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Old April 2nd, 2014, 03:42 PM   #16
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

For whatever it is worth, I think it is a mistake to believe that you'll be able to mix LED and tungsten and still get good results. Even bi-color models won't mix well with tungsten. Put your LED money in the bank until you save enough to go all in. My 2 cents.
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 04:02 PM   #17
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Am I a perfectionist, maybe. Am I a lighting expert, far from it! I approach lighting just like I do audio. It is never an afterthought. I do the best I can with it, that is far from perfect. I think you have read enough of my posts to know I have been around for a while. Lighting always takes me back to the old days when I studied still photography. Back then, lighting was the focus of all image making. My video work is still influenced by my work in stills in many ways.
Perfectionist? I like them. My wife, on the other hand, well,.... next subject. Yes, we do have "family discussions" about that and probably more frequently than she would like. But the devil is in the details.

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
If I remember correctly it was some posts I made a while back recommending LA Color that influenced you to check out the lights they offer. I am not affiliated with them ether but I have made a couple of purchases from them. I like doing business with small vendors, especially DVINFO sponsors. Tacky at LA Color not only sells a small line of gear he is a working videographer that uses what he sells. He is always helpful and provides solid advice. I am glad you are pleased with the Comer lights you purchased there. He is on my list of resources as I start my move into LCD lighting.
You could very well have been the one that led me to him and the Comer. It's good to try and help the small businesses because we need them to "keep the big guys honest." The smaller businesses have difficulty buying end column and so they have a smaller margin to work with. The really big businesses typically work of another price sheet, go direct instead of through a distributor.

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
I have decided that a move to LCD for me will be a gradual process instead of a total conversion with both feet at once. I think I will start with bi-color panels so I can mix them with the Lowell gear I already own. I tend to mount pro-lights all over the place for hair, accent, etc. I will have to withdraw from them slowly to avoid panic attacks and full blown withdrawal symptoms!
Moving slowly into LCD is a good cost-effective way to go. I went to the 600 LED panels without ever having used them before and it was a learning experience. The very first job with them was doing product photography with a still camera. Since they were "cool" lights they had to be gelled to get a decent color and then I had to do a little bit of color balancing after that to tweak the look. Once one starts gelling, though, the lumens really fall off so that's a bummer. Glad they were 600s and not something smaller.

Being in Arizona doesn't it get hot there? How do you live with tungsten and the heat? Doesn't the video pick up air conditioner noise? Heck, even up here with the 600 LED lights going it warms up the place so I don't know how you do it (and survive). Off hand, in hind sight, I think a bi-color light would be a good way to go, one where the color could be sort of be dialed in.

From a cost-effective standpoint, my gut feel is the Comer light would be a good way to tip-toe into LED because it is so versatile due to being small, light, and battery operated. Even for personal use, like vacation or something like that where you don't have time to hook up tungsten lights, it would be a good tool to have available. As they say, there's a time and a place for everything.

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Having several of the Comer 1800b lights in my kit would be nice. It looks just like the cheap counterfeits on e-bay. Do you have one? Is it the real deal or a cheepy being sold for a high price? I suspect it is a good light. My impression so of LA Color is that they would not sell junk.
Start out with one and see how it goes. As for a set of them, I don't know if that'd be the route I'd take but them I'm not a light expert, either.

Right now I have a myriad of things to work on, namely, a number of projects that require me to be come conversant with "Motion 5" for use with FCPX so that is where I'm supposed to be putting my energy. Somewhat concurrent with that I'm looking forward to getting a couple more camcorders and an upgrade to my wireless mic, and a number of other things too numerous to mention, but doing more with lighting is on the list, and maybe some tungsten, would you believe! I've got umbrellas, reflectors, and stands. We've got a good audio person here, writers, make-up and set people, and people who have actually produced a couple full-length films, so the plan is to hopefully create a co-op and get crackin'.

Getting back to the Comer 1800 - yes, I have one. It is not a cheapie being sold for a high price (my opinion). High price? maybe, but that's relative. I think it's a good value. I like that everything is always attached and one doesn't have to clip on the little barn doors (they actually act like a protector), or the magnifier. I've used this option quite a few times including as a hair light.

There was a post a couple weeks ago about how to make the zoom/magnifier/ whatever more focused by just moving the edge opposite it's hinge out a tad and it really works. Just a couple millimeters, 1/8" or so and it makes a big difference in how concentrated the beam is. So for a hair light I think that would be perfect on one person.

The only comment I'd make is when using it, start with the intensity turned to "Low" before switching it on, and likewise, turn it to low when switching it off. Otherwise, it is a solid piece of equipment. The newer "b" model has a metal hot shoe support so that's nice. One thing I suggested they change but can be retrofitted was to use a knob in lieu of the slotted screw for the base to light adjustment. I suspect one could go to a hardware store and buy a knob for a buck or two. If you're doing a lot of adjustments a knob would be handier than the screw. The screw does take a coin (for those who still carry coins) or a key (but the new car keys have plastic ends on them). Ahhh.... the times they are a chaingin'.

Thank you for leading me onto LA Color. I REALLY like the Comer light.

Edit:

I see that Doug came in while I was typing and, on one hand I can agree with him, but there are times when you just can't carry your studio light kit along. For this scenerio a battery powered light is really handy. If one is doing interviews in a room then there must be wall outlets available. Indoor shots in Arizona must have air handlers but they'd be on even if one had LED lights, but with tungsten they'd be on more! (sorry).

It all depends, but I think one light would be really handy to have and because it is so convenient you might get lazy and use it more than you realize.

One can also overpower one light type with another, say tungsten over LED, and not have a significant problem. A hair light would be a good case in point. Maybe using the Comer as a main front light with daylight behind? (but I wouldn't want to be looking at it!)

Last edited by John Nantz; April 2nd, 2014 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Add "Edit"
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 04:42 PM   #18
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
For whatever it is worth, I think it is a mistake to believe that you'll be able to mix LED and tungsten and still get good results. Even bi-color models won't mix well with tungsten. Put your LED money in the bank until you save enough to go all in. My 2 cents.
Thanks Doug, That is input I respect.

John, Yes it gets blazing hot here in AZ, inside and outside. That is really my biggest motivation to change over. After reading the input here, I think I will wait.

Since I am already well equipped for my needs with my chicken cookers there is no rush. I am not a tech junkie that feeds a need for new stuff at all. LCDs will only get better and cheaper if I wait. Especially if I am going to need Frenels and other single source fixtures as Doug says. I probably would not be happy without them.

Thanks for the input guys! I am going to wait until I put together a whole kit.

Steve
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Old April 4th, 2014, 01:26 PM   #19
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
For whatever it is worth, I think it is a mistake to believe that you'll be able to mix LED and tungsten and still get good results. Even bi-color models won't mix well with tungsten. Put your LED money in the bank until you save enough to go all in. My 2 cents.
Interestingly, our new Area48 remote phosphor LED lights are great looking with the tungsten panels installed. Good match for our baby moles on color, and the skintones look great.

The daylight panels have been a little more challenging on the skintones (otherwise the color is great). Last week we took them out to the beach and shot a fake firelight scene for about an hour and a half running off a couple AB batteries. Try doing that with tungsten!

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Old April 7th, 2014, 05:12 PM   #20
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

LED is a great addition to the tools we use, but I just have this nagging doubt that they are as versatile. I'm using more and more LED, and today installed some of these.
http://www.djkit.com/images/products...ur%20djkit.jpg
RGB plus White - and the things are bright, fairly even, and quite useful. The barn doors are handy and the units are heavy and pretty tough. They replaced some older 4 cell units that use 500W linear lamps and dichroic filters. They would make useful video lights, and the colours could be useful for special circumstances.

However, stick a finger in the way and the shadows are a bit odd, and the barn doors seem to produce some minor colour fringing when two colours are on at the same time. The plus points make them good value BUT the beam quality is not as nice as a proper soft light, but these don't have colour changing facilities so LED typically means like by like comparisons are tricky.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:36 PM   #21
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

I just got into a few Litepanels fresnels, and I can tell you that they absolutely beat my lowell tungsten kit, hands-down, in terms of light shaping flexibility (they ought to, they're fresnels). The 1x1 bifocus, on the other hand, is more problematic in terms of the "what's it for" factor. Sure, it puts out a lot of light over a wide area, kind of like a softbox, except that it's not that soft. So I will probably sell that one (or I could get another, and use them to light greenscreens. They would be really good for that).

Incidentally, I am thinking about selling a practically new Inca 4, if anyone is interested. I work almost exclusively with daylight blends, so the Sola series is more useful to me.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 07:10 PM   #22
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Re: LED lighting, what about all the stuff to go with it?

I've been testing an Arri L7-C, and this is about the most versatile light on the planet.

The ability to tune the color along both the yellow-blue and magenta-green axes is phenomenal--you can really match any light with this thing, (or even head into disco/theatrical color at the push of a button) I find the skintones are best at the tungsten end of the range, but really not bad anywhere, and the light output is quite similar to a 1k baby mole (doesn't spot as tight, and the shadows are slightly less sharp). Dims perfectly, and has DMX control for more sophisticated setups.
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