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Litepanels new Sola/Inca 12 346w LED fresnels


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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:19 AM

Hi guys,

 

Has anyone had a chance to look at or use Litepanels' new, 12" LED fresnel units?

 

They're called the Sola 12 (5600k) and Inca 12 (3200k).

 

http://litepanels.com/sola12.php

 

Power draw is 346w, which is claimed to be equivalent to a 2K tungsten fresnel.

 

They're big bastards (15kg) with commensurate prices, but if the light quality is good - that's a hell of a lot of light (with beam control) for just a 346w draw.


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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:12 AM

I haven't had a lot of time for Litepanels since they started bullying people with a patent on the blindingly obvious.


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#3 andrew ward

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:31 AM

Purty. I want two.
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#4 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:41 AM

Actually, the more I think about the price, the more I think a Plasma light would make more sense. Same sort of price, same sort of output, but you get full spectrum light a true single source light and a much lighter fixture (though without a 12" fresnel lens - which can do pretty things to), oh, and only 270w draw!
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:28 AM

No hot start, though.


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:05 AM

I used both of these, and of the two, the only one I really liked was the Sola. The Inca, despite it's big sized, never seemed right, or to give nearly as much output as the sola.

Also they are a bit flimsy.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:30 PM

 

I am suspicious about Litepanels' commitment to colour accuracy. From the contents of Zerb (the Guild of Television Cameramen's magazine) this month:
 

 

The TLCI - colour specialist Alan Roberts on how the new measurement system can help you accurately assess the colour output of your lamps Index or eyeball?... but offering another viewpoint, Pat Grosswendt of Litepanels argues that the most important assessment tool is still the experienced eye
 
Er, yes.
 
The only Litepanels product in the GTC's TLCI test series is the DFlood (about which I know nothing), but which scored a pretty miserable 51. The test procedure describes results in the 50-75 range as "a colourist would certainly want to correct the errors, and could probably  achieve an acceptable result, but it would take significant time to get there". And it's only a point or two from "the colour rendering is poor, and a good colourist would be needed to improve  it, but the results would not be to broadcast standard".
 
So let's look at this objectively: Litepanels charge a lot of money for their products, which are made out of plastic and have dimmers wherein all the control is in the last 30% of the rotation. They're patent trolls (notwithstanding their interest in protecting themselves from even worse chinese knockoffs) and the only colorimetry data we have is unconvincing. And they're trying to make excuses for it in a guild rag.
 
If you want something with poor colour rendering and iffy ergonomics on the controls, well, you can buy the parts to make that on ebay and knock it up in an evening.

 

 


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#8 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 05:47 AM

Oh, and another option that had completely slipped my mind - the new Mole LED fresnels. They have a 400w unit that's almost half the price of the Litepanels!

And I think Mitch Gross reported that their colour accuracy is meant to be pretty damn good.

That's a very appealing option.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:11 AM

Well, that's an easy choice.


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#10 Stuart Allman

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:22 AM

I sat down and spoke with Pat at NAB earlier this year.  He was of the opinion that most DP's put gels over their lights to modify the color so why make the light absolute color accurate?  In a certain sense, he has a point, and in another sense we all want to start from a known good point before correcting anything.  So I guess it really depends on your use.  Is this an effects light that gets color modified or a key light on a well compensated actor?

 

I've used the sola evaluation units from Litepanels and I can say that there is a large mechanical difference between those and the Mole unit I was using last night.  The Mole LED junior light seems to be at least physically comparable to their standard lights, which may be a good and bad thing.  I would personally like the same output in a smaller package since I have to pack my own equipment in.  As for light quality...I didn't have a way to evaluate it other than to say that it looked bright to me,  When I evaluated the Litepanels Sola the color temperature was most definitely a bit "off" toward Magenta in my tests.  Between the tweenie and baby the color temperature wasn't consistent either.  I'm not insinuating that Mole does or doesn't have that issue - I don't know.


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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:13 AM

Is this an effects light that gets color modified or a key light on a well compensated actor?

 

Well, quite.

 

I have lights I use on backdrops and lights I use to key important subjects. I think a lot of this comes down to knowing what does what best, or as we say in my village, competence.

 

With more specific regard to Litepanels, they do seem to be charging top rate for stuff that perhaps isn't.


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#12 Guy Holt

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:48 PM

I sat down and spoke with Pat at NAB earlier this year.  He was of the opinion that most DP's put gels over their lights to modify the color so why make the light absolute color accurate?  In a certain sense, he has a point, ...

 

IMO he doesn’t. What Pat is conveniently glossing over is that no LED (remote phosphor included) will produce the same repeatable result that you get from gelling a continuous source  (tungsten) because their spectral output is discontinuous - consisting of peaks and valleys.

 

What he is failing to appreciate is that all gels (party, effects and color correction) are a part of a finely calibrated imaging system that involves a highly specific light receptor (film emulsion or video sensor), light sources, and color correction or effects gels calibrated for both. Where that exists between film emulsions/video sensors and tungsten and/or daylight sources it is possible to mix dyes in a gelatin materials to create desired effects  (it has taken decades to hone this system.) To use the available gels (listed above) on the discontinuous spectrum of LEDs is a misapplication of a finely tuned system designed for continuous spectrum light sources only.

 

LED_3200K_Remote_Phosphor.jpg

 

This is true of even the best color rendering LEDs out there (and Litepanels are not among them.) While there is no green spike in the output of a Cineo Trucolor 3200 (as there is in the Litepanels), as you can see from the spectral distribution graph above for the Cineo Trucolor 3200 (black line), there exists a definite green/cyan bump, as well as a spike in the blue range that does not exist in the continuous spectrum of a tungsten light source (green line.) The greater proportion of blue and green/cyan in the Cineo Trucolor 3200 will result in an unexpected and undesirable result if a color correction  (CTO, CTS, CTB), or color effect gel (Congo Blue, Bastard Amber, etc.) calibrated for the continuous spectrum of tungsten light is used on this discontinuous spectrum.

 

LED_5600K_Remote_Phosphor.jpg

 

The same is true of the Cineo Trucolor with the 5600K panel above. The quite prominent blue spike (black line) will likewise result in an unexpected and undesirable result if a color correction, or color effect, gel calibrated for the continuous spectrum of a continuous daylight source is used on the discontinuous spectrum of a 5500K remote phosphor LED.

 

Someday, Rosco, Lee, or Gam, will come up with gels calibrated for LEDs but I doubt it will be any time soon given that there is no standard spectral output to LEDs. Perhaps, in the future, when LED technology has become standardized, a system of calibrated gels will be developed; but for now no such color system exists as it does for tungsten sources. Where there are no gels calibrated to correct the discontinuous spectrum of LEDs (remote phosphor included), and the existing color correction gels have undesirable consequences when used on LEDs, the ability to color-correct LEDs is very limited (see camera test results demonstrating this with a Lightpanel 1x1 Daylight Spot.)

 

Hal Smith summed it up very eloquently in a post on the CML when he said: “… If I light with tungsten, I know what the result is going to look like …. Yes, they're hot; yes, they're bulky; yes, they draw a “poop pot” full of electricity but dammit...I know what the result is going to look like...and don't have to give some post pro a bagful of money to straighten out what the LED's screwed up.”

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting & Grip Equipment Rental and Sales in Boston.


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