I was recently able to take out a set of Blind Spot Gear's Scorpion Lights (the Scorpion Duo Kit) onto a project, here is my overall review on the kit.....
As many of you know, my work takes me to some pretty amazing places.....places without electrical outlets. When I first heard about these Blind Spot Gear Scorpion Lights I thought...."those would be perfect for field lighting if they work as advertised!". The company sent me a kit to see for myself so I wanted to include my impressions on the gear and put it to the test in a few different scenarios every filmmaker/photographer would run into in the field.
First Impressions - What's in the Box
I do have to mention this, from the first time I pulled the Scorpion light out of the included case I was blown away by the build quality....it's not what I expected....in a good way! Lets back up though, first of all the case the Scorpion Duo kit comes in is very well made and it's materials seem durable. A zipper running along the outside gives you access to the equipment inside which is in form-fitted foam. The case has a clip attachable shoulder strap, which is always nice.
Included inside the Scorpion Duo kit is: 2 Scorpion Lights, 2 Batteries, 2 Battery Adapters, 1 Travel Charger, 2 Super Clamps, 1 Set of Rosco CineGels, 1 Fastener Kit and of course the above mentioned Carrying Case.
As I hinted at before, I was super impressed by the build quality of the Scorpion Lights themselves. For the price I was expecting moderate grade metals and acceptable build quality...but Blind Spot Gear has really gone above and beyond with the quality of the light. The Scorpion feels solid, like it wont break with even aggressive use and the barn doors on the thing are super sturdy.
Overall, the only issue I had with the kit was my inability to tell what side of the case was top and bottom. Several times I unzipped the case to find I had dumped all the contents out as I was opening the case the wrong way. This was easily fixed with a piece of gaff tape, but there may be another visual cue I'm missing on the actual case itself.
The Interview Setup
This is always a struggle when traveling, shooting in remote and electricity deprived spaces....but lets face it, we deal with it all the time. The go-to answer is a reflector board or to pack a generator to the location and deal with its glorious sounds. I have used LED solutions, however, anything affordable, transportable and not powered by gold mount/v mount batteries tends to be a bit flickery or has too many color issues. I was excited to try these out as they potentially were a great fit to many of my field interview needs.
I was working on a project telling the story of a 76 year old cowboy who rides every year in the Antelope Island Buffalo Roundup here in Utah and our location for the interview of this guy was in an old barn. I wanted to utilize the natural morning light that always makes these old barns and buildings look so amazing but also needed to get a good exposure on his face and detail shots for Broll. Bounce boards are fine for Broll if needed, but for longer interviews they never work great. I decided to give the Scorpion Duo kit a go on this one and it worked out beautifully.
I always keep a few cheap light stands in my car and the grip mount on the Scorpion snapped on in seconds. I was honestly up and going lighting wise (with gels on) in less than 3 minutes! (*Note in my video and photos of the initial test I did not realize the included gels had a protective cover I did not remove. I didn't notice a dampening of light due to this, but make sure to peel off your protective gel film for best results 🙂 I used one of the lights for my Key and cranked it up until it met my desired false color skintone rage on my Shogun monitor. I had some great fill coming in from the natural door light that would not change too much so I used the other Scorpion for a rim light, which worked out great and showcased some of the dust in the room beautifully.
My overall opinion for the Scorpion Duo for on location interviews.....amazing, I will 100% be using it again for upcoming projects of this type. I had no issue with the NP-550 (Sony typical) batteries on this shoot or flickering, which another concern going in. If using on a longer interview I would likely pop in some of my bigger Sony batteries to have piece of mind though.
I do ALLOT of Broll....and I always strive to have it look as cinematic looking as possible and this means I need well planned lighting setups. On this production I gave the Scorpions a try over my traditional light setup or a bounce and again was not disappointed with the results. Having the flexibility to quickly move, clamp, dim and bend the lights made giving those little lighting touches so much easier. On the BRoll shots shown in the video I used one or both of the scorpion lights to create backlight, fill and detail on the talent.
Overall Tech Specs
- Power Draw: Max power is 15W and Max current draw is 2.9A @5V
- The Wattage, in terms of a traditional tungsten light, is 75W; however the lens is 36 degrees @ 50% full angle. This means the light is directed and packs a decent punch - 1940 lux at 3 foot.
- Voltage Range: 5 to 25V DC
- 1940 Lux at 3 foot
- Tested to be Flicker Free at frame rates up to 1400fps
- Tungsten CRI is 94, the daylight CRI is a little lower, but it actually outputs a higher intensity (1050 lumes)
The Scorpion Light has a home in any film making situation, from the most remote location documentary filmmaking to Hollywood feature films.The flexibility of the Scorpion Light really is mind boggling; it can be placed just about anywhere securing it by the 5/8" spigot or 1/4"-20 female thread, meaning it can be attached to the super clamp, a lighting stand or a camera cage, making it the most flexible light on the market.This Scorpion 2 Light Set includes an amazing amount of kit; in fact, it has everything you need to go out into any location in the world and create amazing content. One price, one purchase, and everything you need.The Scorpion Light has already been used in major Hollywood productions, most notably Trainspotting 2, the TV series Outlander, and a new Netflix original series. It has also been used for multiple BBC Productions, Sky Sports and National Geographic.
My Overall Opinion, Will I Be Adding this to My Gear Bag?
YES. This product is one of those things that you never realized you needed, but after using it cannot imagine not having it. For the price ($599.99 for the kit I use, The Scorpion Duo) you will not be disappointed and the quality of the gear and the results is great.
See it on Blind Spot Gear's Site: