Character light from Broncolor’s Para 220 FB light former
There are few light formers as universal and unique as Broncolor’s Para 220.
In general there are a lot of light formers and their task is to shape the light. This sounds a bit abstract at first, because the light always runs in the same direction and there isn’t much to shape. But here it’s about the illumination: how much light comes from where – that’s what the light shaper does. The flash is then responsible for the quality (spectrum, duration, consistency, etc.).
Most light formers either try to illuminate a surface cleanly (these are the white things) or, if you omit the diffuser, you usually get a reflective shape.
And that goes in the direction of the Para 220. It is primarily a huge umbrella with a diameter of 2.20 meters – hence the name Para 220.
What is special about the Para 220?
The shape and the surfaces. It is parabolic – and these are the fewest gliders of their kind. Like a satellite dish it has a focal point from where the rays (the light) can be ideally bundled (collimated). I.e. with the correct positioning of the flash in the screen one has
(a) a high luminous efficacy (as the light does not leave) and
b) directional light (the fewest light formers have this)
This is the one … is there more? Yup.
The Para 220 light former is not only parabolic – it also consists of 24 surfaces that can be stretched more or less tightly. This also gives you the opportunity to generate a soft cloud of light from 24 hard (when the screen is stretched) reflections from a large area (remember – Para 220 stands for 2.2 meters).
How now? hard and soft and everything … exactly. This is another special feature of the Para 220. You get 24 hard shadows which become soft again.
And how does this manifest itself? The light is merciless, honest, precise, exact… Every fibre (which can be good for a fashion shoot) and every detail is revealed.
And now comes the clou:
All this… parabolic, directed, hard, soft, etc., you can also mix by moving the flash in and out of the Para 220 and stretching the sides more or less hard. If the flanks become more wavy, the light becomes more diffuse and therefore less hard. One can attach also still various flashes (also from foreign manufacturers) simply to the Spigot and illuminate the shade not homogeneously… etc. One umbrella for everything… only a little heavy and big.