GEAR | PORTABLE LEDS
“ORBITER CONCENTRATES LOTS OF ENERGY IN ONE PLACE, BUT STRETCHES A BACKPACK AT 14.2kg”
diffusion. Each LED emitter is placed behind a collimating optic, risking shadow segmentation, but accepting that it’s easier to diffuse a beam than it is to concentrate already diffused light. The new Gemini provides full colour mixing, with RGB emitters, plus two shades of white. It nominally achieves 200W, though that varies with colour.
and lime emitters with an active area just 42mm across, making for sharp shadows. With a nominal power of 400W, it concentrates a lot of energy in one place, and – as a consequence – might stretch a backpack at 14.2kg. Orbiter has often been shown with a multifaceted PAR-style reflector, but there are projection, dome and soft-box options, too. There’s also a huge feature list. The light has a colour sensor that matches other sources, as well as a magnetometer to determine heading, with an accelerometer
ABOVE The 300B is part of the Forza series, offering variable colour temperature. Rotolight’s Titan XI (below right)
to track movement. The mains power supply is built in, although in most situations, having more than 400W is beyond long-term battery power anyway. At £4800 for just the body, requiring yoke, modifiers and controller, Orbiter is hardly cheap, but it’s packed with features.
POWER Expressing power in watts is far from the whole story. Given the huge differences in behaviour between a hard light and a tube, the numbers aren’t very meaningful without also describing the beam pattern. Specifying output in lumens tells us how much light in total is emitted, but nothing about where it goes. Specifying a number in lux tells us what the brightest point of intensity is, but again, nothing about the beam; a laser pointer achieves lots of lux, but only covers a tiny area. Manufacturers often publish beam pattern diagrams, but in-person tests are never a bad idea.
The classic flat panel LED was probably popularised most of all by Litepanels. Early releases, based on individually lensed emitters, created a character of light that previously required a forest of C-stands. The company’s new Gemini 1x1 Hard is laid out much the same way, without the common
34 DEF I N I T ION | JUNE 202 1
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