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Aperture 600d Pro light vs Sachtler Flowtech Tripod w/FSB-4 head


Maccam

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Saved up my money and buying one. Which way should I go?

Current tripod is an old Calumet Aluminum photo tripod CK7500 w/ Manfrotto 501HDV. Works but come with all the common pains a setup like entails, legs are little tired. Setup purchase early 2010.

Current light is a Godox VL150 and I just got a few months ago. I think it's great for the price and highly recommend it.

I'm torn because I'm looking to have a better shooting experience for b-roll filming, but having a light that covers many outdoor filming scenarios. 

Open to suggestions. Thanks!

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IF you are going the buy once, cry once route, take a bit of time and really think about what you are shooting and how. What are your biggest needs on shoot day? What do you most regret about your current setup or most wish you could change? That will tell you which of theses things to priorities first. It's really hard for us, a bunch of random video nerds on the internet, to make a very good recommendation for you. 

For me, personally, a top of the food chain (portable) tripod would be first over an excellent video light. Why? Because the bulk of my shooting is documentary style shooting for environmental nonprofits. 60 to 80 percent of my work is outdoors, often on the road and in the woods. I like panning and titling shots and need a good solid, easily set up set of sticks for interviews. So, yeah, if I were in your place the Flowtech would be my top choice. But your not me, so my thought process may be way off base for you.

Having said that, since you just bought the VL150, I wouldn't suggest you get an Aputure light, either a 300D or an Amaranth, unless you just don't like the Godox and plan to get rid of it. The brands use different chips with different temperatures and color casts. Your more likely to have better matching if you stick to different lights in the same family. Your new light will be brighter and will likely be your key light in most situations, but that doesn't mean you won't use the SL 150 right?

I just picked up a VL 300, which is a bit less expensive the 300D and is has every bit as much light output. I just spent a chunk of yesterday doing comparisons with my friend's 300D mark II, using an old Minolta flash color meter. The Godox is about 400 degrees Kelvin cooler, bare bulb, and I'd expect the same to be true of the 150 version. The Aputure measures slightly amber/green for color cast, while the Godox measured slightly blue/magenta. For temperature, you could end up gelling on of your lights if you bought a mixed set, but while bother? The slight color cast difference will probably be much trickier to correct. I have not had a chance to look at my footage in an NLE, that will give me a better idea.

The Godox build quality, as you know, is pretty good. It's much improved from the SL 60, which I also own. The Aputure is a little nicer, but not much. The only major difference is that the 300D has gone to a combined power source-control box vs separate boxes, which adds a bit of convenience. It also has DMX capability, but I'm guessing that's not really going to benefit you.  Unless you have a very compelling reason not to by another VL-series light, I'd stick with it and save some cash.

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If you need a battery powered light currently Godox VL 200 are discounted at BH to 349 USD so you can basically buy two for the price of a 300 watt light. Amaran 200 is interesting but if you want to use battery it will be 299 + 179.... advantage is that on mains you don't need the battery control box.

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I myself recently upgraded my tripod to the Flowtech 75 with E-image GH06 head after using a set of Slik 700 Pro DX legs with various heads for about a decade. This was the most satisfying purchase I’ve ever made; no regrets. It is a complete quality-of-life upgrade. My pans and tilts have never been smoother and setting up my tripod has never been easier. I’ll benefit from this upgrade on every single shoot. Since you just bought a new light, can you say the same about an additional light purchase? Or, like me, could you see more benefit from a new tripod? 😁

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16 hours ago, Maccam said:

I'm torn because I'm looking to have a better shooting experience for b-roll filming, but having a light that covers many outdoor filming scenarios. 

Can a 600D really fulfill your outdoor light needs?

Would it be possible to compete with outdoor daylight? (Would you have to use a Fresnel modifier to make it bright enough to compete with daylight???)

Would it give you enough light to "spread around" during twilight and evening shoots? (Assuming that you are going to need additional lights for the background in the evening / night.)

Where I would imagine a single 600D would be most effective is INDOORS when you have bright / blown out windows and have to stop down or use an ND filter to tame the window views. Then you would have to throw a lot of light on the talent with a big light, and that would more-or-less even out the exposure.

If you check out the explanation of the key light setup in this video at the 4:20 mark you will get an idea of what they are able to accomplish. Considering they are in Arizona and the view out the windows is at "normal" exposure (meaning, not totally blown out). They said they shot at T.2 and had 2 stops of ND behind the lens.

 

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14 hours ago, EphraimP said:

IF you are going the buy once, cry once route, take a bit of time and really think about what you are shooting and how...

Ok, how many points do I lose for not clearly reading OP's post title. The later part of my comments were on the 300d, not the 600d. 🤪 

I think the point about differing color temps and cast still apply to a certain extent though. Godox doesn't have a 600 watt light yet, to my knowledge, though you could buy two VL 300s and two light stands or C-stands and still save over getting the one 600d. Depending on how you set up the lights, this could be a better, more versatile setup and get you the same or better output than a single 600 watt light.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/15/2021 at 11:11 PM, Maccam said:

Sorry for slow reply. Thanks everyone for their comments/thoughts. Much Appreciate.

I went with the Flowtech and absolutely love it. Total next level. ✌️

Good choice, enjoy!

There are also some budget lights coming from Aputure and others, while a good head/tripod combo will last you almost half of your career, Flowtech is the innovation of the 21st century (for tripods) so you have the newest and coolest.

Difficult to work with Ace and Benro and Manfrottos anymore.

Have a good and productive year.

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I think you made a good choice - a solid set of sticks will last for decades and might never be redundant.

LED lights, however, are changing so fast that there might be something better available for half the price or even less within a few months. I'm seeing lots of listing of people selling 300D's and 120D's at the moment, trying to recover some value before all the latest LED releases become available and the used prices plummet. It's hard to justify putting several thousand dollars in to a single light right now.

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