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Bob Cole
durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 5, 2015 at 7:31:24 pm

What lighting gear have you found to be the most indestructible for shipping? LED? Fluoro? Tungsten? and what brands? Mole? KinoFlo? Lightpanels? etc.

Matches and kindling?

I find that I bring redundant fixtures, just to be sure I have a complete kit that works -- and I'm trying to travel and to ship lighter.

Thanks.

Bob C


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Todd Terry
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 5, 2015 at 7:39:08 pm

I think it's a pretty clear call that LED instruments are by far the lightest weight (per output), and will also fare best as far as abuse/shipping goes.

Now, what flavors and brands, I couldn't say. Our lighting arsenal is a total mishmash of stuff, so I've never been married that much to any one brand (except for fresnels, love LTM peppers).

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 5, 2015 at 7:56:07 pm

The old standby method was to ship the fixtures, sans bulbs, and pick up bulbs locally near the location.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 6, 2015 at 4:51:56 am
Last Edited By Erik Anschicks on Nov 6, 2015 at 4:55:06 am

I'd say florescent are by far the worst for shipping since the bulbs can break easily and getting local replacements would be a rarity in all but the largest production markets. Tungsten and HMIs can have the same problem, but the bulbs are much smaller and easier to remove and stick into a backpack with you, can't really do that with flos. I never fly with even Divas these days if I can help it, even with extra padding the bulbs have broken on me.

With LEDs, I agree with Todd, they're probably the easiest lumens per watt in terms of portability and would probably hold up fine. Some LED units aren't the most durable in general though since a lot are plastic-y and/or not really designed to take abuse. The Litepanels Astra for instance has a large plastic shell that I've seen crack easily, especially around the power supply. I'm not knocking Litepanels, in general they've held up fine but I have seen multiple Astras that have cracks in them. The LED units I use mostly are the Area 48 panels and Dedolight DLEDs, which are both high-quality metal fixtures with heat sinks that are quite thick.

Tungsten or HMI heads, at least Arri, Mole, or K5600, I've never had a problem with. You'd literally have to TRY to break a Mole fixture, and Arris can be put into their kit cases and fly all over and remain mostly unscathed, perhaps bending a piece of metal back into place, but that's about it. So overall, I'd stick to LED or tungsten where you can easily remove the bulbs if desired...and CERTAINLY do this with HMIs.

Regardless of what type of fixture you choose, if durability is a prime concern, stick with established name-brand fixtures or high-end newer ones that have quality materials. It's more expensive, but worth it in this case. The easiest way lower-end units or knockoffs save money to offer lower prices is in the build quality and materials. Arri, Mole, Kino, K5600, Dedo, or LTM have to take abuse as rental units and are built to spec accordingly.

Which units do you have in mind?


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Bob Cole
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 10, 2015 at 7:53:23 pm

[Erik Anschicks] "Which units do you have in mind?"

For local shoots I use a Diva, fresnels (Mole and Pepper), various Chimeras, & Source 4.

Travel: the fresnels, Chimeras. I use D-lights and Tota-lights for the Chimeras; I really like Tota's for travel: cheap, small, and I have enough that I can just swap them out if a bulb goes in the middle of a shoot.

I have had good luck shipping the Diva, but I've only done it when I could afford a huge, heavily-padded case.

Thanks Terry, Mark, Erik. I was very interested in all the responses. The weakness in my travel kit is anything daylight. So I'm very interested in the suggestion of LEDs, though the tough ones seem expensive.

Thanks again!

Bob C


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 11, 2015 at 4:58:24 am

Yeah, the price of excellent daylight LED (or any fixtures, really) lights is always the drawback. That being said, they open up SO many more possibilities and lessen almost every drawback to location shooting imaginable, from heat, to color temp matching, to power draw, to location logistics, etc. I have moved almost entirely to daylight lights in my standard kit these days, a mixture of hard and soft light LED, flo, HMI, and plasma. If it's an area you're lacking in as you say, I would very seriously consider such methods.

The power draw in particular, or really the lack thereof, has been a near-magical game changer to working this way. Using a combination of my lights, I can get the approximate lumens equivalent of almost 13K worth of tungsten on a SINGLE 15 amp circuit. If I have 2 clean circuits and ran the LEDs from battery power, I can nearly double that adding a 1200 par or two, though honestly I very rarely power the LEDs via battery if AC power exists where I am.

Of course, this is really only worth it if the type of shooting you do lends itself to these methods! For me, a lot of my bread-and-butter shoots tend to be location ones where we don't know what exactly we're walking into and have to bring as much as space and budget allow to handle almost anything you could expect from a small to large(ish) location. Maximum flexibility from our G&E kits is top priority, which is most easily accomplished with daylight fixtures and the aforementioned advantages they offer. Replacing existing practical lighting from most bulbs found in household lamps or fixtures is no problem either, as I'll also bring some of the daylight-balanced screw-in bulbs that Kino Flo makes so I can change out practicals or use in china balls. Having the ability to be able to attack almost any situation and having an ideal fixture to draw upon for whatever that particular shot needs ultimately makes things a WHOLE lot easier for us.

An added bonus is the fact that many of these newfangled daylight fixtures are relatively compact and lightweight designs with portability in mind, so you can maximize your cargo space as well. All of my lights plus a pretty complete G&E kit, a complete cine camera package and two carts fit easily into my Chevy Traverse.

I still kept all my older tungsten units, but I find I really only use them in very specific situations, such as matching existing lighting in night exteriors or to obtain a warm, almost candlelight feel for a nighttime interior. Otherwise, 5600K is my new standard.


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Bob Cole
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:20:21 pm

[Erik Anschicks] "the price of excellent daylight LED "

What's excellent? I'd be interested in peoples' experience with the large variety of LEDs now.

LEDs seem particularly difficult to evaluate: CRI figures are very suspect (aren't they just supplied by the manufacturer?), and component quality and durability are impossible to judge. I can tell which ones have plastic housings on the outside, but I can't tell who has better quality control over the solder joints and the capacitors on the circuit boards inside.

The prices of LEDs are all over the map, and I'm not sure that higher-priced necessarily means better quality. A thorough-going "shoot-out" of LEDs would be a great topic for one of the trades.

Tungsten is going out, but there's something to be said for the simplicity of screwing a light bulb into a socket that is wired to a wall outlet.

Thanks very much for the feedback.

Bob C


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:10:45 am

[Bob Cole] "LEDs seem particularly difficult to evaluate"

I agree that sussing out quality in LED fixtures is messy and difficult. I was relatively late to jumping into the LED pool for exactly this reason, I waited out various incarnations of them until I finally found some that I was happy enough with to use as primary lamps for uses beyond run and gun. In no particular order, here are a few of the things I learned along the way that might prove helpful.

1. TLCI.

Look at TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) rather than CRI. CRI figures aren't just suspect because of what manufacturers say, they're not the most accurate way of determining color. Enter Alan Roberts, a highly esteemed BBC engineer who came up with a better way of determining color fidelity based on how modern television sensors and other equipment render color. Rather than my summarizing, here's a helpful link: https://www.cinema5d.com/led-light-accuracy-tlci/

Note that within the article you can download the most up to date TLCI performances of most major LED lights from independent tests conducted by Roberts, NOT the manufacturers. I've found this to be an excellent starting place to evaluate LEDs, not just because of the results but also because the most reputable manufacturers will openly publish their results and/or provide them if asked. The lesser ones will not and simply hide behind a CRI they tell you that there is indeed no way to easily verify.

2. Convenience vs. Aesthetics. Which matters more to you for your work?

I say "vs" because in my experience, LEDs that prioritize convenience and all-built-in features have to have a catch somewhere and usually that is they often don't give the most optimal light quality and are simply designed to pour out light that can somewhat blend with most environments. I'm sure there are people that disagree with this, but I believe they are marketed more towards run and gun type shooting where color fidelity and output don't matter as much since there's usually not time to properly light or you're just going with what's existing and filling in. Now this being said, whether or not this matters depends entirely on the work you do. If you need the speed, it'll be fine and probably even preferable given the cost differences. Anything beyond that though...

As an example of a difference, the Area 48 or Cineo lamps might (and have) turn some people off because you have to manually swap panels rated for different color temperatures instead of simply turning a dial. However, this results in better color fidelity because it's the phosphors in the panels themselves that control the color, bypassing the inherent color limitations of LED bulbs themselves. This not only results in better color, but they also remain color-stable over long continuous periods, whereas others tend to go green or otherwise shift over time. Do these small differences matter as much? That's a matter of personal use and opinion. To me for my work, they do, but YMMV. Just something I've noticed.

3. Build Quality and specs.

Along the same lines as #2, I've also found that the best units also tend to be a bit heavier than plastic panels. I like units that utilize metal parts and heat sinks as opposed to fans, which you CAN hear in sound-sensitive environments. Most of the better ones will also be flicker-free and utilize a bit beefier but more stable power supply. They will often also use 4 pin XLR cables and connectors instead of a cheap plastic connector. Many will also have DMX capability (if you need that sort of thing) and the ability to program special features.

4. Playing well with others.

One of the first things that impressed me about the units I have is how well they blended with my existing Kinos and HMIs. I can't put my finger on exactly HOW this is done or how it varies, but there have been some units I've tested that didn't go green or magenta but were just plain warmer or didn't really match well with other units that weren't LEDs. My hunch is that the better companies actively test and compare their products to these other established fixtures and put a priority on blending the light quality as best they can. Now obviously this requires hands-on testing, but it's well worth it in the end to get a demo model or rent a unit you're considering to see how it can integrate into your current setup.

I know this is kind of a book, but hopefully it can start to de-mystify some matters. It's of course by no means gospel, just my opinions and observations after utilizing these types of fixtures extensively over the last couple of years and learning as much as I can in the process!


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Bill Davis
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:07:23 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Nov 15, 2015 at 8:12:22 pm

I'm going to go out on another limb and go against the orthodoxy here a bit.

First, my money where my mouth is, two weeks ago I sold off ALL my tungsten.

Yes, it was really tough to let go of my 20 year collection of Arri Fresnels and Lowel Totas and the dozens of other tungsten fixtures I've been accumulating my whole career - BUT - they were heavy and inefficient and regardless of how beautiful and well understood the light they produced was - to me I just couldn't get past their horrible inefficiencies. Power draw, weight and most of all the SPACE it took to own and maintain all the ancillary gear needed to run them. Heavier stands. Long heavy stingers. Weighty barn doors and grip arms and pantographs in my studio. I honestly started to feel the infrastructure of tungsten was weighing me down. So it's now gone.

I also have a significant investment in color balanced fluorescent in my studio. BUT - again, these are weighty and while the light is lovely (I have both 5600 and 3200 lamps for all of them) I just can't get past the feeling their brief time has come and gone.

Which brings me to the love/hate of the modern LED world.

Everyone agrees their power/weight/electrical efficiency is miles better than the other stuff.

BUT today the light production is inexact and often a problem. What to do?

For me, it was noticing that on my last few shoots, when I needed more light in a hurry - and I grabbed one of my low cost "test" plastic LEDs units - the resulting footage, as captured by a Canon C-100 in modern Sheraton hotel ballroom and breakout room lighting - and brought into FCP X - barely needed correcting and looked great! And these weren't high priced fixtures. They were literally the $30 off-shore LED units I was testing to replace my old Totas as battery powered fill lights.

They are cheap crap and YES they will likely break. But I have to wonder if thats all that important any more? I could pack 10 of them in a plastic case - (for weight, not quality) nestled in pick and pluck foam - and if they tip over and smash, I'd just grab another - and it's a $30 problem. No more than a lamp burnout in one of my old Arris. Plus with the new tools I have in FCP X - as long as I understand the issues of MIXED light and address that in the field. (filters are your friend!) I've been just fine.

The bigger problem is that I haven't developed strategies and accessories yet to fully get the quality of results I desire out of the new kit. But I think I will. And if I do, then I might achiever my real goal. A kit I can take anywhere and light properly with - in a fraction of the space and with a fraction of the power I needed once upon a time.

I think the future is going to be about a continued trend towards a separation of the light generating element from it's "modifier housings." I'm already seeing this in the photographic realm where companies have a long history of making lightweight modifiers for flash units. Clearly something good for a flash isn't going to cut it on a high-heat AC-sucking tungsten source, but an LED source? It might be fine.

It was a post right here in this forum that got me to reconsider the idea of using umbrellas as bounce diffusers. Now I own 6 of them. And they work as well with an LED as they did with an Arri Fresnel!

Also look at the innovation happening in LED. I was reading about the Rosco edge-lit panel style LED fixtures just yesterday. The pace of development on the LED side is blazing.

Perhaps someday we'll fly to our locations with just our tiny light generation kits - and order up modifiers and even light modifying lenses to shape the light from the local 3D print shop!

Bottom line for me. I've got to let go of what I know and learn new stuff.
It's the world I live in now.

Your mileage will ABSOLUTELY vary.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Bob Cole
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 3:00:39 am

Thanks Bill. Care to be specific about the inexpensive yet effective LEDs you're using?

I don't quite follow what you're saying about light modifiers. What exactly are you talking about, and why should that change, even if the source of the light does?

Bob C


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Bill Davis
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 8:36:32 pm

Bob,

The super cheap test unit I grabbed on the last shoot was a Neewer 216. A insanely cheap "pretty much daylight temp" plastic box around a basic LED array with a simple circuit board and nothing but a plastic cold shoe mount with a 1/4-20 embedded brass tap. A whopping $30 out the mail order door!

By contrast, I needed a traveling LED so I bought a bi-color Dracast LED unit at about $200. Way better construction and controls. Aluminum instead of plastic, Upper and lower mounting points, WAY slicker all the way around - BUT the practical level of illumination is sadly WAY lower than the cheap Neewer gizmos.

And I can own 6-7 of the Neewer units for the price of one like the Dracast.

Lets say you're looking for a Lightpanel 1x1. The off-shore versions are $300 verses $2000 for the name brands. It's clear you get a HUGE build quality increase - but what s the delta for the functional increase?

And thats why I'm trying to re-think things. Is a BAG of 6 cheap plastic lights MORE valuable - day to day - than ONE bi-color much higher quality instrument?

If it's exclusively used as an Obie, probably not. In rigging alone, more money gets you real advantages in not dealing with plastic crap.

But can I leverage those 6 cheap heads with gang mounts, soft boxes, grids, umbrellas and flags (all of which are super light, super easy to travel with, and dang cheap - and start thinking in "disposable lighting" for the future.?

I do NOT claim to have an answer to this. But it's part of why I looked around at all that tungsten gear and realized that for me that era is officially OVER.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 4:58:23 am

Bill, I think you're right on with the trends you're describing in custom modifiers. For some, the flexibility this allows for is a major selling point.

For example, Hive Lighting plasma and Hexolux (Visionsmith) LED units are now offering custom modifiers for their base lamps which seem to be lifted straight from the strobe world, such as beauty dishes, dome-style umbrellas, and large octagonal softboxes. Hive is also allowing use of a Source Four barrel on their larger Wasp unit, similar to what K5600 made possible with their "Jo-Leko" kit.

Bill's wish of a universal lighting kit with an unbelievably small footprint, both in actual size and power draw, is closer than ever. I too have been on a journey towards just that, and portable modifiers and accessories are the real key because they are what's going to make a very small light look like a much larger source! That's the one thing larger units have going for them, the inherent softness. It's why whenever possible I've always preferred 4x4' Kinos to the Divas, their size makes them quite noticeably softer right out of the box whilst being about equal in brightness.

However, a smaller light or two bright enough to bounce or make a booklight out of with an 8x8' silk and bounce material that can pack into a small case or two? That's gold for any traveling shooter. I've been picking up a bunch of parts that help achieve this goal over the last couple of years and it's really helped me build confidence that I can handle most locations without a truck!


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Todd Terry
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 5:22:58 am

[Erik Anschicks] "Bill's wish of a universal lighting kit with an unbelievably small footprint, both in actual size and power draw, is closer than ever"

It is, indeed. Not that long ago (and I'm talking five years or less) I traveled with a truck full of instruments and all kinds of assorted grip and gak.

Not anymore...

Today, it's almost unbelievable the size/weight difference in what we travel with. It's almost nothing, compared to the "olden days."

Three things happened...

Number one, I hit the big 5-0 two years ago and realized I (and my similarly-aged crew members) was tired of dragging around so much weight.

Number two, cameras got soooooo much faster, it changed the entire way of thinking about lighting. Back when I was shooting film, I didn't really like shooting 5219 because it was a tad grainy for my taste, but when I did break down and shoot it we would all marvel at how fast it was. At 500 ASA. Yes, FIVE HUNDRED, and we thought that was like lightning. Today I regularly shoot at 850 ISO, and sometimes several multiples of that (I shot something at 16,000 ISO a couple of weeks ago), so it has changed everything about the way we think about lighting. Much less firepower is needed now, and often times DP work is now much more subtractive and thinking "What can I turn down, kill, or flag?" rather than the old additive way of thinking.

And thirdly, LED instruments are so much better, smaller, and affordable now. And I run all of mine on bricks (some of which came equipped that way, some of which we added goldmount plates to ourselves). I still use tungstens and flos when on stage, but when on location with the occasional exception of HMIs I never use AC power anymore. And if I never have to look for juice or run a stinger again, that will still be too soon.

Can I light as well with the instruments I have now? Good question. Sometimes yes, sometimes its more "Ehhh, close." I have given up some control, but I think that will be changing as LED instruments improve, more true LED fresnels are developed, and the fixtures become more flaggable and cuttable. But mostly my lighting now is not really "better" or "worse," it's just "different." And it's a whole heckuva lot easier.

Yes, times are changing.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 5:50:31 am

Do you think this era will have a signature "look", as others used to? I'm thinking back to how one thing that makes eighties video "look" "eighties" is the way we did 3-point lighting with a "kicker" plus a hard back light, giving a strong rim light to add separation from the background and simulate "depth". Back-lighting for general situations got much more restrained and muted as the nineties came in, and often today, folks don't bother to add it unless motivated by practical sources in the frame, or for a specific reason. In the late nineties/early singles, the naturalistic, low-budget "Dogme 95" eschewed all but actual practical existing light, and camera sensors were just getting good enough to enable that, if you were smart about how to structure the shot and manage exposure.

When you light to simulate a particular era's style, these things add to the authenticity of the setup.

As we move deeper into the 21st century, what will the "tells" for lighting be? I'm thinking whacky color temps will be one, because early LED products just didn't have high CRI, and they were also harsh looking without adding diffusion and filtration to recombine dozens of tiny point sources into one larger light-emitting polygon.


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Bill Davis
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 8:58:10 pm

[Todd Terry] "And I run all of mine on bricks (some of which came equipped that way, some of which we added goldmount plates to ourselves)."

Todd,

For what it's worth - part of my recent sale was also gritting my teeth and jettisoning all my old Gold and V-mount gear as well.

My HOPE was that I could standardize on one battery type for everything, but the "small light power efficient" world is still too fragmented for that.

My overall target was Sony M type SQ InfoLithium. Which I invested in back in 2011 and the $450 or so I spent on chargers and batteries is still going very strong. I have a bunch and happily they power the Neewer lights - plus my Marshall LCD Monitor and I can usually find adaptor plates available for other gear..

But as always, the manufacturers seem to conspire to make battery consolidation impossible. I still have to run Canon batteries for my camera gear, my fun new SwiftCam gyro iPhone rig has a proprietary battery (boo hiss!) and It seems to me that I still have to drag along the older Sony NP batteries as well as bunches of AAs in my life for wireless audio, photo flash units and wireless triggers - wouldn't it be great if I could consolidate THAT stuff?

Someday maybe there will be one battery type to rule them all.

A guy can dream, anyway.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 9:48:53 pm

[Todd Terry] "And I run all of mine on bricks (some of which came equipped that way, some of which we added goldmount plates to ourselves)."

Todd, how many bricks do you usually bring to a shoot? One of the main reasons I don't power my lighting with batteries much is that in my experience, most times a single Dionic Gold or Vmount around 90wh or so with any kind of discharge mileage on it can only power my LED units at full blast for about a couple hours, at best. Even before that, they can start to flicker or otherwise have issues that can ruin a shot, especially if they're rental ones where I have no idea how long into their life they are.

Though not always, often times we're lighting for a couple hours or so at the beginning of the day and then using the same instruments for the shoot duration. To add enough bricks plus backups for multiple lighting units at the aforementioned run times in addition to 1-3 kitted-out camera packages and occasional accessories like a mobile monitor, I'd figure we'd be needing to bring 20+ bricks plus a few chargers every single 10 hr day to feel safely covered.

Obviously, the types of shoots and hours involved will vary greatly, and many will be significantly less that the scenario I mentioned. I just wondered what your workflow was in powering so much off of bricks.


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Todd Terry
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 16, 2015 at 10:35:47 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Nov 16, 2015 at 10:45:02 pm

Hey Erik...

I generally travel with one battery for each instrument (or other device) that I'm powering, and maybe a spare. I know that doesn't sound like any wiggle room but I have yet to run out of juice on any instrument (and if I did, I can AC backup).

When we first got the LEDs we use now, after I had configured them for goldmounts I decided to run a real test, and picked a couple of different ones, put on a fresh batt, turned them on full blast, and started the clock. I killed the test part-way through, because I was ready to go home and they were still going strong six hours later. So, I stopped worrying about batteries.

I always use goldmount when I can, because those are the batteries we have and also because I HATE V-mounts. A couple of things we've had came with V-mounts, and I swapped them out for goldmounts (goldmount plates are not cheap but you can find them inexpensively on eBay... I've paid as much as $40 or as little as $5 for them).

I use them for as many things as I can... almost all lighting fixtures (except a few little ones), the field monitor we use, and some cameras. I use the Canon batteries with my C300 now, but with my previous camera the XLH1 I used a brick with it... I had a goldmount adapter from Canon that cut the voltage in half and and I rigged it so that a single battery would power both the camera and the P+S Technik 35mm lens converter that I was using at the time.

I used to be super picky about only using real Anton Bauer batteries, and would have them re-celled when needed by an authorized AB place that guaranteed matching cells, etc.... but no more. Now, I a little embarrassed to admit that I chiefly use these cheap Chinese-made batteries that we get off eBay.

Why? Because they are frikken awesome, that's why.

These aren't full bricks, but the pancake size, and they are great for several reasons...

Firstly they are cheap (compared to AB)... it's been a while since I've needed to buy any but if I recall they are well under $200.

Secondly, they are very reliable and powerful.

Thirdly, they have an on-board push-of-a-button fuel gauge so I can instantly see my juice level.

But the best best BEST thing about them is they need no charger. That bears repeating... THEY NEED NO CHARGER. You just plug 'em in, and off they go. I no longer need a $500 charger, and can charge as many as I like all at the same time. Our makeshift "recharging station" used to have a boatload of chargers on it... now, it's just a bunch of cords.





The only problem I've had with them is once the seller shipped me the wrong ones, and I got V-mount versions instead of goldmount. Maybe not normally a big deal, but while it is easy to import batteries into the US, it is much more difficult to send them back to Hong Kong and that part was a big pain in the neck. I'm not sure if the same rules are still in place, but at that time you could not export batteries.... so, it took a while and there were some hoops to jump through (and maybe a little fibbing on the Customs form) to get them changed to the right ones.

Otherwise, they are great.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Noah Kadner
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:38:54 pm

These aren't necessarily the cheapest but they're my personal favorite LED units by far:

https://rotolight.com

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP eXchange - FCPX Workshops


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Dec 9, 2015 at 3:52:24 am

Wow Todd, I guess my settings were off and I never until now saw your response. Very detailed and thorough, thank you!

I too have a few batteries that don't need a charger (Switronix), as they charge with a power cord plugged into the P-tap. I suspect, however, that this might take a decent bit longer than snapping them up to a traditional charger? How long does it normally take to charge the batteries you have through just the power cord, in comparison to an actual 4-brick charger or something akin?

I looked the company up and they're almost comically cheap comparably for a 130wh brick. Might have to pick up a couple and try them out. Thanks for the reco!


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Bob Cole
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 6, 2016 at 6:38:23 pm

First: Thanks for the many great insights into LED lights.

Second: I'm most interested in fixtures that are extremely light-weight, to make it easier to "fly" them at the ends of a boom.

Third: I'm still leery of the CRI issues, as well as "drift" over time. Has anyone tried the cheaper units available from B&H? e.g. Generay, Ikan, Dracast, Flolight.

Bob C


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Todd Terry
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 6, 2016 at 6:49:22 pm

I can't speak to the cheaper units personally, but I'll speak for someone else (don't you love when people do that)....

I do recall that someone on the COW (I'm 99% sure it was Rick Wise) tried the Generay units... he liked the design and the accessory attachment points (built in umbrella holder, etc.), but said the units were pretty bad. I can't remember if it was a color shift issue, or that they were noisy, or what... but there was some factor that rendered them unusable, and he ended up sending them back. This was a little while back, I remember being very disappointed in the review because I liked the design and had toyed with the idea of getting some myself.

If you want a very small/light unit that you can fly on a boom, the tiny little TorchLEDs from Switronix are great. We've flown one on the end of a 10-foot boom as a talent backlight before with no issues. Bicolor, too. Very inexpensive, and very punchy. Battery life could be better, but it's decent.

Maybe he'll chime in. Rick, was that you?

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Bob Cole
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 6, 2016 at 7:43:25 pm
Last Edited By Bob Cole on Jan 6, 2016 at 7:45:14 pm

Thanks. I should have said that I was looking for a daylight balanced keylight I could fly on a boom, on the order of a 1000 watt tungsten equivalent. This is for two-person interviews.

Bob C


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Rick Wise
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 6, 2016 at 7:52:26 pm

Todd, you are correct. My brief review is here: https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/47/860998

As far as I can tell, LED technology is improving rapidly. I'm on the lookout for a good Fresnel unit that has at a minimum the punch of a Mole Junior (2K Fresnel) but balanced for daylight, to use for table-top/food photography. I am definitely tempted by the these:

-- The Ikan WS-F350, $1,700
-- Mole-​Richa​rdson​​ Juni​orLED 200W 8​" Fres​nel (Day​light​) 8851, $1,816
-- Dracast Fresnel 2000 Daylight LED, $1,675

The rule of thumb seems to be that 1 watt of LED is roughly equal to the light intensity of 10 watts of tungsten light. So a 200 watt LED would be roughly equal to that Mole Junior. Mole now makes a Senior LED equivalent, and like all their new line of Fresnel LEDs, available in either tungsten or daylight, but not bi-color.

All of these units offer more firepower than you really need these days with video cameras taking clean images at high ISO settings. But table-top photography is special: you often need a deep stop for deep depth of field, and a decent shutter speed to remove any camera shake.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 6, 2016 at 8:28:49 pm

Hey Rick, have you actually been able to try any of these instruments? Or seen them with your own eyeballs?

I love fresnels, but haven't been sure whether or not the LED fresnel technology was "quite there" yet. I'd be interested to know whether they act as true fresnels... truly focusable, and more importantly really cuttable with barn doors, flags, etc. If so, we're finally at a really good thing.

I haven't looked at them much because the last time I gave the LED heads a gander everything pretty much was still AC powered... and I have almost completely cut the cord now and don't consider anything that I can't battery power (unless I'm shooting on stage, HMIs are the only stingers I ever run now... period). Oops... I just realized I lied, I did use Kinos on location a couple of weeks ago, but that was the first time in ages that I had to go looking for AC power.

Will be interesting to hear what you decide on....

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Rick Wise
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 6, 2016 at 9:18:55 pm

Todd, I have not yet seen any of these units. Given past performance, I'd put my money on the Moles as the best of the lot. But battery powered they are not.... I have a small hope that the Academy of Art is actually going to invest in a few Fresnel LEDs. I'll let you know how well they work when I get my hands on them. As for the table-top food photography I do for my wife, that's all for free, so investing that much dough for a large LED Fresnel not a very good option at the present. For any freelance projects, the producer rents per my specifications. But that line of my work has pretty much gone away. Gee, you'd think they think 80 is too old or something. Bloody ageists!

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Erik Anschicks
Re: durable fixtures for shipping
on Jan 17, 2016 at 5:57:04 am

Hey Todd - I haven't used the Mole LED fresnels specifically, but I can confirm that I've been very pleased with the Dedolight DLED units I have. They have identical performance as far as the clean beam and ability to cut and shape as their legacy tungsten counterparts. I posted this image a couple of years ago on another thread and it illustrates their capabilities well:



The unit on the left is a 200w pepper and the right is the DLED 4.1. I even used identical barn doors to fashion the same shape since the same size fits both units and I'd say the LED is a much cleaner beam than even a traditional pepper. So there's no doubt to me that these units at least are more than capable of replicating the options of flagging and cutting light like a traditional tungsten fresnel.

In case you're wondering, these aren't as big or bright as most of the Mole fresnel line, but the 4.1 has an approximate output comparable to a 125w HMI or 500w tungsten head, and the 9.1 is around a 750-800w tungsten head equivalent. It's always hard to directly compare since the beam angles aren't the same and a Dedo basically crushes all challengers in this class in spot mode. But I've essentially replaced my 650w and 1K tungsten fresnels with them and while they aren't QUITE as bright, I've never really noticed the difference in my workflow, they've been enough to slot right in as I would have used the older tungstens. So I'd say that LED's that fit your criteria of having beam-shaping abilities like good ol' tungsten fresnels do indeed exist!


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