

The only thing I haven’t tested yet is using it on environmental portraits or dance portraits. I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I know it should perform just fine given the amount of power it can deliver. The only question will be, do I want to freeze movement with my light or not? If I do, then strobes will be a clear choice, if not, the Forza500 could be an interesting option. Again, you see the immediate effect of your light on your subject with continuous lights and you won’t have multiple flashes firing continuously so it all depends on what you are creating and the results you are looking for. There are tons of things you can do with these, and after using the Forza on multiple projects for both video and photography, I must say that this can be an amazing tool. It is really easy to set up and the few buttons make it simple and clear to navigate in the menus. The weight, the size, the output, and the color accuracy make it a no-brainer for me. If I had to complain, I would say that I would have loved a bi-color version, and the rotating yoke is sometimes a pain to manipulate because you need both hands to loosen it on both sides of the light.

On my short dance film "Will you be there" we used the Forza 500:

One last thing, that I also didn’t like on the Pavotube, is the lack of an efficient dedicated App. I am currently using the remote, which is quite handy when you are not using too many lights. But I wish we had an App that would let me pilot all my lights and control all the settings. I heard they were working on it… I am not really sure… I really hope it will be available soon. In conclusion, if you are into portraiture if you photograph subjects that don’t move much if you create online content and videos… This could be the only light you need. Think about it! You will of course see more work made with these bad boys in future videos, and on my Instagram, so stay tuned. Learn more about NANlite:


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