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Anyone try the new Arri LED Fresnels yet?


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#1 Isabelle Landers

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 06:45 PM

I have been reading about the new Arri L-Series LED Fresnel lights at http://www.screenlig... Output AC LEDs. Has anyone had the opportunity to try them yet? If so, are they everything they are cracked up to be in the demo video?

Isabelle Landers, Gaffer, Nashua, NH
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:40 AM

Hi Isabelle,

I've read a few early reports that imply it's pretty good on film/video. Another company zeroing in on film/video friendly LED lighting is Gekko Technology. Their Kezia lights are pretty darn good. In Gekko's case, they're sophisticated enough in their understanding of LED technology that they actually make two versions of the Kezia, one "tuned" to be film/video friendly and another for live stage use.

http://www.gekkotech....com/kezia.html

A fascinating report to read is the results of LED lighting film tests produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences scientific staff. Have a read and you'll see why implementing LED technology for professional use isn't easy.

http://www.oscars.or.../ssl/index.html
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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:29 AM

Another company zeroing in on film/video friendly LED lighting is Gekko Technology. Their Kezia lights are pretty darn good. In Gekko's case, they're sophisticated enough in their understanding of LED technology that they actually make two versions of the Kezia, one "tuned" to be film/video friendly and another for live stage use.


While Gekko has made clear strides toward a production LED fixture suitable for image capture with their focusable color tuneable ”Kleer Colour” LED light engine, I wouldn’t say they have a LED Fresnel in their kezia fixture. Color correct spot/flood capability is not all that makes a Fresnel light so versatile. Of equal importance is the ability to render clearly defined shadows and cuts. The ability of traditional Fresnels to render crisp shadows make them ideal for creating gobo effects like window or branch-a-loris patterns. And, the ability of Fresnels to render clearly defined cuts enables their light to be precisely cut to set pieces and talent. Finally, traditional Tungsten & HMI Fresnels have sufficient output that the crispness of their shadows or the hardness of their cuts can be varied by simply adding one of a variety of diffusion material to soften their output if desired. These are the characteristics of traditional Fresnels that make them extremely versatile.

Clearly, no one light can do everything. We gave up lighting studios for Chroma Key with Fresnels years ago. However, I do think engineering a true LED Fresnel has become a bit of a “holy grail” in the industry, because the versatility of traditional Fresnels make them widely applicable in a number of production situations. To my mind, the Gekko kezia and Litepanel Sola “Fresnels” are more akin to traditional open face fixtures than to Frensels. And, like quartz open face fixtures, your not going to get a hard light out of them that is capable of cutting a crisp shadow. If what Arri was showing at IBC in September is any indication of what is to come, Arri on the other hand, may finally have developed a true LED Fresnel.

I haven’t seen the actual fixture yet (all the prototypes are still in Europe), but here is a link to a demonstration video of the new Arri L-Series LED Fresnels and some pictures that compare the L-Series Fresnels to the Arri ST-1 Quartz Fresnels.


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As you can see in the picture above, the L-Series Fresnels have clear and defined shadow rendering capabilities like those of the ST-1 Quartz Fresnels. And, the pictures below show that the L-Series Fresnel have a spot to flood range similar to that of the ST-1 Quartz Fresnels and excellent field homogeneity in both flood to spot.


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And, just like the ST-1 Quartz Fresnels (pictured below), the beam of the L-Series Fresnel (pictured above) is easily controlled with barndoors - enabling the light to be precisely cut to set pieces and talent (see far right photos above & below.)


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And, given the discernable amount of light the L-Series prototypes throw on what appears to be a 12x12 Ultrabounce rigged 20’ overhead, under the high ambient light levels of the show hall, in the show demonstration video, seems to suggest that L-Series Fresnels have more than enough output to waste some to diffusion and color gel (use this link to see the IBC 2010 demonstration video of the new Arri L-Series LED Fresnels.)

Given the output demonstrated in the video, the clear and defined shadow rendering and excellent field homogeneity in both spot and flood demonstrated in the pictures above, if Arri can deliver on their promise of “broad spectral output”, so that “skin tones, costumes and scenery will appear vivid and lifelike,” they will have engineered the first true production LED Fresnel light. And, since they will use 75% less power than a Quartz fixture with comparable output, the L-Series Fresnels will be a real game changer. For one thing, they will take what can be done with a portable generator to a new level. Imagine what you will be able to accomplish with energy-efficient LED Fresnels and digital SLR camera systems that have a sensitivity of ASA 1000 – you won’t need anything more than can be operated on the enhanced 7500W output of a modified Honda EU6500is Gen-set or plugged into a wall (use this link for more details.)

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lightng & Grip Rental in Boston

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that we sell and rent Arri products along with the products of most major manufacturers of lighting and grip equipment.
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#4 Guy Holt

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:18 AM

Has anyone had the opportunity to try them yet? If so, are they everything they are cracked up to be in the demo video?


I had the opportunity to speak to Ryan Fletcher, the LED Project Manager for Arri, this last Friday and was able to glean new information from him since my last posts. For instance, I learned from Ryan that Arri is using color blending with a multi-emitter LED engine to overcome the generally poor color rendering capabilities of LED fixtures (use http://www.screenlig...Output AC LEDs' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>this link to see how poor the color rendering capacity of LED fixtures has been.) In our conversation Ryan Fletcher confirmed that they will achieve full spectrum 3200 and 5500 Kelvin color output with CRIs in the 90s. There is no reason to doubt that they can do it; after all Gekko has made great strides in that direction with their color tuneable ”Kleer Colour” multi-emitter LED light engine.

As far as power quality issues using LEDs on portable generators, Ryan says they are acutely aware of the benefits to be derived from Power Factor Correction when it comes to operating LEDs on portable power generators (use this link for more details.) Since the first LED Fresnel they will release will be a 200W lamphead (with the output of a 1000W Fresnel) it will most likely have to incorporate Power Factor Correction to meet EU guidelines. Litepanels has been able to use less expensive power supplies because their lampheads (including the Sola 6 “Fresnel”) are 75W or less and so are exempted from this requirement under EU guidelines. The technology is out there, it's just a matter of finally bringing it all together in one fixture. To my mind, the Arri L-Series Fresnel may be that fixture.

When I asked Ryan Fletcher how they achieved the excellent field homogeneity and Fresnel quality light demonstrated in the IBC 2010 show video and evident in the pictures posted previously, he demurred that, for obvious reasons, he could not divulge that information until the official product release at NAB 2011. But, as you can see from the pictures I posted previously, that compare the output of the L-Series Fresnels to the Arri ST-1 Quartz Fresnels, Arri is the first manufacturer to come up with a true LED Fresnel.

Given the output demonstrated in the IBC 2010 show video , the clear and defined shadow rendering and excellent field homogeneity evident in the pictures above, if Arri does in fact deliver on their promise of broad spectral output, so that skin tones, costumes and scenery will appear vivid and lifelike, they will have engineered the first true production LED Fresnel light. And, since their 200W LED Fresnel will use 80% less power than their comparable ST-1 Quartz Fresnel fixture, the 200W L-Series Fresnel will be a real game changer when it is released this summer. For one thing, they will take what can be done with a portable generator to a new level.

Imagine what you will be able to accomplish with a 200W LED Fresnel that has the output of a 1000W Quartz Fresnel. With digital SLR camera systems that have a sensitivity of ASA 1000, you won’t need any more lights than can be operated on the enhanced 7500W output of a modified Honda EU6500is Gen-set, or on wall outlets, in many situations (use this link for more details.)

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lightng & Grip Rental in Boston

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that we sell and rent Arri products along with the products of most major manufacturers of lighting and grip, and Honda portable power generation equipment.
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#5 Ari Schaeffer

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:41 PM

I've been dreaming of a switchover to LED from tungsten since LED lighting first start seeing heavy use in the architecture market......If anything maybe they'll drive down the price of similar sized tungsten units.

Interesting that they have a source 4 look to them in the IBC video.

I'm all for a future without blown globes and less power consumption. I'm excited!
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