Lordy… What a Light!

Thanks to James Comey for legitimizing my use of ‘Lordy,’ but a product I’ve been using recently has been just astonishing in what it can do in a package so small it belongs in every shooter’s gear bag.

Aladdin Eye-Light BiIt’s called the Aladdin Eye-Lite Bi. Distributed in the U.S. by Zylight, it’s a bicolor LED light that fits in your hand and is rated to run continuously for two hours (or far longer, if you don’t mind plugging in via micro USB). Color temperature is adjustable from 2900–6400K; a second dial controls dimming from 5–100%. Unlike many of the cheap “me too” LEDs we’ve complained about over the years, the Eye-Lite Bi’s color rendering is excellent – 95 CRI/TLCI.

Its 3.5” x 1.5”aluminum housing is sturdy and weighs a mere 2 ounces. The micro USB port is along the top side, and the ¼-20 tripod thread along the bottom can certainly come in handy when shoe-mounting to your camera or a mini tripod. There’s even a small loop built into one corner, about zip-tie size, if that’s how you like to keep things organized. It’s not cheap—it’ll run you about $160 at your local camera store—but it is worth it! (If you can get by on a non-bicolor version, you may still be able to find Aladdin’s previous models for a few bucks less; I first saw them at NAB a few years ago, and was impressed, but I feel that the bicolor version is a truly outstanding product.)

Aladdin Eye-Lite used as fill light

For its size, it puts out a lot of light, and you can easily tape any diffusion or color gels over the LED array. It is a terrific tool for close-up work, and I can see wide use in forensics. Anyone shooting with a macro lens, whether nature close-ups, food, jewelry, or scientific imaging, will see its usefulness. When you have a light source this small (and therefore this maneuverable), adjustments are incredibly easy.

I used it recently while photographing a necklace made by Martha’s Vineyard artist Kate Taylor. The materials are wampum, sea glass, and gold beads. While the image with no supplemental lighting is fine (if a bit flat), adding the Eye-Lite made a real difference in depth and dimensionality.

Product shot - before and after

As many of you know, I’m always looking for new products that extend our creativity, and this is one of several that I’ll be writing about in the next few weeks.

Rosco Image Spot: Compact, Efficient Image Projection — Even Outdoors!

Rosco Image Spot, handheld

For many years, we have enjoyed a great relationship with Rosco’s gobo production specialists deep in the heart of Round Rock, Texas. Thanks in no small part to many years of hard work by Anne Hunter and her crew, Rosco is a world leader in gobos, from simple metal patterns to colored glass effects and all varieties in between. Gobos find use in theater, architectural work, weddings, and other—sometimes unexpected—venues.

Now, leveraging their depth of experience, Rosco has released the Image Spot line of LED gobo projectors. Powerful, yet fitting in the palm of your hand, the Image Spot IP40 and IP65 projectors are perfect for mounting anywhere you need to project an image or message (or just need an compact and efficient spot light), whether that be in a shop, museum, theme park, or other indoor or outdoor setting.

Rosco Image Spot projecting a flame

Image Spot’s 70,000-hour-rated LEDs are energy-efficient and bright, allowing a maximum throw distance of 40 feet (12 meters) using only 45 watts of power. Speaking of power, the projector accepts universal line voltage input, meaning Image Spot units can come along on your world tour without skipping a beat. And the industry-leading 3-year warranty lets you rest assured they’ll stand up to the rigors of touring, too.

Rosco Image Spot Heat Sink and CablesImage Spot comes with an on-board dimming control, maxing out at 3000 lumens @ 5500K. It’s efficient enough that, even running at full blast, there’s no need for a cooling fan… so Image Spot always runs silently. No noise, and no spinning parts to cause those “unexpected tune-ups” down the line!

Rosco Image Spot, wet

The base model, the IP40, is spec’d for indoor use and can be controlled on-device or by DMX512 using standard RJ45/Cat5 cable. For outdoor applications, look to the IP65; weatherproof (as you might guess from its name), it supports DMX512 over exterior-rated Cat5e.

Rosco Image Spot in White, side viewAll Image Spot units measure 7.8×4.8×3.2 inches and weigh just five and a half pounds. They’re available to match most decors in black, white, or silver. Mounting options include canopy, C-clamp, track mount, and pole mount.

Here’s an important piece of advice: because they’re so versatile, Image Spot units are not packaged with a lens. They’ll work fine without a gobo, but won’t do much without a lens. Don’t forget to order one!

Rosco Image Spot Lens AttachmentDepending on your specific needs, you’ll want to pair your Image Spot with a 19, 25, or 30 degree lens to tune your projection to size. The following diagram, along with your trusty measuring tape, should help you work out just what you need to order. If your lighting plan calls for diffusion (perhaps to illuminate artwork or products in a store) add a pack of Rosco’s OPTI-FLECS filters to your shopping cart.

Image Spot photometrics

Rosco Image Spot Gobo and Filter HolderWhen ordering gobos, be sure to order the correct size for Image Spot by using the standard five-digit gobo number and appending “-SPOT” (e.g., “54321-SPOT”). If you’re looking for a Permacolor dichroic filter, use the format “1203-XXXX-SPOT”, substituting the four-digit color number you need. Gobos that use your own custom artwork should use the formats listed in the table below – call us to set up your order, and we will work closely with the crew in Round Rock to make sure it comes out looking great. We’ll admit to being a tiny bit jealous of our central Texas colleagues; we are huge barbecue fans, and they’re surrounded by some of the best barbecue in the world. We may have to ask to visit them one of these days… around lunchtime would be nice!

Item Code Description
2507210ISPOT Image Spot Custom Steel Gobo
260CUSBWOSPO Image Spot Custom B&W Glass Gobo
260CUS1COSPO Image Spot Custom One-Color Glass Gobo
260CUS2COSPO Image Spot Custom Two-Color Glass Gobo
260CUSMCOSPO Image Spot Custom Multi-color Glass Gobo

A Quick Look at the Dedolight DLED7 Turbo from NAB 2017

Our longtime friend Daniel Norton of the Adorama PRO department dropped in to check out the Dedolight DLED7 Turbo, one of the most popular light heads we showed at the booth this year. Click through to enjoy two minutes of unscripted television…

Dedolight DLED7 Turbo
As you can see, the 90 watt DLED7 Turbo is a beefed-up version of the well-received 40 watt DLED4 light head. A great deal more powerful than the DLED4, the DLED7 Turbo is nearly the same size but adds a heatsink, actively cooled by a whisper-quiet fan. So even though the Daylight version produces up to 38,000 lux @ 1m in spot mode (vs. 14,500 on the DLED4), the DLED7 Turbo is still well-suited to lighting scenes that call for minimal ambient noise. Like its predecessor, the DLED7 Turbo is available in Daylight, Tungsten, and Bicolor versions (the latter being continuously adjustable from 2700K–6500K.) And as is often the case, it’s compatible with many Dedolight Classic series accessories, so if you invested in those attachments many years ago, you’ll be glad to hear that they will still work with this light head. (Since Dedolight equipment has always been so durable and so meticulously constructed, there’s a good chance your accessories are still in great shape.)

To better appreciate the attention to detail, check out the precision with which this DLED7 Turbo can focus. It can literally reach pin-point accuracy—jump to 5:30 for proof! Imagine the possibilities this could open up for you in terms of lighting eyes, logos, or anything else that needs a bit more “punch.” (Unfortunately for those of you in the news business, you won’t be able to actually punch politicians in the face with it, no matter how much they deserve it.)

Another Dedolight hallmark is compact size relative to light output. This pre-configured kit comes in Bicolor or Daylight versions (designated KLT7-3-BI or KLT7-3-D, respectively). It contains lights, ballasts, stands, filters, gobos, a projection attachment… everything you need to set up a beautiful three-point light system for on-location interviews or similar setups. When it’s time to roll, all of this equipment packs neatly into a hard-shell rolling case that’s small enough to carry onto an airplane. (Can’t say how it’ll function as a shield if you happen to find yourself getting bumped from a United flight.)

Dedolight DLED7 Turbo Kit KLT7-3-BI/D

The Dedolight DLED7 Turbo is available right now from your local dealer, both in standalone and in kit form. If you need help locating a dealer who carries Dedolight, reach out to us and we’ll be very happy to put you in touch.

Rosco’s Latest at NAB 2017: Silk and RoscoLED

If you couldn’t make it to Vegas this week, don’t despair – Digital Cinema Society visited the Rosco booth to see what they were showing off, and has the scoop.

Visit Rosco’s website to learn more about the Silk family of products, and be sure to read our own post on RoscoLED tape.

See What’s New From Dedolight This Year at NAB

We always look forward to spending time in Vegas with our friends from Dedolight. If you’re at NAB 2017 this week, do yourself a favor and come see what they’ve brought along!
See us at NAB 2017 in booth C10839!

Chuck Berry Performing Live in New York, 1972

A letter to Chuck Berry from Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan

Sad news this weekend, as we all learned that the great Chuck Berry had passed on at the age of 90. His contribution to modern music is such that the entire first page of a Google search for “father of rock and roll” features his name. Or, if you prefer a form of recognition less ephemeral, he was one of the few performers immortalized on the “Golden Record” placed aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft, now streaking through interstellar space at nearly 11 miles per second. “Go, Johnny, go”, indeed.

Chuck Berry live at Hofstra University (1972)

I was lucky enough to photograph Mr. Berry in concert (and fortunate enough to have the images close at hand, considering their age.) The time was November 1972, and the place was Hofstra University, on New York’s Long Island. It was a cool, slightly drizzly night outside, but you wouldn’t know it inside the auditorium, between the warmly-gelled stage lights and the energetic Berry, performing his signature “duck-walk” as he grinned and wailed away on his Gibson. The show was being filmed for ABC’s “In Concert” series, a new venture for the network, directed and executive produced by the legendary Don Kirshner.

Chuck Berry live at Hofstra University (1972)

Imagine my delight on finding that highlights from the show are available right here on YouTube. If you watch very carefully (pixels being so much larger and blurrier back then than they are now), you might be able to pick me out standing next to the TV cameras. (I’d much rather you gave your full attention to the music, though.)

And you’ll note that, were you an audiophile who wanted to hear the program in stereo, you were directed to tune your “hi-fi” to the ABC-affiliated FM radio station, which was simulcasting the show across the country. We were all a long way from carrying hi-def televisions in our pockets all day (which also happened to make phone calls and catch Pokémon), but the energy of those live performances was as good as ever – maybe even better.