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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:02 AM   #1
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Lite Panels - Any Opinions?

I'm looking for opinions from anyone whose used lite panels. After doing a search in the forum, I found some posts... and some very favorable opinions (and one link to an article by Douglas Spotted Eagle, who loved them).

I'd like to find out if anyone else has anything to say about these - good or bad. I know they are expensive, but I'm looking for a low-hassle high-quality lighting solution for interview / testimonial / talking head style videos that will be shot inside, mostly in places with good lighting already.

Any thoughts or feedback from current lite panel users?

-OR-

Are there any brands or lighting solutions that offer the same or more advantages for around the same amound of money? ($2k for a 2 light kit)

Last edited by Guest; July 18th, 2005 at 08:26 AM.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 09:24 PM   #2
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I've had a single unit LitePanel light for about 6 months and really like it. It really is a very diverse light that you can stick anywhere. I bought it mainly for live event shooting and quick interview setups. It had the things that I wanted: dimmable, battery pack on back of light, not hot.

The negative on the original light is that it doesn't throw much light. If you already have a room that's lit decently, it will hardly do anything. They have a brand new one out that is more of a spotlight, that supposedly throws much more light, so my guess is I wasn't the only one complaining about this. Personally, I would get the newer one if buying today...diffuse if you need to.

For me, I bought a stand and use it as a very nice soft fill light. It can be used as a key, if you can put it very close to the talent.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Kevin
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Old July 24th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #3
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Thanks Kevin

Your comments were very helpful, especially since you've been using them for a while.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 11:56 PM   #4
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2 lite-panel kit recommendation

I bought the 2 light lite panel kit for 2K. I was shooting a job in Europe and didn't want the hassel of bringing big lights/renting lights/220 volt headaches/etc... I never went on a job before where the whole lighting kit fit in my suitcase, under my clothes!
Though they don't throw a lot of light, they work great in low light situations as the key and/or fill. They were fantastic on that job. I've been using them in my day to day work ever since.
I shoot some food beauty on several shows, and they work particularly well there. I can light the food with my regular tungsten package, and position the lite-panels inches away, just out of frame and using the built in dimmer, finess the lighting as fill or a back light sparkle.
They really are great addition to a lighting package. Expensive for sure, and a little fragile... but there's nothing faster and easier... yet.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 02:50 AM   #5
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I'm looking for a low-hassle high-quality lighting solution for interview / testimonial / talking head style videos that will be shot inside, mostly in places with good lighting already. -OR- Are there any brands or lighting solutions that offer the same or more advantages for around the same amound of money? ($2k for a 2 light kit)[/QUOTE]

Hey Derek,

First off, I know absolutely nothing of Lite-Panels except that they sound expensive judging from the previous posts.

Based on your question it seems to me that you wouldn't need the "muscle" of a lite-panel for your interviews. May I suggest a Lowell Rifa-44 (soft-box light) for a key, a Lowell Mini-Pro for a back light and another Mini-Pro for background dimension. These three lights should cost well under your $2,000 budget.

Good luck to you,

Steph
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Old August 5th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #6
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Thank you both!
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Old October 15th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #7
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I have used the 2 lite system for over a year on a docu show I do.
These lites can do alot. As far as not working in anything but low light, I have to say that's not true. In fact I used the spot panel to fill a face in full sun light from 3 ft away, it killed the shadows. Also they work amazing for in car shots, they can be powered from the cars DC socket and mounted on the rearview and on onboard the camera. I have used these for countless shots.
Mine paid for themselves in 2 months.

battery life is superb, fully dimable with no change in color temp., they are built solid, truly amazingly compact lights.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #8
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probably for a lot less money you can use these new high power led, that are just big like a dime an can throw a lot of light.
mount them on magnet, velcro, dual face sticker, and with a simple AAA cell, you can get light anywhere you need.
if portability and price make the decision, i think this is the best solution.
I made several lamp out of the luxeon star, and i can say it is very efficient.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britt Cyrus
As far as not working in anything but low light, I have to say that's not true..
Please be careful about quoting posts from 10 months ago. Lite Panels has put out a new product since I last wrote about my Lite Panels light. I'll assume it's because I wasn't the only one complaining about it's lack of throw, that Lite Panels came out with the new, brighter "spot" version. If this is the one you used, it is not the one I reviewed months ago.

I'm glad the "spot" version is stronger. I maintain the other one was useless in some situations. I LOVE it and use it all the time. But there have been several shoots (most outdoor or in a well lit room already) in which I took out my original, non-spot Lite Panels, saw absolutely no difference in lighting and put it back in the bag.

Again, I'm not bashing it. It's a great light and I love it. But I hope the spot version does throw more light than the soft light.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 03:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
probably for a lot less money you can use these new high power led, that are just big like a dime an can throw a lot of light.
mount them on magnet, velcro, dual face sticker, and with a simple AAA cell, you can get light anywhere you need.
if portability and price make the decision, i think this is the best solution.
I made several lamp out of the luxeon star, and i can say it is very efficient.
So did you just order directly from this website: http://www.luxeonstar.com/

Was this available when you build your own: http://www.luxeonstar.com/item.php?i...artno=NL-6-4-1

Also, can you give more detail on your lamp construction and possibly post some photos?

Thanks, Shawn
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Old October 16th, 2005, 04:09 AM   #11
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I've done some research on lite panels too. For videographers, getting a good lighting kit is absolutely necessary. I've indeed heard that lite panels help a lot in terms of lighting a good video scene.

If you want to take a video shot of a subject, relying on the traditional natural light will not do. If you intend to go professional, the best way to approach it is to get a lite panel.

So what I'm saying is yes - go get one. One of the best brands (I've read) is Photoflex. You can check out one of the lighting kits I've come across at this webpage:

http://www.photoflex.com/photoflex/i...litepanelkit&1

Best Regards,
Gary Hendricks
Desktop-Video-Guide.com
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Old October 16th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #12
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there is a thread where i posted all the info
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=48532

basically you can consider each led like a very powerfull point of light.
(you can hardly look at it) with a 140 deg beam angle (the luxeon without additional lens).
each led (or serie of led) must be driven by an electronic.
Currently, you can mount such a system like a lego , so you can build on the fly, almost any kind of lightning system that you can transport in a pack of cigarettes, including power supply.
the biggest problem is probably that even the less powerfull (1Watt) luxeon is still too powerfull for some situation, so you will to put them behind a diffuser.
i have found that a diffuser plastic mounted over the led, keeping a space inbetween of less than 1 inch, give a total diffused light. (you cannot see the spotlight of the led anymore - you could fix a ping-pong ball for example, but not the celluloid ones, there are very flammable, and invent the concept of lightball verus flat panel ....)
1 led= about 15$
1 driver (dimmable) about 20$
just add the wires and some li-ion cell (one for 1or 2 leds), some switch and plugs.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #13
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Here's a few shots in a QuickTime movie that may help you judge wheather or not a Litepanel is right for the type of shooting you do. http://www.dvcreators.net/products/l...movieframe.htm

Hope this helps,
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 08:56 PM   #14
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They are great!

I bought a two light set last week, and used them on the next 3 days straight!

I got a flood and a spot [20degree] - "mixed" kit, and they are absolutely fantastic. Throw them up in seconds - run them on batteries - gel and diffuse them [all filters are supplied] - the flood is a *great* on camera light.

For interviews? They could work - quick to set up - international voltages and light enough to pack in one production case with your sound gear & jump on a plane.

If you want a really basic interwiew / testemonial kit - buy an 800w Lowell Tota light with a *white diffusion* umbrella. Set it at 30degrees off centre from the subject - makes a great eye light with soft keylight. Add a small 100-200w focussable / dimmable halogen fitting [buy a dedolight - it worth the bucks] and you can mount both on Manfrotto "nano" stands. Throw in a superclamp with a spigot and a collapsable reflector, [which can make an emergency fill] - and you can do 90% of quick interviews with this kit.

I think that these are your options - the light panels are great to "fill out" your kit, but nothing replaces some good useful tungsten. Pros & cons - tungsten runs VERY hot - litepanels don't fill out where ambient / incidental lighting is already quite strong.

My own "on the run" kit is a small dedo branded bag, [it's really good] 3 X 24v dedo lamps with inline dimmer / transformers and the 1 of the Lowell/umbrella setup described above in the side pocket. 3 nano stands, a super clamp and some extra diffusion / gels / bulbs. Whole thing is about 28"x14"x14", and can light *anything* indoor / interview style.

Anyway - hope that helps.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 07:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Colette
My own "on the run" kit is a small dedo branded bag, [it's really good] 3 X 24v dedo lamps with inline dimmer / transformers and...Anyway - hope that helps.
John,

Thanks, I would have written sooner but somehow got "unsubscribed to this thread. Since posting my question above, I continued to look into lights and saving for a while longer so I could buy some dedolights. I've been very happy with them. The more I looked into light panels (and learned about lighting in general from them members in this forum, videos & books), the more I realized they wouldn't work as my primary lighting set up, but would be a nice addition in the future.

I ended up with this dedo kit -

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

... and and a Rifa 44 softbox (as Stephanie suggested near the top of this thread). I liked the Rifa 44 softbox because of it's ease of use, compact storage and easy set up. I got the egg crate for the rifa to help control the direction of the light a little bit better. Guy did a good job of demonstrating the Rifa-Lite Softbox here -

http://www.dvcreators.net/products/rifamovieframe.htm
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