The Nanlite Forza 60C might be little, but it’s feature-rich and packs a punch with the available modifiers.
Table of Contents
- First Impressions
- What’s in the Bag
- Light only
- Light with reflector
- Light with Projection Attachment 19 degrees
- Light with Projection Attachment 36 degrees
- FM Mount
- Nanlink App
- Background Accent
- Key Light
- Fill Light
- Coloured Accents
- Product Photography
- Final Thoughts
- Gallery of Images
I had seen the Nanlite Forza 60C at ProFusion Expo before but somehow it didn’t seem as small at the time. When I first opened the box in my home though I was surprised at how small it was. This little light that weighs only 2.3lbs (without power adaptor) emits so much light—not to mention contains several different lighting options.
The light uses a smaller mount adaptor for modifiers: FM mount. However Nanlite provides several options with this mount—some of which I will include in this blog post. If you already have Bowens mount modifiers though, you’re in luck as the Nanlite Forza 60C also includes a Bowens mount adaptor so you can reuse your existing modifiers.
The power adaptor is separate from the body of the light which makes the light easier to handle. Just hang the power adaptor to your light stand with the provided loop and plug it into the wall. If you don’t have a wall plug nearby, the Nanlite Forza 60C is also capable of being powered by batteries: a standard V-mount battery or NP-F style batteries. The included NP-F battery holder lets you carry the Forza 60C in one hand as you handle the camera in your other hand. The V-Mount battery holder is available as a separate purchase.
What’s in the Bag
- Nanlite Forza 60C
- Power adaptor and cables
- 45° Reflector
- LED protector cap
- NP-F battery grip holder
- Bowens mount adaptor
- Carrying case (not shown)
- Shoulder strap for case
Nanlite Forza 60C Specifications
The Nanlite Forza 60C uses RGBLAC (Red, Green, Blue, Lime, Amber, Cyan) LEDs. The addition of the LAC means it’s able to produce a wider colour gamut compared to RGBWW (Red, Green, Blue, Warm White), which some other lighting manufacturers use.
Here’s a quick recap of the specifications of the light from Nanlite’s website:
|DC 15V/6A Max, AC 100-240V 50/60Hz
|On-board, Remote Controller, NANLINK APP, DMX/RDM
|HUE Loop, CCT Loop, INT Loop, Flash, Pulse, Storm, Police Car, TV, Paparazzi, Candle/Fire, Disco, Bad Bulb, Firework, Explosion, and Welding
|Light Fixture (without COB Protective Cap): 224 × 110 × 88mm / 8.82 x 4.33 x 3.46″
Power Adapter (with Holder Base): 141 × 82 × 50mm / 5.55 x 3.23 x 1.97″
|Light Fixture: 1.08kg / 2.38lb
Power Adapter: 0.47kg / 1.04lb (With Holder Base)
Power Cable 3M: 0.12kg / 0.26lb
Reflector: 0.08kg / 0.18lb
Lux is a unit of illuminance equivalent to one lumen at 1m from the source.
With Included Reflector
With PJ-FMM-19 Projector Attachment (optional)
With PJ-FMM-36 Projector Attachment (optional)
The Nanlite Forza 60C is solidly built. The housing itself is made with a combination of hard plastic and metal top and bottom grates. The heat sink which is visible from the top grate is placed near the front, and the fan which is visible from the bottom grate is placed underneath the heat sink.
The buttons and dial on the back panel feel the same as those on the Nanlite FS-300B, except they are a little smaller to fit the size of the Nanlite Forza 60C.
As for the display, the fonts used are Serif fonts, which makes it a little harder to read on smaller screens. I had this same issue on the FS-300B. If I recall though, their newer line of lights, Nanlite FC-300 and FC-500, has all Sans-Serif fonts which makes for much easier reading of the menu system.
The power cable is a simple non-locking connection which I think can be improved with a twist lock to prevent unplugging itself from accidental tugs on the cable.
The yoke is one-sided, which is great as it allows you to change the direction with the twist of just one knob, unlike the Nanlite FS-300B which requires you to twist knobs on both sides of the unit, thus requiring two hands.
The FM Mount
The Nanlite Forza 60C uses an FM mount to attach modifiers. These are smaller than the more common Bowens mount. Fortunately, Nanlite has several modifier options for the FM mount, including the SB-FMM60 soft box (which can be used for both FM and Bowens mount), FL-11 Fresnel lens, Lantern Softbox, and PJ-FMM projection attachment.
If you already have Bowens mount modifiers, then you’ll be happy to know that the Forza 60C also comes with an FM to Bowens mount adaptor, letting you put any number of Bowens mount compatible modifiers to the light.
Pictured here is the Nanlite Forza 60C with the FM-Mount to Bowens mount adaptor, and the Nanlite Lantern Soft Box 80. A note about the adaptor knob. The knob/handle you twist to tighten/loosen the direction of the adaptor is so tall that it might interfere with the modifier (circled in the photo). If this happens simply pull on the handle to release itself, then twist back and push the handle in its place. This allows you to further tighten/loosen the knob. This isn’t the best interface but it does the job. I’d much rather they just use a shorter knob/handle that you can continually twist.
FM Mount Modifiers
Nanlite provides several different types of modifiers you can use directly on the FM Mount. If you want more, you can always use the provided FM Mount to Bowens Mount adaptor.
Softbox and Grid: The SB-FMM-60 (60cm) soft box comes with two diffusion panels allowing you to adjust the amount of light diffusion. If you need more control, just add the grid (eggcrate, as Nanlite calls it) to further shape the light toward the subject.
Fresnel Lens: The Nanlite FL-11 comes with barn doors so you can really control the light with this attachment. A Fresnel lens offers the ability to focus the light beam onto the subject—but not as focused as the projection attachment. When you add the barn doors to the Fresnel lens, you can shape the edges of the light to your liking and to reduce light spill.
Projection Attachment: The Nanlite PJ-FMM-19 and PJ-FMM-36 is a projection attachment that allows you to focus the light down to a smaller diameter. The 19 and 36 defines the angle of spread for the light. If you’re working in a smaller room, I would recommend the 36 degree since the light will most likely be closer to you yet it will provide a large enough diameter to work with. In this example the light is roughly 2m away from the wall and provides ample diameter to cover the field of view for a video.
The projection attachment offers the ability to add a GOBO (Go Between Optics) for creative freedom. I love this feature as it lets you add accents to background photos and videos. The included 4-GOBO set provides a good start to the variety of GOBOs available. Nanlite further offers two different sets to add even more creative freedom to your shoots. GOBO set 1 adds 10 additional patterns, windows, and grills. GOBO set 2 adds 10 additional trees and nature patterns.
A note on the size of GOBOs. There are industry standard sized GOBOs however it seems like the size used for the Nanlite Forza 60C is slightly different. Because of this, Nanlite provides an M-sized GOBO holder in the package, allowing you to use any existing M-sized GOBOs that you might already have. This is a slightly smaller sized GOBO so you’re not using the full real estate of the projection light unfortunately. M-sized GOBO holders have a 5cm opening while the one included in the PJ-FMM projection attachment has a 6cm opening.
Here’s a comparison of the light spill with the different modifiers. In all cases these were the following settings:
- Front of the Nanlite Forza 60C or its attachment was always approximately 20in. away from the wall.
- The Forza 60C was set to 12% at 5600K
- The Nikon Z 8 WB was set to 5600K standing roughly 2m from the back of the Forza 60C
The display of the Nanlite Forza 60C is standard, has all the key information you need, but can be a little confusing at first if you don’t know which knob to press or turn to navigate through the menu.
Intuitively to change options one might think to depress the same button as you used to select the menu item. However, on the Nanlite Forza 60C and I believe most of Nanlite’s other units, you select the menu with one dial, and use the other dial to change the options for the selected menu. This requires two-hands to efficiently change settings—or if using one hand like I like to do, I find myself reaching back and forth between the two dials.
The shortcut to automatically dim the light to 0% by pressing the left dial once is a great idea though. Press it a second time to go back to the original setting.
Pressing the Mode button will cycle through four options:
The Mode item will give you options to change the channel, Fan, DMX settings, and update the firmware. A note about updating the firmware. It took me a couple tries to make this work but apparently some USB keys are not recognized by the unit, and the USB key needs to be formatted in the right OS (FAT/FAT32).
This mode lets you change the intensity (DIM) and colour temperature (CCT) in addition to tuning the Magenta/Green channels to match existing lights in a multi-light production setting.
You can change the Hue, Saturation, and Intensity of the light in this mode.
There are 15 pre-set effects to choose from, with the ability to fine-tune each effect to your liking.
Curiously, if you use the Nanlink app, there are additional options to choose from:
- XY Coordinates
This mode provides the an RGB gradient letting you choose which colour to display. Alternatively there are sliders for RGBW that you can use. The Forza 60C is RGBLAC though, which is not reflected in this option. I’m not sure why but it makes you wonder if you’re missing out on more colours. The Nanlite PavoTubes are RGBWW though, so the app needs to be able to distinguish between different devices using different colour spaces.
This mode displays the full RGB spectrum, allowing you to select a colour within the allotted colour space (triangle).
This provides the same number of effects as on the unit but also adds additional options depending on the effect you choose. An Add-On and Cycle section lets you change more options for the CCT Loop, for example.
With all the options available in effects and other settings, the app lets you save your settings as a preset. These are available in this section.
I’ve had a few instances where I was unable to connect to my lighting device with the Nanlink App on iPhone. When this happened I deleted the device and re-added it into the app. This seemed to have fixed any issues with devices on different channels and whatnot. Another option that I found to work was to reset the Bluetooth setting on the device itself. This however requires you to go to each unit and reset the Bluetooth setting in the menu.
The Nanlink app is a little inconsistent in my experience and I hope this gets fixed in future iterations.
DMX stands for Digital Multiplex. It’s a control system that allows multiple lighting devices to be controlled by a single main console. With the addition of a DMX adaptor cable (available from Nanlite or other manufacturers), you can connect the Forza 60C to your other lights and have them controlled by a central console. It’s a great way to add programmed lighting to your set as well. I did not test the DMX capabilities as I only had this one unit in operation at the time of testing.
The Nanlite Forza 60C is a powerful point-source light that is capable of many uses. Here are a few ideas on how you can use your Nanlite Forza 60C. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have other uses for it!
Background Accent Light
Probably one of the more popular uses for the light would be to use it as an accent in your background for your video. The light is powerful enough to light the background while not over-powering the subject. With the addition of the Projector Attachment, you’re able to further shape the light to something more creative; adding a GOBO (right image) allows you to add different shapes to the background to add another level of interest to your videos.
The Nanlite Forza 60C offers an impressive 88 watts of output. In a darker ambiance, you could use this light as your key light—main source of light. With the use of a soft box and/or grid to further shape the light, this helps to wrap the light around the subject, providing less harsh shadows.
The following photos have the Nanlite Forza 60C on camera left, standing approximately 1m away from me with the 60cm soft box. These are unedited image.
60cm Soft Box With 1-Stop Diffusion
60cm Soft Box With 2-Stop Diffusion
If you already have a more powerful key light, you can make use of the Nanlite Forza 60C as a fill light to help open up the shadows. You can see the difference a fill light makes with the following photos. The FS-300B (camera right) has a 80cm Lantern soft box on it while the Forza 60C (camera left) had a 1-stop diffused 60cm soft box on it.
One of the best features of the Forza 60C is its colour capabilities. With the Nanlite Forza 60C, you can add colour to portraits in creative ways. If you bring in the PJ-FMM projection attachment, you can go a step further by adjusting the cutters to your liking.
I think the Nanlite Forza 60C is great for small product photography. It provides enough power and creative accessories to be able to enhance the product you’re photographing. Just set up your background and bottom of your choice, set the Nanlite Fora 60C to either on top of the product or in front, and fire away.
You can even get creative with the Projection Attachment by using additional colours or using the cutters to shape the light.
The Nanlite Forza 60C is a small light but packs a punch. I love the colour capabilities of the light in addition to its small size lending itself well for decent portability. There are plenty of FM-mount modifiers available to further extend the benefits of the Forza 60C.
The Projection Attachment has to be one of the more creative modifiers that I think is a must for anyone wanting to further their creative capabilities with the Forza 60C. The ability to cut the light and add on GOBOs increases the use of the Forza 60C.
While there may be minor improvements that can be made, such as the readability of the display, better locking knob on the Bowens mount adaptor, and a locking nut on the power cable, the benefits of the unit far outweigh these negatives.
If you’re looking for a small yet powerful constant light for your creative needs, I would highly recommend looking into the Nanlite Forza 60C as a viable option. If you go to your local camera store, they may even have one on the floor for you to see in person.
Gallery of Images
Have you ever used the Nanlite Forza 60C? Do you have any other use-cases for the light that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments below!