Chimera is a top-tier lighting product company (case-and-point, its slogan is “perfect lighting”) known for excellent color rendition and an embarrassingly wide assortment of light modifiers from which to choose. Seriously, just choose a light and then google “Chimera” after it. You’ll be set.
A staple in many medium to large studio productions is access to soft, even, well-designed overhead lighting and more often than not, you’ll probably be working with the Chimera F2X or the Chimera Modular F2. I’ve used them myself for large scale studio vehicle videography (namely, an SUV) and the even exposure from corner to corner is unparalleled.
But…these modifiers required an independent light source. And quite a lot of set-up and planning.
Well…I have some news.
Chimera has announced the F3 Powered by LiteGear
It's an overhead light bank with built-in LED panels to provide a softbox (in either a 5x5 ft. or 5x10 ft. configuration) that requires no independent source for the modifier.
Why is this a significant progression?
Glad you asked!
It comes down to two things: weight and time.
On the first point, the amount of weight that’s saved by incorporating LiteGear LED panels into the softbox itself is monumental.
Now, instead of having to mount both your light source and your modifier above the set, there’s only a single fixture, effectively halving the amount of gear that needs to be elevated above the set. I have no doubt that this will have a significant effect on set safety, too.
Another benefit to this marriage between Chimera and LiteGear?
The consolidation of baggage…literally.
If the 5x5 ft. option is on your list, you can actually check the light onto a flight because of how much the product breaks down. The last thing I’ll say about the lightweight nature of this fixture is that, because it’s now much less cumbersome and complicated and heavy, it can be mounted in a variety of different ways, not just overhead. For instance, this would make a superb soft key light for any full-body imagery. I’m thinking of fashion or lifestyle shoots.
Next up, the amount of time it takes to set up and break down the fixture is greatly diminished from its previous generation, effectively making this light a one-man operation, which saves a lot of time and money without sacrificing image quality. The previous generation (the F2X) more often than not required two or more crew members to set up.
- 500/1000W LED Engines
- CRI/TLCI of 95+
- Tool-less construction for speedy, one-man operation
- DMX compatible
- Fully dimmable
- 47 lb weight. (5x5 ft)
- Variable color temperature from 2600 to 6000 K.
The lights come at a price. A steep one. The smaller fixture is priced at $8,900.00 and the larger 5x10 ft. fixture drops a penny of $16,600.00. That being said, These lights are built for a certain level of production and, I think, are priced accordingly. Especially considering that the previous generation of this light, in one configuration or another, could be priced as high as $27.236.00 (roughly).
If you’re in the more DIY camp but still want that buttery smooth, soft light for your film, check out our guide to softening up your light source for little to no money.