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I have been calling this the James Bond of lights. Not only is it sexy-looking and made in the United Kingdom, it is highly intelligent, powerful and efficient at its job. The Anova, by Rotolight, is a bi-colour LED floodlight. It has a super-wide 110 degree beam spread, with an extremely even soft light output that doesn’t give hard shadows or hotspots. It delivers a 1,000-watt equivalent output, while using 93 per cent less energy than a standard Tungsten bulb and produces almost no heat. It weighs just 7 lbs with the yoke, and uses regular 15 V DC, or a V-lock plate for battery power. Anova produces a full Kelvin temperature range, from 3150K to 6300K in precise 10 degree Kelvin steps. . Rotolight invested in correcting the green spectrum on this LED as well, and the results are true.
Rod Aaron Gammons, president of Rotolight, sent over an optical spectrometer for me with the new Anova. This is a really cool device that is like a miniature kaleidoscope with prism inside. The prism breaks apart the entire spectrum of light as you look through it. Many lights, especially LEDs, produce a spiky spectrum or have large chunks of spectrum missing, but the Anova showed a nice smooth gradation through the whole visible light spectrum, which in turn means rich, beautiful and natural colour rendition in the subjects you are shooting.
For those interested in stage lighting, the Anova is fully wired for DMX and also has a built-in Wi-Fi. Yes, a built in Wi-Fi and its very own app called Magic Eye. The app can be used with iPad or iPhone, and provides accurate control of brightness, colour temperature, and system settings. It is amazing; the app can also “sample” the ambient light and intensity in a room and send that to, say, master control on another continent. So that an Anova can match ambient colour temperature anywhere and interviews can then have a matched look. It also remembers; you can store looks. An Adhoc can also be made to control many Anovas with one device, as the lights can be mounted together to form an octagon like grid - very cool even for in-shot practicals! James Bond, I tell you, and there is more.
It’s bulletproof. The face plate is actually made from bulletproof polycarbonate material so it won’t shatter if dropped, and the housing is aluminum, light but very strong. There is also no fan, hence it is studio silent.
Need to change a bulb? The LEDs are in six panels, held on by four screws each, simply unscrew and replace. The rear digital display is easily navigated through spinning and pushing on the large red Rotolight button, and it shows colour temperature, dimmer, along with the rest of the system settings. There are even barn doors for the six-sided/edged light, and reflectors to mount onto the barn doors to turn them into an umbrella. Diffusion and additional Green Correction are suited up by a custom LEE Filter kit. It’s also weather resistant, and has a rain cover too.
It is a brilliant soft light, as one lamp covered a 10 by10-foot wall evenly, from a distance of approximately 7 to 10 feet. A subject walking through that space was evenly lit almost perfectly from end to end with no hotspots. Running off a full battery for nearly three hours, allowed me to James Bond this light into all kinds of odd places, hence it proves to be strong and light enough for toss-and-tumble travel gigs, and efficient enough to want to take all that way. It’s also smart and sexy enough to light a car in studio.
The Anova is available from Vistek and authorized dealers across Canada.
From M1 to M18, I called up Mike Harwood, national rental service manager at William F. Whites to check out the new ARRISUN M18.
It is being called the brightest HMI you can plug into a wall. The M18, or ARRISUN 1.8K, is a lensless, open face lighting fixture which combines the optics of a PAR and a Fresnel fixture. With a beam spread of 20 to 60 degrees and a wide usable field angle, the M18 is designed to be both intense and efficient.
Though Harwood thinks “the real push behind this was to make a focusing light without lenses, it’s less that breaks, and less for me to replace.” It has a parabolic reflector designed by ARRIMAX, which allows for the light to be focused from the inside. The ribbed reflector (versus the traditional smooth reflector) acts as the lenses would if placed in front. Harwood also mentions that it is a medium to extra-wide beam spread typically sought on the predecessor ARRISUN AS1.2K, which is where the M18 steps in impressively providing 70 per cent higher light output in the same sized body, with no lenses.
In my test, when flooded at full brightness, the spread is amazingly even. No shadows around the centre point, or hotspots. Once spotted, naturally there is a hotspot at centre, however the fall off from there is very natural, no hard edges on the centre spot. It is significantly brighter, by one and a third stop showing on my meter, compared to the ARRISUN AS1.2K and its lens.
M18 comes with a full set of scrims and barn doors. ARRI also has new ballast designs, though talk to Mike or his assistant, Brad Danilition at Whites, for their recommendations. Yes, the new ballast plugs into a regular wall socket too. Brad says it will work fine, but like any electrical source, check the electrical circuit’s specifications first.
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Sarah Moffat’s camera experience includes motion picture and still photography. She has worked in narrative, documentary/factual and live broadcast.