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Old October 6th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #1
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LED Vs CFL lights for photo and video

Hello,

I am a photographer videographer and I am planing to get new lights to use in video/photo work...I was thinking on getting the LED 1000
( Teleprompters - Prompter People )
over the Cool Lights .
( CL-655PMD Cool Lights Portable Dimming 6 x 55 watt Softlight - Cool Lights USA )
After thinking about it, it seem that the LED lights has a very small area (14x14) and even after I add a diffuser I will have to put the light far away form a talent to be able to illuminate a full body.

Has anyone done any photo work with any of this lights and can give me some advice?

Thanks for the help!
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Old October 6th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #2
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I'm an LED wonk and a longtime still shooter gone to Video.
For a full person you need a bank that's at least 4' tall. 6' is best. So forget these lights for still work. For video, they're OK for 3/4 length or full length at about 15'. You could always gang a bunch of these together to yield the coverage you need.
LED's have no 'throw' unless focused in a reflector or via optics- so plan on getting lights close to the subject.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Santos Ramos View Post
Hello,

I am a photographer videographer and I am planing to get new lights to use in video/photo work...I was thinking on getting the LED 1000
( Teleprompters - Prompter People )
over the Cool Lights .
( CL-655PMD Cool Lights Portable Dimming 6 x 55 watt Softlight - Cool Lights USA )
After thinking about it, it seem that the LED lights has a very small area (14x14) and even after I add a diffuser I will have to put the light far away form a talent to be able to illuminate a full body.

Has anyone done any photo work with any of this lights and can give me some advice?

Thanks for the help!
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Old October 6th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Paul

You have clear a lot of my questions, I wounder if with the cool lights I would have the same problem.. I have always use strobes for still work.

I hope some else give me advice about the cool light!
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Old October 6th, 2008, 09:22 PM   #4
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I have three of the 500LEDs. I use them for the same types of things in the past I used three fluorescents for, mainly shooting interviews. Here's an article based on my early impressions: http://www.dvfreelancer.com/articles...ledlights.html
You may have to register to read it; I'm not sure.

The 500LEDs are about halfway between an equivalent fluorescent and an equivalent fresnel, ie., more throw and more focused than a fluorescent, but less throw and less focused than a fresnel. If you set up, say, a 500 watt fresnel about 10 ' from a wall, you'll get a clearly defined, fairly sharp circle with the light flooded. With a 2-bulb (110 watts total) fluorescent such as the Lowel Caselight 2, you'll get a perfectly even lighting of the wall with very gradual falloff at the edges, ie., very soft. With the LED, you get more of a fuzzy oval shape, broader than the fresnel but not as sharp.

Also, the LEDs are, of course, daylight. That's the main reason I bought them over more fluorescents. My camera looks better shooting in daylight.

With fluorescents, you can light a subject with no diffusion because they are so soft. With these LEDs, if you're any closer than about 10 feet, you'll need to use diffusion gel, unless you're looking for a harsh shadow.

While 110 watts of fluorescent output about the same amount of light as a 500 watt tungsten light in a softbox, the LED does it for 40 watts. Flolights' LEDs are also DC powered (they come with power supply), so you can run them off a battery pack or battery belt if you want. The nearest competition would be the Lightpanels, which cost about double. The Lightpanels equivalent uses the flood type LEDs (Flolights uses the medium ones...LEDs come in spot, medium and flood) and they're almost as soft as fluorescents.

If you shoot a lot of interviews, or two-person type things, like shooting daylight and like traveling light, they're very nice. I found the build quality very good and have had no problems at all. I've had them right at a year now.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 06:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santos Ramos View Post
You have clear a lot of my questions, I wounder if with the cool lights I would have the same problem.. I have always use strobes for still work.

I hope some else give me advice about the cool light!
Of course lots of people have different opinions on this. Many people use a six bank and find it just fine for full body shots. We have many customers that are crossover photographers and videographers too.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #6
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I thought I'd share a still photo I shot this past saturday using 2 500led flolights.... I love the quality of light from these little buggers....

http://www.witzke-studio.com/becca1.jpg

I also love the coolights cdm150's as well..... fantastic quality of light!
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Old November 14th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #7
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Wow

That looks very good!

What ISO did you use?
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Old November 14th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #8
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In addition to showing the set-up, you might want to share details of PS processing that you may have done such as HDR processing. It's not a 'straight' shot. Thanks ;)


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Originally Posted by Christopher Witz View Post
I thought I'd share a still photo I shot this past saturday using 2 500led flolights.... I love the quality of light from these little buggers....

http://www.witzke-studio.com/becca1.jpg

I also love the coolights cdm150's as well..... fantastic quality of light!
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Old November 14th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #9
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meta info says iso100 85mm f1.2 ( at f1.8 ) 1/80th sec
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Old November 14th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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Thanks!!

I may be getting the 1000 and the 500...thanks a lot!
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Old November 15th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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In the latest issue of DV Magazine, Jay Holben did a review article on the Flolight LED 500. His findings are interesting. Prompter People advertise the Flolight 500 as the equivalent output of a 500 watt tungsten fixture. His light meter measurements show this spec to be optimistic, he equates the output equivalent to a 250 watt tungsten instrument at full flood. This corresponds with my experience with the lights. They have a rapid falloff and not really very much punch.

He also notes that the aluminum door reflector panels also have almost no increase in the light's output, they are more of a placebo effect.

For those of you who have not used these lights, they do cast multiple shadows until the subject is more than 7' away from the light and personally, I find the quality of the light that they output to be not flattering to talent without diffusion. If you put some gridcloth or 216 in front of these lights, they really lose what little punch that they have and are really only useful when placed close to the subject.

My only Flolight 500 result that I have been thrilled with has been in lighting green screens, these lights are superb for this application. They are flat, semi-soft, generate little heat and the green spike that they feature actually really helps with lighting up green screen material and making it glow. We ran tests between lighting foam backed green screen cloth lit with two of these Flolights versus a ReflecMedia ChromaFlex system and the key that we were able to pull with the Flolight lit shots was markedly superior to the ChromaFlex shots. If I shot green screen with any regularity, two of these would be in my kit at all times.

But for lighting talent, I don't like them anywhere near tungsten and I don't like them anywhere near my Kinos. Just my experience and YMMV.

Dan
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