by Tom Lee Published 01/10/2012
It was back in April 2011 when I first commented on the remarkable new technology of the Reflec Chromakey system for photographers. So remarkable in fact, I actually bought one!
Since then I have formed a good relationship with the company and have helped steer the development of updated and improved equipment. Paul Holdcroft (Managing Director of Reflecmedia) says: "We have always had a good grasp of chromakey within the cinematic field, but providing the same technology in the photographic market was a new challenge for us. In order to provide the right equipment to the still image sector, we needed to consult with people who understood the requirements of the profession and were also sympathetic to this new technology".
The original system consisted of a background curtain (or pop-up) surface-impregnated with highly reflective glass beads. The blue or green chromakey colour was provided by a separate 'Litering' fixed to the camera lens (similar to a traditional ring light used in fashion photography). Whilst the curtain and pop-up technology has remained the same, the new Litering is a far superior beast. Build quality and performance are a vast improvement on the original hardware.
The Mk1 Litering comprises a cast metal ring with single colour LEDs (green or blue) set into the face. These LEDs were set at an angle to maximise the coverage of light-spread across the background. Whilst this was an efficient way of producing the required chromakey colour, the ring was heavy by design and made a big lens combo even heavier. The other (minor) drawback was that the attached controller had to be mains powered, requiring a long cable attachment. This was an important first step for 'dipping your toe' into a new market sector. Get something out there that works...
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