Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘LED’:

NAB 2018: Introducing DMG MIX, a Line of Full-Color LED Light Heads that Match Rosco Gels Precisely

Another April, another NAB Show… all manner of gear and gadgets revealed in the Las Vegas heat, all striving to push the arts of filmmaking and photography even further.

My usual NAB report will come shortly, but one item that just couldn’t wait is the new MIX line of light heads from DMG Lumière. DMG is based in Lyon, France and was recently acquired by Rosco Labs. They’re led by three brothers and a dear friend who discovered that their passions for cinematography and engineering formed a natural basis for a successful family business. (No prizes for guessing which is the brooding, mysterious one.)

DMG Lumière brothers

We at Visual Departures have to give a nod to the fact that they, like us, were founded on the notion of “by working photographers, for working photographers” (we even made it our tagline back in 1982!) There’s literally no substitute for building exactly the product you need… and the products that resulted from this designer-led process were lights called (in order of increasing size) MINI SWITCH, SL1 SWITCH, and MAXI SWITCH.

Pretty darned smooth, eh? So you can well imagine that Rosco’s booth at NAB was filled with technical and sales associates who were simply (ahem) beaming at the opportunity to show off what you could do with the new-and-improved versions of these three superb light units. So, without further ado, have a look…

What can you say to that besides… “pretty darned smooth-er”?! (On second thought, I suppose you can say lots of things besides that… but I’m stricken by a sudden ineloquence. Maybe it was the surprisingly catchy soundtrack on that video? Let’s go with that.)

At any rate, everyone who came to the booth was blown away by the thoughtful details the de Montgrand brothers included in these lights – just the thing to make #SetLife a little easier, more productive, and more fun. We couldn’t be happier for our colleagues at Rosco and DMG as they work to bring these wonderful light heads to creative people this summer.

If you need to know more, Joel Svendsen of Rosco is your man. He recently posted some details on the new MIX units which – just to be clear – will be available alongside the classic SWITCH units (so named because they can “switch” from daylight to tungsten color temperatures, including those somewhere in between.) We’ll be distributing all of these to our dealers across the country just as soon as they’re ready.

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.