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Old September 9th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #16
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Tim, this one was a little different as we shot against a super white backdrop. Fashion stuff.... Anyway, I used the spot with softbox for the Key and used the floods for Fill and backlight to avoid shadows on the backdrop. Sometimes I would sub one of the floods for the flexfill and bounce light on talent. it was 1-2 person interviews....Most of the time I did use the LED's directly on the talent and I really like the look these lights provide... that mix between soft and hard is perfect for HD as it did not make skin imperfections stand out and even with flood light dirfectly on talent it looked good IMHO. The dimmers are very nice to have as well even though most of the time I used on full. I will not be able to post the footage I shot for these interviews but will be shooting some demo footage and will post it soon.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #17
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short commercial i shot with the 600 is here - it was the first use of the light and it made a great difference. used a softbox with no grid on the 600 spot.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #18
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So a quick question - I've never really noticed the green "spike" . If I use the softbox over the LED600 I wouldn't need the -1/2 green would I?
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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #19
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"The Green Spike" technically exists with or without softbox. I noticed it just ever so slightly when performing my tests... Some colleagues of mine do not see it at all. so depending on your scene and if any other light is present it may or may not make it more difficult to notice. I had my wife sit on the couch and only lit her face with LED600 as only light source and I could tell a difference with and without the 1/2 minus green filter in place. I have placed the 1/2 minus green filter in all three of my lights and will just leave them in place for most every shoot. You could really see the green spike in post with a scope without the filter....so the filter indeed makes a significant difference. My advice is to use it.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 09:55 AM   #20
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Harry:

You definitely need to leave the 1/2 minus green filters in place all of the time, unless you don't mind having to color correct it out of every shoot.

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Old October 2nd, 2010, 05:35 PM   #21
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A mini-review of the LED600

I recently bought one of the Cool Lights LED fixtures- the LED600- and while I've not had a chance to use it extensively yet, I thought I'd give my views after a few hours shooting with it.

Up until recently, I'd been using a couple of old-school redheads as my primary lights. I've used Kinos and Dedos before when they were rented in, but didn't have the scratch to buy them (particularly the dedos). So when the redheads developed faults after a couple of years (that'll teach me for buying Chinese redheads from ebay!), I felt it was a good opportunity to expand my kit. It was this thread that pointed me in the direction of Cool Lights and their LED lamps. The idea of a low-wattage, low temperature, high relative output light appealed to me. Most of my work at the moment is small-scale drama (actor's showreels, shorts etc) and filming in small locations with air-con off and windows sealed for audio purposes is a nightmare with hotter lights. On a good day, I can lose a few pounds on set! Make-up runs on actors faces, tempers get short... you know the drill. So the LEDs appealed.

I ordered one and tried it out earlier this week on a pickup scene for a drama I've been working on. My first thoughts were that it's quite well-built and sturdy- it doesn't feel like a lot of the cheap stuff you can get on ebay- it feels like it's up to task. Barn doors are solid and stay where you want them- unlike my old redheads where I have to take a screwdriver to them every other shoot! The hinged mount at the bottom of the light looks a little flimsy, but in practice is quite stable. I think it's the fact that if you tilt it up or down it looks like it might topple (even though it doesn't), unlike with more traditional lights which have that U-shaped support bracket and the rotation occurs halfway down the head's length. There's a dimmer switch- which is actually really smooth without any visible stepping- and you have the option to turn off individual rows of LEDs although this is somewhat superfluous as a dimming method.

I bought the 5600k Flood version because it offered the most flexibility and when I tested it out it does come out more or less at that colour temperature. There is a slight green spike as others have noted, but depending on what you're shooting and if you're mixing light sources, you may not notice it too much in the final image. Handily, Cool Lights ship the light with a set of minus green acrylic filters which do a good job of cleaning that up. There's also a full CTO and a diffuser filter. The latter's quite useful because if you start closing the barn doors you eventually start to see a linear light pattern where the multiple sources in the housing are casting different shadows. The diffuser, while not perfect, goes some way to minimise that effect (although a bit of spun sorts it out completely). And that ability to turn off rows of LEDs I mentioned? That comes in handy here because if you barn door the light and turn off the rows that are covered, the pattern just doesn't appear anymore (although you do lose some light).

As a nice touch, it also comes with a shoulder-bag style soft case and a pack for the filters- handy if you're travelling light (no pun intended).

Overall, the LED600 performed admirably and I'll certainly replace my existing redheads in due course with LEDs like this one. It's a good piece of kit for the money and unlike the tat available on ebay it looks like it might last! If you can work round the green spike and the light pattern (which isn't difficult), there's a lot of plus points to these lights. I filmed for several hours inside and outside (in the rain, as it happened) and the light never got hot. I was able to pack the light up straight away rather than having to let it cool- a definite bonus if you're against the clock. One thing I would say to potential buyers though is make sure you've got a reasonably heavy duty light stand for it- while it's not heavy per se, it seems a little less stable high up than my other open face lights and a cheapo light stand might not be the wisest choice.

Also, if you're based outside the US like me, send Richard at Cool Lights an email because there may be a more cost-effective shipping method than what the website indicates.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 06:27 PM   #22
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I have the 56k 600's floods x 2 and the 56k 256's x 3 and love them.
I use theses lights all over Australia and they travel really well and so easy to setup. I would also advise using the 1/2 green minus most of the time. If I'm outside I don't bother with the 1/2 green but inside head shots with mixed lighting this is a must.

Cheers,
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:36 PM   #23
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Can you use the 256 as a backlight, or is it too broad?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 11:47 PM   #24
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Hi mike,
I use the 256 all the time for for rim, hair lighting. It is a bit wide and I find it just fine for what I need.

The Cool Lights are so suited for what I'm achieving and highly recommend them.

Cheers
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Old October 7th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #25
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When will the 256s ever be in stock again?
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Old October 7th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #26
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Thanks guys for your reviews/comments. The LED 256 will be back in stock between the 20th and end of month.
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