Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 02/14/03 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Barger-Baglite GT-6

Powerful light, simple set-up, wonderful soft results By Stephen Schleicher
With the success of the Lighting 101 series, I have gotten several e-mails from readers wanting to know what types of lights I use to shoot with. I have even received e-mails from companies wanting me to test out their light equipment. When I received an e-mail from Barger-Baglite offering me one of their new GT-6s to test out, I took them up on it.

If you havent heard of the Barger-Baglite GT-6, dont be surprised; because of the relative newness of the units (I reviewed the 23 unit made) and the claims that the light can produce 5K of illumination using only 650W bulbs, many potential users probably passed it up thinking "Yeah, right". I was the same way when I was approached by company spokesman and creator Ed Barger. But Ed knows about lights, with over 25 year experience as a camera-man, he knew exactly what a camera or lighting crew would want in a light unit. And he has delivered a unit that is lightweight, very portable, has a short set up time, and most importantly, generates very little heat and bright illumination.

When you first open the box of the GT6, you immediately smack yourself on the head and say "Why didnt I think of that!?" Instead of one bulb to generate the needed light, Ed has installed six FCM/HIR sockets. Each of these "broad" lights combine to generate one bright source. Of course with six units you have six different shadows, so the GT-6 needs a Chimera (or similar) soft box to produce some of the nicest, most evenly lit light I have seen in a while.

The Barger-Baglite has 6 bulbs each with their own switch to vary the intensity from 650 watts all the way up to 5K.

Each of the six lights has their own power switch on the back of the unit, so each can be turned on or off to take your light from 650 watts all the way up to 5K of illumination. Because of the Chimera, now matter how many bulbs you have on, you still end up with nice diffuse light. Because of the range of illumination, you can bring the big budget lighting look to your production, for very little cost.

With the Chimera attached, you will always end up with soft even light for your shoot.

My first thought when I heard about how much light this unit could generate was, "Im sure Im going to need a power generator or special connectors to get this to work correctly, and Im sure if I plug it into a regular outlet that Ill blow a fuse in seconds." I said that based on my experience with other lighting instruments in the 5-10K range and how troublesome it has always been when trying to provide power. In the case of the GT-6, the six bulbs are connected to three 15-amp home outlets, which have the regular plug in connectors you would expect. This means you can plug the unit directly into existing power on site without having to worry about blowing a fuse or bringing a generator.

Ive blown a few outlets in my day, and recently it seems every time I touch a light, whether stumbling through my house in the middle of the night or just walking into a room, I blow the bulb as well. I figured I could easily blow a fuse by using a four-outlet extension cord connected to the GT-6, plugged into a single outlet. Wow, was I wrong. No matter how hard I tried, the light drew the needed power without blowing a fuse, over heating the extension cord, or burning down the building.

The GT-6 is very thin, I would say it is slightly thicker than a normal Lowel Tota light (about four inches thick). Because of this, the light can be used in tighter than normal quarters, and even placed within inches of a wall.

But what about heat? Working with traditional units, you know the heat given off by those lights could easily start a fire if placed too close to a wall or ceiling running at full power. Ed has designed, what I can only describe as a heat sink to help dissipate the heat given off, so that no matter how long the unit has been on, it remains fairly cool to the touch. The GE lights that are used in the GT-6 also are designed to produce very little infrared radiation, which also help to keep the heat down. To prove this, I powered up the GT-6 and after an hour of shooting, placed my hand on the back of the unit, and didnt burn myself. Try that with a traditional production light.

After an hour, the GT-6 is only slightly warm to the touch.

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Related Keywords:barger-baglite, schleicher, light, soft light, Chimera, lighting

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