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Old February 23rd, 2011, 01:52 AM   #1
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2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

I've already posted about difficulties of lighting with loss of 3 stops from Letus adapter and lens on my EX1. Sometimes I shoot interior ivs myself with just my two redheads and I'm always struggling to keep the light soft and natural but not shoot wide open. So I'm giving great consideration to going back to 2k blonde which I know will give me abundant soft fill bounced off poly or put through scrim.

But I found this Konova LED light:
Pro1200 LED Dimmer 5500/3200 Video Photo Lighting Panel - eBay (item 120687431568 end time Feb-26-11 19:55:55 PST)
Seems small (41x45x5cm; 4kg), inexpensive (US$520) and reasonably bright (equivalent of 1200w incandescent - not as much as blondie but at least the light would be softer coming straight out.)

Just going off the specs, is someone able to give me a second opinion. Am I right in thinking it would be a good alternative to the blonde?
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 06:42 AM   #2
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

If you have redheads already I would think that a blonde 2k would be a best add on, I have yet to find an LED light that has the throw of a tungsten.

One other option is to get some 1k fresnel lights as they will also give you more throw and light than the redheads.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #3
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

I have blondes and leds. They just do not compare. If you are trying to raise the ambient light level up for a letus adapter, i'd say the blonde bounced would be significantly more powerful. Bounced into a large card it would still be a strong, soft source. By the time you bounce an LED, you've lost most of its grunt.

While its true that a led is "softer" direct, because its made up of a bunch of tiny sources, the shadows are "pixellated" and look quite odd up close. In order to make the shadows smooth, you need to put diffusion on the light, which cuts back its intensity significantly.

Now... i hate blondes. A pain in the ass to source power and they heat up the room like a 2k quartz heater. (exactly like one. heh). But unless you are just trying to light the person and leave the background dark, i'm not sure how useful the led would be. Especially a single 1200 led fixture.

If you are shooting with the redheads still, you'll have to gel the led to 3200k, and that cuts out a fair bit of the light... which wasn't so amazing to start with. Its totally unscientific guesswork, but i'd imagine that a gelled led 1200 will be around the same intensity as a bare redhead.

Thats my 2c anyways. Feel free to argue if I'm wrong.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 03:57 AM   #4
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

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Originally Posted by Michael Power View Post
But I found this Konova LED light:
Pro1200 LED Dimmer 5500/3200 Video Photo Lighting Panel - eBay (item 120687431568 end time Feb-26-11 19:55:55 PST)
Seems small (41x45x5cm; 4kg), inexpensive (US$520) and reasonably bright (equivalent of 1200w incandescent - not as much as blondie but at least the light would be softer coming straight out.)
It's made with 1200 LEDs but I doubt that it is anywhere near the equivalent of twelve 100W incandescent bulbs in light output. LEDs are efficient but not that good. Unfortunately all the sellers play fast & loose with comparative light output whether LEDs or CFLs. That's not to say that this isn't a good bright light that runs cool & uses little power just that it's being over-sold by claiming such a high output.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

Thanks, friends, for the helpful advice, confirming my suspicions. I'll also have another look at 1k fresnels.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 02:49 AM   #6
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

I think that fresnels will add more than a 2k would as they will allow you to concentrate the light more and therefore get more f-stops.

Even if you got a couple of the chinese arri copies I think you will get a more defined key light and the redheads can be used as your soft fills.

You will get a better power draw from two fresnels too and I just got two myself in preference to a 2k and have found them far more useful.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #7
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
One other option is to get some 1k fresnel lights as they will also give you more throw and light than the redheads.
That would apply at the spot end, at similar beam angles at mid or the flood end there's not much difference compared to the Redhead or the the latter just has the edge. Also, the Redhead has a larger flood beam angle. However, the 1k Fresnel is much more controllable and creates a nicer hard light.

The 2k Blonde is handy in daylight, especially if you want softer light. Once a CTB plus diffusion goes on, there's a not a lot coming out of the lower wattage tungsten lights. Downside is powering them if your circuits aren't up to the job. plus the heat. They're also good for lighting larger areas, brutal, but effective.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

Open face lights typically deliver more output than fresnels, although the latter have a tighter beam pattern. For bouncing, an open face will give you more bang for the buck--this is the best and most common use for them.You might also consider a large Chimera for a more self-contained setup.

You guys in 220v countries have it a lot easier powering 2k's than we do in the States...! Here it is a risk at best plugging them into the wall.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #9
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

even here in the Uk 2k's can be quite scary as their heat and single power draw can cause lots of safety problems, I don't have any and prefer to just use my two 1k fresnels and five redheads although some of them have 250w bubbles in them as my modern digital camera's with 1/3" chips are better wide open and don't need as much light.

If I need lots more lights than my std kit I tend to hire in a gaffer with kit as it all gets a bit too much for one person to manage on-set..
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Old February 25th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #10
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

Yes, you need to spread the load around the domestic circuits with the bigger lights, although too many Redheads can cause the same problem.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #11
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

The 1200W LED item is listed at 72W, and best case scenario LEDs put out 4-5 times as many lumens per watt as tungsten. So it may have similar lumen output to a 360W tungsten light, and LEDs are especially known for having quite efficient reflectors. They might be able to manage having 2x as efficient of a lens/reflector as a tungsten fixture, giving you at best usable light output similar to a 700W tungsten light. These calculations are really pushing it, since the reality is probably closer to that LED having an output similar to 300-400W in a tungsten fresnel. This might compare to a 2k with full CTB, but certainly not a 2k uncorrected.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #12
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

What Noah said. I own a few 1000LED panels. They put out about 400-500w of light. Not remotely in the same world as a blonde. They are however, a dream to use.

If you wants lots of power, cheap, hard to beat a set of redheads.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #13
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

Have I missed something here - we're considering a 2K tungsten device against a 72W LED fixture? If you lit the subject with the Blonde, I;d bet you wouldn't even notice the light from the LED unit. In fact, an 800W redhead might still be brighter.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #14
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

There is an incredible amount of misinformation put out by LED manufacturers. They frequently imply that LEDs are 10-20x more efficient than tungsten, which is hardly the case. LEDs are great for their durability and easy portable DC usage, but given their price and some of their inflexibilities (no focusing, cri requires filtration, physical limitations, usually low output) they would have a tough time replacing tungsten. They are a good compromise for people with small light output requirements and certain, very specific needs, but they are generally not great hard sources or great soft sources, and can be relatively difficult to modify into either.

Personally I haven't found them to be that useful except for in cases of very tight power and time restrictions, for example they can be very useful to have someone handhold when stealing night exterior shots, but that is clearly a compromise.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:21 PM   #15
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Re: 2k Blonde or 1200wLED?

I have a Mighty Mole, not a Blond and I have to say that I hardly ever use it. It is true, in 120V countries, you do have to worry about tripping breakers and the heat that a 2k tungsten delivers in a regular house sized room is ridiculous. I have also melted 14 gauge stingers with my Mighty. I usually end up using a 1.5k or 1k bulb in it, except when on a stage. I know, who knew that they made a 1.5k bulb? They do, at least for the Mighty, not sure about the Blonde?

I would much rather have two Redheads or Arri 1k open faces than a Blonde or my Mighty. It's easy to put two 1ks through a medium or large Chimera but you can also break them up and use them apart. A 2k is a limited use instrument unless you are on stages with real power or with a generator truck. The story must be different in 220 countries at least a bit? Have never shot with anything other than my travel kit of LEDs in foreign countries.

Another light that kicks a single 2k into the gutter is the Barger BagLite. Love it, wish I owned one. A DP I work with owns it and it is a pretty kick ass big soft source when paired with a large Chimera. Not sure if they make the Barger for 220V countries, take a look. http://www.barger-baglite.com/

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