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Old June 4th, 2009, 09:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
You can give it a try, but it might be overkill for a social event.
Yes I'm with you on the effect and purpose of the lights.. just not motivated to add a couple of low power lights to my kit since I need everything to be as multipurpose as possible. I think 125W gets close to as low as you can go and still have it usable for TV and commercial work. Maybe a full scrim and glass diffuser will drop it enough. Still drawing 125W though so battery power may be a concern. There's also the 100W Lowel ID-light. I have 120v 3-prong dimmers too but that adds one more thing to setup, to interface with the battery and not so great for bulb life.

With that range those wireless remotes must be RF then... nice. They looked a little consumer so I was just wondering.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 11:41 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Nino Giannotti View Post
Out of all the good replies I’m still waiting to see the most important one, that’s about the quality of light. A successful career in this business will not depend on what’s happening outside the picture but within. No career will be made with the need to save batteries or by the speed and convenience of setting up lights. A successful career is not determined by the ability to get enough light to obtain an acceptable exposure. Success comes from the quality of light not from the quantity. And there’s no way on earth that a light with a 10 or 12” surface can provide us with any sort of quality. This is why anytime you see work done with Litepanels they have clusters of four to nine lights to form one large surface. Basically that’s one 2-foot square light (4 lights) that costs $12,000 or a 3-foot square light (9 lights) costs $27,000. By comparison I can shine a 1K Arri open face thru a 6x6 diffusion screen for less than $1,000 and get infinite better quality of light, and if I need more light I shine 2 or 3 1K Arri open face lights at about $400 per light.

The big difference from conventional lighting manufacturers like Photoflex, Lowel, Chimera, etc. is that these companies were created by photographers for photographers. When at NAB you stop at any of these booths we talk photography, not engineering or the science and the physic of lighting. They listen to my needs and act. How they do it is not my concern. If it works I test it, buy it and endorse it.

Then there are the LED sales people at NAB, some 20sh kid just out of college or an engineer telling me what MY quality of light should be. The truth is that I have yet to see any quality work from the field done with LED lights. I don’t mean manufacturers created work; I mean bread and butter work crated by my peers day in and day out. This is the marketing areas that manufacturers of LED lights should concentrate, not fabricated but real work by real day to day professional, only then will the product have some sort of credibility.

Having said all these I’m shopping around for two LED lights because I can see some usefulness in them, also because if it’s new I must have it. The largest that I can find and priced to make sense is by the Prompter People, but they been backordered for months so I don’t think they are ready for market yet. You can be sure that once I get my hands on those I will test the different lights against each other and report the finding.

So unlike those salesmen at NAB tried to tell me, LED is an addition not a substitution. The trade off is lower quality for convenience, and that’s fully acceptable because on occasions convenience is more……convenient?



Nino, dude. Relax.

Maybe you've been TOO busy. You need to chill about this. This is NOT the era of absolutes. Nobody's trying to prove you "wrong" and there's NO need for you to try and prove anybody else "wrong." "Quality lighting" is right now and always will be a subjective moving target. I suspect what you lit yesterday was lit to a higher standard than what you lit 5 years ago. I know that's true of my business because I'm always trying to improve and learn. Even at my well advanced age.

Just please go back and read your previous posts. In some cases, it sounds like you're taking everybody to task simply because their "tier of concern" doesn't precisely match yours. Well, the reality is that they don't nor should they. Not everybody has your kind of clients. Some people have lower tier - and yes, believe it or not, some people actually have higher tier clients. (For example I'm assuming you weren't called to gaff the new Palm Pre spots that feature 1000 Chinese dudes dancing around a girl in the middle of nowhere. But someone was. And there's no way to know what the heck he or she thinks about color balanced LEDs.

Look we ALL have a role to play in this discussion. Your experience and opinions are very valuable here. But so are the opinions of a lot of other folks. Including some who don't have the same level of resources to throw at gear that you and I might. They deserve to be able to drop by and have a discussion of which on-camera LED light works best even if they can't afford to drop a grand on one.

Sometimes I'm guilty of the same "my way or the highway" thinking and I'm sure I've even posted stuff here with that tone.

And I should be ashamed of it.

I forget inside the pressure of my business that the correct spirit here is "how can I help" NOT "how can I prove I know more than this other guy."

Oh, and just for the record, my Cool Lights were ordered with the accessory mount bars that let you group them in clusters of 2, 4, 6 or whatever, just like the litepanels so that 4 light stacked panel LED array would run you under 2 grand or just twice what your 1K with diffusion would run. And you could mount it on a single baby roller stand which because of the light weight of the instruments wouldn't even need sandbags. With an Anton Bauer on the back of each, you'd save yourself and your crew the TIME to find power, run a stinger, set up the frame and stands and sandbags for the silk and have to break down and re-set all that stuff on every move rather than just rolling the light over, hitting the ON switch and moving on to start thinking about something else.

Yes, that light array may or may NOT be to your standards when you try it out. But you don't know that until you check the new stuff out for yourself - as I'm SURE you will before long.

I know I'll be right there with everyone else, very curious and even anxious to hear what you think about LED panels when you've actually have a chance to use them. Until then, you're guessing just like we all were before we bought a few and started learning their unique attributes.

So please, dial down the skepticism just a tad. You're scarring the young folk.

And if you find yourself out here near Scottsdale, give me a call. A case of cold Tecate', some limes and a couple hours by the pool and I bet you'd start feeling a WHOLE lot better.


Peace.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #33
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I saw the new Lowel small LED light this evening. It is very well made. It has large LEDs in both cool and warm. There are two dimmers, one for each color temparature. The dimmers operate in steps, so they can be set quickly to a known setting. The dimmers change the brightness at each step, so it seems they are calibrated somewhat to match the LEDs.

Different camera battery sleds will be available (Panasonic, Sony, etc.) with a wire and a plug into the light to power it. I think the kit also has an AC adapter. Unlike the PrompterPeople light, you don't have to choose what battery you will use.

There are too slots for filters. I don't know what may be supplied with the kit.

I can see many uses for this little light. And it seems more practical for my uses than the Zyights.

I won't comment on the quality of the light.

It is supposed to be out in the fall, I think. A possible MSRP is around $650. But that's not set yet.

This looks like it could be used on camera, on a stand, as a backlight, as fill, as a colored spot in the background, to lighten up shadows, etc. It has some nice features that take it a step beyond the basic small LEDs.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 09:24 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Barry J. Weckesser View Post
Michael - I just got my Comer 1800 from Taky today and it is certainly more than a "slight improvement" - the light output compared with the Sony is incredible. I just got through with my own test of the Sony HVL-LBP against the Comer LBPS 1800 and there is no contest. I used the Sony PMW-EX1 with settings of 4200 for white balance, F 1.9 and -3db Gain, 1/60 shutter in a small room with a bookcase in the corner and white shutters on a window to the side of that and tested the lights 6' and 9' from the corner (no other lights in room and window was shuttered - i.e. total darkness) - the difference between the two lights is literally night and day (pun intended). In addition to light output (I really didn't totally believe Comer's photometric charts before - that has changed), there is a large difference with the "spot" lens - i.e. much larger spot than the Sony and of course a lot brighter (I was getting a lot of zebras off the white shutters - my zebra is set at 90). When using the 3200 gel diffuser the light output goes down but is still excellent and if one uses the diffuser and the spot lens at the same time the "spot" becomes more of a flood and the light output is almost up there with the output from the non-diffused, non-"spotted" light. I also like the 4500K color of the Comer compared with the Sony 5500K. With mixed indoor lighting with Tungsten as well as light from windows - this should fill the bill quite nicely. I have done similar tests with the Litepanels Mini and the new Litepanels MicroPro and the Comer totally blows them out of the water.

By the way - I don't think this is a copy of the Sony - every little detail down to the smallest screw is the same as the Sony except for the on/off switch and LED readout of the battery charge level. I can only assume that Comer is the original manufacturer of the Sony light and have finally decided to "build a better mousetrap" on their own.

IMHO, even if this were the same price or even a bit more expensive than the Sony, I still think it would be a better deal.
Barry thanks for the feedback.
It's great to get a hands on review from someone who has actually tested it against several style lights, especially head to head against the Sony HVL light.

I might try to sell off my Sony lights and replace them with Comer's or wait until the Lowel Blender light comes out and give that one a try. But of course the Blender light is going to be double the price of the Comer.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #35
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Well curiosity got the best of me today.
I went ahead and ordered a Comer 1800, and am going to compare it against my HVL light.

But most likely I will find out the same as what was already mentioned here. That it's stronger than the HVL light, and for me even most importantly I can use non-Sony batteries with it.

Which is a huge plus in my book.

I am also going to like the fact that the diffuser is already gelled to be 3200k. I normally have been attaching a 3200k gel to my barn doors on my HVL light.

I am curious about one thing though. It seems that the glass on the front of the light already has a diffusing grid applied to it, which the Sony HVL does not.
If this is the case, then it makes the light even better as I wouldn't have to apply the color gelled diffuser at time for even more light.

Although I like the tip that Barry mentioned of applying both the spot throw and diffuser doors to get an indoor balanced flood light at a bout the same output as non-diffused.

I'm amazed that I never thought about trying this with the Sony light all of these years. =(
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Old June 11th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #36
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I am using the light now on my vacation in Maui - very pleased with it - much more powerful than the Sony - when using indoors with mixture of daylight and tungsten I set my white balance at 4500K and the skin tones look good. It is also useful for fill outdoors - Sony was never powerful enough to do this - I just set my white balance for 5200K in the stong daylight situation and the skin tones are fine.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #37
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I'm using a 50W halogen with a dimmer for regional tv shootings because I often need this much output when there is no time and manpower to set up lights (and there almost never is!)

Usually I put a big piece of 216 in front to make a little "softbox" which gives me a nice and even light, I also have a 1/4, 1/2 ctb with me, plus the included 3/4 ctb glass filter.
I used it with 1/2ctb plus half WD recently on a shoot where a national station had a couple hmis running - it was still powerful enough.

On occasions where it's really dark I can switch the lamp to a 20W so I won't overpower everything, and I don't have to dim down the 50W to below 50%

I don't see any LED light that can do this for me, and I really don't get people's enthusiasm about on-camera LED lights...

I'm not sure to which Sony light you are comparing the LED, Barry, but if it's the double-headed Sony thingy that I know, then of course ANYTHING would be better than that. I had to use that thing once, the light was spotted too much and still hardly powerful enough to give me exposure a few feet from the camera...
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Old June 12th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #38
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Barry is comparing the light to the Sony HVL-LBPA light. Sony | HVL-LBPA LED Light System | HVL-LBPA | B&H Photo Video

It's a much larger but better light then the Sony 10/20that you mentioned. It gives a nice broad even spread of light when used normally. The light output from the HVL light is one of the stronger ones out there. And the new Comer light seems to trump this as well.

While I still love using my NRG Varalux light, I only use it for off camera lighting now, as I hate being tethered by batteries and cables. This is one of the major draws of LED lights, in that many of them can run on internal rechargeable or self mounted batteries. And since they draw much less power than standard lighting, you can run them for longer periods.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #39
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Another good thing for the Comer lights (other than the 1800lux Comer output compared to 1200lux Sony output), it takes third party batteries. Sony lights only work with Sony batteries. That's a rip off.

The light can also be mounted on tripod to be used off the camera. It's a good investment I would say. I am selling it but I am also using them wedding events. It is very useful and powerful. Not just regular on-camera light that casts a soft circle to the scene.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #40
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Just got the Comer 1800 today, and like what's been said it seems almost identical to the Sony HVL light. With the only visible difference being the power and dimmer are combined on one knob instead of a separate dimmer knob and power switch.

Also the lens itself seems to have a diffusion grid etched into it, which the Sony HVL is straight glass or plastic.

I just received it in work, so I don;t have any batteries to test it with. But I plan to try both Sony and non-Sony batteries. Looking forward to seeing how much brighter this light is.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #41
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Michael, I also have generic brand NP-F970 battery and charger to be used with the light

NP-F970 Battery and Charger

Do you also own the Sony HVL light? If so, it would be nice you can share your experience the difference between these 2 lights. Thanks
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Old June 15th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #42
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Ok, just compared the output between the Sony HVL and Comer 1800 light, and it wasn't even close.

The Comer light was far brighter than the Sony HVL light.
Even with the 3200k diffuser lowered on the Comer 1800, it was till brighter than the SOny with no diffusion applied.

I took Barry's suggestion and applied both the diffuser and spot focus filter and gpt a real strong 3200k flood light.

All in all real nice throw.
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Last edited by Michael Liebergot; June 16th, 2009 at 08:01 AM.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot View Post
Ok, just compared the output between the Sony HVL and Comer 1800 light, and it wasn't even close.

The Comer light was far brighter than the Sony HVL light.
Even with the 3200k diffuser lowered on the Comer 1800, it was till brighter than the SOny with no diffusion applied.

Take Barry's suggestion and apply both the diffuser and spot focus filter and you get a real strong 3200k flood light.

All in all real nice throw.
Glad you agreed Michael - having good results with the light on vacation both outdoors and indoors. Didn't realize how "anemic" the Sony light was until this light came along.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 08:06 AM   #44
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Glad you agreed Michael - having good results with the light on vacation both outdoors and indoors. Didn't realize how "anemic" the Sony light was until this light came along.
Yeah I must say I was surprised how strong the Comer light was in comparison.
Especially since the Sony HVL light was considered one of the stronger ones out there.

The only thing that I have to figure out is how to mount it higher up and off axis on my camera, as the light is BLINDING when you are looking directly into it. Not much more blinding the the Sony light, but it is more intense.

I might be able to mount the light on a light stand like I do with my other off camera lights that I power with battery belts. I was never able to mount the Sony light on a stand, as there wasn't a way that I could wire the light to take the remote control that I use to power the off camera lights on and off with. Since the Comer light has the ability to take a power tap, I mihgt be able to do this now. I'll have to test and see.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #45
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Michael, glad you like the comer light. At the bottom of the light mount, there is a thread hole you can mount the light on any camera tripod too. Or you can get some mounting accessories

Tripod Mount and Desktop stand
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