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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:03

Lighting Panama with Zylight’s F8 LED Fresnel's

Written by  Gordon Meyer
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KIRO-TV F8 CU Panama JPEG 3KIRO-TV, the Cox Media Group-owned CBS affiliate for Seattle-Tacoma, recently sent a news team to the Panama Canal to talk with local shipping industry professionals about the multibillion-dollar expansion of the waterway. The construction, which is due to be completed sometime in 2015, is designed to enable larger ships to go through the canal and potentially bypass Seattle and other West Coast ports.

The station assigned Bureau Chief Photojournalist Terry Griffin to the task. Due to the logistics involved, instead of bringing the usual HMI-based lighting kit, Griffin packed the Zylight F8 LED Fresnel, which collapses to less than four inches for easy transport and storage. Using lights that are half the weight of what he previously used proved to be very helpful during the Central American trip. “Traveling 4,000 miles [while] hauling gear can be both cumbersome and expensive,” Griffin explains. “A 9-pound light in my suitcase versus a 20-pound light in an additional checked bag saved excess baggage to keep track of or lose, plus weight and fees.”

Once on location at the canal, Griffin was faced with a lack of AC power outlets. With standard HMI lights, which only run on AC power, this situation would have been a serious problem. “There was zero AC power available to us on the massive canal construction zone for our interview,” says Griffin. “Using my 90-watt Anton/Bauer camera battery to power the F8 at 100 percent gave me an hour and six minutes of beautiful 5600K light. Having to only take one battery-type charger for both the light and camera was a huge bonus.” Shooting in Panama’s harsh equatorial sunlight also presented challenges, but Griffith says the F8 provided him with the perfect fill light for that setting. And because LED technology generates so little heat, breaking down the F8 at the end of a shoot was a much quicker process, as there was no wait for the light to cool down.

Available in daylight (5600K) or tungsten (3200K), the Zylight F8 LED maintains a single-shadow traditional Fresnel
KIRO-TV Panama F8 JPEG 3beam shaping through an eight-inch SCHOTT glass lens, and incorporates a proprietary focusing system for spot and flood operations. With a CRI (color rendering index) of up to 97 or better, the fully dimmable F8 offers an adjustable beam spread (of 16–70 degrees) for even coverage for widescreen productions. Its LED engine with quantum dot technology draws only 95 watts, but has close to the light output of a traditional 1,000-watt Fresnel. “[With] zero heat [and] zero cables, the F8 solved my lighting dilemma with added bonuses,” says Griffin. “It’s a great tool in the ENG/EFP kit for any TV photojournalist.” To find out more about Zylight’s F8 LED Fresnel, visit

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