Meet the Nila Boxer, an LED cinema light, with roughly equivalent output to a 1k HMI or 1200-2000 tungsten fixture. Unlike most HMI’s or tungsten fixtures, it’s square. Because the LED’s are fixed in position the light is bit tighter and more directional out of the box than most other fixtures.
However the Boxer comes with a set of hologramatic lenses that can be added to diffuse the light in 10 to 20 degree increments. As with any spot-flood arrangement, as you diffuse the light you get less candles per foot. So the light will be dimmer in the center but you will have a broader spread. When fully diffused, The Nila has a charter similar to the Joker 400.
High output LED’s are still fairly exotic, but they have several advantages over traditional lights that I think will move them into greater prevalence in coming years.
Nila Boxers are plug-and-play. You can turn them on and get the light a full power almost immediately without having to wait five to ten minutes like traditional HMI’s. They also run much cooler than traditional continuous lights (although hotter then most LED’s), this means short wait times cool down and faster pack up.
The Boxer has a much smaller power draw – only 250 watts at full power compared to lights with an equivalent output. You can run seven off a single generator or circuit. It’s also possible to run them off Anton Bauers or a Joker battery belt with an inverter. In our tests, two belts with an inverter gives you over three hours worth of light at full power.
For the environmentalists among you, the Nila is a relatively ‘green’ light. It both draws less power, creates less waste heat and has fewer heavy metal components than traditional lights. The Boxer bulbs have a 20,000 hour expected runtime, so they need to be replaced less frequently. Also, any light that has come to the end of it’s usefulness can be returned to the company for recycling.
So if you’re looking for a versatile, compact, cool, plug-and-play continuous light, take the Nila Boxer for a spin. You won’t be disappointed!
Last week a cadre of film industry professionals joined us in our fifth floor event space for a special Sony FS700 presentation. Tom Cubby of Sony gave a nuts-and-bolts breakdown of the hot new camera’s features and addressed audience members’ unanswered questions. After the presentation, guests were given an opportunity to go hands on with the camera, investigating the customized cage which will come standard with the camera on orders.
Sony shocked the industry at NAB with the announcement of the Sony FS700, which shared the spotlight with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera as the belle of the ball. Both were aggressively attacking the industry’s sacred cows with specialty features earlier confined to high-end cameras.
In the case of Black Magic, they were offering 12-bit RAW recording with 13 stops dynamic range for a mere $3,000. The FS100 similarly promised unheard of specs for its sub $10,000 price point: 240 fps recording at Full HD (and up to 960 fps at a lower resolution), as well as a 4K-ready sensor with a promised upgrade option in the near future. The camera builds on the hit FS100 strengths, while addressing many of the common complaints about that camera, such as an insubstantial top handle, and lack of built-in ND Filters.
Our kit makes the already-compelling camera even more drool-worthy, fortified with an included Movcam cage: rugged baseplate, shoulder pad, rails and top handle package. Hand grips like the CAS Spidergrips and a monitor like the TV Logic 5.6″ monitor would be ideal additions for a shoulder mounted rig.
The FS700 is available for rental on our website.
Last week we finally arrived at the conclusion of Zacuto’s Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout. If the italics convey exasperation, then they have done their job. The company really knows how to draw out the suspense, releasing the three entries in the trilogy on the 15th of every month this summer.
The eagerly-awaited followup to its Emmy-winning Great Camera Shootout 2011, ROTGCS had a lot to live up to. The accessory maker wowed the filmmaking world last year with its lavishly produced and precisely executed battery of tests pitting cameras running the gamut from humble DSLRs to digital cinema behemoths like the ARRI Alexa and RED ONE MX and the then-default for cinema work, film.
The series shook up the entire filmmaking world with the subsequent revelations. It proved that in many measures, DSLRs could compete with the big boys. It also arguably put to rest the controversial question of whether digital could ever be a serious competitor to film (yes).
This time around, Zacuto slowed down, jettisoning the quick-moving cyberpunk aesthetic, laced with throbbing techno music, for a Ken Burns-esque weightiness. For substantial sections, somber orchestral music thickly wafted through solemn interviews with singularly lit DPs musing on the overwhelming burden of doing justice to a great story on film. If I had passed it on TV, I would have assumed I’d stumbled upon an Iowa Jima doc. Between these slightly over-indulgent interviews (we’re not curing cancer here, people) was the meat of the show, the test itself. And this is where Zacuto wisely shook things up.
Rather than an updated 2012 rehash with the latest crop of newer, shinier cameras, Zacuto took the genius approach of borrowing the blind taste test model of the wine world.
The crop of cameras was less thorough than last year, but again aimed to represent the breadth of viable shooting options out there. Zacuto even included, strangely enough, the iPhone 4S. The Canon 5D Mark II, heretofore the go-to camera for small productions, was curiously absent, and I’m assuming the 5D III, D800, D4 or 1D X were not available in time for testing, so no full-frame options were on display.
The series structure was a bit byzantine, but ingeniously stoked endless discussion on the web, and painful blockbuster-like anticipation from the small cadre among us who actually care about this stuff.
In Episode One, it was revealed how this all would go down. Teams of (more…)
The Celeb 200 is Kino Flo’s new LED, designed to match the look the company is known for. A cool running light with strong color control, it features a higher output than many of of its competitors (more light than the 1×1), more comparable to the Diva.
It features a handy color temperature dial in the back, with lots of easy presets that are routed to push buttons. You can just push a button for tungsten, then fine tune it by turning the dial or cycling through 15 degree increments. The output is very consistent throughout the spectrum, from 5500K to 2700K.
There are some drawbacks to the higher then average output. You can run the Celeb off batteries, but they chew through Anton Bauers much quicker than other LEDs will. If you are going to run them via batteries, it’s better to hook them up to a Joker battery belt.
One of the most distinctive features about the Celeb is the built in diffuser. The light is both super soft and it avoids the problem of multiple shadows most LED panels suffer from at close range.
Overall the Celeb is a portable powerhouse with great build quality and very consistent light.
Sony: Corporation In Crisis?
Reading the financial press alone, one would be forgiven for thinking Sony is teetering on the brink of the corporate equivalent of a nervous breakdown. The Japanese electronics giant is often painted as a hopelessly overwrought, sprawling corporation that’s lost its innovative edge to a byzantine bureaucratic culture. It’s accused of creating a dizzying array of products, while managing to miss out on the biggest tech shifts of the decade, like the media player, smartphone, ebook and tablet revolutions, that rival Apple has effortlessly finessed with its laser sharp focus.
The Imaging Exception
If Sony were a person – which, according to the Supreme Court, it is :) – the diagnosis would be multiple personality disorder, because this depiction couldn’t seem further removed from the first hand experience of the company from the perspective of the digital imaging arena. Over the past few years, its thrilling and inspired string of product releases reveal a well-oiled machine firing on all cylinders, bringing its expertise from its far flung operations to create truly original, high tech products with dazzling spec sheets at competitive pricing.
Eye to the Future
The RX100 large sensor compact is only the latest evidence of the zeal with which the digital imaging division is willing to sacrifice sacred cows of the industry, from pricing structures to design choices, in responding to market demands, and fortifying their position with far-sighted technological bets. All Sony’s strengths are on display in this revolutionary new compact. Barely bigger than an S100, but with a (more…)
This week I set out to highlight one of the oft-overlooked essentials: the humble clamp. To my surprise, we carry a dizzying array of clamps for a every conceivable purpose and situation.
The old A-shaped standby with the most literal (and memorable) name in all of grip, these spring-operated pincers are a quick and easy solution for many lightweight attachment needs. They come in three sizes; small, medium, large and are great for hanging a bounce board or keeping a seamless from unrolling.
This clever grip device clamps to a roller and allows you to boom a C-Stand. Basically anything you could attach to a C-Stand, you can now boom. You can add an arm to the C-Stand for your most outlandish gobo needs.
Our strongest clamp, this tool is similar to the C-Clamps you can find in most workshops and hardware stores, but with added pins to mount lights welded onto the spine.
The Duckbill is the ultimate holder for foam core, bounce board and reflectors. It’s wide mouth easily grips thin objects while distributing the pressure so the board doesn’t get chewed up.
New to our rental arsenal, the Gaffer Grip is similar to Matthellini clamps (see below), but with a spring mechanism that makes them faster and easier to use. The spring mechanism isn’t as secure as the Matthellini screw set so they work best with small lights and bounce boards. The jaw width is adjustable so you can attach them to anything from 0 to 2.5 inches.
This clamp is ideal for gripping onto round square or rectangular tubing. They are ideal for car rigs, putting lights just about anywhere and as a single clamp solution for hanging backgrounds. Adding to its versatility, the Matthellini is also strong enough to support most lights.
This versatile lightweight clamp is a quick solution to hanging small items. It’s interchangeable pins make it a very adaptable grip. In studio they are most often used with J hooks to hang backgrounds but on location they can hold most small items, like cameras, speed lights, umbrellas. They work best when attached to poles, tripod legs, railings, tree branches that are at least 2 inches thick.
Anna Fischer is a Freelance Photographer and Photo Assistant. Her work can be viewed on her site.
It’s a rare experience for a television show to totally nail the idiocyncracies of a niche community, such as the photography world, but VEEP has managed to perfectly parody the conversation that takes place thousands of times on forums and IRL every day. I knew I liked HBO’s new political comedy, starring Seinfeld’s Julia Louis Dreyfus, but this camera snobbery conversation scene just won it a place in my heart forever. A description won’t do it justice, so just watch the clip.
In 30 seconds, the scene distills the classic camera as status symbol vs. tool debate to its essence. I once learned from a medium format camera company rep that a surprising portion of sales came from superrich enthusiasts who just want “the best” camera to take their family vacation shots with, so they end up with a spending tens of thousands of dollars and wind up with a car-priced paperweight. Another experience comes to mind when I asked a seasoned New York Times photojournalist what he used, and he revealed a thoroughly battered mid-range DSLR three or four generations old. The sensible photographer uses the right tool for the job, pushing its potential to the edge, while the cash flush status seeker just wants “the best,” regardless of his or her actual needs.
via 1001 Noisy Cameras.
Check out the recently arrived Mole-Richardson 2K Spacelite, an extremely versatile and powerful lighting tool!
An open ended, omnidirectional, cylindrically-shaped soft box, this Tungsten light has a seemingly limitless number of applications, limited only by the imagination of the DP or photographer.
Most commonly, the 2K version is used as a big omnidirectional light to fill a medium to small space (hence the name). An array of them will commonly be seen lighting a green screen, studio or film set. It goes great with our smaller greenscreen.
They are great for whenever you need a top soft light, which can funnel down a soft, flattering light. They are commonly strung above the subject on car shoots, as it emphasizes the curves of the car nicely, and allows you to see where it’s coming without ruining the contrast.
Similarly, you’ll see them employed as a giant chinese lantern substitute, as in the night scenes in the woods in the later Harry Potter films, where it stands in for the moon.
You can also add a “full skirt” a light blocking tube which kills the light from the side and focuses it straight down, a handy feature for interrogation scenes and dramatic overhead lighting. A “half skirt” blocks light from one side, handy when you want to light the background but not the actors. Here’s a diagram of the effect of the skirt on the light quality, courtesy of Mole-Richardson’s website.
To see the Spacelite in action, check out this behind the scenes of a music video shoot for Kimbra’s, “Cameo Lover.” It seems like there’s a 6K in front with two 2Ks behind.
And here’s the final product:
As you can see, the light quality is diffuse and flattering with minimal shadows.
Ever since that fateful day when I was mindlessly channel surfing while visiting my parents and came across a mesmerizing image of giant vats of liquid pink goo which, I was informed, would soon be candy canes, I’ve been hooked on How It’s Made. Something about the royalty-free smooth jazz, the straightforward voiceover explanation and the images of machines and disembodied hands rhythmically working away is strangely relaxing. And you almost feel like you’ve accomplished something at the end of each episode, even if in fact you’ve just managed to drool on your shirt. Kidding aside (maybe), it does give some insight into the technology we take for granted, and sometimes the knowledge can be put to use in some real life MacGyver scenarios, or just when the party conversation hits a lull (“Do you know how Membrane Switches are made? Let me tell you…”).
Seasons One through Eight are on Netflix, and pretty much everything else is on YouTube. But while I’ve had ample opportunity to discover the flashes of genius and surprising insights behind the making of vacuum tubes (still don’t know what they are), steel wool, resin figurines, trombones and cooked ham (maybe don’t watch that one, actually), I’ve still managed to miss out on the crème de la crème of How It’s Made for photo freaks: Large Format Cameras.
Since schlepping a 4×5 camera around for hours on end through the Hudson Valley during College, I’ve developed a kind of Stockholm Syndrome-style love affair with it. The program director at my school was none other than the best living large format master, Stephen Shore, and he mandated that all students use the camera early in the program. And I’m glad he did.
In an age when one can run around snap-happy and then speed-sift, auto-correct and batch export thousands of exposure a few hours later, intentionality and reflection in photography is a lost art. When quite a bit of money and time is at stake with each exposure, your brain tends to kick into high gear, and you think through the technical and artistic possibilities of a potential photo before even taking the camera out of the bag. When I finally got my absurdly expensive negatives processed and used half my semester’s paper budget on that perfect print, bypassing my sociology essay in the process, I was rewarded for my effort and sacrifice with a beautiful object of unsurpassed technical quality (I’ll leave its artistic merit for others to judge). This painstaking process is why the old masters often referred to it as “making,” rather than “taking” a photograph. I’m probably the tail end of the last generation that understands the implications of this nuance in terminology.
What’s interesting about the video is how simple the camera’s design is, which is, of course its genius. You can devote the same amount of time explaining how darts are made as the view camera! For all the technical wizardry and working-speed advantages of the digital era, we still haven’t managed (though the day may not be far off) to match the clarity, dynamic range and overall image quality, not to mention precise control, provided from this humble mid-19th century accordion box and a few large sheets of film. Just check Shorpy to see what I mean. Pixel peep those images!