Archive Page 2

18
Jan
17

Source Four LED Series 2 Daylight HD

To some of us 1992 doesn’t sound all that long ago but then again I studied George Orwell’s 1984 in 1984 so I guess that makes me very nearly antique (I prefer retro I think). But 1992 is now 25 years ago believe it or not, those of us that can remember back that far may recall the debut of the Source Four ellipsoidal spotlight. It took the lighting world by storm offering 1000watt of power from a 575watt fixture and in doing so earned itself the best lighting product of the year award from Lighting Dimensions International. Over the past quarter of a century the Source Four lights have undergone various upgrades and improvements with the introduction of zoom and par options and so on, but we are now seeing a radical re design featuring LED technology and all the benefits that brings to the game.

So that brings me to the light that is happily sat beside my desk at the moment.

The Source Four LED series 2 Daylight HD, ok so not the most catchy of names but at least it tells you what you are getting. So it’s an LED equipped light with a daylight output and a Source Four Style.

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The advantages of LED lights are now all too familiar, dim ability, long life and cool running being the most notable attributes and this light is no exception.

In addition, the Daylight HD version that we carry operates completely flicker free so it’s perfect for those slow motion shots. Power and DMX (in and through) connections are incorporated allowing for daisy chaining of up to 10 units and a multitude of control options including console free master/slave mode.

Nicely not everything from the last 25 years has been changed. The series 2 lights feature the same size, look, optics and beam angles as conventional Source Four lights. This means that they use the same barrel so all existing accessories can be easily retro fitted.

This is a dedicated daylight light not a Bi colour and as such can deliver colour temperatures from 4000-6500K (daylight).

But the best bit, well in my opinion anyway, is that the cool running LED’s allow for some fun and games. A quick Google image search of the Batman symbol, a printer, and a pair of scissors is all you need to summon your very own caped crusader! Well to make a bat signal anyway, I did it about a week ago and am still waiting for his arrival. Seriously though the ability to insert a home made paper “gobo” without causing a fire opens up many possibilities some of which may even be useful.

Source Fours are available in black, silver, or white. Ours comes in black, naturally.

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For the Bat signal alone I would award this light a high Brucie Coolness Rating but the fact that it’s designed with its predecessors in mind thus allowing for the continued use of existing accessories has to be recognized so lets go with a 9 out of 10 BCR from me.

Now if they launch a BI colour version we are talking a solid 10.

 

 

 

10
Jan
17

Litegear LiteTile 8×8 LED

Welcome to the new year everyone, we hope you had a great Christmas and a relaxing break and are now ready and waiting for the next twelve months of fun and games.

Now the new year seems to have brought with it a bit of a cold snap so with your best interests in mind as always we would like tell you about one of our Christmas presents to ourselves, a rather fetching blanket.

Yes we know that blankets tend to encourage you to stay in bed normally but not this one, in fact this one is definitely worth getting up for.

The brand new Litegear LiteTile is something rather special and we had our first play with it yesterday and we’re very impressed. We already have a good range of LED lights from Litegear and they are proving to be popular with you folks but this one is bigger and better than anything we’ve seen so far.

Imagine a flexible blanket of Bi colour LED’s that’s 8 foot square and what that would allow you to do. Now stop daydreaming because it’s here now waiting for you to enjoy.

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I have to admit that personally I’d like to take it home and use it as a blanket on my 12 year olds bed, I cant help thinking that waking her up in the morning would be easier if I could make her whole bed light up at the flick of a switch!

To get a bit technical for a moment the LiteTile 8×8 actually consists of four 2×8 foot panels that can be configured to form a number of shapes, Velcro covered edges allow for each panel to attach to its neighbor or for that matter anything else that has a Velcro fastener on it. Also equipped with eyelets to allow for attachment to grip or butterfly frames as required.

Being made of hi-grade engineered textile the LiteTile is flexible enough to be configured round curves, folded, scrunched up and so on making them a truly versatile product.

As far as light is concerned the LiteTile is equipped with new CineMitter LED’s which boast a CRI and TLCI* rating of 95+ along and a extended colour temperature range of 2600K – 6000K. All new DMX enabled dimmers are supplied giving full local control of dimming and colour temperature or allowing for connection to a control desk.

Everyone will want to know what the maximum output is so for the record the LiteTile gives out a very useable and impressive 20384 lumens (that’s bright to you and me)

When it comes to powering, it’s not much more difficult than plugging in your electric blanket, granted it uses 16 amp leads but we have plenty of jumpers if you need to use a 13amp domestic outlet. Each of the 4 2ft by 8 ft panels has its own power supply so they can be used independently and we will shortly take delivery of a single power supply to run all four units together. A V-lock battery option is muted in the future and no doubt we will get one as soon as it’s available but this may be a while before it hits the market. The individual panels each have a header lead of 7ft or 2.1m in length, giving you plenty of scope to position the supply out of sight.

So if you’re in the market for a large flexible soft light then this could be what you are looking for and now you know who has it you’re really running out of excuses.

Litegear also make a 4 foot version but as you can fold the 8 foot in half and keep using it I don’t think we will rush to get the smaller one, bigger is better anyway.

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The all important BCR (Brucie coolness rating) for this has got to be at least an 11 out of 10, its portable, powerful and versatile all of which are great attributes, but its also very cool and I rather like it. I can’t help but wonder what LED’s will turn up next, anyone got any suggestions?

You could take it to Glastonbury this year just to make finding your tent easier.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

TLCI means “Television Lighting Consistency Index” it’s calculated using a spectroradiometer and is a measurement of a luminaires spectral power distribution in the context of television. The results can be checked against the table below. Hopefully you all feel as enlightened and excited by this as we do.

 

 

85 – 100 errors are so small that a colourist would not consider correcting them
75 – 85 a colourist would probably want to correct the colour performance, but could  easily get an acceptable result
50 – 75 a colourist would certainly want to correct the errors, and could probably  achieve an acceptable result, but it would take significant time to get there
25 – 50 the colour rendering is poor, and a good colourist would be needed to improve  it, but the results would not be to broadcast standard
0 – 25 the colour rendering is bad, and a colourist would struggle for a long time to  improve it, and even then the results may not be acceptable for broadcast

 

 

15
Dec
16

Chroma Q Space Force

Let’s start this blog with a little question,

What has Britain’s Got Talent, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Welsh National Opera, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, Stereophonics, Michael Buble and The Eurovision Song Contest all got in common?

Some of you folks may have guessed it’s something to do with lighting and you would be correct, no prize however as with this being a blog about lighting it wasn’t really hard to work out, was it?

So yes all the above artists have recently used lights by Chroma Q to add some light to their performances

Chroma Q have been producing high quality lights since the mid 1990’s and launched into the LED market in 2004.  They have a good reputation for producing award winning premium LED lights for concerts and theatre productions, retail and leisure, museum installations, exhibitions and so on.

Today I want to draw your attention to the nicely named “Space Force” soft light.

This latest offering from Chroma Q is a rather nice take on the good old space lights but now in LED form.

It only seems like yesterday when the LED lights made their debut on to our photographic world but we are already getting so used to them and the many advantages they offer us in the production side of things. It’s hardly necessary to explain the cool running reliability of LED’s or the 100% dim-ability and full colour temperature adjustability from 2800 – 6500k, so I won’t, but suffice to say the all new Space Force from Chroma Q has all of this.

Space lights are designed to flood large areas with lots of lovely uniform soft light and to do this they often have to be quite powerful and hence tend to run rather hot.  Historically they also require diffusion, usually in the form of a softbox or lantern.  Also as they tend to be pointed straight down heat can be an issue, only some lights are able to do this without “cooking” themselves. Rather nicely the Space Force produces an output of up to 26,700 lumens roughly comparable to a standard 6k fixture and without any form of extra cooling required they won’t cook themselves even if pointed down and with no fan required they run (almost) silently.

Diffusion is built in as with most LED fixtures so you don’t need to add anything else (we do have an egg crate and a lantern available to fit if you need). In normal operation (without the egg crate) it will give you a 60-degree beam angle.

Best of all (well as far as our drivers are concerned) its only 8kg in weight, so it’s easy to handle for its size, our unit comes with a yoke for mounting but also has options available to hang or stack numerous lights together.

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Full onboard controls are on the rear of the unit allowing for complete stand-alone operation and just in case you need it full DMX control is also catered for.

Other nice functions include a “focus” button that causes the unit to revert to a pre-set intensity for when you need to check your focus (ok I had to look this up as focusing a space light seemed a bit of an oxymoron), 2 useful memory functions are available allowing you to “store” the settings on the light for recalling later.

Don’t be fooled by the name Space force or the term Space light, yes this is a space light but its far more use than that and can be put on a stand and used horizontally as a lovely simple soft light. All of our units are fitted with a yoke to allow for this sort of operation.

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So in summary this is a lightweight, cool running, quiet and yet very powerful space light all of which make it an attractive alternative to the regular units. With impressively high CRI figures (up to 97) and a fraction of the energy consumption of the non-LED equivalent light (331w at 230V) it’s sure to be a winner.

The Space Force has already won an award at the Cine Gear Expo Technical Awards coming in first place however, I bet they are hanging on my BCR score, so here it is, 8 out of 10, that’s one point for each side as it’s an octagon, it’s a polygon too but that’s something to do with a missing parrot so I won’t go there.

Oh and we have forty of them ready and waiting for you so don’t look any further than Pixipixel, no matter how big your lighting needs are.

22
Nov
16

KOTM – Matte Boxes

Matte Boxesmattbox

 

Hi, folks, today I want to talk about Matt Boxes and before I get started I must admit that they are something that falls right into a gap in my knowledge. Being a stills kind of guy I am used to using lens hoods to avoid lens flare and apart from using the correct one for the lens there really is nothing much to learn about them, however, as normal the moving image world is somewhat more complicated. Luckily I have an entire department of camera wizards to help me out so I thought it was about time I got myself educated in this important accessory.

 

So firstly a Matte box is used for much the same reason as a lens hood, and that is to stop unwanted light from hitting the front of the lens and causing issues such as lens flare, they differ from photographic lens hoods but essentially do the same job. Matte boxes tend to be more generic than lens hoods that are generally lens specific. This is an advantage as you only need to lug around one matte box for all the lenses on a job as opposed to carrying a different lens hood for each and every lens that may be used (I always seem to forget the lens hoods when I pack my equipment and then need to find room for them which is a pain as they are bulky, fragile and certainly not cheap for a plastic tube.

 

The first thing I notice is that matte boxes are not circular as lens hoods are but are oblong (my mission to revive the word oblong as it’s so much better than a rectangle). This is due to the matte box being a generic hood designed to fit a multitude of lenses as compared to a lens hood that can be manufactured to an exact field of view for the lens in question.

They also tend to have adjustable flaps on the front edge just like a set of barn doors on a light. These are known as French Flags or occasionally French Flaps (I prefer flaps as I think it’s an Australian expression). Now don’t start, French flaps is actually a bookbinding term originally and not rude at all. They allow for more flexibility to block light than the fixed form of a lens hood, this is necessary when the one box is to be used with many different lenses.

 

The other main difference between hoods and boxes is that matte boxes are designed to hold filters. Us stills guys tend to screw our filters directly onto the front of the lens and if we need more than one we stack them together sometimes causing vignetting, Cinematographic filters tend to be larger and square or oblong in shape allowing for multiple amounts to be used without this problem arising, they are inserted into slots or trays in the matte box itself.

 

Now we can separate matte boxes into a couple of types, clip on being ones that attach directly to the front of the lens and others that attach to a rod system. For those uninitiated in the cinematographic world, a rod system is literally two metal rods that attach under the camera and offer support for accessories such as batteries and of course matte boxes. The clip on matte boxes are light in weight and normally have fewer filter slots than the rail system equivalents that are generally larger and heavier. We need to use the rail system with these larger matte boxes due to their weight that lenses are not designed to support.

 

Now remember that rod systems come in two main diameters 15 and 19 mm and needless to say some matte boxes will fit on both but some will only fit on one or the other so this is something we need to check before selecting a particular unit.

 

Another thing to think about is how many filters you are going to need to use at any one time and ensure that the matte box you select has enough slots.

 

Various adaptor rings are available to fit between the front of the lens and the matte box or a flexible fabric alternative can be used, these are known humorously as nun’s knickers! (I could not possibly do a blog about matte boxes and not mention these).

For obvious reasons, the lighter smaller clip on units is recommended for hand-held work and the larger heavier ones for when the camera is on a tripod etc.

 

One thing I have learnt is that most matte boxes come with a set of mattes, these are thin black plates with various sized holes cut into them (letterbox style) and they can be fitted to the matte box to help adapt it to the particular lenses field of view, bigger hole for a wider angle and Visa-versa, this is so simple that I think it’s clever, as a firm believer of the KISS principle that is.

 

So that’s about it I will put a list together of what matte boxes we carry and how many and what size filters they can hold and so on for all our reference.

Clip On 15mm Rods 19mm rods Filter size Number of trays Other
Chrosziel MB 450

 

NO YES NO 4 X 5.46 2
Arri LMB 25

 

YES NO NO 4 X 5.46 2 OR 3 ONLY HAS TOP FLAG
Arri LMB 15

 

YES NO NO 4 X 5.46 2 OR 3
Arri LMB 6

 

YES NO NO 6 X 6 2 OR 3 HAS STEP DOWN FRAME TO PV SIZE

GOOD FOR WIDER LENSES

Arri MB 29

 

YES NO NO 4 X 5.46 2 OR 3 AND 138 MM CIRCULAR
Arri MB 20

 

YES YES YES 5.65 x 5.65 1, 2, OR 3 GOOD FOR WIDER HD LENSES
Arri MB 19

 

YES YES YES 4 X 5.46 2 OR 3 AND 138 MM CIRCULAR
Arri MB 18

 

YES YES YES 4 x 4 , 4 x 5.65 AND 4.5 ROUND 2, 3, or 4

 

AND 138 MM

Arri MB 16

 

NO YES NO 4 X 5.46 3
Arri MMB 2

 

NO YES YES 4 X 5.46 MORE FOR STILLS
Arri SMB 2

 

NO YES YES 4 X 5.46 1, 2, OR 3
Arri SMB 1

 

YES YES YES 4 X 5.46 1, 2, OR 3
VIV 3 stage

 

YES YES YES 4 X 5.46 1, 2, OR 3

AND 138 MM

Missfit Clip on 3 stage

 

Backlight 6

 

YES NO NO 6 X 6 3 GOOD FOR WIDER LENSES
4 x 4 Van Dieman Mosquito

 

4 X 4 1 or 2
Bright Tangerine Atom

 

YES YES 4 X 5.46 2 GOOD FOR MOVI / RONIN, OUR LIGHTEST WEIGHT MATTE BOX

 

Now remember this pearl of wisdom I found online “While nobody will notice that you’ve used a matte box, the important thing is that nobody will notice that you didn’t use one but should have”, wise words indeed.

 

Now Matte boxes don’t really warrant a BCR collectively but I feel that French Flaps and Nuns knickers deserve some score in their own right so let’s rename the BCR from Brucie Coolness Rating to Brilliant Crude or Rude and give them 5 points each making the score a maximum 10.

 

Cheers guys merry shooting BB.

 

06
Oct
16

KOTM- Cambo Actus DB2 View Camera

Brucie Blogger is back with Kit of the Month!!

Actus DB eh so what do you think the DB stands for?

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Well, I presume its “Digital Back” and nothing to do with “the canine’s orbs” as I first thought. Having said that the latter would also suffice as a good description, as this really is the DB’s when it comes to modern view camera offerings.

 

The Actus DB2 has evolved from Cambo’s Actus series of view cameras that are designed to be used in conjunction with mirror-less cameras and DSLR’s. The new DB2 can still be used with a DSLR on the back but as it is equipped to take a Phase one IQ3 100 mp back I don’t suppose we will see a DSLR attached very often. In fact,we are not going to rush out and buy an adaptor for DSLR’s unless one of you has a mega hire needing it and then perhaps we could have our arms twisted.

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Despite my vintage, I came into photography towards the end of the view camera era, I remember selling off the ones we had in Australia while they still had some decent value and recall being gutted as I wanted to play with one more myself.

Great quality tilt shift lenses by Canon and Nikon and have gone some way to replacing them but can only go so far, nothing can really compete with the ultimate image control that a good view camera can deliver.

 

So Cambo has been clever by coupling a modern take on the view camera with today’s megapixel top end digital backs and they seem to have done a lovely job of it too.

 

 

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Small size and a beautiful mover

 

 

 

 

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Not exactly a compact Mr.Adams is it?

The first thing you notice about the DB2 is its size, far from sticking out like, well like the DB’s it’s rather diminutive, fitting nicely into the palm of your hand. It’s a far cry from the cameras used by Mr. Adams and his counterparts back in the day.

 

But don’t let its size fool you this really is a well-equipped camera featuring.

 

 

360 degrees of front swing

19 degrees of front tilt

27mm of rear shift vertical

40mm of rear shift horizontal

150 mm maximum extension with standard monorail

295mm with long monorail

445mm with macro monorail

Available in a range of colours so long as you want anodized black that is.

 

All very impressive but what does that mean for your photography, well the highlights are below.

 

View camera movements allow for selective sharpness / selective un-sharpness

Rear shift movements for stitching wider angle images.

Focal plane shifts to increase file size

Image centered landscape / portrait selection

Built in macro extension.

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So as a view camera you can see that the DB2 really is a great piece of equipment but when you couple it with one of our IQ3 100mp digital backs from Phaseone then it becomes a truly awesome camera system. You now have a medium format, full frame sensor view camera with a resolution of 100 mp (more if you start stitching frames together) coupled with all the versatility that you could ever need.

 

Now one thing I recall about using view cameras in the past was having to check my focus by using a loupe on the rear glass and that was a pain, to say the least. Well, I’m pleased to say that those days are well and truly gone. My very expensive loupe has retired, now only making an occasional appearance to aid in the removal of splinters and the like, thank goodness. Today we have it much easier, by using the live view mode on the IQ3 back and viewing at 100% we can get that focus absolutely perfect.

 

But if that’s not quite easy enough for you how about using the WIFI ability of the IQ3 to give you live view on your iPad making the most of its large screen. Shutter release and full control over the back can also be accessed via this WIFI system thus removing any risk of camera shake spoiling your results, so that’s the cable release gone from your kit bag too.

 

So calling all the photographers who need the versatility of a view camera and the resolution of a modern top end digital back we now have you covered, dust off your Sinar lenses or hire ours and GET SHIFTING.

 

10 out of 10 for the BCR this camera is lovely and with the IQ3 on the back and some sexy glass on the front it’s even lovelier, come in and give it a go and please don’t forget to show us your beautiful moves (and tilts too).

Cheers all BB

 

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20
Jul
16

Volte Face by Oliver Curtis

Volte Face by Oliver Curtis.

 

Oliver Curtis has turned his back on convention and just about everything else with his upcoming exhibition and book titled Volte face, roughly translated as about-face.

 

The expression volte face originally stems from the Italian word “voltafaccia” with volta meaning turn and faccia meaning face. Imagine for a moment what the Mona Lisa must look out at every day from her vantage point on the wall in the Louvre or Lincolin from his giant stone seat in Washington and you will have some idea of what Oliver has been shooting since changing his outlook on a visit to the pyramids of Giza in 2012.

 

Oliver recounts how after walking around the base of the pyramids he found himself stood with his back to the tomb looking out over the city of Giza under a vale of smog on the horizon and a selection of “human detritus” adorning the desert sand immediately in front of him. Now for most of us that would be a cue to turn round and take some pictures of what we flew to Egypt to see in the first place but not for Oliver, instead he saw something else, a new perspective.

 

This is the mark of a great photographer, having the ability to see and to see things the rest of us miss or just overlook it’s a skill that cant be taught in my opinion you either have it or you don’t and that explains why I am sat here writing a blog I guess.

 

The exhibition is taking place at the Royal Geographical Society from the 19th of September until the 14th of October and Pixipixel are proud to be amongst the sponsors and look forward (or even backward) to seeing many of you attend. At this point it can’t hurt to point out that admission is free.

 

Oliver is also producing a rather nice book of this project that I have yet to see, but presumably is best read from the back to the front in the spirit of the whole idea.

 

In reflection on this project Oliver explains that “Volte face is an invitation to turn around and see a new aspect of the over-photographed sites of the world – to send our gaze elsewhere and to favour the incidental over the monumental.

He continues to explain that “despite the landmark not being present in the photograph, the images are still suffused with the aura of the construction, the camera lens effectively acts as a nodal point and by giving the photograph the title of the unseen partner this duality becomes a virtue.”

 

By visiting the exhibition you will see that Oliver has produced some stunning images of familiar places in a way that we have never seen before and that itself is no easy thing, so we would like to congratulate him on his creativity in putting this outstanding body of work together.

Brucie BloggerScreen Shot 2016-07-08 at 18.08.14

 

04
Jul
16

Introducing Genevieve

Now it’s quite an unusual name Genevieve especially in the present day, I don’t think I have ever met one to be honest. I recall an old film about a car race back from Brighton and I happen to know Sainte Genevieve (Saint Geneviève de Loqueffret )is the patron saint of Paris. I didn’t know that she is said to have saved the city from Attila the Hun and an outbreak of ergot poisoning (very nasty) not to mention being appointed as the guardian of the “consecrated virgins of Paris” so the name has some interesting and amusing history but it is still very unusual.

So having said that, I would like to introduce you to the newest Genevieve in London, She hails from Belgium which is very nearly Paris in my book, so it will suffice as a introduction and she is most definitely without any doubt whatsoever UNUSUAL.

 

Now Genevieve is a big girl she is quite heavy, but tall with it and she is delightfully quiet so you can take her home to meet the folks and she won’t embarrass you, but none of that is what makes her unusual. She is unusual, because of her power and she has heaps of it, she puts a 1970’s female Soviet Block weightlifter to shame and without the steroids!

 

Ok, I’ve had my fun and before I put you off Genevive all together, I should point out that she is a truck, a 4 x 4 wheel drive truck and she carries with her a 100kva generator!

 

Yes, Genevieve is our shiny new Mitsubishi Canter generator truck and you won’t find another lady like her in London.

genevieve 1

So lets start with Geneviève’s body, as I said she is a Mitsubishi Canter truck so has constant four wheel drive, high ground clearance, locking hubs, heavy duty axles and off road tires in fact many councils use the Canter as a base for their snow ploughs so she is a tough go anywhere kind of girl. She weighs in at about 6.5 tones so she’s not exactly anorexic and requires a taco (no not as in like a burrito) as in a tachograph! But don’t let that put you off, we can always find a driver if required and a spark (electrician) for that matter.

 

One quick glance inside her shapely rear end reveals the mother of all generators producing 100 Kva at your demand for anything from charging your IPhone to bringing Frankenstein’s monster back to life. With more outlets than Costa Coffee you won’t be short of places to plug into whatever you are using in fact she has:

One each of 125 and 63 amp single phase outlets and a brace of 32 and 16 Amp ones too. If you are after 3 Phase then she is equipped with a power lock and a 125 amp socket. Ok so no USB port but you can plug your phone into the cigarette lighter like everyone else.

genevivepower.jpg

 

A modest amount of storage is available for kit at the very back but if you need 100Kva then I don’t think this will be enough room for everything you are running still it’s better than a poke in the eye!

genevieve load.jpg

But by far the most impressive thing about this lady is how quiet she is, I had Toby start her up for me yesterday and even with the rear service hatch wide open I swear she made less noise than a little Honda 2Kva generator and they are renowned for being quiet.

 

So if you like your women tall well built, adventurous, powerful and silent then Genevieve is the girl for you. Why not give us a call and arrange a date?

genevieve2

The only improvement I would make is a huge set of bull bars and a winch but I’ve spent too long down under so ignore me, she is a perfect 10 as Kevin Bloody Wilson would say (those easily offended should not look up Kevin or his music)




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