Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘lighting’:

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

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.

Daniel Norton of Adorama Demonstrates ‘Filming a Narrative Dialogue’ with Rosco Silk LED Lights

Adorama crewShowing off Rosco’s new Silk LED lamps in the Adorama Pro department, Daniel Norton demonstrates how he builds a lighting setup from scratch, live, on YouTube. Take a look! If you watch closely, you may even notice our very own Allen Green in the audience…

Rosco Silk lighting set

LitePad Vector: A Rugged, Do-Anything, Go-Anywhere LED Light Panel from Rosco

LitePad Vector

We’ve been beating the LitePad drum for many years, as Rosco’s take on the LED light panel has always seemed to hit a sweet spot between performance, versatility, and value. Now comes an upgraded design: LitePad Vector. We’re delighted to see the wizards at Rosco taking everything that was great about LitePad and amping it up — while still keeping the price within reach. As longtime distributors for Rosco products, we expect to ship quite a few of these to dealers all across the US.

First among the innovations is the fact that LitePad Vector is – somehow – smaller than previous LitePads, yet shines four times brighter than before. Now packed into a sturdy black anodized aluminum frame, each 8″x8″ LitePad Vector slips into tighter spaces while providing up to 1700 lux at 1 meter. Passive cooling means there won’t be any annoying whirring fans to deal with – total silence! The built-in diffuser, a cornerstone feature on every LitePad, ensures that the light output is soft and even – like a softbox, only thinner. (And less likely to sail off on a windy day!)

Speaking of which, if the wind does pick up and knock down your LitePad Vector, you may be surprised by how resilient it is. This new generation of LitePad is amazingly tough. Watch this video and see for yourself:

Impressed yet? (That said, we beg you: please don’t try this at home… or on location!)

To keep things simple, LitePad Vector comes in two varieties: CCT or Daylight. CCT units offer tunable white balance from 3000K–6000K, while Daylight units are locked at 6000K (and cost a little less.) Color rendering is terrific: up to 93 CRI, so everything you point these at pops (to the maximum extent allowed by law.)

Because they’re so compact and only weigh 4.5 pounds each, pre-configured kits are offered for the runners-and-gunners: a two-head backpack kit that includes mounting gear and rain covers, and a three-head location lighting kit that includes a road case, light stands, mounting hardware, egg crates, and three of Rosco’s OPTI-FLECS LED filter kits. If you hadn’t heard, OPTI-FLECS filters are perfectly sized and tuned to allow easy tweaking of color temperature on Rosco’s LED light heads. All these accessories are available a-la carte as well, of course, if you have more specific needs.

One of the biggest advantages of LED lighting is the massive reduction in power consumption, so aside from being more Earth-friendly, this efficiency opens up a new world of power options and run times. Rosco has always provided lots of choices in this regard: LitePad Vector can not only be powered by AC worldwide (100–240V), but can also run on Anton/Bauer or V-Mount batteries, or many of the previous-generation adapters such as the AA battery pack or vehicle power port. Whichever you choose, maximum power consumption is a mere 65W, so you spend less time breaking to replace batteries when out and about. Last but not least, color and brightness can be adjusted by DMX remote over RJ45 cable.

LitePad Vector is now available – reach out to your local photo and lighting retailer, and have them call us if they don’t have it in stock yet! It’s sure to become your Swiss Army knife of lighting solutions.

Dedo Weigert Sweats the Details — So You Can Just Trust Your Equipment

We have always been impressed by Dedo Weigert’s attention to detail and craftsmanship — his lights are so perfectly made, they’re almost like works of art. We’ve been pleased to be a distributor for Dedolight, shipping their products all across the United States for many years now. As film equipment and shooting style have changed, Dedo and his team have introduced new lighting solutions to suit the needs of the creative people working hard to craft their own art. This video goes into great detail on just how carefully the Dedolight group have tested and refined their LED products… so that their customers can simply expect consistent, reliable, beautiful light wherever they need it.

If you’re wondering how a Dedolight kit could make your life easier, please give us a call or drop us an email, and we’ll be happy to give advice.