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Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:54 AM   #1
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LED panel with wide angle lens

I am going to be using a dslr to shoot a bit of video this summer, nothing that needs to look professional, but I still want to see what is in front of me in the videos. Much of the video will probably be shot in extremetly low light in places like bars and nightclubs, so I was thinking of getting a light panel to mount on the hot shoe. I am on a very tight budget since I am young, so I was browsing ebay and found a few. I am using a 16mm zenitar lens on my crop sensor dslr and was wondering if these panels are decent options and won't cause a "spotlight" affect in my video since I am using such a wide lens:

48 LED Light Panel LED Camcorder Light Video Lighting | eBay

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*126 LED Light Panel LED Camcorder Light Video Lighting | eBay

also, I realize the quality will be horrible with these but I really only need it to last through a couple weeks in the summer. and, what will be the difference between having more leds? brighter? wider spread?

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 10:46 AM   #2
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Re: LED panel with wide angle lens

On a budget, the only way i can think of to broaden the angle of coverage on any light source is by diffusion or bounce to ceiling. Bounce would drastically reduce the brightness, especially if ceiling is dark and/or high. Out of the question, unless you jump up the ASA way up and introduce huge grain. Diffusion will also reduce brightness but less than bounce. Try a single ply sheet of Kleenex and if that works, then a piece of plexiglas/acrylex ( 12 inch square from Home Deopt, $3.99) and lightly sand it down by hand with a 600 grit on one side. Don't sand too much as it would get too opaque. Experiment untill it gets the diffusion to cover that 16mm.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: LED panel with wide angle lens

Thanks for the suggestion. These panels do include diffusers, but do you not think that will be enough? does having more leds effect the spread of the light?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: LED panel with wide angle lens

first two links I don't know, the third one don't buy it, a lot of green cast, they have newer and better version of 126 and 160 led from apurture I believe, those are almost clean 5600K, larger led light will be less directional and will produce more light, but zenitar is f/2.8 so staying wide open you don't really need that much light, but try to get the light with the dimmer, that's important and will help a lot
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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Re: LED panel with wide angle lens

If that lens is the 16mm f2.8 Zenitar fisheye, there will still be a barrel distortion on a cropped sensor. It may be the look you are after for bars and clubs.

You might need to think about the flare this lens confers. The coatings may have improved since I bought mine several years back so please do not take my comments without questioning them with other people or indeed your own experiences thus far with the lens.

Whilst your cropped sensor camera will be seeing the centre of the available lens image, the lens itself will be seeing up to 180 degrees wide and may directly pick up your on-camera LED panel if it is positioned forward on the camera, which may result in a really bad washout flare.

You may get some coloured transient flaring from strong coloured sources just outside of the visible image as you move about in bars and clubs. These could be a welcome effect or a curse.

With the cropped sensor viewing a smaller area of the available lens image, you may be able to make some flags or a shield around the lens to eliminate some of the flare but take care to keep the flags from coming into the view.

As for a diffuser, maybe experiment with a piece of white plastic shopping bag over the LED panel. If you are going to make a frosted texture diffuser out of plexiglass, maybe think about using a water slurry of 600 grade abrasive powder between two acrylic or perspex sheets for a better finish than sandpaper will achieve. Be warned. If you press down too hard, it will stick. Light weight, lots of slurry and lots of movement is best. This wil result in a fairly opaque panel but with acrylic or perspex, you can dry-backpolish vigorously with a soft cloth or use automotive polish to restore some more transmissiveness.

Last edited by Bob Hart; April 24th, 2012 at 11:52 AM. Reason: added text
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Old April 25th, 2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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Re: LED panel with wide angle lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
first two links I don't know, the third one don't buy it, a lot of green cast, they have newer and better version of 126 and 160 led from apurture I believe, those are almost clean 5600K, larger led light will be less directional and will produce more light, but zenitar is f/2.8 so staying wide open you don't really need that much light, but try to get the light with the dimmer, that's important and will help a lot
Thanks for the suggestions! I definitly am looking for one with a dimmer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
If that lens is the 16mm f2.8 Zenitar fisheye, there will still be a barrel distortion on a cropped sensor. It may be the look you are after for bars and clubs.

You might need to think about the flare this lens confers. The coatings may have improved since I bought mine several years back so please do not take my comments without questioning them with other people or indeed your own experiences thus far with the lens.

Whilst your cropped sensor camera will be seeing the centre of the available lens image, the lens itself will be seeing up to 180 degrees wide and may directly pick up your on-camera LED panel if it is positioned forward on the camera, which may result in a really bad washout flare.

You may get some coloured transient flaring from strong coloured sources just outside of the visible image as you move about in bars and clubs. These could be a welcome effect or a curse.

With the cropped sensor viewing a smaller area of the available lens image, you may be able to make some flags or a shield around the lens to eliminate some of the flare but take care to keep the flags from coming into the view.

As for a diffuser, maybe experiment with a piece of white plastic shopping bag over the LED panel. If you are going to make a frosted texture diffuser out of plexiglass, maybe think about using a water slurry of 600 grade abrasive powder between two acrylic or perspex sheets for a better finish than sandpaper will achieve. Be warned. If you press down too hard, it will stick. Light weight, lots of slurry and lots of movement is best. This wil result in a fairly opaque panel but with acrylic or perspex, you can dry-backpolish vigorously with a soft cloth or use automotive polish to restore some more transmissiveness.
It is the 16mm zenitar fisheye, and I'm really not too concerned with things like barrel distortion and things like that. The video I'm making is just for memoroies for me and the others going on this trip. But thanks for the heads up about the possibility of light sneaking in from the panel, however I don't think it shoud be a problem since I'll be mounting it on the shoe of my dslr, which is far enough back by the looks of it.

I just found these panels too and was curious if anyone knows anything good/bad about them? They look to be slightly better quality than the others I posted.

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Old April 25th, 2012, 05:51 PM   #7
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Re: LED panel with wide angle lens

Having more leds in the unit does not spread out the light more. It will only increase the brightness, that is if the leds are all the same types. Almost all the little teeney weenie leds that make up the panel probably come from the same manufacture and all seem to exhibit the same characteristics. Bluish tint for outdoor use, narrow beam angle in the 30 to 40 degree, low CRI (color rendering index), low cost low wattage and low brightness to wattage ratio. And why not? You get what you pay for, but surprisingly some of the brand name ones are almost exactly the same units but at a much higher price. Of the 3 models mentioned on the opening post, i would go for the 126 led model. I have seen the exact same one at almost 4 times the price. I like it because I have seen it in use, it ships from US, and in my opinion is the brightest one.
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