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Sola ENGs on Set

Last Friday was my first opportunity to use the Litepanels’ Sola ENGs on set. They worked well and definitely far better than relying on my Omni Lights + CTB filters for backdrop lights.

Two Litepanels Sola Engs as backdrop lights. Three 1x1s for key, fill and a bit of back/hair light. 7′ foot backdrop (for scale.)

The light from the Sola ENGs is easy to control. The two were set to flood and full power, their barn doors used to further control the light.

This setup gave me f/8 on the backdrop at ISO 2500 (camera set to 24p, 1/50 shutter.) Not so high that noise would be an issue and exactly where I wanted to be for the camera – my goal was f/5.6 for the subject. This allows the background to come out white.

I lit the key and fill accordingly to give me f/5.6 with the fill one stop under from the key. None of the 1x1s needed to be at full power. The key was a 1×1 spot + Chimera at 3/4 power. The fill was a 1×1 flood + Litepanels 3/4 Diffusion Filter at ~3/4 power and the backlight was a 1×1 spot at ~1/4 power.

Considering that we had six interviews to do over six+ hours it was nice not having the Omni setup pumping out heat the entire time.

Sola ENG + Manfrotto metal Swivel Umbrella Adapter.

I mentioned in my prior post that the Litepanels supplied stand adapter for the Sola ENG is a bit rube goldberg – it needs to be mated to a ball head. So, it has too many points of contact and in quick testing one is always coming loose. I used one Manfrotto metal Swivel Umbrella Adapter for each Sola ENG instead.

All in all – very good and it adds two lights of consistent color temp to my kit at a much lower price point than even one Litepanel 1×1. My biggest concern with the Sola ENGs remains their build quality, specifically the plastic foot which houses the 1/4-20 metal screw mount.

Update 6/4/2012 – For videos shot please see, It Really Has to Be a Smorgasbord.