I have a question regarding litepanels. I have been shooting independent documentaries in the States for some time using an old Mole Richardson kit. But I am going to Asia in several weeks and will be shooting the beginnings of what I hope will turn into a longer form film--a spec piece right now. I am going alone (with a translator/interviewer) so am really having to scale everything done into what I can bring in one camera bag.
I have been reading about the litepanels and am leaning heavily towards purchasing one (or two). But it's a bit pricey for me and before I make the plunge can anyone give me feedback on having used them?
First I was looking at just one but now I saw on the litepanels site that there is a kit with two panels from $2495 (I'll be eating ramen for a year!).
Also any advice on the spot or the flood? Is the flood more versatile? And I'm not quite clear on the XLR adaptor in comparison to the D-Tap Power Cable.
One other point, do these look...I guess the term would be too "newsy". I want the images to be as beautiful as possible, even if I'm shooting an interview.
I'm shooting with a Panasonic DVX100A.
There has been a lot of discussion about LED lights here recently, or else on the Lighting Forum. Do a search for these posts.
In general, the LED lights you covet are very, very expensive. Given your plans, a small DV lighting kit based around a Lowel Rifa light would probably be more suitable and affordable. There are some cheaper LED models coming on the market. From everything I read about them, they need to be diffused and also gelled with 1/4 or stronger minus-green to remove a green spike. As with any lighting, the "look" depends on where you place your key, how it balances with the environs, how much fill you use, etc. The actual lighting units are far less important than your skill at seeing the light, and acting to shape and use it well. Just as, it's not the camera that makes a great film, but the mind behind it.
director of photography
We've had really nice results with them because they are wide instead of round. Round lights look newsie.
Will you have access to electricity? You'll be charging batteries so there has to be juice somewhere. If so, those Lowel Rifa lights are really nice. An interview kit could consist of two 44s. And, they weigh nothing.
It's a dry heat!
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I love litepanels. They're very versatile. I use them all the time. GREAT for travelling. On run and gun days, I pack two in a backpack, with the diffusion and CTO, four batteries and I'm off to the races. They can be used as both on or off camera lights, and, in a pinch, handheld. I like the floods, but that's just me. I use the litepanel batteries rather than running power off the camera, so I'm unsure of the options there.
If I were going to Asia with one camera bag and high hopes, that's the light I would take with me.
How about the Zylight Z90? Color temp is adjustable between 2500K-9000K (among other cool features).
Video production... with style!
Sorry to get to your post so late - I LOVE the LitePanels. I use a kit of 2 - Spot/Daylight. You can always diffuse a spot but not vice-versa. They throw quite nicely when you can't hide 'em. The kits are cool but will probably require a tiny bit of clever customization (the ones I use tipped over 'til the owner fixed them). Have an extra batter or 2 and try not to panic over the price - They're lifesavers.
Hello All. I am designing a litepanels like product, and got one question:
Why will people use litepanels instead of cheap OSRAM fluorescent lights like this?
My product is almost as expensive as litepanels (and will have a better performance), but these fluorescent lights seems cheap and easy to get.
What's the meaning of expensive LED panel lights?
Looking forward for your ideas.
Well, a few of the reasons.... LEDs are virtually shockproof, they'll never break. LEDs also last almost forever.. many tens of thousands of hours. LEDs use very very little power... you can power a 1000-LED panel off a battery. Their color temperature can be very accurate (in the good units), and the CRI can be very high.
The tubes you are looking at would probably work... although I will note that their color temperature is a little warmer than most people would desire. Almost all flos have a green spike in their spectrum as well. Those with a high CRI are less likely to have that problem and the ones you pointed to have a CRI of 90 which is pretty high, but could be higher.
LEDs and flos are different tools... they each have their place and are sometimes (maybe even often) interchangable, but not always.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Todd. Thank you for your kind reply.
Yes, I see the reason now.
I got that question when I checked the local studio list. I hoped to introduce the new product to them, but found they are using cheap flos lamps, that frightened me.
Well, now I am working on the prototype, and contacting some dealer at the same time. If possible, could anyone here tell me what kind of users might be interested in an unknown new light?
Price will attract users to a new, unknown light, price combined with features. If you can get someone who's an experienced DP or gaffer to give them a try gratis and write a report, you may get some testimonials to help sell your product. This is a tough, crowded market. There's always room for a better light that does more. To my mind the light must be:
Best wishes to you!
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video