Youknow that you only get one chance to shoot a wedding day well. With the myriad of skills needed to get it right, it is understandable that sometimes your skills as a modern day artist are challenged and compromised. So a little extra help from a new “light painting” tool might be welcome – The GL-1 from Lowel.
TheLowel GL-1 Power LED is a powerful, handheld, focusable & dimmable, photo-quality tungsten colour light. It was designed as an innovative tool for the Wedding/Event and location portrait still photographer. With high ISO cameras allowing you to shoot in lower light locations, the GL-1 puts just the right amount of light exactly where you need it. From up close, or at a distance. http://www.prokit.co.uk/products/lowel-gl-1.html
Today’s state of the art compact cameras let you travel light and work in low-light levels. But you still need to light, to make your subject stand out & shine against the back-ground, or to strike the right visual mood. The SlimLight Interview Series includes 4 new kit combinations, designed to give you versatile, creative lighting options in a sleek, easy to carry package.
Each kit contains a 200W Rifa eX 44 dedicated tungsten-halogen softlight, matched with either compact colour mixing Lowel Blender LED(s), or focusable tungsten-halogen 200W Pro-light(s), plus Uni TO Stands, all in a portable Slim Litebag.
For more info click HERE
These two new kits from Ikan include 3 lightweight LED heads with batteries and charger making them a perfect solution for on location work. The IB508 Kit gives you the ability to change colour temperatures between 3200-5600K, so you can easily match your surroundings without worrying about filters. The ID508 Kit is daylight only, but gives a brighter output for when you need a bit more punch.
Visit our showroom to see these exciting new kits up close.
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
Last week the Prokit team were on hand for advice and product demonstrations at the Prokit stand at the BVE Expo exhibition at Earls Court 2…
The BVE Expo exhibition takes in all aspects of video production: from cameras to lighting, from vision mixers to post production software and everything in between. It’s a great opportunity for you guys to get your hands on kit that you wouldn’t ordinarily have easy access to, and speak to a range of manufacturers and dealers about the latest equipment.
Our exhibition stand is always busy, and this year was no different. We had a comprehensive cross section of cameras and lighting on display…here are the highlights:
Our Canon C300 was the star camera of the show and gathered the most attention of anything on our stand. We had it set up with the popular 70-200mm L series Canon lens and the whole package sat proudly on the sturdy and lightweight Miller Compass 25 tripod. Next to that was the least-expensive BBC-approved handheld camcorder, the Panasonic HPX-250, which uses the popular P2 cards system and has a cracking 22x optical zoom. You currently get a Kata bag, long life battery and a book on the camcorder when buying a new Panasonic HPX-250 from Prokit.
We had a seriously pimped Sony FS100 on show (complete with mattebox, follow-focus, Sound Devices PIX 220 recorder etc), which was great as Sony were doing a cashback deal on new FS100’s for show attendees who registered on the Sony exhibition stand. Sony are currently running two pretty cool promotions on the FS100, whereby you can get £340 towards accessories until the 31st of march, and 24 month interest free finance on new FS100 camcorders until the 14st March.
Not to be overshadowed by the larger camcorders, the diminutive Sony NX70 also attracted attention, and in no small part because it sat on the super smooth and well-built SmartSlider 800 system. We have the SmartSlider system on demo here in our Chiswick showroom as well as in stock, so if you missed the opportunity to move it back and forth at the show then feel free to pop down to our offices and have a go.
At Prokit we are big on lighting, and at BVE we had a good selection of LED technology on display, including the Lowel lighting’s large LED debut, the Lowel Prime. We had the 400 and 200 tungsten models, and visitors were impressed by their rugged construction and high output. On our Litepanel 1×1 head, we had Chimera’s dedicated softbox, which diffuses the hard output of LED heads into a beautiful soft light. On top of all this we had some Shape rigs, Petrol Bags and Ikan lighting as well as much more on demo for anyone to come and play with.
Away from the cut and thrust of the Prokit stand, our dedication to top quality advice and guidance found a focused and amplified voice in the shape of our seminar “Fathoming The Fundamentals Of Formats”. Held in the Production Theatre on the Tuesday of the exhibition, the session focused on making sense of the large number of camera formats and indeed the camcorders themselves. The session was well attended and everyone walked back into the exhibition with a firm knowledge of the current camcorder line up from the major manufacturers. We’ll be doing something similar next year so look out for details on our website and the BVE Expo website in just under a year.
Further out into the exhibition a couple of things caught our eye. We particularly liked the graffiti art design of rental house Promotion’s exhibition stand as it was such a change from the usual stand designs you see at big exhibitions, the massive Technocrane at the back of the hall was pretty hard to miss, and spotted yet again was the upcoming LED Dedo head – this time dressed in Dedo black-and-yellow colours.
This year’s BVE Expo marked the end of the road for the exhibition at Earls Court 2 Exhibition Centre. Next year the exhibition is moving east to the Excel Exhibition Centre in the docklands, which although further away for some does promise to be a bigger and better venue for an exhibition that seems to grow larger each year.
The Prokit team always enjoys these exhibition and we hope you did too. Thanks for seeing us and remember to register for next year’s as well. For more info on any of the products you saw at our stand, give us a call or pop into our showroom.
Today’s blog by Stuart Dennis
Lowel-Light has released the first 2 models of their new Lowel Prime LED Lighting System, the Prime 400 and Prime 200, in dedicated tungsten colour models. Both models will be followed shortly by their daylight colour counterparts.
Lowel Prime LED’s are brighter than many similarly sized studio LEDs, with a much wider, more usable 50 degree beam angle. They are fully DMX addressable, dimmable & controllable, and have a host of available accessories.
Lowel Prime LED’s have a Colour Rendering Index of 91+, or photo quality colour output. The tungsten colour models have a colour temperature of 3300 degrees Kelvin, which will mix well with tungsten-halogen fixtures. Daylight colour models are expected to have 5600K colour temperature. The colour temperature of Lowel Prime LEDs can also be tweaked slightly, warmer or cooler, to match other fixtures in colour critical situations.
We currently have the 400 and 200 models in our showroom, so pop in for a demo.
Prokit Visits the BSC Show 2012 at Elstree
This last weekend the Prokit team visited the British Society of Cinematographers show at Elstree Studios. Housed in the historic George Lucas Stage, this small and laidback exhibition displays the latest cinematic hardware for location and studio shooting. It’s the kind of place where you can get your hands on an Arri Alexa, check out a high-end stereoscopic 3D rig (complete with Red Epics x 2) and watch a motion control crane in action. And by that: I mean it’s pretty cool.
Aside from the plethora of digital cinema cameras was some exciting new LED lighting from some of film and television lighting’s most esteemed brands…
The UK distributor for Dedo took us through some prototype LED heads based on the ubiquitous and brilliant DLH4 tungsten head. They are daylight balanced, have low power consumption and emit the kind of clean, focusing beam that you only get with a Dedo. You will be also be able to to use the heads with DLH4 accessories (projector attachments etc) with the use an adapter.
It’s taken Kinoflo some time to make an entrance into the world of LED and their upcoming Celeb head is a well-designed and predictably high quality piece of kit. Programable colour temperatures, an ultra slim profile and an effective diffusion panel combine to make what will clearly be one the better keylight/softlight LED heads available. Similar to Diva in width, it doesn’t so much replace Kino’s small fluorescent range but complement it. Speaking of Kinoflo fluorescent heads: we also saw the new Tigra head, which is like a 4Foot 4Bank but with a built in ballast that can now dim the output.
At BVE Expo at Earls Court next week we will have the new Lowel Prime tungsten LED heads on display, but some were lucky enough to get a glimpse at the BSC show. Lowel have a long history of studio fluorescent lighting, and the Prime LED heads are the evolution of the this . Low power consumption with DMX control, these are sturdy, powerful and accurate LED heads. We’ll have pricing on our website soon.
BSC is a fun, small show with some serious film industry hardware. If you want to see some kit in person then come down to BVE Expo next week at Earls Court 14-16 February and visit us at Stand H14. We won’t have the kind of blinding 4K HMI lights and hefty camera trucks you get at the BSC Show, but we will have some smaller scale movie-making tools like the Canon C300 35mm sensor camcorder and high bitrate external recorders. Definitely worth a visit.
By Stuart Dennis
Professional video lighting enthusiasts will be pleased to congratulate Astrid and Jasmine who each won a Lowel Ego Light whilst attending the from Plate to Page workshop weekend in Weimar, Germany. The prizes were donated by Prokit. The competition winners were given their prizes at Gasthaus Taubach where all the workshop weekend guests went for a farewell dinner. It was described as a perfect ending to a creative, energising, hectic, stimulating, laughter-filled, challenging and unforgettable weekend.
Prokit is pleased to announce that it is sponsoring a From Plate to Page workshop by donating two Lowel Ego lights for prizes.
From Plate to Page is an intensive hands-on food photography and writing workshop aimed at food bloggers, writers and photographers looking to enhance and hone their photography and writing skills while finding their own unique style and voice, both for their blog and for professional work.
The Lowel Ego light is a revolutionary tabletop fluorescent Digital Imaging Light. Elegant & easy to use. It enables you to create good looking professional results in a home, studio or on location. PROKIT include two 240v. 25w. Daylight Fluorescent “full spectrum” lamps, with high CRI.
If you have already used the Lowel Ego light we would love to hear from you.