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Old October 7th, 2009, 03:23 PM   #1
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Doug Jensen EX3/Lighting Question

Doug:
I have just purchased your How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews DVD. I wanted to know your opinion of the LED products from

Fluorescent HMI and LED Video Studio and Location Lighting - Cool Lights USA. Please check out the


$449.00 CL-LED600 600 LED Panel*** -2
- Fixture Options 5600K Flood
- Battery Adaptation None
$449.00 CL-LED256 256 LED Spot*** -1
$117.00 CL-CS1 Cool Lights C-Stand*** -3

and give me your opinion of them. I am restricted to a budget that they fit nicely into. Thanks for your time. Oh yeah, I really enjoyed the tutorial DVD on the EX3.

Tom Daigon
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Old October 7th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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Hi Tom,

I'm glad you liked my DVDs.

The stand you have chosen looks great. But I can't say anything about the lights.

I wish I could help, but I have never used, or even seen, any of those lights.
In my Interview Lighting DVD I recommend specific brands and models of lights and other equipment that I can personally vouch for because I use them myself.
Obviously there is more than one way to skin a cat, and my recommendations are not the only ones that will work, but I can't tell you which other options will work unless I have tried them myself.

My instincts tell me that the LED lights probably don't have enough punch and enough control to use in the kinds of interview setups I teach on my DVD. I could be wrong, but that's what I would bet.
I haven't used any LED lights but I have a number of fluorescent lights and I do NOT use them for interviews. They are just too hard to control compared to the ease of using other types of lighting instruments. Yes, you can make the subject look good, but you're also spilling light all over the rest of the room.

If you're buying lights that will mostly be used for interviews, my advice is to stick with the lights that I recommend in the DVD. I guarantee they will work if you follow my suggested techniques, and the whole thing will only set you back $1500.

Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

Doug
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Old October 7th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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Thanks Doug.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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I put my light kit together based on Doug's excellent DVD and it has served me extremely well since. I had to make a few changes as some brands were not available in the UK, but Doug's general recommendations have proven to be spot on and are way better than any of the 'pre-configured' kits that I was looking at before buying the DVD.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Joy View Post
I put my light kit together based on Doug's excellent DVD and it has served me extremely well since. I had to make a few changes as some brands were not available in the UK, but Doug's general recommendations have proven to be spot on and are way better than any of the 'pre-configured' kits that I was looking at before buying the DVD.
Thanks Paul. I look forward to watching the DVD tomorrow. After purchasing the EX3 last
week, I have watched (and participatedwith) the EX3 DVD and its amazing how comfortable I feel working with it in such a short period of time.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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LED600 Specs

General Specifications
Dimensions: 10" x 10" x 3.25"
Weight: 3 lbs.
Construction: Powder coated (black) aluminum
LED Type: 5mm Round LEDs in 3200K or 5600K versions
LED Beam Angle: 40 degree for "spot" panel and 60 degree for "flood" panel
LED CRI:
- 5600K Spot: 80 CRI
- 5600K Flood: 82 CRI
- 3200K Spot: 85 CRI
- 3200K Flood: 85 CRI
Voltage Input: 10 VDC to 24 VDC
Current: 4 amps nominal at 12 VDC (48 watts)
Power Supply: 12VDC with IEC plug adapter and 4 pin female XLR DC output--includes
carabiner attachment to hang power supply on light stand. Universal voltage input 100VAC to
240VAC 50 / 60 hz
Battery Adaptation: Optional battery mount plates in AB (Anton Bauer) or V (Sony) types
Barndoors: Removable from slide in accessory holder
Stand Adapter: Angle adjustable baby stand adapter
Dimming: Yes viacontinuously adjustable dimmer dial
Bank Select: 5 bank select switches controlling LED column on/off with Master switch as well
Carrying Case: Black nylon padded case included
Operating Specifications
Optimal Temperature Range: 32F to 125F (0C to 51C)
Photometrics
All readings in Lux taken with light meter.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #7
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Dear Tom,

I own and use all three of the most common "budget" types of lighting gear commonly available. This includes tungsten fixtures, modern color-balanced fluorescents, and LED lights.

Each has a place. Each has strengths. Each has weaknesses. Here's a broad overview.

Tungsten is well known technology. It's incredibly reliable. It's relatively shapable and controllable for video lighting through simple barn doors, flags and scrims. It's also the most INEFFICIENT of the three popular "budget" ways to transfer electrical energy into light.. One of my Arri 650 fresnels draws 650 watts (just over 6 amps presuming 110 volts) of power to operate and as efficient as the fixture and lens element are, much of that power is wasted in conversion to heat. So on a typical 15-20 amp circuit you can hang 2 or at most 3 of them without overly stressing the circuit breaker. A set with a lot of tungsten lights present is like working inside a giant Easy-Bake toy oven. Talent often gets hot and needs breaks. It's also a hassle to power them on set since you're forced into a world of dragging around a lot of heavy cables to transfer that power around your set. Plus tungsten lamps have been in use so long that there are literally thousands of fixtures that use them, so you can find anything from long throw highly focusable elipsoidals to broad strip lights and softboxes that can turn tungsten lamps into soft sources.

Fluorescent is MUCH more efficient than tungsten at conversion of power into light. A mid-range Cool Lights fluorescent 4-tube fixture draws 220 watts or about 2 amps a fixture. So that same 20 amp circuit can power 10 of them! So you save HUGE on power draw. But fluorescent lamps have their own issues. There are far fewer fixture types available. And it's harder to control the spill from a long tube or even a coiled tube than it is with a tungsten element. So these are typically used in broader, softer light arrays.

LEDs are hands down the MOST efficient at generating and throwing lumens over distance. A fixture like the Cool Lights 600 LED array draws a measly 44 watts. If you want to light on location using batteries (a very nice thing to be able to do!) now you're talking!
So why aren't all lights moving to LEDs? Well to an extent they are. Look at Home Depot for the array of household lighting built around LED technology - it's exploding. HOWEVER, LEDs don't function like tungsten at all - just as with fluorescents controls like barn doors don't work very well with LEDs. That's because unlike a point-source lamp in a fixture which cuts with an even edge border when masked, both fluorescents and LEDs are such that the light generation is spread out over the array, so cutting them gives you vague and ill-defined shadows.

Also, LEDs and Fluorescents can present color matching problems when mixed with each other or with Tungsten.

I did a studio setup with Studio Fluorescent mixed with LEDs and the color match was pretty bad.

In other locations, like in a store, I've been able to fill with LEDs under store fluorescents and the color balance has been great. So mixing technologies is still a very hit or miss thing.

So to keep this post from turning into a novel length message - here's the thing...

Each technology has great advantages and equally great disadvantages. There is no one type of light that will be perfect. For most people starting it makes sense to start with the traditional technology of tungsten lighting - and suck it up and carry a lot of heavy-duty stingers and manage your power carefully just like all the rest of us had to in the early days.

When you CAN finally transfer to the more modern (read higher efficiency) lights - mix them into things carefully and go slow paying attention to color balance issues.

There's a place for all of these. (Plus HMI and Ceramic, and others) as you go and grow in the industry.

Hope that helps.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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"Each technology has great advantages and equally great disadvantages. There is no one type of light that will be perfect. For most people starting it makes sense to start with the traditional technology of tungsten lighting - and suck it up and carry a lot of heavy-duty stingers and manage your power carefully just like all the rest of us had to in the early days."

Way to go Bill. As an editor (CMX, Avid, Softimage DS, After Effects, Mocha and FCP) for 30 years this paragraph made me smile. Since the economic disaster has motivated me to rediscover the cameraman in me, in a manner of speaking I am starting out adding new skills to old. Ive learned new technology (Canon 5D, Sony EX3 and Gldiecam) to bring more to the party at 55. Lighting is the next logical step. Since Im limited to a budget and a Miata, Im tempted to go the Cool Light directions or the Lowell DV Creator 55 Light Kit (tungsten) direction. Thanks for the wonderful overview!
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Old October 8th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #9
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Many people are using the LED 600 in interview situations and there is more than enough punch for that. Some are even using them outdoors in shade as a daylight fill. I understand that our fixture is brighter than any other LED light in its size and class and certainly is to the ones I've personally benchmarked. Some other of our customers gave opinions in a different forum here on DVInfo.net...

Flo Light LED 1000
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Old October 8th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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I tried a number of LED fixtures at NAB this year, but none of them had the punch I needed for our EX3 and Letus Ultimate rig. I really, REALLY wanted them to work as LED would be a fantastic solution for us (I drive a Miata and a Mini Cooper). But unfortunately they are not quite there yet.

I think the Kino Flo Diva fixtures (fluorescent) would work, but just barely.

Obviously you could do it if you bought more fixtures and you saw this at the LitePanels booth. They would group 4 of their 1x1 fixtures together for 4-times the output.....but at 4 times the price. :)
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #11
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Hi Tom,

I use the Cool Lights CDM Fresnels for interviews. I also have their softbox and have to say that they are probably one of the best affordable lights around. I use to use a lowel kit and as well as flo's. As I moved more toward narrative movies my creativity with lighting had to step up a notch. The ability to control the Fresnels is key to achieving some really interesting looks.

Garrett
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Andrewski View Post
Many people are using the LED 600 in interview situations and there is more than enough punch for that. Some are even using them outdoors in shade as a daylight fill. I understand that our fixture is brighter than any other LED light in its size and class and certainly is to the ones I've personally benchmarked. Some other of our customers gave opinions in a different forum here on DVInfo.net...

Flo Light LED 1000
Hi Richard:
We have communicated in the past. Ive altered my cart to a more diverse kit. I was bummed to see the stands wont be in until Dec. 28. So much for my Oct. 26 purchase.
I think this selection gives me good covereage for lighting talent (LEDS) and creating backrounds (fresnel).
What do you think?


CL-CS1 Cool Lights C-Stand / 4 - CL-CS1 Cool Lights C-Stand***
$516.00

CL-SPSB600 LED 600 Speed Softbox Kit / 1- CL-SPSB600 LED 600 Speed Softbox Kit***
$99.00

CL-MF0150 Cool Lights CDM 150 Fresnel / 1- CL-MF0150 Cool Lights CDM 150 Fresnel
- Color Temperature 5400K
$459.00

CL-LED600 600 LED Panel / 1- CL-LED600 600 LED Panel***
- Fixture Options 5600K Spot
- Battery Adaptation None
$449.00

CL-LED256 256 LED Spot / 1-CL-LED256 256 LED Spot***
$299.00
Sub-Total: $1,822.00
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Hi Tom,

I use the Cool Lights CDM Fresnels for interviews. I also have their softbox and have to say that they are probably one of the best affordable lights around. I use to use a lowel kit and as well as flo's. As I moved more toward narrative movies my creativity with lighting had to step up a notch. The ability to control the Fresnels is key to achieving some really interesting looks.

Garrett
Garrett thanks for the info. Every positive testimonial helps ;-)
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:39 PM   #14
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Hi Tom,

I do remember you. Looks like a good setup to me. Very versatile with the fresnel as well. that fresnel will in fact come in handy for those situations where you want shadows to be better defined as Bill Davis was talking about earlier. Garrett's been getting a lot of good use out of those too. I think we get caught up in the new technology (although its certainly exciting and "solid state" feeling) and forget that fresnels with their single point light source still have a lot of utility!

We missed our C-stands being ready in time for our big shipment of products so they get delayed until our next shipment near the end of year as you noted, however I may have a solution on the C-stands to get those quicker for you. But, just remember, C-stands while about the most stable type around are also about the least portable. They may also be a bit of overkill for the LED 600 or the CL-MF0150 fresnel. Its definitely the preference of some though and gives them a more secure feeling on a set to have those C-stands.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Richard Andrewski View Post
Hi Tom,

I do remember you. Looks like a good setup to me. Very versatile with the fresnel as well. that fresnel will in fact come in handy for those situations where you want shadows to be better defined as Bill Davis was talking about earlier. Garrett's been getting a lot of good use out of those too. I think we get caught up in the new technology (although its certainly exciting and "solid state" feeling) and forget that fresnels with their single point light source still have a lot of utility!

We missed our C-stands being ready in time for our big shipment of products so they get delayed until the end of year as you noted, however I may have a solution on the C-stands to get those quicker for you.
Great. Please keep me posted. Any suggestions for a case to lug the fresnel and stands around in? I couldnt really judge from the catalog.
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