Case study – Sola ENG Flight Kit


Jim Marks is a highly respected London-based commercial photographer and filmmaker with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. His shoots take him around the world, covering everything from editorial portraits of household name celebrities to commercials and corporate videos for global brands such as Virgin.

He has recently made the voyage into digital filmmaking as increasing numbers of his regular clients request moving images alongside their requirement for stills. Regardless of the format, the success of each shoot relies on Marks’ creative eye, combined with his ability to select the best equipment for the job.

Marks has recently filmed several one and two person interviews, using a Panasonic AF101 camera, together with the new Litepanels Sola ENG Flight Kit, which includes the industry’s first LED Fresnel light, ideally suited for today’s cutting edge broadcast work. 

Said Marks: “I trialled the Sola ENG Flight Kit for a month for a variety of jobs and I was really impressed. Lighting plays a vital role in every shoot and this offers everything you need in one simple box. The strength of this product lies in how usable it is – it has clearly been designed by people who really know the industry, and understand exactly what is required on a shoot.’

The Sola ENG Flight Kit is simple to use and highly flexible; it is comprised of three Sola ENG LED Fresnel lights and a range of other essential lighting accessories, including lighting stands, two-leaf barndoors, three-piece gel sets, A/C power supplies and detachable 2-Pin D-Tap power cables. The fixtures have been designed for on-camera or portable use and can be battery or A/C powered, ideal for easy travel, quick set up and operation.

Marks explained: “I’ve mainly used the kit for pieces to camera and interviews. During the month’s trial, I filmed a club night for a bar chain, some corporate filming projects and different kinds of location work. Because the LED lights can be run off batteries there is no requirement for mains power, so I could film anywhere, from a rooftop to a beach or the middle of a field.

“For a filmmaker, a key requirement is to have equipment that is portable. You have to be able to move around rather than being weighed down by different pieces of kit. That’s one element that makes the Sola ENG Flight Kit stand out, you can do a three point lighting set up, yet it can still be carried on your back.’

In addition to being lightweight and portable, the revolutionary daylight balanced Sola ENG provides the controllability and single-shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light, but it uses just a fraction of the power of conventional fixtures. Like all Litepanels fixtures, the Sola Fresnels provide the company’s hallmark quality of full spectrum light and also feature instant dimming from 100% to 0 with no noticeable colour shift. The fixtures have variable flood and spot 15 degree to 50 degree beam spread and manual focus and dimming control.

Marks said: “The quality of the light is surprisingly good. Traditionally, one of the main problems with LEDs is that you had to diffuse them because the light was always quite harsh. In the Sola ENG Flight Kit there is a softbox included, so, if necessary, that can simply be slotted on to the fixture to give a really nice front light for portraits. I used the other two fixtures as spots, sometimes on the background to separate the subject from the background, or as a kicker on the side of the head to define the person being interviewed.’

One of Marks’ most recent projects was some top secret filming for BBC’s Comic Relief campaign for which he used the Sola ENG Flight Kit. It has fast become an essential part of Marks’ equipment repertoire and he plans to continue using Litepanels kits and accessories on his future location shoots.

Marks concluded: “Originally it seems to have been called an ENG as it was designed largely for journalists. However, if you film people, in any capacity, whether it is for beauty or corporate, this is the ideal lighting kit in terms of both quality and portability.’


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