Wasp 100-C or Astra 1x1
I'm looking to purchase a few lights for mostly interview and testimonial settings. As the subject suggests, I'm wondering if anyone has had a chance to work with these two lights? Not sure if the astra soft would be better to get that the regular one for lighting the subject, or if an added soft box would be better.
I'm looking at either getting two Astras or the 3x100-C kit.
I've heard reports that the 100-C doesn't output as much light as advertised, but I love the ability to adjust saturation and hue.
I mostly shoot on a GH4 and GH5 with native mft lenses.
Thank you in advanced.
Well I haven't used the 100-C, but I know enough about them and I've used the Astras enough (use them every day) to give a few thoughts about them.
They are both good instruments... I'd say it comes down what what you shoot, how you want to light it, what look you are going for, etc... because the 100-C and Astra Soft are radically different instruments... in fact they are pretty much polar opposites of each other. The Astra Soft is a very soft instrument... very beautiful light, but it is soft and will always be soft, can't be anything but. It has almost no punch. But if you want a soft head that can be used close to the subject, it gives a great look. The 100-C is the opposite... it's a hard light, like a fresnel would be. Actually, it's more like an open-faced tungsten instrument than a fresnel. Hard light. Of course, it could be made soft with modifiers, or bouncing it, but it is naturally hard. As I said, I haven't used it, but it would obviously be much more punchy than the Astra Soft.
So... as I said, it just depends on how you want to light. Both LitePanels and Hive are great companies and make good products, so there's no real advantage there brand-wise.
Instead I might suggest the regular Astra, not the Astra soft. It can be made soft, I do that all the time... I recommend the D-Fuse softbox for it. There's not one made specifically for the Astra, but their generic one fits the Astra perfectly. They are also a very cool pop-up design (just like a reflector), and are dirt cheap to boot. This would allow the Astra to be used for beautiful soft interview light, or take it off for a harder punchier light. Now, it will never be a hard hard light, but it will have a lot more punch than the softened version. They are also very bright... the Astras I have are four times as bright as the original LitePanels 1x1 heads, and I believe they make a 6x version now. And go for the bi-color, it's worth the fairly insignificant difference.
If you want a dedicated super soft head (like the Astra Soft), I'd consider one of the round flapjack bi-color heads from FotodioX ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=C-700RSV ). They are awesome, lightweight, beautiful light, not battery hungry, and just a really neat design.... perfect for soft interviews and head shots etc. I have one that I bought just on a lark, and will probably get more. They are also about a third the price of an Astra.
Just my two cents....maybe someone who has actually used the 100-C can chime in...
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Thank you Todd! I mostly do interviews and testimonials. That's why I had the Astras in mind. Are the 6x astras brighter or are they in-between the Astra EP and the normal Astras?
I really would like to hear from someone that has 100-C experience, mainly cause I know I can modify them to be soft and they can be controlled better than a panel if I need to. I am mainly concerned about the output of the Astra and 100-C at 100% and how dramatically a softbox on a 100-C will lower the intensity.
I'm not sure of the actual brightness of the newest Astras... I'm sure LitePanels has photometrics available on them, probably on their website. B&H probably does too, listed in the specs section for the item.
I find these days (with modern camera) having lights that are "bright enough" is a rare worry. Unless I'm using them on very extraordinarily brightly-lit sets, it would be unusual that I'd use an Astra as a key light in a talking head situation (in a softbox) cranked up more than 30% or so... sometimes a lot less. It would be unusual for me to turn the FotodioX up more than 50%. I rarely if ever use an Astra full blast except for exteriors.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.