The Gemini on the job.
An Innovator In Lighting
Litepanels has all the time been an revolutionary firm. Ever since its formation in 2001, Litepanels has been a reputation synonymous with critical LED lighting utilized in all types of manufacturing. Immediately, the Litepanels Astra is likely one of the most ubiquitous LED panels within the enterprise. Over the previous few years, although, the LED market has been altering and evolving at a breakneck tempo. I referred to as 2017 the yr of the ever-changing LED as a result of final yr noticed so many new LED lights launched, each panels and Fresnels, that it was onerous to even sustain.
One grievance about LED know-how has been that the majority LED lighting isn’t able to reproducing what many think about “true and accurate” colour rendition throughout the whole shade spectrum, in a number of shade temperatures. One other grievance has been that LED movie and video lighting, particularly these panels that output their mild by way of 5mm LED bulbs, have by no means been terribly helpful with out being punched by way of some type of diffusion or bounce. Even newer LED know-how like SMDs (Floor Mount Diodes) nonetheless endure from the identical limitations. All of these little bulbs and diodes every forged their very own micro shadows on the topic. Anybody who has tried naked LED panels on human faces and pores and skin has usually been repelled by the outcomes.
Observe the massive aluminum warmth sink on the rear.
A number of years in the past, some long-established gamers in lighting determined to get critical about LED panel know-how. One firm doing so was Arri. Arri Tungsten lights have been and are thought-about a number of the greatest, most robustly constructed and dependable devices within the business, so when Arri got here out with the Skypanel Collection of LED panels, individuals took discover. My first expertise with Arri LEDs was capturing in a star house that was pre-lit from a actuality present the superstar was capturing. The complete front room was pre-lit like a tv studio with Arri S60-C and S360-C panels. I appreciated how they appeared however did discover in publish that the standard of sunshine was nice, however from a shade perspective, the Arris had a particular spike within the inexperienced spectrum that was a ache to right in shade correction.
The Gemini mounted on my Norms Metal Three Riser Mild Stand. Junior pin solely!
New Child On The Block
I used to be just lately invited to guage the Litepanels Gemini 2×1 LED Panel, which appears to be an apparent reply from Litepanels to Arri’s S60-C Skypanel. The Gemini is an RGB-WW mushy panel that mixes daylight, tungsten and red-green-blue LEDs. The sunshine arrived at our studio in a really good, heavy-duty anvil-type street case that weighed about 65 kilos with the sunshine and equipment. Not a really light-weight setup, I assumed. Once I took the sunshine out of the case, although, it turned obvious that the sunshine itself wasn’t almost as heavy as I assumed it was; extra like about 22 to 23 kilos. Not a light-weight supply, however not inconceivable to haul to a shoot. In wanting over the Gemini, it appeared to be constructed very properly with an enormous aluminum warmth sink and a big fan on the rear of the sunshine.
Chimera Lantern and Softbox for the Gemini.
The yolk was product of tubular metallic, and it was then that I first observed that the yolk had a Junior pin solely, no 5/eight” receptacle. Fortunately, I nonetheless have a Norms metal three riser round, so I had a stand I might put the sunshine on. It will be good if Litepanels included some type of adapter for many who don’t have a light-weight stand that may settle for a Junior pin. Granted, it’s a hefty mild, however it might work high-quality on a Matthews Beefy Child or different stands of the identical weight, at the least at average heights. If you wish to put this mild method up within the air, you do want a heavy metal three- or four-riser stand.
Conveniently positioned LCD menu management panel.
RGB-WW And Presets
The Gemini’s Kelvin temperature is adjustable from 2700 to 6000Okay, however the panel additionally gives 4 totally different lighting modes, six presets for user-defined shade temperature, mixed with plus/minus inexperienced management. RGB-W stands for purple, inexperienced, blue and heat white. Most LED lights generate white mild by mixing pink, inexperienced and blue, which may create undesirable spikes in numerous elements of the colour spectrum, however commonest is the inexperienced spike just like the Arris have. With most RGB-W, an additional white chip is added to the combination.
The Gemini has 4 totally different shade modes:
- Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) Mode
- Permits bicolor (daylight to tungsten) with +/- inexperienced adjustment.
- Shade Mode
- Provides hue saturation and depth (HSI) management for full colour and saturation management
- Gel Mode
- Offers the power to dial up quite a lot of fashionable gels.
- Results Mode
- The power to create lighting results like campfire/hearth, flickering TV display, lightning, and so on.
Distant Management Versus On-Mild?
The LED Panels that I at present use very often are the Aputure Lightstorm LS-1s. Whereas they’re in a special league than the Gemini, I used to be capable of ponder the distinction between having mild controls on a separate management field (the LS-1s) versus having the sunshine controls on the sunshine themselves (Gemini). Litepanels correctly situated the primary controls for the sunshine, together with six colour temp presets, on the underside of the panel, permitting for handy location when the sunshine is positioned in a typical location as a key or fill supply up in a light-weight stand. At occasions, like when the lights are positioned eight to 10 ft up within the air, it may be fairly useful to have the controls in a separate management field; it may be difficult making an attempt to succeed in the sunshine’s controls with the sunshine excessive up within the air and even with the sunshine on the bottom, because the controls are on the underside ledge of the sunshine’s periphery. To be truthful, Litepanels provides DMX management, wi-fi DMX or management by way of Bluetooth with an optionally available Bluetooth management adapter that sells for round $100. My conclusion is, all of it is dependent upon the circumstances, and in sure setups, having the controls on the sunshine is greatest. However in different conditions, like when the sunshine is 12 ft within the air, having distant controls is greatest.
Take a look at the shadows on the wall — very tender for a 2×1 at this distance.
I took the Gemini 2×1 on a few shoots and made notes about what I appreciated concerning the mild as I used it and any challenges that cropped up utilizing it on an precise shopper shoot. I like that the menu system is simple and easy to make use of. Buttons and dials are simply learn, and the LCD show exhibits you what modes and presets the sunshine is in. The Gemini isn’t low cost, retailing for round $four,000, however the construct high quality is spectacular, on par with the Arri S60-C, for my part. With out some superior Gripology, I couldn’t consider a simple method to make use of the Gemini vertically, which is a disgrace. For a lot of customers, arguably, utilizing a light-weight like this one vertically is extra helpful than horizontally, particularly for single-person interviews.
Shade Temp Preset Buttons alongside the underside of the rear decrease panel.
Litepanels did their homework on the fan. It’s pretty giant, which suggests it could actually transfer the identical quantity of air as a smaller fan at decrease RPMs, which suggests will probably be quieter. I might barely hear it in a quiet room I shot in. The Gemini 2×1 LED Panel is 25.zero×6.5×12.5 inches and weighs in at 22.2 kilos, which is true within the ballpark of my preliminary guess once I took it out of the case for the primary time. Not light-weight however not unmanageable, both. The Gemini takes 325W (nominal) or 350W (Max energy) and could be run off AC energy or from a 28V DC battery by way of a Three-pin XLR. Litepanels is claimed to be engaged on a V-Mount/Gold Mount battery answer for the Gemini, however simply know that by means of some easy calculations, it’ll in all probability require three batteries and can in all probability not run very lengthy at full energy.
The AC energy is a twist-lock receptacle.
The Gemini has a 93-degree beam angle and is claimed to be flicker free at any body fee/shutter angle, though I solely tried it with 120 fps and it was flicker free. I recorded an output of 9950 lux at 5600Okay operating on AC energy. I didn’t have an Arri S60-C to match to, however this sounds near what Arri claims for output for the S60-C, with the Gemini outputting about 800-900 lux much less. I discovered CRI to be fairly good for the Gemini, about 95 CRI whereas in 5600Okay mode and about 97 CRI whereas in 3200Okay mode.
The Gemini carried out surprisingly properly with out diffusion.
Nonetheless Shooters Want Apply?
Up till now, we’ve got principally mentioned the Gemini for video and digital cinema use, however what about for nonetheless images use? We’re formally on the level with LED know-how the place the output is excessive sufficient and the colour rendition correct sufficient the place LED is now a viable choice as an alternative of strobes, HMI or Tungsten lighting. I used the Gemini to shoot a couple of casual portraits and for some environmental photographs and was glad with the colour rendition and high quality. One factor to notice, although, for nonetheless or movement use, a 2×1 supply, until it’s very near the topic, isn’t actually a big and gentle supply. Or no less than not giant and smooth like a four×four or 6×6 supply.
The fan is pretty giant and fairly quiet.
General, I used to be fairly impressed with the Gemini 2×1. It’s not likely appropriate for airline journey or stuffing into the trunk of your Prius because it requires bigger, heavier mild stands, however for studio or grip truck use, I confess, general I really feel it is rather aggressive with the Arri Skypanel S60-C. Whereas not cheap at over $four,000, the Gemini prices significantly lower than the Arri. I didn’t see any indication of the notorious LED inexperienced spike within the colour rendering, and whereas the output is a bit lower than the S60-C, it has lots for many shoots the place it might be utilized. In case you’re out there for any such mild for studio or grip truck use, undoubtedly lease or borrow the Gemini earlier than making your last shopping for determination. It’s undoubtedly a worthy various to the Arri and others in its worth and have vary.
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