Hard Soft. The new Litepanels Gemini Hard 1×1 is both hard and soft at the same time. This is not a paradox. It may remind you of a 5K Tungsten Fresnel, full spot through a 4×4 frame of 216 Diffusion. The light has intensity, punch, direction. And yet there is peripheral softness and fill. It is a very pleasing for portraits. Directional enough to punch through a studio fogger yet soft enough to avoid seraphic shafts. Bright and soft to light a studio sky of overhead rags. Perhaps in separate Space Light style: skirted, diffused or raw.
The Gemini Hard 1×1 is so bright, you may want sunglasses. I measured 3660 lux / 340 footcandles at 10 feet and set to 5600K CCT. That’s T11/2 at 800 ISO, 24 fps (1/48 sec). This was even more than official Litepanels specs of 3023 lux.
This is at least 4 times brighter than its sibling, Gemini 1×1 Soft. As a New York gaffer might say, “It’s a scorcher.” But it’s LED, cool to the touch, infinitely tunable, dimmable, and controllable. It’s a 1 foot x 1 foot LED panel that you’d expect to be soft but has punch and direction. Add the Ultra Light diffusion panel, and the lighting looks magical.
Pat Grosswendt, Litepanels Co-Founder and gaffer (we worked together on commercials) explained the Gemini Hard in its NDA development days, “It has a ‘spun glass’ look as if on an old Titan arc. Quality punch that looks flattering on the subject. Hard strong, but sublime.”
The Gemini Hard 1×1 with Ultra Light Diffuser has an ineffable beauty that is almost a riddle until you try it. “Hard-Soft, Directional-Diffusion, Headstrong-Gentle. As Philip Henslowe (played by Geoffrey Rush) says repeatedly in Shakespeare in Love, “It’s a mystery.” I would add, “It’s a beautiful mystery.”
Gemini 1×1 Hard launch video:
Litepanels Gemini 1×1 Hard Specs
- LED Panel: RGBWW
- Beam angle (no diffuser): 46°
- Beam angle w/ Dome: >100°
- CCT Range: 2,700-10,000 K
- TLCI / CRI (average): 98
- Menu Control Modes: RGBWW / CCT / HSI / Gel / FX (Effects)
- Digital Gels: 300
- Effects: 11
- Dimming: 0-100% Continuous
- Remote Control Options: DMX, RDM, WDMX*, Bluetooth* Apollo CRMX*
(* with optional dongle)
- Presets: 6 CCT preset buttons with A/B switch for 6 user-defined preset buttons
- Weight Regular Mode: 13.25 lb / 6.0 kg
- Weight, Pole Operated: 17.85 lb / 8.1 kg
- Height: 12.6″ / 320 mm
- Width: 12.6″ / 320 mm
- Depth: 4.3″ / 110 mm
- Nominal power draw: 200W
- Attached Power supply: Yoke Mounted
- AC Power: 100-240 VAC / 50-60 Hz
- Battery Power: 14.4V Battery Plate
- IP Rating: IP20
- Lux, Daylight, 10 ft / 3 m: 3023 lux “open face,” 1003 with dome
- Lux, Tungsten, 10 ft / 3 m: 2456 lux “open face,” 912 with dome
- +/- Green-Magenta: 0-100 Plus and Minus continuous
- Included Diffusion: Ultra Light (900-3711), Dome (900-3712)
- Available now: US $2,250
These 3 setups had a Gemini 1×1 Hard set to 5600K. The dimmer was at 100%.
A Bluetooth dongle connected to the Litepanels SmartLite Director (SLD) app on either iPhone or iPad.
The fixture was 10 feet (3 meters) camera left of the flowers. They were sitting on top of a white milkglass sweep.
The Gemini 1×1 Hard was the only light in the room. It was single source. The background was flagged with a 4×8 floppy.
1. We measure 3660 Lux / 340 Footcandles using the bare fixture, open faced, no diffuser. This scene was shot at T111/2 , 800 ISO, 24 fps (1/48 sec).
With the Gemini 1×1 Hard open faced, “bare bulb,” without diffuser, this configuration provides the hardest light with the most defined shadows. Also, the background is darkest because less light spills around the solid floppy.
By the way, in Open Face mode, there’s no danger to the fixture and I have been assured to your eyes as well.
2. The Ultra Light Diffuser comes as an accessory with the Gemini 1×1 Hard. I will probably leave it in the fixture all the time. It is my favorite combination with this light.
We get 2830 Lux / 263 Footcandles at 10 ft / 3 m with the Ultra-light Diffuser. That’s T11 at 800 ISO, 24 fps. So, it’s a loss of about 1/2 stop, which isn’t much. The punchy source wraps a bit around edges to fill in shadows slightly. The background gains a little more spill.
3. A Dome Diffuser also comes standard with the Gemini 1×1 Hard.
Still at 10 feet from the fixture, the flowers measure 1020 Lux / 95 Footcandles. That’s T5.61/2 at 800 ISO, 24 fps — a 2 stop loss from the Open Face configuration.
And yet, a Gemini 1×1 Hard with the Dome Diffuser is still brighter than the Gemini 1×1 Soft. At 10 feet, the Hard with Dome gives off 1020 Lux. The Gemini Soft gives off 614 lux.
Notice the background in this shot. It has gained more scatter spill as the light, under softer diffusion, wraps around the floppy even more. Also, shadows are filled in more.