Tungsten vs Flourescent vs LED, what should be my first light kit? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 21st, 2009, 12:30 PM   #16
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is LED lighting useless as far as non-night time outdoor shooting? I'm really thinking about going LED because of the low power consumption, battery capabilities and low heat.
Hi Doug:

Pretty much useless, waaay too little output to compete with the sun. To keep up with even fill when in daylight outdoors, you need large HMIs and generators. I am testing the new Coolights LED600s and in my house, near a window with diffused sunlight on a cloudy day, as it is today, from 3' away from subject, I am barely registering any throw on the sunlit subject. And that is indoors. Outdoors, nada.

If you are shooting at night or in cars, they can be useful but in the light of day, HMIs.

Dan
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Old January 21st, 2009, 02:53 PM   #17
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so right now I'm leaning towards getting an LED setup and just renting HMI's if the shoot requires it, until I can afford to buy some. What's the best price I could get on some decent HMI lights?
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Old January 21st, 2009, 04:31 PM   #18
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Richard's company, www.coollights.biz
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Old January 21st, 2009, 05:16 PM   #19
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Yes, I agree. Nobody is going to touch Richard's prices on HMIs, he is way lower. The ideal kit would be a 1200 and couple of 575s. Mmm...someday when I sell that series, I may go all HMI, love them.

Dan
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Old January 21st, 2009, 08:12 PM   #20
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...someday when I sell that series...
Hehe, something in the works Dan?
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Old January 21st, 2009, 08:26 PM   #21
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wow, those HMI's are really costly. Anybody got any sample video of HMI's being used in daylight?

Most of the lighting videos that I've studied have only dealt with the use of reflectors outside during daylight.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 08:49 PM   #22
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If you are looking at Richard's HMIs, those are inexpensive. If you want to see expensive HMIs, take a look at Arris or K5600. Those are expensive. I used to own a K5600 1200 watt HMI PAR, it was a great light. But I didn't use it very often and I sold it. Man did I get a good deal, bought it lightly used from my camera rental house for $2,500.00, used it four for years and sold it for $3,500.00.

HMIs are one the few pieces of gear in our industry that actually holds its value well. As long as you don't abuse them, you will always get your money back on them.

As far as samples, basically look at anything professionally done outdoors that looks lit. Concerts, sports interview shows shot on the field, The Today Show, etc. Keep in mind that outdoor lighting is never going to look super stylized as it will on interiors, you are usually using the sun as a key (filtered through silks or diffusion) and the HMI as a fill source and sometimes as a hairlight or rim light. But if you see something that looks as if it was shot in broad daylight and it looks good, 8 out of 10 times it was lit with HMIs. Or if the DP doesn't have HMIs, a combination of butterfly, nets, reflectors and a lot of grip gear.

I directed a shoot on a beach in November in Northern California quite a few years ago. It was a seven camera shoot, four on Super 16 and three on DVCAM. We had a 40' jib over head and a Fisher dolly on a circular track, shooting timelapse of the event I was shooting. I lit that with three 18k HMIs with the big fat beach tires so that they could be rolled on sand. My generator truck got stuck in the sand driving out onto the beach and we had to go find an earth mover to get it out. Since it was November, it was cloudy and flat gray to basically I grouped all three 18ks together in a cluster to make a 54,000 watt "sun" source. The sand acted as a nice upward fill on the talent. The client (who was not at the shoot) kept on remarking at the telecine on how nice that it was that we had a sunny day. Good times.

Dan
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Old January 21st, 2009, 09:30 PM   #23
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Hey Dan,

Any chance you're planning on providing any feedback/review on those LED units soon (ie before 2/9/09 ship date)?
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Old January 21st, 2009, 09:50 PM   #24
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He already did, check it out here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/photon-ma...lights-10.html

Quite extensive and thorough I thought.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 10:17 PM   #25
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Yes, I am pretty happy about Richard's LEDs, they are very impressive if used within their limits. I am just getting a sense that many people want to use them in situations (outdoors, mixed light settings, or where major throw is needed) that LEDs are not yet suitable for.

We are lucky that Richard sells all kinds of lights because he admits that LEDs are not the be all, end all solution for video lighting yet. For instance, to light green screens, fluorescents work much better than LEDs. They are softer and with a much less focused output, perfect for evenly lighting green screens. Or for throwing a pattern on a wall, a small tungsten source is superior. Or in daylight, an HMI is much superior.

LEDs seem to be the ideal solution where low heat, high efficiency and light weight are needed and where low consumption DC power is needed, like in cars for car interiors, at night for a walk and talk or for controlled interviews, these LEDs are perfect. But they aren't really any more all purpose than any other type of light. Someday, LEDs may be the ultimate as the technology evolves, but for now, they seem to be best suited for specific uses.

Dan
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Old January 21st, 2009, 11:32 PM   #26
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I seriously doubt that we'll ever get totally to general purpose on any light now or in the future. A CDM, tungsten or HMI fresnel comes closer to that kind of flexibility because they are strong in throw and can be gotten in many different strengths, can be diffused or hard, a single point light source so good at shadows and pattern definition and projection. The larger wattages of HMI have the ability to be used outdoors, etc.

I think its going to be a long time before we really have a good LED fixture that can be used outdoors and can compete with a 4000K HMI. We may get close to a 1200w before too long though and that just might cut it in those indoor situations with a lot of windows.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 01:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Richard Andrewski View Post
He already did, check it out here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/photon-ma...lights-10.html

Quite extensive and thorough I thought.
Aha! And how did I miss this? Anyway, great review as always Dan; thanks!

I don't really plan on replacing anything with these LED's; I've already got some CDM's, Flos, Tungstens and small LED's. One 5600K spot and flood along with the requisite light controls are intended to provide various fill and accent lighting. I'm sure I'll find perfect uses for them where line power would be difficult to supply as well...
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 12:29 PM   #28
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Leo:

You sound as if you have a lighting store going on there! ;-)

I am the same, I have everything except CDMs (going to get one from Richard eventually) and HMIs. Yes, they are like golf clubs, its nice to have options for different situations.

Dan
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