FIILEX MATRIX TRAVEL KIT REVIEW
A light that offers all the advantages of a flat panel and a fresnel unit combined? Yes please! FIILEX MATRIX TRAVEL KIT WITH FRESNEL
WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH
f you want to invest in a cool- running LED light source but can’t decide between the soft light of a flat panel or the more intense and controlled, directional beam of a fresnel unit, then now you don’t have to make that tough choice. Fiilex’s latest Matrix light is a rugged, professional-quality LED source that comes with a clip-on fresnel lens so you can have the best of both worlds. In practice, the Matrix works well as a flat panel LED in terms of the light quality despite its relatively small size compared to the larger panels on the market. And clipping on the unusual four-lens front panel does work in focusing the light down to a brighter spot that does have a lovely smooth transition into shadow. The centre of the light pool is a couple of stops brighter than without the fresnel, so you can create classic Hollywood-style
Of course, the effect isn’t as strong as on a genuinely dedicated focusing fresnel unit that allows you to adjust the size of the spot by adjusting the lamp unit. But as long as you don’t expect to focus it down to a tiny spot, it works very well. For tiny spot lights, you’re best off looking for a dedicated spot anyway. And compared to a real fresnel light, the Fiilex is much more compact and easy to transport as well as being flexible in the results it can give. That makes it a winner for filmmakers on the move, and Fiilex offer the Matrix in a kit with a ballast, top-quality clamp to fasten the ballast to a light stand, high-quality power leads and a hard plastic wheeled case with a custom insert to keep the lot safe. The fresnel lens can be bought separately but fitted to the Matrix inside the case. There’s a softbox available, too. The Matrix is a very powerful light that is adjustable for power output, colour temperature and hue via three knobs on the rear panel. An LCD panel tells you what the settings are but is not the easiest to read – one of the only gripes about the unit. Without the fresnel lens attached, the light puts out a wide wash of brightness that’s very even and is ideal for bouncing off studio panels or through scrims. Matrix claims it puts out the equivalent power of a traditional 1500W tungsten. It’s certainly bright, and of course is cool running and easy to adjust the colour balance without resorting to gels as you would on a tungsten light.
Matrix has its own custom- designed LEDs which consistent light quality and hue across all power levels, something lesser units struggle to do. This is achieved by having a custom lighting profile for every one of its fixtures, which measures the output of each LED in the array, then applies a calibrated map to make sure the light output is to spec. This works well and the light output was very clean and consistent at all power levels. Its technology like this, as well as the professional build quality, that sets the Fiilex apart. Even the way the fresnel lens clips onto the unit is a very simple yet robust system. And the separate power ballast clips into a high-quality clamp so you can fasten it to your lightstand with confidence. It may not be the cheapest but it’s unique, delivers pro-quality results and should give years of service.
LEFT The Fiilex comes with a ballast that clamps to a stand. BOTTOM LEFT The rear panel has three adjusters, and the fresnel just unclips. THE MATRIX COMES WITH A CLIP- ON FRESNEL LENS
JANUARY 2018 DEFINITION
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