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nalki

Which light to buy for Video / Photo in 2020 ?

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I wanna hear you're suggestions which is the best options for video/photo light between 700-1200$  or with less price? These lights i am gonna use mostly 80% taking videos, the rest 20% it would be some photo shoots.

After watching some of the reviews on youtube i find that these are really good lights for use, if you are agree or disagree please tell me.

1. Aputure 300D II or wait until they will start selling Aputure LS 300X Bi-Color  

2  Fotodiox Pro FACTOR Prizmo 150 RGB

3. Intellytech LiteCloth LC-160RGBW 

and in cheapest segment

4. Falcon Eyes RX-24TDX 150W

5. Falcon Eyes RX-818 RGB 100W

6. Menik CB-102A 102W 

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Someone at B&H demoed the 300D to me and it seemed to be worth the money... probably buy it used so save more though. New techs always plummet within a decade.

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one huge PITA with the cheaper end LED lights and LED lights in general is that most of them can't tolerate humidity/rain very well. This has caused numerous problems on our last project where LEDs were extensively used. 

A very low wattage LED light is easy to waterproof with a clear plastic bag if you don't have anything else... but if it has anything usable wattage (like over 20W or so) it generates so much heat that it cannot survive without ventilation which can make it very challenging to protect it from the rain (you cannot block any ventilation holes but the light does not generate enough heat to evaporate the water which gets inside like would happen with the good old Tungsten lights). For example one of the Aputure lights survived bagging without melting but the glue on one of the batteries melt and the battery literally fell to pieces after it had heated enough. I am absolutely sure the light would have melted too if it would have been a longer shoot. And it is pretty ridiculous to need to have a dedicated person with an umbrella just for a small led light 😬

This is probably not a problem for you but just something to take into account when considering a LED light... most of them cannot tolerate water and they may be challenging to waterproof if they generate any heat

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Out of your list I would get the 300d hands down for output and versatility with all the modifiers and attachments.

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1 hour ago, Joseph Tese said:

Out of your list I would get the 300d hands down for output and versatility with all the modifiers and attachments.

By your opinion, let's not include pricing, why 300d is better over 300d II ?

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What sort of shoots are you doing ? Interviews and b-roll or more narrative stuff ?

The lights you listed are a mix of soft and hard lights, Rgb/mono/bicolor. maybe you should figure out what you need to prioritize in regards to color temp,  softness, battery mobility, case size, etc ? It's hard to find a light that will do everything and that will also fit in a small bag.

The 300d is handy and pretty versatile in lots of situations but it does have quite a few drawbacks, namely lots of fan noise from the ballast and the not terribly practical accessories. The barndoors won't fit the basic bowl mount, making the fresnel a must have, unless you are putting a softbox on it. Its power ouput is ok, definitely not on the level of small HMIs but competes well vs gelled tungsten (but less so at 3200k, which tunsgten does better for a lot less money).

The fresnel mount is also pretty much mandatory if you want to bounce it precisely or punch it through a window. That said the v1 attachment is pretty cheaply built and needs to be flagged or wrapped in cinefoil to not spill everywhere. Not sure if the v2 fixes this.

I find the cheap panel soft lights almost all lack either surface area or power for most stuff, especially if matching to the ambient daylight at 5600k. I find myself using them mostly to supplement other sources, or as hidden practicals (tv or ipad screen) or as back or edge lights (or maybe for a very light bounced fill).

 

21 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

most of them can't tolerate humidity/rain very well

I got away with rigging a large flag above a 300D in a light drizzle for 4-5 hours, but I was still a bit nervous doing it. The housing is very open to the elements.

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I hadn't noticed the prizmo in your list, I wasn't aware of this one. Has anyone used it ? How does it measure up to an s60 ?

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4 hours ago, Barnaby Coote said:

What sort of shoots are you doing ? Interviews and b-roll or more narrative stuff ?

The lights you listed are a mix of soft and hard lights, Rgb/mono/bicolor. maybe you should figure out what you need to prioritize in regards to color temp,  softness, battery mobility, case size, etc ? It's hard to find a light that will do everything and that will also fit in a small bag.

The 300d is handy and pretty versatile in lots of situations but it does have quite a few drawbacks, namely lots of fan noise from the ballast and the not terribly practical accessories. The barndoors won't fit the basic bowl mount, making the fresnel a must have, unless you are putting a softbox on it. Its power ouput is ok, definitely not on the level of small HMIs but competes well vs gelled tungsten (but less so at 3200k, which tunsgten does better for a lot less money).

The fresnel mount is also pretty much mandatory if you want to bounce it precisely or punch it through a window. That said the v1 attachment is pretty cheaply built and needs to be flagged or wrapped in cinefoil to not spill everywhere. Not sure if the v2 fixes this.

I find the cheap panel soft lights almost all lack either surface area or power for most stuff, especially if matching to the ambient daylight at 5600k. I find myself using them mostly to supplement other sources, or as hidden practicals (tv or ipad screen) or as back or edge lights (or maybe for a very light bounced fill).

 

I got away with rigging a large flag above a 300D in a light drizzle for 4-5 hours, but I was still a bit nervous doing it. The housing is very open to the elements.

I am gonna mostly use them for interviews and b-roll, that's why i will prefer to have soft light in bi-color or daylight with V mount plate, because  gonna use them everywhere. Sometimes i have narrative project requests or clients asking to shoot small budget music clips that's why i was thinking that RGB lights gonna be very useful during that shoots, but obviously i bought Rosco Color Filter gels, so i can use them as well.

I am agree with you, there is no such a light which will do everything. I wont use 300d because of it's noise.

So which lights do you use mostly or during interviews, narrative stuff,  musical videos?

And what can you suggest me?


Thanks

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3 hours ago, Barnaby Coote said:

I hadn't noticed the prizmo in your list, I wasn't aware of this one. Has anyone used it ? How does it measure up to an s60 ?

I was renting Fotodiox 300RGB (actual price 2000$) , that one can be called as a competitor for s60 by my opinion. Watch this review, i guess it can be helpful for you.

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 7:23 PM, nalki said:

I am agree with you, there is no such a light which will do everything. I wont use 300d because of it's noise.

I wouldn't say the noise is a deal breaker for sound rec. The mark i has the ballast separate from the dimmer and has an extension cable available which means you can put the ac ballast outside the room. That little ac unit makes a lot more noise than the actual light. When set to "auto" the fans in the light make the same amount of noise as some cameras, but the noise will increase if its at high power and you don't set it back to "force" between takes. Its manageable but an extra thing to deal with.

I haven't tried the mark ii.

It's still probably one of the most versatile lights you can get for the money. You can make a very nice close soft source out of it. Maybe rent it once and see if you're ok with the noise ?

I really like the litemat 4s and 8s but they are more expensive. I haven't tried any carpet style lights yet but I have heard they are fragile and need to be sent back and repaired very often. The intellitech litecloth looks better, the tile design is appealing and could mean it would last a lot longer ?

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43 minutes ago, Barnaby Coote said:

I wouldn't say the noise is a deal breaker for sound rec. The mark i has the ballast separate from the dimmer and has an extension cable available which means you can put the ac ballast outside the room. That little ac unit makes a lot more noise than the actual light. When set to "auto" the fans in the light make the same amount of noise as some cameras, but the noise will increase if its at high power and you don't set it back to "force" between takes. Its manageable but an extra thing to deal with.

I haven't tried the mark ii.

It's still probably one of the most versatile lights you can get for the money. You can make a very nice close soft source out of it. Maybe rent it once and see if you're ok with the noise ?

I really like the litemat 4s and 8s but they are more expensive. I haven't tried any carpet style lights yet but I have heard they are fragile and need to be sent back and repaired very often. The intellitech litecloth looks better, the tile design is appealing and could mean it would last a lot longer ?

Ok i see about mark i light, yes you're right i am planning to rent those lights and understand which one i will choose.

I didn't heard it before that flexible lights need to be sent back and repaired very often, but i suppose that it's very possible.

Sure intellytech's would be more useful and no leds would be damaged, so they will last longer.

Is there any online store like ebay with more oriented on a used video/photo lights ?

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We had one of the cheaper carpet style lights out on a shoot. Not my choice, but I was glad to see it.

IT WAS AWFUL. The output was fine-- everything else was horrible and painful.

And then the ballast caught on fire.

And that was the last time they were used.

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The first 300D was way too loud. The replacement is far, far better.

I've said this a million times about Aputure, but they have a price-performance-size-weight combination that makes sense for a lot of situations.

P

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3 hours ago, Adrian Sierkowski said:

We had one of the cheaper carpet style lights out on a shoot. Not my choice, but I was glad to see it.

IT WAS AWFUL. The output was fine-- everything else was horrible and painful.

And then the ballast caught on fire.

And that was the last time they were used.

Omg, that's worse than I thought. I had some info from a small but reputable manufacturer who said the main problem with carpets (even the ones from aladdin) is that after a certain number of bends the copper wiring in the mat will almost certainly break.

The only other viable option apparently uses fairly exotic automotive industry tech for the wiring but that makes the mats prohibitively expensive.

Nice to hear that they improved that much on the 300d mkii. Did they fix the leaky fresnel ?

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We’re using the Aputure 300Dii on a documentary series I’ve just started, and I’m already in love. 
 

Between the fresnel and the Lightdome II attachments (and using the light open-face to bounce), the speed and versatility of the light are just superb. The output is incredibly useful too. 
 

I’m excited for the bi-colour version and the 600w version especially. 
 

The COB style light source is so much easier to work with than broad and uncontrollable panel lights in most situations. 

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3 hours ago, Mark Kenfield said:

We’re using the Aputure 300Dii on a documentary series I’ve just started, and I’m already in love. 
 

Between the fresnel and the Lightdome II attachments (and using the light open-face to bounce), the speed and versatility of the light are just superb. The output is incredibly useful too. 
 

I’m excited for the bi-colour version and the 600w version especially. 
 

The COB style light source is so much easier to work with than broad and uncontrollable panel lights in most situations. 

very interesting, so what do you think does 300d ii with his brightnest is enough for you're documentaries? Or you gonna buy/rent when 600d will be available?

as 300d ll is a daylight with 5600k (+/-200 - how i know),  for getting closer to tungsten do you use gels? If yes tell which one you use and which Kelvin do you get?

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On 2/23/2020 at 10:52 PM, nalki said:

very interesting, so what do you think does 300d ii with his brightnest is enough for you're documentaries? Or you gonna buy/rent when 600d will be available?

as 300d ll is a daylight with 5600k (+/-200 - how i know),  for getting closer to tungsten do you use gels? If yes tell which one you use and which Kelvin do you get?

Unfortunately, a gel can only selectively block or transmit the color that is present in the original light source. You could probably use a full stop CTO, but the color rendition would almost certainly be worse than a native 3200 LED or real tungsten fixture.

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11 hours ago, Brian Doran said:

Unfortunately, a gel can only selectively block or transmit the color that is present in the original light source. You could probably use a full stop CTO, but the color rendition would almost certainly be worse than a native 3200 LED or real tungsten fixture.

sure, so which gel filters can be the best ones for CTO / CTB (Rosco / Lee or) ?

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On 2/24/2020 at 2:52 PM, nalki said:

very interesting, so what do you think does 300d ii with his brightnest is enough for you're documentaries? Or you gonna buy/rent when 600d will be available?

as 300d ll is a daylight with 5600k (+/-200 - how i know),  for getting closer to tungsten do you use gels? If yes tell which one you use and which Kelvin do you get?

It's bright enough to be very useful, though of course not bright enough to fight direct sunlight.

The output is very useful though. I have to pair two 150w LED panels ALL the time to get enough output for a lot of situations, the single 300w unit gives you the same output, but from a single fixture, which is great. The dimming with zero colour shift also makes the light much easier to use than HMI in a lot of circumstances. 

Their upcoming 600w model will be SUPER useful for that same reason. Twice the output (hopefully) and all in a single fixture.

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I've used the 300 D and Dii a bunch.  They're very useful, but not quite up to a 575hmi, prob more like a 400.  of course the HMIs can do a much hotter spot.  plenty of accessories, though they're a bit clunky.  

That said, I wish there were some low budget mats that could match the output.  The ability to tune color temp on the fly is necessary now, and often we're in really tight spaces where the mats are far easier to work with.  

the key with mats is don't roll or fold them 

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