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Old March 11th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #16
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Robert, thanks for ordering from us.

I google found some info for the Sony-HVL-20DW2 light. From the spec on this amazon page. It said "lighting distance: approximately 40 lux (10 Watts), 80 lux (20 Watts)"

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HVL-20DW2-Video-DCRVX2100-HDRFX1/dp/B000063Y73
Well, it didn't mention the distance. Assuming it's 1m or 3feet. Comer 900 is 900 lux at 1 meter.

But i'm sure you will be impressed with the 1800. =)
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Old March 12th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #17
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Taky,

I look forward to receiving the light, we will be putting it to the test at a wedding in another week at what I already know is a rather dark reception hall.

As for the lux rating, I understand that different companies seem to have different interpretations of what a lux rating is, which makes it hard to reliably compare two products based solely on that rating. However, if we assume the measurement is the same between the lights, and that the distance is the same a 1 meter (appox. 3 feet), would it be correct that the Comer 900 is perhaps equal to something around a 60-watt version of the Sony halogen lights?

I'm just trying to figure out how the math works. My understanding of the principles of light is that doubling the distance will cut the measured output of light by 1/4th. So the Comer 900 will have a rating of 225 lux at 2-meters, correct? If so, it would have ~60 lux at 4-meters. For a Sony halogen to have the same lux rating at 4-meters, I would guess it would need to be a 60-watt light, calculated at 4 x 15-watts (2 x 2 x 15-watts). Or maybe it would actually be 4x4x15-watts, or 240-watts? But that seems rather high, so I'm guessing the correct equivalent would be 60-watts (making the Comer 1800 a 120-watt equivalent!).

It would be nice if lights were all rated the same way. I know I can get an exact comparison between two lights with a light meter, so it should be reasonable to have a measurement standard that everyone can compare the specs of two lights with. Of course, there is also the factor of the spread of the light, which certainly complicates the comparison.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old March 12th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #18
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Robert, I am not good at math either. Tranditional tungsten light and LED light use different method to measure the brightness. So keep comparing them in watt output will not make sense.

However, there're more LED products out there. I have noticed they are all measured in lux ... which is the amount of light reached the object at a certain distance. Many of them stated in 1 meter or 3 feet. So this is a transition period until we all get used to speaking lux =)
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Old March 12th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #19
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Also, check out the light with the "Condenser Lens Trick". It is very useful especially when you need to zoom in from a distance in a dark reception room.

Comer Lights Condenser Trick | L.A. Color Blog
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Old March 13th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #20
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I got the Comer 1800 light today, and had time to test it. Thought I'd share my impressions and test results.

First I'll say, this light is very sturdy and well made, by comparison the Sony HVL-20DW2 light definitely has a flimsy feel, the Comer is more substantial in both size and build quality. It comes with a nice case. The only part that would be questionable for breaking might be the shoe mount, which is the weak link for any light you would put on a camcorder. The Comer has some weight to it, especially with a big battery, so I could see an accident causing it to break at the foot. Good news is, I'm sure this is an easy repair as the adjustment for the light angle is a screw than connects the foot to the light, so by undoing the screw you should be able to easily replace the foot. The screw is turned with a big screwdriver or a coin (quarter would be best). I can see videographers at weddings now asking, "hey buddy, can you spare a quarter, I need to adjust my light!" But in truth, once you adjust it, you probably won't need to again. At first I thought an adjustment knob would have been better, but in thinking about it that would have probably been susceptible to coming loose more easily, a sure recipe for disaster. The light fits nicely on the camcorder, not too much bulk or weight, especially when you consider it's totally self contained with the battery on-board. The Sony is certainly easier to use if handholding the camcorder, but we prefer tripods or Varizoom supports to handholding anyway.

Now for the light output test. I setup my Sony HVL-20DW2 light in the studio and pulled out a tape measure. Got my light meter out and took measurements. Then I replaced the Sony with the Comer and took light measurements with it. The quick take on the result, the Comer is more powerful. How much more powerful? It depends on how you have it's filter and condenser set and where you are taking the measurement relative to the light itself. The light measurement varied from being the same amount of light to the Comer producing ~ 2-1/3 more light. Let me explain.

The Comer has a much wider spread of light. With no filters, it is about 1-stop of light stronger straight ahead, but at 4' off axis at 12' from the light it is about 2-1/3 more light than the Sony (that's at a right angle, so the actual distance from the light is about 13'). That means the Comer is able to light a very wide area pretty evenly, while the Sony lights a rather narrow area. In all fairness, the Sony was designed for 4:3 format cameras I'm sure, while the Comer suits the more current HD format cameras much better.

As for how I'll be using the light, since we still use the Sony lights and shoot mostly lighted rooms, I'll need to use the color filter on the Comer most of the time. With this filter down, the measured light output from the Comer pretty much matches the light output from the Sony directly ahead. To the side, I'm getting about 1-1/3 stop more light at my off axis point (4' off axis at 12' from the light). I'll probably be using it with both the color filter and diffuser filter both down a lot of the time, giving a similar angle of light as the Sony with a full stop more power straight ahead. It seems to have a little more severe light fall off than the Sony in this configuration, the Comer being only about 1/2-2/3rd more light at my same off-axis measurement point. You definitely get a strong circle of light with the condenser filter. For something like the first dance at a wedding, this is a good thing, IMO. At least you have options with this light, and it's easy to change the configuration on the fly.

I'm happy with the light, we'll be using it at a wedding next weekend where the room is rather dark for the reception. We'll know then how much we really like it, but I'm already pleased with it and would certainly recommend it. Even though it's a bit pricier than some other lights out there, in this case I think the old adage holds true, "you get what you pay for."

Robert

Last edited by Robert Welch; March 13th, 2010 at 01:28 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #21
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Robert,

Thanks for the great review.

Comer 1800 color temperature is 4500K. Unlike other 5600K LED light out there, 4500K is ready to be used indoor without any filter. I noticed that when setting it up at wedding (using light stand) with the spot light mode on, the 4500K color temp actually add a feel of a "stage" to the wedding.

The shoe mount is indeed the weak part but we have all the parts to replace easily. Sony HVL-LBP LED Light has the same plastic shoe but they charge $96 to replace.

If you intent to mount the light on light stand, it's best to get these adapters make it easier to mount and adjust

Umbrella Adapter with Accessory Shoe Mount | L.A. Color Shop
Accessory Shoe Tripod Mount Adapter | L.A. Color Shop

I would be skeptical to find out the HVL-20DW2 and Comer 1800 with the orange filter on will give out similar light. Can you do some comparison videos like I did to show side by side the output? I am interested to find out =)

YouTube - 6 On-Camera Video Lights Shootout - Test #2 Medium Size Room

I found out I used to set my XH-A1 to +3db gain at reception. Now I'm always using -3db to 0db now. all the new video are clean grain free =)

Taky
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Old March 14th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #22
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Taky,

Thanks for the info on the color of the light, I'll have to do some testing on that to see how it works.

As for the Comer 1800 being the "same" output as the Sony, that was in only one situation which plays to the Sony's strength. When tested directly in front of the both lights, the light I measured from the two lights was the same on my light meater (Sekonic L-308) at any given distance when the Comer has the color filter down, but not the spot filter. However, once you step to either side the Sony quickly has light fall off while the Comer lights a very broad angle pretty evenly. So a much more fair comparison is to have the condenser filter down on the Comer, which gives a much more similiar area of coverage to the Sony but a stop or more of light output, more if you don't use the color filter with the condenser filter. Like I said, the Comer is obviously more powerful, and much more versitle.

I'll let you know if I get a chance to do some color tests.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #23
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Here is a test I did a few months ago. The Sony 10/20 is not even in the ballpark.

FX1000 and additional lighting...
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