Sony HVL-LBPC LED light review ($550USD) at
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Old August 31st, 2016, 02:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
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Sony HVL-LBPC LED light review ($550USD)

This is the new Sony LED, with MIS foot and condensor lens. I only had this for 30 minutes before repacking it for return to B&H, so this will be brief.

I own a Comer 1800, which is rated at 1800@1m and is 4100k, which I replaced with a 312DS LED which is also rated at 1800@1m, but is bicolor. The 312DS, while having same rated specification of 1800@1m, is TWICE as bright as the Comer. The 312DS at it's middle 4200k setting is at it's brightest and matches the kelvin of the Comer.

So, this new Sony light is sort of like a Comer and 312DS love-child, has the condensor lens of the Comer, with the Bi-color of the DS. The Sony is also rated at 1800@1m, but says it goes to 2100@1m in blight mode, which is basically 3200k and 5600k LED's all lit at once. Strangely, this Sony when changing color temperatures, will maintain luminance level, so as the blue LED's come on, the orange ones are reduced. So basically, Sony rates this light at 1800@1m, and since the luminance doesn't change depending on color, that is 1800@1m 3200k or 5600k......not really, this light puts out 3600k-5600k,

So anyway, impromptu testing immediately showed that this Sony was the same brightness as my old $75 used Comer 1800. Sadly, the Sony condensor lens is similar to the old style Comer 1200, which has a green ring around the light edge, and cannot be adjusted to created a tighter spot. The Sony also has a weird pattern, which included on mine, a green splotch in the middle. To match the illumination of the Sony on my 312DS, I had to turn the 312DS down to 25%, at which point, they had the same brightness level. In testing, the condensor lens in place only allowed a 3db drop on the cameras need for gain. The Comer 1800 with condensor is similar to the illumination of the 312DS wide illumination, so Sony wins there.

Another issue I have is that Sony put an MIS foot on this LED, which is not compatible, will not physically fit in the rear shoe slide of my Sony cameras. They made the plastic MIS foot slats too thick, so you have to use the included MIS to ISO shoe adaptor, which adds a couple of inches of height, and makes the whole light a tall heavy mess. To make this situation worse, they put a 1990's Handycam on/off switch on the left side, the one with the green center push to switch. With the camera on the adaptor shoe on top of the camera, the force necessary to depress the green button and slide the switch, bends the tall flimsy and fragile mounting neck over about an inch. The whole thing feels like it will snap the feet off of either the EXPENSIVE plastic MIS foot, or the plastic foot on the MIS adaptor. I just absolutely knew that I would snap one of these off within a few weeks while running towards a burning building trying to power on the would simply snap off sideways as I pressed on the power slider.

So, given that it offers no benefit over my $75 Comer 1800, except bi-color, which is useless to me as I work nights, and is HALF the light output of my $150 312DS, and will break in a week, and cost a stupid $550USD, it is going back to B&H. I don't like returning things because "I don't like them", but if you want to rate your product at 1800@1m, you better make sure that a $150 Chinese light rated at 1800@1m doesn't provide TWICE the light output.

Still cannot find a better wide/spot light than the Comer1800, and a better wide bi-color than the 312DS. They both white at 4100k when gels to eliminate green/magenta hue, they both use the same NPF batteries, good combo for now.


Other notes: 3600k-5600k per Sony camera AWB. 4900k indicated when set to Blight mode. Did not notice any green or magenta color shifting, something I have had issues with on every other LED in the past.
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2016, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: Sony HVL-LBPC LED light review ($550USD)

Thanks for this review and comparison.

Are the 312DS lights you reference the Fotodiox brand or something else?
Matthew Capowski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2016, 04:53 AM   #3
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Location: San Diego, Califonia
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Re: Sony HVL-LBPC LED light review ($550USD)

Mine say LS as the brand, but they are identical except for the sticker insert on the back plate space. Made in China, one brand fits all.

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