From its inception in 1980, Chimera Lighting has gained a reputation for innovation and excellence in the photography and film industries for its exceptional lighting products. But, like many innovative companies, Chimera evolved from humble beginnings.
In 1980, advertising and album cover photographer Gary Regester and noted climber, photographer and engineer/designer Tom Frost joined forces to create Chimera’s the first of a long line of light modifiers. Regester, who often photographed musicians on location, was looking for an alternative solution to creating the beautiful light he wanted for his portraits—one that created broader and softer illumination than umbrellas and a set-up that was more practical and portable than bulky lightboxes constructed from foam core and gaffer’s tape. Regester, inspired by the design of high altitude tents, sketched out some rough ideas for a collapsible modifier, which generated overwhelming interest from his photographer friends.
Frost provided the perfect balance of skills and experience, including his tenure as a designer for Chouinard Equipment (the predecessor to Patagonia, founded by Chouinard), to partner with Regester to bring the photographer’s idea to life. Set against the backdrop of Colorado, known for its rugged beauty and outdoor adventures, Regester and Frost created the Illuminata Lightbank and Chimera was born, with Frost and his wife Dorene and Regester and his wife Joanie as the original founders.
The business initially started in the Frosts’ garage, with Tom Frost cutting the fabric for the lighbanks and then outsourcing the sewing locally. Skilled home sewers were—and are—plentiful in Colorado, thanks to the backpack and tent industry in the area. In the early days, the lightbanks were mainly sold at tradeshows but as the business grew, Chimera developed a global network of dealer and distributors.
While initially designed for, and marketed to, still photographers, in the early 1980’s the late Dean Collins suggested that Chimera adapt its product lines for film and, later, video. Frost followed through by meeting with key players in the Hollywood film industry. This was a major step for the small company as cinematographers began to embrace Chimera lightbanks. Perhaps the tipping point was reached in 1990, when gaffer Mo Flam and DP Geoffrey Simpson used Chimera equipment when filming the breakout movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes.’” Since then, Chimera has played—and continues to maintain—a dominant role in the movie industry. That’s no surprise given the products’ rugged build, ability to withstand the high heat output from cinema lights and to create the perfect illumination. When you’re working on a movie set, the last thing you want to face is an issue with equipment.
When the best names in film, broadcast and motion pictures want big, beautiful broad light sources, they choose Chimera. Renowned for top quality design and reliability, Chimera has developed innovative fabrics that withstand the rigors of high temperatures. This means more shooting for you and less worry about your equipment. You get the broad-source, diffused light you want ans the lightweight, portable design you require.
Chimera's Triolet, Mogul Socket and Birdcage Lanterns are a simple solution to a variety of lighting needs.
The Triolet and Mogul Socket are optimized for use in a Lightbank while the Birdcage is a perfect small accent light.
Whether in a studio or on location, Chimera's F2X and Modular F2 Lightbanks make it easy to achieve perfection on a large scale. Both styles come with a soft silver reflective lining, creating an extremely efficient light source.
F2 and F2X Lightbanks work best when used bare tube strobe, and bare bulb or open face HMI and tungsten lights. F2 and F2X Lightbanks are particularly useful in automotive photography or any time a beautiful, even over head light source is needed.
Available in a wide range of sizes from 5' x 10' up to 15' x 40' and as kits with Triolet Lights included. Hand made in Colorado.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S CHOICE FOR 30 YEARS Whether shooting a sophisticated assignment or a basic lighting layout, Chimera offers a wide variety of Lightbanks to transform harsh strobe light into a soft controllable light source.
Chimera Video Pro Lightbanks
are the industry standard for continuous lighting fixtures under 2,000W.
Chosen by lighting professionals worldwide, the Video Pro line offers
durable quality and immense versatility when it comes to shaping light.
Collapsible Fabric Grids, Fabric Barndoors, interchangeable screens, and
metal honeycomb grids all offer you the ability to shape light to a
wide variety of qualities.
Chimera Daylite Junior banks are designed with an increased depth to provide even and soft illumination when used with narrow-beam fixtures such as fresnels.
The Daylite Junior line fits continuous fixtures under 2,000W when used with the appropriate Daylite Junior Speed Ring
Speed Rings provide the critical link from your light source to the Lightbank. Available in a wide range of styles and sizes, chances are Chimera makes a Speed Ring that will work with your light.
ACCESSORIES YOU NEED TO CREATE PERFECT LIGHT
Chimera is committed to providing you with virtually every option and accessory you need. We make it easy to customize your Lightbank and achieve the look you want.