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K5600 Lighting: Baby steps for 9K light output

The Alpha 9K, which took its first steps earlier this year, provides a single shadow light that is focusable from 5° to 60°. The lightweight, compact and versatile unit also has an Open Eye mode that delivers light output at over 100º and benefits from the ability to be used pointing straight down.

It comes with a compact ballast, weighing 24.8 kilos, that can fire up a 2.5K, 4K, 6K or 9K lamp, and runs at 100Hz, 300Hz and even 1000 Hz. It also has an AutoScan function that automatically corrects the frequency to ensure stable shooting at any speed.

The first user of the 9K in France, with five units, was a new NBC four-hour miniseries, Rosemary’s Baby, based on Ira Levin’s 1967 horror novel. It was shot by French DP Michel Amathieu, and starred Zoe Saldana and Carole Bouquet.

Some scenes took place on the third floor of an apartment in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, but the gaffer, Christophe Dural, didn’t want to use a cherry picker because it would have been too difficult to hide. It was important to light all five windows and still allow the cameras to move around, so he chose to use five Alphas mounted to the side of the building one floor up. “The key factors making this configuration possible were compactness, weight, and quality of the Fresnel through the windows,” he explained.