At A Glance: Litepanels Sola ENG Fresnel

You’re probably already aware of the many advantages of LED technology, since almost every light released in the past year has been an LED. The energy-efficient lights disperse almost no heat, the higher-quality fixtures are flicker-free and, most importantly, they allow you to dim your light from 100% to 0 with no noticeable color shift. Perhaps the biggest pioneer in the LED lighting world with its Mini, Micro and 1×1 series of lights, Litepanels has recently taken LED technology to the next level with the release of the Sola Series of focusable LEDs. The new Sola ENG Fresnel is a compact LED that’s targeted toward broadcast or ENG camerapersons who need con-trol, yet significant power with their on-camera light.

What makes the Sola ENG different than most LED lights on the market is that it functions like a Fresnel light and can cast a soft and even light because of the concentric ripples on the front of the lens. Like all Fresnels, you can focus the Sola ENG’s light from spot to flood (10º beam angle to 70º beam angle), depending on your lighting requirements. When the Sola ENG is in full flood mode, you can get around 34 foot-candles at six feet.

One of the things I like best about the Sola ENG is its simplicity. You simply power up the unit and increase the light by turning the large dimmer knob clockwise to increase illumination and counterclockwise to dim. To go from flood to spot, there’s a larger focus hand dial in the middle of the unit that you rotate clockwise. Keep in the mind that although the Sola ENG is an on-camera light, it has some punch to it, so be sure to give your subject fair warning when turning on gradually.

TECH SPECS
Size: 4x4x5 inches
Weight: 15 ounces
Fresnel Lens: 3-inch
Power: 30W (250W tungsten output equiv.)
Power Requirement: 10-18V DC

Another detail I like about the Sola ENG is its two-way barndoor attachment, which snaps on the front of the lens very easily and rotates 360º. The barndoors are perfect if you want to give your interview subject a subtle eye light or flag off spill light in your background, unlike many of the brick-style LEDs that don’t allow you to shape your light. The daylight-balanced Sola ENG also comes with a diffusion filter and two tungsten filters that you can slip inside the door attachment. At the base of the light, there’s a ¼-20 threaded mounting hole, which can attach the ballhead shoe-mount, and you also can use a provided stand adapter if you want to mount the Sola ENG to a light stand. When used off the camera, the Sola ENG can function as a cinematography-style light to help with daylight fill, bounce or shooting through diffusion material.

Like its namesake, the Sola ENG is designed to fit atop shoulder-mounted ENG cameras like the Panasonic HPX3100 or Sony PDW-700, cameras that use a two-pin D-Tap to draw power from their Anton/Bauer or equivalent battery unit source. If you’re using a DSLR, you won’t be able to power the light unless you have built-in D-Tap to your battery. It’s ideal for sports shooters and documentary filmmakers, as well as run-and-gun indie filmmakers who need to light a subject or space rather quickly.

The kit includes an AC adapter, a stand adapter, a detachable power cable, a two-leaf barndoor, a three-piece gel filter set (1⁄4 correction, full correction, diffusion), a power supply, a two-pin D-Tap DC power cable, a ballhead shoe-mount, a ¼-20 adapter and a carrying case. The retail price for the kit is $675.

Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009, www.litepanels.com.

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