What’s your favorite type of lighting instrument? *pushes glasses up nose with forefinger*
I think mine is an ellipsoidal reflector spotlight 🤓
Ellipsoidal spotlights (also known by their trade names Leko or Source Four) were designed to produce an even field with the ability to shape the beam of light and cut it where it’s not wanted. So handy!
As discussed in earlier posts, my favorite feature of a Leko is the ability to create hard cuts where there is no room for a flag. This can be helpful when you don’t have a rigging point for a light fixture and need to bounce the light from across the room. A Leko allows you to make the hard cuts necessary so the light only hits the surface you’re trying to bounce off.
The light created by a Leko can be shaped by shutters, an iris, or a gobo pattern. That shape can then be brought into sharp or soft focus by sliding the lens barrel forward or backward. The four cutting shutters can slide into the beam of light to create a rectangle or whatever shape is required.
The gobo holder sits in front of the shutters. Gobos are small discs with a pattern on them that are used to project texture onto a scene. (window patterns, blinds, leaves, clouds, a brand’s logo™️, etc.)
Another nice feature of a Leko is the interchangeable lenses that allow you to adjust the beam angle. The narrower beams (5-19 degrees) have a smaller field, but greater intensity. The wider beams (36-90 degrees) would allow you to fill a greater area with limited space. For example, to get an 8ft diameter beam with a 19 degree lens, the light would need to be 25ft away. Where as a 36 degree lens would only need to be 13 feet away to cover the same area, but it would not be as bright.
This setup utilized two techniques with ellipsoidal lights! 🤯 The ol bounce across the room for some shape on the subject’s face and pushing through the window with hard cuts for texture on the back wall. The M40 gave us a nice base exposure to work with. A couple Titan Tubes with Snapgrids acted as a back edge and fill light. 12x12 solid for negative fill 🤌
Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer with a grip truck based in Lafayette, Colorado serving Boulder, Denver, Golden, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Rocky Mountain region at large.