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  1. #1 Medium budget lighting 
    Senior Member Linda Barzini's Avatar
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    I'm finally ready to drop hot lights and go with LED. I don't want tungsten, jokers, hmi, kino flos; nothing hot, heavy, or high amps. I'm not particularly impressed with the diffused output of my Astras. I also don't want to buy the expensive Skypanels or Gemini.

    So what is the best of the rest. I shoot almost exclusively on location with soft diffusion for narrative, fashion, and music video. I am thinking of $3,000 to $4,000ish to start.

    I am currently leaning toward the Aputure line of products, specifically building around the 300d/120d because with the Bowens mount and ballast off the light, they seem to be able to do most anything. The 300d is comparable to a 2k tungsten. It is somewhere between a Joker 400 and 800 to produce daylight through a window. It can be made into a spacelight (and easily mobile on a boom). It can be softened nicely with the lightdome. It can take any Bowens medium softbox, china ball, Octagon or be placed behind something like a 6x6. It also has a fresnel attachment and barndoors. They are not bi-color. Do CTO gels work with these?

    I also like the Falconeyes flexible LED light mats. They seem like they offer comparable performance to Litemats at 1/3 the price. The lightweight portability is really attractive, but less flexible for light shaping as the Aputures.

    The other option I am considering are the Lishuai Edge lights. These have the LED lights around the inner edge and bounce out, so the are soft lights and have barn doors. They aren't as bright as other LEDs, but they just released the Lushuai Edge 1380. Beautiful idea, but I hate not having enough light, especially shooting 100-120 fps. Lights that don't require diffusion is attractive.

    My current preference is Aputure: 2x 300d, 2x 120d, and Bowens light shaping attachments - fresnel attachment, barndoors, spacelights, lightdomes, and grided softboxes/octagons. Maybe add an Aputure Tri-8c or two.

    Lots of grips complain about how cheap LEDs don't match well, but if I stay in the same family, I hope they are pretty close. The online reviews show the CRI/TLCI to be extremely good. Can Aputures be warmed enough with CTO?

    Thoughts? Opinions/weaknesses to an Aputure based system? My needs are portability, dimmable to strong output, and flexibility (narrative to high key fashion).
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Daniel Stilling's Avatar
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    I would take a look at Intellytech lights as well. They have a series of litemats also, priced somewhere between the Wescott and the cheap chinese stuff.
    They come in complete kits, with diffusion and battery plates.
    I made a small travel kit with 3 40's and 1 160. Fits in a Pelican 1600.

    https://www.intellytechusa.com/colle...oors-for-fl-40
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  3. #3  
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    I would rent, try and test as manufacturers claims for color accuracy and output
    on LEDs are quite wild.

    In real setups you will not find a LED thats as powerful as a Joker 800 (let me know if you do)
    Even the just released Dedolight DLED30 is not as powerful at a similar flood and its over your budget for one light.

    In many situations you can however work much closer with LEDs, as they are not hot and have a softer light quality.

    I really like my Hive Wasp 100C's for smaller setups, full color, Kelvin and saturation control and
    standard Profoto size for accessories.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Ben Scott's Avatar
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    I don't think the 300Ds are ready for primetime yet with colour temp and green tints all over the place.

    On the other hand the 120D is brilliant. Used it with the light dome for 90% of the pilot I just shot.

    In the larger range I'd either wait for Aputure to fix their light (I assume by gelling it and therefore cutting the output) or check out the Razyr 7 300 fresnel for clean output or the Wasp 100c for full colour
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Robert Gustafsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Barzini View Post
    I'm finally ready to drop hot lights and go with LED. I don't want tungsten, jokers, hmi, kino flos; nothing hot, heavy, or high amps. I'm not particularly impressed with the diffused output of my Astras. I also don't want to buy the expensive Skypanels or Gemini.

    So what is the best of the rest. I shoot almost exclusively on location with soft diffusion for narrative, fashion, and music video. I am thinking of $3,000 to $4,000ish to start.

    I am currently leaning toward the Aputure line of products, specifically building around the 300d/120d because with the Bowens mount and ballast off the light, they seem to be able to do most anything. The 300d is comparable to a 2k tungsten. It is somewhere between a Joker 400 and 800 to produce daylight through a window. It can be made into a spacelight (and easily mobile on a boom). It can be softened nicely with the lightdome. It can take any Bowens medium softbox, china ball, Octagon or be placed behind something like a 6x6. It also has a fresnel attachment and barndoors. They are not bi-color. Do CTO gels work with these?

    I also like the Falconeyes flexible LED light mats. They seem like they offer comparable performance to Litemats at 1/3 the price. The lightweight portability is really attractive, but less flexible for light shaping as the Aputures.

    The other option I am considering are the Lishuai Edge lights. These have the LED lights around the inner edge and bounce out, so the are soft lights and have barn doors. They aren't as bright as other LEDs, but they just released the Lushuai Edge 1380. Beautiful idea, but I hate not having enough light, especially shooting 100-120 fps. Lights that don't require diffusion is attractive.

    My current preference is Aputure: 2x 300d, 2x 120d, and Bowens light shaping attachments - fresnel attachment, barndoors, spacelights, lightdomes, and grided softboxes/octagons. Maybe add an Aputure Tri-8c or two.

    Lots of grips complain about how cheap LEDs don't match well, but if I stay in the same family, I hope they are pretty close. The online reviews show the CRI/TLCI to be extremely good. Can Aputures be warmed enough with CTO?

    Thoughts? Opinions/weaknesses to an Aputure based system? My needs are portability, dimmable to strong output, and flexibility (narrative to high key fashion).
    I’m in the same boat and I’m leaning towards the Kinotehnik 602’s. Also compatible with Profoto RFi accessories.

    http://www.newsshooter.com/2017/10/3...nels-reviewed/

    http://shop.kinotehnik.com/product/p...rt-led-fresnel
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  6. #6  
    Since you mention fashion photography, you should talk with your friends in the makeup department. I know that at UNCSA's School of Design and Production (and the School of Filmmaking, come to think of it), students are schooled in doing makeup for a variety of lighting conditions. If they know the production is going to be under tungsten lights, they will do things one way, and if under LED they will do things another way. As much as the CRI numbers all look good, when you look at the color spectra as reported by a C700 (or equiv) you'll see the big blue spike next to the lump (or pair of lumps) that barely reaches into the red on one side and not quite to cyan on the other.







    Thus, deep red, aqua/cyan/turquoise and indigo/violet colors will probably look most different when illuminated by tungsten vs LED.

    OTOH, those color deficiencies (one at each end and one in the middle) are probably narrow enough that even if you get slightly wonky results initially, you can use LUTs or Resolve to push the colors where you think they belong. RWG + Log3G10 makes this a real breeze. But your friends in makeup can also give you great pointers from their own experiences. They have great eyes for subtle colors and for what works and what doesn't!
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  7. #7  
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    Linda, in about 2 months, Brandon Fowler's wonderful lights will be shipping regularly. The specs on them exceed everything on the market.

    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...-Strip-Lights/

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  8. #8  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    I could literally write a book on modern LED lighting. Some of the lower priced options certainly do not "perfectly" match even within their own product lines. Which is frustrating as hell.

    Notable brands like Litepanel, Fiilex, Nila, more recently HIVE, Digital Sputnik, and many others are doing a better job matching within their ecosystem.

    I'll go one step further, you absolutely can't buy any lights online based on their published numbers, especially the lower priced options. Some brands are more trustworthy than not, but it's extremely important to see and test out the lights themselves.

    It's pretty easy to find yourself with an LED that emits a strange "white" that's somewhere between green and not white or perhaps to pink or even find that your spill has a yellow/blue rim, which will need to be diffused out.

    Heh. I sound like a crotchety complainer on this, but it will largely depend on your tolerances and what you are trying to achieve with your lighting. If you are looking for a clean white light at whatever your preferred kelvin, there are nice options.

    The multi-tool are the bi-color, RGB, RGBA, RGBW, RGBWW options out there as you can dial it in and match on set. COBs and quantum dots chips are hit or miss depending on who makes them, their QC levels, and their general chemical mix to blend out the evils.
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  9. #9  
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    I've heard great things about the digital sputniks... from a lot of people I trust. They often go on sale for around $6k for a kit, so I would rent those and try them and consider stretching your budget. If you're planning to rent, I think you could find a rental market for them.

    I have a 120d and the light quality seems quite good, but the build quality is dodgy and the fresnel attachment kind of sucks. I wouldn't trust them for rental purposes, maybe owner/op. The output seems comparable to a 650w fresnel. Not bad, not outstanding.
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  10. #10  
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    Aren't the LEDs far more expensive than the hot ones?
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