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Thread: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

  1. #1
    buzzardkid's Avatar
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    Lightbulb LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    For my professional reportage video assignments I own two smaller LED panels (144 or something LEDs, on Sony 3400MaW batteries, very cheap on eBay), but these do not illuminate sufficiently for LF portraiture.
    I'm looking into buying bigger LED panels (the attaché case sized ones) to shoot 'talking head' digital video and interviews anyway, but I'd like the panels to double as LF illumination too.


    Is anyone also using the larger LED panels that are dedicated for digital video shooting, for LF portraiture? What type or brand LED panel do you use and what are your experiences? Information on diffusing the light from them is also very welcome. Any pictures to show?
    Cheers,
    JN


    Visit www.johanniels.com for articles on photography and camera gear, and pictures

  2. #2

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    i use LED in film and video work since they started and so far i used them all Arri, Moll, Dedo... am not big fan of them at all. yes they are really efficient, cold and have adjustable color temperature (some of them), how ever i dont like the character of light they give. any generaliyation is bad but i would go and say that frenels and PAR,s are better then panels. there is one big issue with large and high output panels that i always had problem with. they are powerful and some times thy can give equivalent to 1.2Kw HMI or 4K Tungsten but physically they are small, some like old Arri SkayPanels are just 24". This is really problematic because if you put them just several meter away form your subject they start rendering as a small, spot like source. Unlike Fresnel you cant put them "in a frame" an have bigger let say 2x2ft surface... this in my opinion was always a big problem. On the other hand i just used DedoLight DLED 4.1 and its best pocket PAR i ever used in my life!
    i used Led panels with 4x5 for a portrets and i used Arri L-5TT in a studio shooting on a hasselblad not long time ago. LF still needs a lot of light LED is powerful per watt but still made for Digital where base sensetevity now days is 800ASA. I am afraid that if you want something for LF you will need to go with Bigest LED's on a market and they are really expensive. that Arri L-5 is around 2.5k USD and L10 is about 5K give or take. SkyPanels are in a same 5k range and there are other makers that make cheaper big panels but not as good in terms of light quality. DEDOS are grate but 40W only that will give you aproximatlly as 250W HMI pocket par or 1KW Tungsten Fresnel. i really like them for ascents, cuts, shadow making or hair light again they are pricy bastards as well. so lets say 1 big LED frenel, two cheper panels and one dedo and you are in 10k range. bad thing with investing in LED is that its rapidity progresing technology and it wont last. where i work, we have one huge pile of first generation LED's that are waiting to be written off. in a same studio we have Moll and Arri fresnels form 1980's and 90's still working and still used on multi million dollar productions. My advice would be wait bit longer and get 4th gen

  3. #3

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    Since Kirk Tuck wrote a book on LED lighting, you might check his blog http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    buzzardkid's Avatar
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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    Doug, Lukas, thank you!

    I've been eyeballing the Falcon Eyes 1024-LED panels, like these: http://www.benel.nl/webshop/led-verl...t-op-230v.html but would like to know how to diffuse them in a bigger surface, shower curtain style, without actually hanging shower curtains...
    Cheers,
    JN


    Visit www.johanniels.com for articles on photography and camera gear, and pictures

  5. #5

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    I've used Lite Panels, kinoflo celebs, litegear diy panels, Sumo, and ledz. They all work great and can be diffused just any other light source.

  6. #6

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    I've used Lite Panels, kinoflo celebs, litegear diy panels, Sumo, and ledz. They all work great and can be diffused just any other light source.
    Any experience with Lite Panel's Sola Fresnel series? Aside from price they look like they would be good for LF. I was looking at the kit with 3 - sola 4's.
    http://litepanels.com/en-US/Shop/pro...ylight-fresnel

  7. #7

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_4622 View Post
    Any experience with Lite Panel's Sola Fresnel series? Aside from price they look like they would be good for LF. I was looking at the kit with 3 - sola 4's.
    http://litepanels.com/en-US/Shop/pro...ylight-fresnel
    I have handled one but not lit anything with it. Mole also makes retrofit's 1K baby's with single source Led's. Those are pretty cool as well but I'd use a quartz or hmi fresnel first. If your subjects can't take the heat, get different subjects!

  8. #8

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    I bought 3 of the early cheap LED panels, two are like these.

    The first one I bought was 600 LED Bi-Color. Didn't like bi-color at all. So I bought the above which are better and much brighter. Mine have wired long cord dimmers, which I am glad of as I have lost confidence in cheap wireless anything.

    I still use them and have them permanently wall mounted, I bounce them off the ceiling, V-Cards or use one dimmed for LF focus and then turn it off, and pop strobes. At one time i had one of the big ones mounted just above the lens of a studio 11x14. Nix that.

    I use them for hobby video, but would prefer to have Vinny's recommendation of HMI Fresnel set of 4.

    I also used Tota's for years, both video and still film. Hot stuff...


    ps: The cheap LED panels have been 100% reliable.

  9. #9
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    I recently had some Maine Media students and instructor to my place of work for them to film an interview for one of their classes. They had Litepanels lights as they are a MMWC sponsor. I was quite impressed by the lights but they are above my budget for hobby uses. The fresnel linked above was very lightweight (easy to put on a boom) and adjustable. They also had a few other lights that worked well. The color balance was good (Cloudy white balance used on these dslr shots) The color balance wasn't visibly different as the lights were dimmed. They were rugged; one stand fell over with a small light on it and it only knocked the battery loose. Knobs on potentiometers were attached with set screws rather than friction or glue. Seems like good stuff.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    Re: LED panels for continuous light? Who uses them?

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzardkid View Post
    For my professional reportage video assignments I own two smaller LED panels (144 or something LEDs, on Sony 3400MaW batteries, very cheap on eBay), but these do not illuminate sufficiently for LF portraiture.
    I'm looking into buying bigger LED panels (the attaché case sized ones) to shoot 'talking head' digital video and interviews anyway, but I'd like the panels to double as LF illumination too.


    Is anyone also using the larger LED panels that are dedicated for digital video shooting, for LF portraiture? What type or brand LED panel do you use and what are your experiences? Information on diffusing the light from them is also very welcome. Any pictures to show?

    There are some really great LED fixtures out there, and some truly awful ones, and the price is not always commensurate with the quality.

    A major factor to look for is the CRI rating. This is a measurement of how evenly each frequency is represented int the spectrum. If any frequency is over/under represented, objects reflecting light in that frequency will appear darker/lighter under this light.

    Ideally this should be at least 90. For reference, the sun is 100, Incandescent light is usually about 98, and a cheap shop fluorescent is about 70. If you can't find information on the CRI, I wouldn't buy the light.

    The lite panel Astras are lightweight and very bright. It is a good soft light, but as it is a softlight, spills everywhere.

    The Kino Flo Celebs are even softer, and even better, but much heavier, and super expensive.

    If you want a hard light Desisti makes a really nice Fresnel that I would recomend, and Coemar makes a good par and a good ellipsoidal.

    If output is your main concern you really can't beat an Aadyntech. The Jab is a nice compact fixture with a ton of output. Just watch out for multi-shadows without a "lens" in place.

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