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For interviews, are LEDs ready?


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#1 Andrew Payne

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:25 PM

I have a trusted Arri kit of tungsten fresnels and I have a couple much loved Diva lights.  These have gotten me through interviews very well.  But, I love the idea of using batteries sometimes, and I love the weight of LEDs too.

 

I'm interested to hear from anyone who has switched to LEDs for interview kits.  What instruments have worked out (or haven't) and if you're finding the upgrade was truly a step up.

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:56 PM

Well, the Arri Skypanel L-60 has become a go to key light for me on interviews when the budget can afford it. When you need a large soft daylight source to balance with sunlit windows in the background, it's fantastic. Have also seen good skin tones come out of the Cineo HS, Litepanel Astra, and the Sumo lights. Although I guess the Cineo and Sumo are remote phosphor lights.
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 10:50 PM

There are several LED panel or array fixtures that have very good color rendition and decent output.  Where it is still a bit tough is in the lensed lights.  If you like hard point sources that can be flagged and otherwise shaped then the choices shrink rapidly.  There are a few manufacturers, but these lights are still expensive compared to the tungsten equivalents.  But yes, you can definitely work entirely in LED/remote phosphor these days with excellent results.  Some talent and clients demand it as they do not want to deal with the heat of tungsten fixtures.


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#4 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 01:34 AM

Yes agree.. LED,s are totally fine for interviews now.. and many advantages.. no or very little heat.. low power consumption or can be easily battery powered.. alot safer than cables lying around in some locations.. and can be placed in confined area,s.. 

 

Im shooting in Germany now ,doing alot of interviews using Kino Celeb,s.. very nice light.. the 400 is a bit big but the 200 is a little smaller the Diva400.. very nice light quality.. and will go through 1/2 or 1/4 diffusion if you are framing tight and can move the light in..

 

Also just bought 2 x Astra.. they are a real step up from the originals.. nicer light and alot more powerful if you need it.. I got rid of all my tungsten lights now.. only have LED and Kino 400 Diva.. although Im seldom using it now.. running off batteries is  much easier.. and safer.. a bit maybe even physiological .. just a light and a stand you can just pick it up and move it anywhere !   once you change no going back.. also some buildings have regulations now and wont you let you use tungsten lights.. I found that in the US a few times.. in California I think ..also have 2 X Arri Locasters.. but dont use them much either.. too small out put and the Arri batteries that come with them are crap and very exp.. one died very quickly and Arri were very unhelpful about a replacement..although the problem was well known to them.. the other died recently too.. so I wouldn't recommend them.. 

 

They are not cheap if you want good LED,s..but dont be tempted.. you,ll have green spikes and all sorts of weirdness.. but for sure its the way to go..an Astra travel kit is probably the best way to go for an interview kit. comes with Pelican case..stands,battery adaptor etc..


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 15 June 2016 - 01:38 AM.

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#5 Andrew Payne

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 12:03 PM

Well, the Arri Skypanel L-60 has become a go to key light for me on interviews when the budget can afford it. When you need a large soft daylight source to balance with sunlit windows in the background, it's fantastic. Have also seen good skin tones come out of the Cineo HS, Litepanel Astra, and the Sumo lights. Although I guess the Cineo and Sumo are remote phosphor lights.

 

 

 

Also just bought 2 x Astra.. they are a real step up from the originals.. nicer light and alot more powerful if you need it.. I got rid of all my tungsten lights now.. only have LED and Kino 400 Diva.. although Im seldom 

 

Thanks for the responses.  The Litepanels are very tempting - I used the 1st gen versions and I liked them.  I've seen that trying to use barn doors with them creates ugly bands in the lighting, and I presume that's true for all LED array panels.

 

That said, what do you do to control spill?  Do large flags create the same banding issues?


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 12:33 PM

For something the size of the Skypanel L-60, you would use 4x4 solid floppies (large flags).
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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 01:28 PM

Egg crates work quite well..  the Astra,s are a step up from the old ,1x1,s I have them too..  the sky panel,s,Locaster and the Celeb have  a diffuse front panel so the light coming off them is more like one source than multi ,like the open face ones..   the Astra line has also recently put out a "soft" light version.. i.e. built in diffusion over the array.. 

 

Big flags will of course work but often there isnt the space for interviews in peoples homes,offices etc.. and its more stands to carry around..in these situations egg crates are probably as best as you can get for controlling spill ..

 

Barn doors are pretty useless on the open array lights.. thats why Lite panels never came with them.. 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 15 June 2016 - 01:30 PM.

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#8 Stuart Allman

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 01:29 PM

Andrew,

 

I think you're referring to the well known LED array problem where you get banding because of the lines of point sources on the bulb.  With remote phosphor fixtures, like the Arri Skypanel, Cineo, and BBS fixtures you won't have that issue.  The remote phosphor panel forms a continuous light source.

 

The bare Astra will have the banding issue, but you'll probably be diffusing it for an interview and so it won't be a problem.

 

I also use Fiilex without noticeable color issues.

 

Stuart Allman

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#9 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 12:22 AM

GOOD LEDs are totally fine for interviews, or commercials or narrative or anything you could think to use them for... but 'good' is the key word there. The bulk of LEDs on the market still have significant issues with colour quality, and the really aren't up to snuff for professional production work in my opinion.

 

The good units are great, and a genuine revelation for motion picture lighting. But they're expensive and they're still a minority - so choose wisely.


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#10 Dominik Bauch

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 07:09 PM

Any one have experience with the Mole Richardson LED Fresnels?

Specifically was thinking about the daylight 400W Junior, seems to pack a good punch. Far more thank a 2k tungsten fresnel and it's daylight balanced.

Only problems seems to be weight and a little pricey vs tungsten fresnels...


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#11 Andrew Payne

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 08:29 PM

Any one have experience with the Mole Richardson LED Fresnels?

Specifically was thinking about the daylight 400W Junior, seems to pack a good punch. Far more thank a 2k tungsten fresnel and it's daylight balanced.

Only problems seems to be weight and a little pricey vs tungsten fresnels...

 

 

I used two of them - the 400 and the 200 - and I found them both very pleasing.  It was also very strange using a light like that but without the scorching heat you normally expect.

 

As you point out though, it's really a studio light and at 10x the cost of a comparable used tungsten fresnel, too pricey for a personal kit right now (for me at least).


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#12 Dominik Bauch

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 09:58 PM

Andrew, would you say that it packed a good punch? What would you rate it in terms of equivalent HMI and Tungsten?


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#13 Andrew Payne

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 11:00 PM

Andrew, would you say that it packed a good punch? What would you rate it in terms of equivalent HMI and Tungsten?

 

 

Hey Dominik, for the 400w LED probably a 2k tungsten fresnel.  As for HMI, I guess about 400W, but in that wattage I’m really only used to open face HMI so it’s not an ideal comparison.


Edited by Andrew Payne, 19 June 2016 - 11:03 PM.

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