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F&V Lighting K4000 Panels

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Matt Townley
F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Dec 11, 2013 at 6:15:13 pm

Does anyone have any experience or input on the F&V Lighting K4000 Studio Panels? http://www.fvlighting.com/k4000-led-studio-panel-3-light-kit.html

For a 3pc 1x1 set, the price is certainly right, but any price isn't worth it if the product doesn't work well. I've read a few positive things, but can't find a lot of resources for people that have actually used them regularly for production work.

Any thoughts? Or any other favorite alternatives to LP (read: lower cost) options for LED lights?

Thanks.


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Rick Wise
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Dec 11, 2013 at 6:33:06 pm

I have no hands-on experience. The specs state a CRI or around 85. That suggests there is either incomplete color and/or a green spike. the spike can be handles with 1/8 or 1/4 Minus-Green, but incomplete color cannot be filtered very well. Maybe a phone call to them could elicit an answer to those issues, unless you get only a salesperson.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Matt Townley
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Dec 20, 2013 at 3:23:43 pm

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the thoughts. I decided to pickup a 3pc set of the F&V K4000 daylight floods to try. For the price it was just too hard to pass up. I've read from others that they have measured a CRI quite a bit higher than 85 from them, so maybe that number is conservative.

I haven't had a chance to shoot anything yet, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised by the build quality. Seems strong and durable and the case for the set is nice. The diffusion panels leave a LOT to be desired, but I knew that was a common complaint going into it. I'm curious to see if I can find a way to rig a cloth-like diffusion similar to a KinoFlo diva.

Once I have a chance to use them on a few shoots I'll post some more thoughts.


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Tom Nelson
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Jan 16, 2014 at 3:43:22 pm

Matt,

I've owned the F&V 3-light kit for about a year now and have used it in the field extensively - pretty decent build quality and I have yet to have one fail. The diffusion is a JOKE and even with LEDs, I'm lost without a softbox. I used to use CoolLights 1x1 LEDs and they have a 2x2 softbox that is designed for the Coollights. I ordered one (collights.biz), cause they're 99 bucks (Comes with egg crate, too), and with a few pieces of aluminum stock and some hardware, I fitted it onto the F&V using the threaded holes. I can send some photos if you'd like. It's such a money saver and looks pretty legit, if you ask me.

-Tom


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Jamie MacLeod
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Oct 27, 2014 at 2:08:35 pm

Hi Tom,


Just a quick question. Why is the diffusion panel so much worse, and what does a softbox give you that the diffusion panel doesn't?


Thanks a bunch for the help!


Jamie


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Tom Nelson
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Oct 27, 2014 at 5:52:34 pm

The diffusion panels are attached with these 3 inch bolts and nuts, on all 4 corners of the unit. They sit 3 inches away from the face of the unit, so light spills out the sides and goes everywhere - not a problem with a real softbox. I'm thinking about cutting the panels down to the size of the light and adding some velcro to hold them on to the front. The panels are also a bit wider than the unit, so it's difficult to angle the lights up or down because the panel gets in the way.

I've got to say, though, the light is already pretty soft straight off the unit; often I just use them open-faced without the diffusion; still pretty nice.

-Tom

Tom Nelson
Cinematograper/Editor


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Jamie MacLeod
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Oct 27, 2014 at 6:52:06 pm

Thanks for the quick response Tom!

So with the exception of usability, do you think there is a difference between the diffusion panel and a softbox for these lights? I.e. in terms of the quality of the light/ softness? I guess if the spill was directed out the front, less light would be lost.

Cheers.


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Tom Nelson
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Oct 27, 2014 at 7:24:15 pm

I like using a softbox with them because it increases the size of the source and controls spill. It's very much an inexact science with these lights, though; I'm not sure how much the diffusion that comes with it cuts down on the light output. For the price, it makes sense to buy them and try them, and possibly modify them to make them work with your style. They're pretty good right out of the box, though.

-Tom

Tom Nelson
Cinematograper/Editor


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John Bocchicchio
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Oct 10, 2015 at 6:43:53 am

Could you use black aluminum wrap on the edges of the milk diffuser? I worried about the spill especially since I need pure soft light. I am going to give it a go on Monday. Thanks for the info!


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Peter Rummel
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Jan 17, 2014 at 4:42:49 pm

I'm interested in the F&V lights. Have you used yours yet? Any comments? How is the color rendition?



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Matt Townley
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Jan 17, 2014 at 4:48:55 pm

I've used them on 2 shoots so far and am very pleased. The build quality is actually better than I expected.

Color rendition seems to be good. Wouldn't be surprised if the 85 rating they quote is conservative. I haven't actually measured it but just going off of "how's it look to the eye through a properly white balanced camera" - the color looks great.

As others have said, the diffusers that come with them are pretty bad. If you account for the pain to attach them, then I would even say REALLY bad. Why couldn't they make them a slide-in sort of thing instead of requiring 4 bolts? Or heck, even magnets like some of my small on-camera LED lights. I pump 1 or 2 of them through a 4x4 silk for my key and have great results. That leaves 1 for a hair light or bg light depending on the shoot. I got a double header to attach 2 of them to one stand when I use 2 for a key and it works great.

The biggest thing that has surprised me is how bright these get.

Overall, very pleased.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Aug 12, 2014 at 7:40:52 pm

I am also debating a purchase of a F&V kit, only I am looking at the K4000S Bi-Color model.

The offset diffuser panel sounds like a good idea. Sorry to hear it is poorly implemented.

The 85 CRI rating has been troubling me. However, I own a F&V R-300 Ring Light, which has the same rating, and I think the light quality from it is simply lovely. Last Christmas, I took mine to Anson, Texas, and shot a little video on the 5D Mk III of the historic Cowboy Christmas Ball. This event has been going since the 1880s, and most everyone who attends is in period dress. This means lots of deep saturated colors in the women's full length ornate gowns, all sorts of colors and fabrics... plus skin tones from dainty ladies to rugged cowboys.

The R-300 is extremely well designed and construction is excellent. I have the optional rail adapter, which is plastic with a metal bracket connecting to the light. A month ago, I threw the camera rig in an overloaded Suburban and drove 1,200 miles to Utah. Along the way, the weight of my gear shifted. Huge surprise - the plastic did not break or stress fracture, but the metal bracket bent instead. This is not a cheap piece of stamped metal, but well finished and thick. I was not able to bend it straight without disassembling (required removing two machine head screws), but that is a good thing. Clamping one end in a vise and grabbing the other with a pair of vice grip pliers, I was able to straighten it out good as new.

If the build quality of the K4000S panels is on par with the F&V ring light, and the color as well, with bonus points for a quality 3-light kit case, then I'm sold.

BTW - anyone interested in the ring light should get the optional milky white diffuser and the rod adapter. If anybody is interested, I could probably post a picture of my rig, and perhaps a bit of video from the Cowboy Christmas Ball.


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Matt Townley
Re: F&V Lighting K4000 Panels
on Aug 12, 2014 at 7:54:45 pm

I used the daylight models for many shoots between January and July this year and finally decided that I really wanted the bicolor. I sold the daylight kit last month and got the bicolor and love them even more than the daylight kit.

They have also upgraded to a new method to attach the milk diffuser, which solves my complaint about them and now makes them useable. I think all the new kits are shipping with them now.

The luminance of the bicolor is slightly lower than the daylight when on either side of the spectrum, but if you are at full tungsten it's a higher luminance that what you would have with a gel'ed daylight. I also mix color temps a lot for indoor shoots in office interiors where lighting is all over the place.


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