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Old August 23rd, 2009, 05:06 AM   #1
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Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

We usually light using softboxes and honeycombs to control light spill on the background. This works just fine with Tungsten lights. But from time to time we need to go shoot in some seriously remote locations with no electricity and use a 1x1' litepanel. Does anybody know how we could (ideally) fit some softbox and honeycomb on such a lamp? Or another practical, transportable way of controlling spillover light on the background?
Thanks a lot!
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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Francois,

LED lights DO NOT work like standard lights. You can't cut them with barn doors well. Nor do traditional honeycomb grids work in the same fashion they work with tungsten lights.

Close a barn door an an LED fixture and as soon as it crosses the outermost row of LEDs - instead of a shadow line as you'd expect from a fresnel - you start to get the visible appearance of the ROWS of lights projected onto your subject.

So, essentially, all LED sources ALREADY could be said to have grid equivalents on them since every LED is a focused source.

If you're going to rely on LED lighting on location - you need to spend some time working with it in practical situations in order to understand the unique characteristics.

LEDs are WONDERFUL for weight issues and light output verses power. They just don't work like other lights any more than color balanced fluorescents do. (Another useful lighting type that DOES NOT give you traditional barn door control like traditional tungsten fixtures.)

As to spill control, I'd recommend carrying extra lightweight stands, arms, flags, and a big roll of blackwrap. Stuff nobody should be without to do serious lighting under typical circumstances anyway.

Good luck.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Bill!
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Old August 27th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #4
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Since you are talking LEDs let me tell you what happened recently to me!

I taped a concert which was lighted with cheap LED pars. Not litepanels, those cheap LED pars that can change to any color. They put enough light and to eye the result wasn't bad. The lights were left in one color most of the time, since the music was ambient-ish.

Now that I am editing, I realize the images are pretty noisy, much more than I expected. It's like I have worked with much less light than the one I saw. To round it off, there's some flicker. I was recording 25p in Rome (50Hz power).

Big warning when you are working with cheap LED lights!
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Old August 28th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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Those LED par fixtures are primarily meant for stage and disco use, not specifically designed for television and/or film. Yes, some of those kind do flicker.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 01:31 AM   #6
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

Hi, since you're looking, I'm bringing out an ultralight inflatable softbox for 1x1 LED panels / Litepanels at the beginning of December. Please have a look at the images of the new softbox on my site, airboxlights.com.

disclaimer: Airboxlights.com is my company.
defense: the poster is looking for exactly what I sell.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

yours
Tom Guiney
Airboxlights.com
Bay Area gaffer, DP, inventor
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Old November 18th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

Francois Xavier;

Chimera makes a 'softbox' for the L-P 1x1:

Chimera LED Lightbank 1650 B&H Photo Video

L-P makes various 'Honeycomb' grids for their 1x1s:

Litepanels 45 Degree Honeycomb Grid for 1X1 LED Lights 900-3018

When I purchased my L-P lighting kit, I bought the 45-degree 'Honeycomb Grid', based upon a recommendation from a working professional who uses L-P LEDs. He also warned against using 'Barn Doors' with the L-P 1x1s because of 'picket fence' look and also recommended I 'not' purchase the 'Softbox' as he found he really didn't need to use it.

I also have the L-P SOLA 4 Fresnel, which has installed 'Barn Doors' and allows you to 'cut and sculpt' the light extremely precisely, with no odd lighting effects.

I hope this helps.

J.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

You can use things for spill control but they will have to be much deeper than what you use for your normal light fixtures for the reason mentioned by Bill.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Kuhn View Post
Chimera makes a 'softbox' for the L-P 1x1:J.
I have one of those Chimera softboxes and can't recommend it. It only increases the surface area of the light about 50% and it is almost impossible to see any noticeable softening effect on the talent. You would think it would make a difference, but it really doesn't But what it does do is kill some of the light's strength, and that is not good. I use the Chimera so seldom that I've taken it out of my regular kit and it's $200+ I'd like to have back in my pocket.

Tom, do you have any comparison shots of your Airbox vs. the naked 1x1 on a headshot? What about Airbox vs. the Chimera? I'll be an interested customer if you can show that it is effective.

Also, how much light do you lose at a given distance? Can you measure a Litepanels 1x1 spot and a 1x1 flood at 6' with a lightmeter and tell us how many foot candles you get?
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Old November 19th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

Hence, the reason I didn't purchase the 'Softbox'. : )

Regards,

J.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

I believe you guys are missing the point of the soft box on these LED type fixtures.
Sure, The Chimers cuts down the light AND it doesn't make the instrument "larger" to create a softer Lighting effect.
BUT it does two things well. One is, it helps your talent in the sense of when they look at it for a second they don't get the "box of dots" effect which is annoying.
The other is that it makes the box of dots one cohesive light. This way, you don't have the effect of multiple shadows from each individual LED on your subject.

Last edited by Paul Dalpe; December 15th, 2013 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old December 18th, 2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

No, I'm not missing the point of what a softbox is supposed to do. And I haven't found either of those things to be a problem with Litepanels 1x1 lights. But if I did, why couldn't I solve both of those problems with a simple sheet of tracing paper that might cost $.50? If I'm going to spend money on a softbox accessory, it better make noticable difference in the quality of the light. The Chimera does not, and we don't know about Tom's air box because apparently he's decided not to reply to my questions. I'd love to give one of his softboxes a fair, open minded test drive if he wants to send me a demo.
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Old August 31st, 2015, 01:23 PM   #13
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

Hi all! Sorry I accidentally dropped this thread.

Some answers to specific questions from the thread:
@Doug Jensen
>Tom, do you have any comparison shots of your Airbox vs. the naked 1x1 on a headshot?
Not on a headshot, but there are some diffusion/shadow effect tests:
Relationship between Diffusion, Softening and Distance | AirboxLights

I'll do some demos like you have requested.

>What about Airbox vs. the Chimera? I'll be an interested customer if you can show that it is effective.

Airbox vs. Chimera: they both do a similar thing and put a layer of diffusion out in front of the source with reflective walls. Disclaimer: since I own Airbox, I don't own and haven't used the Chimeras that work on 1x1s, I've only checked them out at trade shows. One specific difference is that the front face of an Airbox is a little bigger at 15.5"x15.5" vs the 14" square of Chimera. Chimera uses some fancy new kind of diffusion, I can't say how good it is, but Airbox is natively half soft frost, with a front sleeve into which you can put additional diffusion; I commonly add a piece of 251 or 250 to mine. Yes, you lose some light in diffusion, that's the cost of bigger and softer.

With an Airbox, you get a bigger source that from a raw panel, or from a panel with diffusion on the face of it. 12"x12" = 144 in sq., 15.5x15.5= 240.25 in. sq.

Also, I put up a post on the difference between a chimera and an Airbox on my site here: What’s the difference between an Airbox softbox and a Chimera softbox? | AirboxLights

>Also, how much light do you lose at a given distance?
The native light loss is around 2/3 of a stop at 110" with the base level of diffusion. That's the distance I did specific testing at. I'll put together more thorough testing with a greater variety of distances.

>Can you measure a Litepanels 1x1 spot and a 1x1 flood at 6' with a lightmeter and tell us how many foot candles you get?
I don't actually have a D-spot. The panels I have for testing: Litepanels D-flood, Dracast 1000 (basically a medium spot), Litepanels Astra EP, Flolight 512. I did do some testing and published the results here: LED panel comparison: color charts, vectorscopes, light loss | AirboxLights

The light intensity figures there are in stops at ISO 320, not in footcandles, but that can be translated.

What else? The original poster was asking about a honeycomb. We don't have honeycombs, but we do have eggcrates that are the same 3/8" cell black eggcrate louvers that Kino flo puts on their lights; the beam spread is about 60. Doesn't totally focus it up, but removes a lot of the spill out to the sides.

Difference between a sheet of trace over the face of the panel and an Airbox (or other softbox)- trace on the face isn't any bigger of a source. You'd have to hold the sheet of trace out in front of hte light on a stand or frame or something to get the same effect. Also, with LED panels, if the diffusion is not sufficiently far away from the emitters, the beams don't merge and you don't have a unified single source.

best
Tom Guiney
Airbox lights

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Old August 31st, 2015, 06:12 PM   #14
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

[QUOTE=Doug Jensen;1821266]I have one of those Chimera softboxes and can't recommend it. It only increases the surface area of the light about 50% and it is almost impossible to see any noticeable softening effect on the talent. You would think it would make a difference, but it really doesn't But what it does do is kill some of the light's strength, and that is not good. I use the Chimera so seldom that I've taken it out of my regular kit and it's $200+ I'd like to have back in my pocket.

Well Doug, I bought the Chimera softbox based on the recommendation in your video (which I also purchased). Have you re-edited your video and are you refunding the purchase price to those who purchased the video with the Chimera recommendation? :-)
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Old August 31st, 2015, 07:45 PM   #15
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Re: Softbox and honeycomb for litepanel 1x1?

Sorry Ed, no refunds and no re-editing. Things evolve. Like everyone else I have a right to change my mind about stuff the more I use it. Do you like the Chimera you bought? If so, what difference does my opinion make anyway. :-) And if not, then you could have sent it back as soon as you tried it and found out it wasn't all the guy in the video had cracked it up to be! :-)

Actually, the Chimera is a little better than I give it credit for in my posts up above and I do use it more today than I did when this thread was active 2 years ago. Keep in mind that my instructional video is really supposed to be about the bigger picture of how to setup and light, not about a specific piece of gear. In fact, I wouldn't buy all the same lights today as I use in the video. So do I have to produce a whole new video just because gear comes and goes? I sure hope not, because I wouldn't do any videos at all if that was the case. It would never ever come close to being worth my time. The key point of the video is that I would still use the same style of lights the exact same way. That's what counts.

I appreciate your question and I know you're not really asking seriously! :-)
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; August 31st, 2015 at 08:49 PM.
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