8th May 2012
In today’s post-NAB blog we will be concentrating on lighting. Sure, some of the new sensors out there have incredible low-light performance (such as the Super 35mm newbies covered in our recent NAB camcorder blog) but sensitivity is one thing: You will still need to use some lighting if you want your images to stand out from the rest.
We were lucky enough to see some great upcoming products from some of our best imported brands, including new LED heads from Ikan, innovative softbox solutions from Chimera and a powerful LED studio fixture from Lowel.
Here we go…
We’ve been familiar with the Ikan range of LED heads for two years now, and that range is about to get bigger and better. Ikan’s stand was large, welcoming and had a number of new lighting heads on display.
First up was the IB500 and IB1000 heads, which are the “bi-colour” updates to the hugely popular ID500 and ID1000 heads. As their “bi-colour” description suggests, you have the option of both Daylight and Tungsten output, which is easily controlled via a dial on the back of the head. Just like their single colour temperature equivalents, they are dimmable and also have the option to be powered by 12v batteries. If you have V-lock batteries, they already make a compatible V-lock plate for these heads. The best part is that they’re just as good value as the Daylight fixtures, and hardly cost anything more! You can order this heads now by clicking here.
These next heads are – for me – the most exciting. We saw the new ID508 and IB508 heads, which are like slimline versions of the aforementioned ID500/1000 and IB500/1000 fixtures (the ID508 is the daylight model, and the IB508 is the bi-colour). They have a little less output, but they make up for this with their incredibly slim profile, tiny battery systems and light weight. You see, what’s special about these heads is that they come supplied a Sony-style “L” series battery and charger, making them some of the most portable and practical LED heads around. We get the feeling that the portable interview lighting kit is about to be re-invented with heads like these, and we can’t wait to get them into stock and on display in our showroom.
For those needing something with more power and coverage, Ikan had some good looking new solutions…
The new ID1500 and IB1500 heads are just over three feet long and are effectively like three of the ID500/IB500 heads in a long line, or like a KinoFlo-style 4 foot bank, depending on how you look at it. These ID1500/IB1500 heads will be ideal for lighting a full body shot and especially suited to chromakey work. As before, the ID model is daylight and IB model is dual colour temperature. These are very new, and we will have pricing on the Prokit website shortly.
Finally we saw the ID36 head (pictured above), which has the most powerful throw of all the Ikan range. It’s similar in size to the ID/IB1000 head but uses lensed LEDs to increase the output range. These would be idea in a number of situation, like studios or pieces to camera when outside. Like the ID/IB1000, they can be powered by battery with an optional V-lock plate as well.
Ikan lighting offers excellent value for money and we’re looking forward to getting these new heads into stock!
LED lighting is, by its very nature, a “hard light”. Lots of people are under the impression that LED panels are soft: This is not the case, as a source made up of bare diodes without any lensing or diffusion is effectively the same as lots of small bare halogen lamps. It’s a hard light, and to soften it you will need diffusion.
At Prokit we have been selling Chimera Softboxes for over 10 years and they are simply the best way to make a hard source into a beautiful, wraparound soft light. Chimera have started to make a range of softboxes to fit the growing number of LED heads on the market…
Chimera now make softboxes for the large Ikan range of LED heads already mentioned in todays blog. These will wrap neatly around the barn door sections, as pictured below.
Chimera also have banks for the smaller range of LED toplights, and with some innovative features. First of all the conveniently fold away for transport, as demonstrated in the photograph. As you can also see, there is a “clear” looking front screen….which, as you can probably guess, is not just a clear screen: it’s much smarter than that. It is designed to reduce the “multi-shadow” effect that LED panels can create, which will mean a much clearer beam and more singular show effect. This front screen technology will also be available for the front of the new banks for larger LED heads.
This next Chimera bank is a little different, as it is designed for still photography rather than video. It’s called the Beauty Dish, works with strobe heads and is made to be a portable portraiture photography bank. We saw it in action and the results were very impressive. It is pictured below:
Lowel’s latest entry into the LED world is the daylight balanced Prime head, which is a powerful studio based fixture with a similar output to the Kino Flo Diva 400.
We also saw a prototype of the upcoming GL-1 head, which is a handheld Tungsten LED head designed mainly for Wedding photography. Think of it as a neat, all-in-one version of the Lowel ID-Light. We saw it in its prototype state and it is looking good.
So there's our Lighting news from NAB. Exciting stuff, right? We should have the new Ikan heads on display and in stock in around four weeks, and the new Chimera products will be on our website soon. We already have the Tungsten version of the Lowel Prime on display, so come down to our showroom and see these new heads in action.
Today's blog by Stuart Dennis