Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 23,847
Video Light for Still Photography

I have been looking into continuous lighting options, either for mounting on a hot shoe or, off camera and I wondered if anyone had experience with any of the various LED panels that are out there. Looks like you can spend anywhere from 30 to 500 dollars (probably more) on one of these. Anyway, any input is appreciated.

12-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
Pentaxian
panoguy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington, D.C.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,314
I bought a pair of these Fotodiox-branded 209 LED, dimmable, color-temp adjustable lamps, but not at that price! They are ~$129 on Amazon.com from the same company...

So far, I'm pretty happy with them. The fact that I can adjust the light intensity and color (without physically moving them) and see the results and the effect on my metering in real time, is SO much easier than flash guns and diffusers and experimenting. Of course, you won't get anywhere near the light output levels of a flash-based system, but these units are small ones (5"x7") and LEDs in general don't have the "throw" that a flash does.

I was also leery of the eBay, shipped-from-china, $70 units with a similar # of LED lamps. Even though I know I could find "reviews" of them here and there, and that my Fotodiox units were probably made in the same factory, I prefer the fact that Fotodiox ships from Waukegan, IL, and has a 1-800 for support and returns, etc.

Another (bigger) reason for buying the Fotodiox LED panels was this sale they were having for "the backpack kit" of two of the 209AS units (which include Li-ion batteries, chargers, a case, and hotshoe ballheads), bundled with an adjustable light arm, clamp, and a big reflector panel, for not much more than their "retail" price of one unit. I was on the fence with a whole bunch of "watched items" on eBay, and when I saw this I decided to go for it.

Anyhow, my "mini review" of the LED panels themselves is that they are built a lot better than I expected (but still mainly hollow plastic), and have effective rheostats for both dimmable intensity (roughly 50%-100%, even though it says "10%" - please, they're LEDs not tungsten!), and a knob to control the "color temperature" of the whole unit by dimming either the warm (tungsten) LEDs, or the cool (daylight) LEDs in the array. That's why they look like alternating rows of yellow and white lights - it's bi-colored. What this means is that if you go all one temp or the other, you're at about 50% light output anyhow. So the units pump out less light than an all-white 209 LED panel (Fotodiox 209A) would, but are still plenty bright for things within 5-7 feet of the panel, and the temp control allows me to match the ambient.

A few nice things about these Fotodiox units that other ones I looked at didn't have: the a decent, rechargeable Li-ion battery is included (with charger and cables), and there is a "battery test" button/lights on the back; the charger's AC adapter can be directly connected to the light for longer run-time; the case has locking connector slots on the edges to "snap together" more than one light into a bigger, single panel; the included soft case is a handy place to store the unit and accessories when not in use.

Because I bought their "backpack bundle" early on, the folks at Fotodiox also threw in a free "120A" mini-LED panel, which is about 3"x3" and has a built-in battery. This little thing is perfect for my Q and doing little videos around the house! I think they are normally around $60...

One note on LED lights in general: they need serious diffusion to get rid of the "row of bulbs" reflections in very shiny objects, and as I mentioned, they are very bright when close-up and almost painful to look at for human subjects. Definitely don't plan on mounting them to the hotshoe and shooting portraits - you will get nothing but squints and the sides of heads! Hold them off to the side or point at a wall or ceiling...

"Row of bulbs" reflections:

Last edited by panoguy; 12-06-2012 at 08:37 AM.
12-06-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 23,847
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I bought a pair of these Fotodiox-branded 209 LED, dimmable, color-temp adjustable lamps, but not at that price! They are ~$129 on Amazon.com from the same company...

So far, I'm pretty happy with them. The fact that I can adjust the light intensity and color (without physically moving them) and see the results and the effect on my metering in real time, is SO much easier than flash guns and diffusers and experimenting. Of course, you won't get anywhere near the light output levels of a flash-based system, but these units are small ones (5"x7") and LEDs in general don't have the "throw" that a flash does.

I was also leery of the eBay, shipped-from-china, $70 units with a similar # of LED lamps. Even though I know I could find "reviews" of them here and there, and that my Fotodiox units were probably made in the same factory, I prefer the fact that Fotodiox ships from Waukegan, IL, and has a 1-800 for support and returns, etc.

Another (bigger) reason for buying the Fotodiox LED panels was this sale they were having for "the backpack kit" of two of the 209AS units (which include Li-ion batteries, chargers, a case, and hotshoe ballheads), bundled with an adjustable light arm, clamp, and a big reflector panel, for not much more than their "retail" price of one unit. I was on the fence with a whole bunch of "watched items" on eBay, and when I saw this I decided to go for it.

Anyhow, my "mini review" of the LED panels themselves is that they are built a lot better than I expected (but still mainly hollow plastic), and have effective rheostats for both dimmable intensity (roughly 50%-100%, even though it says "10%" - please, they're LEDs not tungsten!), and a knob to control the "color temperature" of the whole unit by dimming either the warm (tungsten) LEDs, or the cool (daylight) LEDs in the array. That's why they look like alternating rows of yellow and white lights - it's bi-colored. What this means is that if you go all one temp or the other, you're at about 50% light output anyhow. So the units pump out less light than an all-white 209 LED panel (Fotodiox 209A) would, but are still plenty bright for things within 5-7 feet of the panel, and the temp control allows me to match the ambient.

A few nice things about these Fotodiox units that other ones I looked at didn't have: the a decent, rechargeable Li-ion battery is included (with charger and cables), and there is a "battery test" button/lights on the back; the charger's AC adapter can be directly connected to the light for longer run-time; the case has locking connector slots on the edges to "snap together" more than one light into a bigger, single panel; the included soft case is a handy place to store the unit and accessories when not in use.

Because I bought their "backpack bundle" early on, the folks at Fotodiox also threw in a free "120A" mini-LED panel, which is about 3"x3" and has a built-in battery. This little thing is perfect for my Q and doing little videos around the house! I think they are normally around $60...

One note on LED lights in general: they need serious diffusion to get rid of the "row of bulbs" reflections in very shiny objects, and as I mentioned, they are very bright when close-up and almost painful to look at for human subjects. Definitely don't plan on mounting them to the hotshoe and shooting portraits - you will get nothing but squints and the sides of heads! Hold them off to the side or point at a wall or ceiling...

"Row of bulbs" reflections:
Thanks. Yeah, I think definitely using something like this off camera -- maybe mixing with window light -- is what I am looking for. I don't particularly want to blind anyone and LED lights do seem pretty bright, without a whole lot of range.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
flash, lighting, photo studio, strobist
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
help reqd for Low light Party photography! ajaya Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 19 10-30-2012 07:29 AM
LED light for still photography? iht Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 8 10-26-2012 05:54 AM
Any good video "lessons" or guides for photography? Kona Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12 03-09-2012 08:48 AM
How the GH2 is still top dog for video quality jogiba Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10 09-30-2011 06:48 AM
Any <$200 AF lenses for low-light photography (Primes? Zooms?) ? photoleet Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 87 08-01-2011 09:21 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:59 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top