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Old February 22nd, 2009, 07:40 PM   #1
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Want to see my Cool Lights LED 600 Speedring?

Hi all:

Sorry, I cannot load all of these images to the DV Info server to the images are individually linked below to the DVX User site where I uploaded them.

It is finally finished. Below are some images I just took during my first round of real testing with the Cool Lights LED 600s through a small Chimera Quartz Pro softbox. I conceptualized the speedring based upon Richard's design for the included barndoors that come with the light.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350231.jpg

Some notes about the speedring:

1. The best way for this speedring to be constructed would be out of cast aluminum like most of the Chimera speedrings are. We had to build ours from regular soft steel because my friend who welded this together for me is not yet trained on and doesn't have access to a TIG welder, needed to weld aluminum successfully. The ring is heavier than it needs to be but is totally workable with the light.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350294.jpg

2. The good news is that the angle yoke that was selected to control the tilt of the LED 600 is fairly beefy and the light easily holds it's angle with a small Chimera and an egg crate. As many of you who own Arri lights are familiar with, having your Chimera sag and point down to the ground because the nylon yokes on the smaller Arri lights slips when a Chimera with or without an egg crate is a real drag. That will not be an issue with the LED 600. Works like a charm.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350325.jpg

3. This speedring is the version 2.0. We discovered when we fabricated speedring version 1.0 that the angle, tension and spread of the steel rods on the Chimera require that the anchor points for where the rod tips plug in to must be at a certain angle, geometry and spread apart from each other. We had the tips of the Chimera rods going to the corners of the speedring so as to not block any of the LEDs on the fixture. Problem was the Chimera did not spread and hang right with the rods located at the corners of the speedring.

We took measurements on my Arri 1k speedring and used the same geometry and measurements on our ring. (Why reinvent the wheel?). The only way to have made the V1 speedring work correctly would have been to cut down the length of the Chimera rods down about 4" in length but then those rods would have only worked on the LED 600, I would not have been able to use the Chimera on any of my other twenty two lights. So we decided that we could live with blocking about 25 of the 600 5mm LEDs on the LED 600 with this design. If you think about it, light is not that linear either, with our rod extensions on the ring, we are probably only losing a few percent of output, it is negligible.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350355.jpg

4. In tests so far, the speedring works superbly with the LED 600. Both the 5600k Flood and the 5600k Spot models seem to be usable with the Chimera. The Flood spreads out and fills the softbox more thouroughly but doesn't throw as far as the Spot. The Spot throws farther but is more of a hotspot in the Chimera and doesn't fill out the front diffuser panel as much. Since the apparent source size is smaller with the Spot, the thrown light is more specular but still overall, soft.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350426.jpg

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350457.jpg

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350488.jpg

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350519.jpg

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/3749/1235350555.jpg

5. The speedring is made up of angle iron steel, cut and corner fused. The rod receptacles are actually bored out connector nuts with the bottom part left in to serve as stops for the rods.

Sometimes you just have to take things into your own hands when you want equipment to do things that it was not (yet) intended to do. I am betting that Richard will be able to easily get something like this machined or cast in China for a lot less effort than this one took. I personally think that a majority of LED users will want to use a softbox as the 5mm LEDs have a more specular look and feel than fluorescents or other soft lights. Chimeras kind of make everything better when I light, I really enjoy lighting with them.

The next step in my LED 600 process will be the addition of a battery belt to power the lights for walk and talks and for use in cars. I will also be configuring these lights as the basis of my new location travel interview kit. Still looking for some other small 5600k LED instruments to complement these lights. The thought is to use these two lights as my key and fill source, then use two or three other smaller LEDs as kicker/hairlights and one or two as BG sources to throw patterns and highlight objects. A full LED travel kit will be pretty sweet, small and light.

So far, I am very impressed with these lights, they are pretty amamzing, have much higher output than I thought that they would. The low CRI is not really a limiting factor so far since I intend to build the entire LED kit with instruments that will utilize the same low CRI 5mm LEDs, just in different size configurations.

Enjoy!

Dan
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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Hehe. I'm a little jealous. I should have had something like this all ready to go. Seems there aren't enough hours in the day. Ideally these rod insertion points would have been built into the corners of the fixture but we didn't get time to do that.

Even if your friend did use aluminum, there's no guarantee it would work well enough to hold under the pressure of the mounting rods of a chimera (which is a lot more than many people would think). My first prototype for a speedring for our 150w CDM / 650w tungsten was pretty clever and I thought very strong, but bent under the strain, so we went to a beefier design in the one we sell now.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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Dan,

You might as well buy two more of Richard's lights as it seems any other LED light on the market regardless of size costs the same or more!

Just turn some banks off for a smaller source.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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Well, output wise, you are correct but Richard and I have been discussing the possibility of him bringing a smaller physical sized smaller output LED to the market. The issue is that these panels are a bit large to float out as a hair light. I think something with about 200 of these 5mm LEDs in package a bit larger than the LitePanels Mini would be pretty amazing. Especially with barndoors and with the 40 degree or narrower beam LEDs so you could use as a spot instrument.

That would be a perfect companion light to these lights, giving Cool Lights enough variety to sell turn key LED packages for full setups. The only tricky part of these LEDs is trying to deal with the low CRI. But if all of your lights have the same low CRI, life is easy, just manually white balance to knock out the green spike and you are good to go.

Dan
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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I agree, a smaller sized version would be a perfect complement. I've been using a couple of VidLED's to hang out as hairlights but unless you can get fairly close, they're a bit underpowered in some circumstances...

Nice work on the speedring Dan! I'd like to pick up a couple of those when Richard has some production ones available.

Cheers,
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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How long would it take to get a new light to market?
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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I'd say minimum of 3 months.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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Softbox

Here is my softbox solution for my Coollights 600 LED. I bought a used speedring from Calumet for $20 and then Calumet's medium softbox for $70 (but actually got 20% off that because of a sale) and then I just clip it onto the light. Works great!
Calumet Nova Soft Box, Medium - RM3132 - RM3132
Attached Thumbnails
Want to see my Cool Lights LED 600 Speedring?-p3200182.jpg   Want to see my Cool Lights LED 600 Speedring?-p3200177.jpg  

Want to see my Cool Lights LED 600 Speedring?-p3200178.jpg  
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Old March 20th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #9
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I think this may be the first LED fixture bright enough to talk about softboxes. Dana, I guess you're not finding that the speedring is blocking out too much light?
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Old March 21st, 2009, 12:06 AM   #10
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Do I think the speed ring blocks too much light? No - especially since there's not much to be done about it in my low budget world! Unless I could think of a way to rig the rods without the ring... I'll have to think about that. What bothers me more is that the material on the front of the box is very thick, however, and I will probably make another front diffusor out of a shower curtain, or white fabric from the sewing store. Should be very easy to do, just cut and hot glue velcro strips on it.
Another bonus to this is that it is EXTREMELY lightweight. The barndoors easily weigh more than the box, and since the barndoors come off for the rig, it is a light set up indeed.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 09:05 AM   #11
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Since the LED 600 runs so cool, the thought process of how the softbox mounts on the light can be out of the box per se.

What about cutting an opening in the bottom of the softbox and inserting the LED 600 inside the box? Then find a way to fasten the speed ring to the back of the LED 600.

Velcro the bottom opening where the LED 600 went in and you are set.

You could use photo soft boxes as they are cheaper and don't need to deal with the heat.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 09:19 AM   #12
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Yes heat is no factor at all for a fixture like this. Have to consider the back of the unit a bit. The only issue is all the "stuff" on the back like switches and battery plate.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 09:47 AM   #13
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Yes, yes, yes! I will work on putting the speedring on the back! I love these forums!
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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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OK, I found time to set the light with the speed ring on the back of the light, and it holds on very well with just the clip on the top. I can access the switches, and power it with the 4 pin, but the vmount battery won't work. Also, I did not have to cut the fabric, I was able to tuck the bottom cloth around the post, and that actually works to help hold the box on.
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Want to see my Cool Lights LED 600 Speedring?-p3240183.jpg   Want to see my Cool Lights LED 600 Speedring?-p3240186.jpg  

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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #15
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What a pity about the battery plate. This will definitely take some more thought on how to best implement this for our version.
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