New Light in the Forbidden City


IBC 2009’s Production Village was the venue for the launch of a revolutionary new lighting product, the Rotolight ‘Stealth Edition’ RL48 ring-light. Although the show had more than 48,000 visitors and over 1200 exhibitors, Rotolight was listed in the TV-Bay lighting category, featured in the IBC News and the ‘Eye Catcher’ technology report on Amsterdam’s TV Channel AT5.
RL48 features 48 super bright LED’s arranged in two rings which deliver that much sought-after fashion ‘ring-light’ effect. Also included is a unique filter holder and lighting gel filter set made by Lee Filters, which allows the unit to operate at a wide range of accurately calibrated colour temperatures 6400K, 5600K, 4200K and 3200K. Dimming is achieved in precise stop aperture steps using a variety of Neutral Density filters and a Lee 216 Diffusion filter. Despite this extraordinary versatility the unit is incredibly simple to operate (just one on/off switch!!) and extremely fast to deploy (it can be installed and working on a camcorder in under 2 seconds!). Rotolight has a universal 38mm mounting hole which allows it to be installed onto a shotgun microphone (with foam windshield), leaving the accessory holder free for Monitors, Radio Mic receivers, etc. Incredibly, the unit is powered for 3 hours by 3 AA batteries and all the filters and calibration charts are stored inside the unit making it totally self contained, yet is still weighs less that 6 ounces.
During IBC most of the IBC News cameramen switched over to using Rotolight in preference to their Lite Panels Micro and PagLights, because they preferred the warm natural colouration of the light and the flexibility, ease and speed of operation.
Rick Young, editor of Mac Video, was really particularly impressed with the versatility and quality of light from Rotolight. IBC News recommended the Rotolight as a ‘light, mobile and low-cost lighting solution for your professional camcorder’. Throughout IBC, Rotolight was featured as an accessory during the JVC seminars for their range of tapeless ProHD JVC Camcorders.
Wim Goddyn, a film maker from Netherlands based ‘Millennium Media’, bought a Rotolight RL48 ‘Stealth’ for his JVC GY-HM100E camcorder and put it though its paces whilst filming on a journey through China. He has recently moved up to Tapeless HD and was looking for a versatile lighting solution for his new JVC Camcorder. Rotolight fitted perfectly over the standard JVC Microphone but still kept the weight of the rig really low.
The first trials were on the overland Chinese hard sleeper night train to Beijing, filming in very low dimmed lighting conditions. Wim found that Rotolight was the perfect lightsource for providing an overall level of background light to reduce the picture noise in low light conditions. The highlight of Wim’s trip was filming in The Forbidden City, the former Imperial Palace built during the Ming Dynasty. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Forbidden City served for almost 500 years as the home of the Emperor as well as the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government.
The complex of over 980 wooden buildings and 8707 rooms can present some very challenging lighting environments for filming and again, Wim found Rotolight to be the perfect accessory for lighting subjects that were too dark or needed fill-in light. The fact that Rotolight has 48 lightsources proved very useful to Wim, because they provided a ‘shadowless’ wide diffusion with a long throw which was perfect for illuminating ‘wide-screen’ subjects without the typical Halogen bulb problems of ‘pointlight’ when the single source light beam is too narrow. Wim found it easy to match ambient light colour temperatures (using Rotolight’s calibration chart) and enjoyed the lack of ‘lightsource’ heat which would normally distort or melt the filter Gel. When shooting interviews, Rotolight provided the perfect lightsource, “there are no problems with over-exposure of a face when using Rotolight, because it has a large area as a lightsource, therefore there is no ‘pointlight’ effect that you would get with a Halogen Lamp” concluded Wim, “ I already told a colleague about my experience with Rotolight, because now you can always have a fill-in light, with no problems for facial shots. No big halogen cameralight and no heavy batteries anymore..great !!”.
Wim’s company, Millennium Media, also specialises in shooting medical training videos and he recently used Rotolight whilst shooting in an Operating Room during an open heart surgery operation at the Leiden University Medical Centre. “For me it is a very practical fill light when I am working in an operating room, shooting educational video. During a recent open heart operation we turned out (for a little time) the OR lamp because of the danger of over-exposure of the heartvalve. With the Rotolight we could make beautiful HD video images. For the patient the Rotolight causes no danger (because of the lack of radient heat). I am really glad that I have bought the Rotolight, and I am constantly discovering new applications for it”

Tags: ibc2009 | iss035 | rotolight | planet video | rl48 | production village | lighting | ring light | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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