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No wonder Tungsten and Actual Daylight Look Better! Good news for LEDs

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I was curious why daylight and tungsten was easier to deal with, especially for skin tones. Looking at the spectral distribution of light, tungsten and real daylight provide a continuous spectrum of light, while fluorescent/CFL produce highly spiked light- not continuous. The good news is that the latest LED lights come very close to tungsten/daylight for continuous spectral light. I've got some low-cost CFLs in 2x3 and 2x2 light rigs: I'm going to replace the CFLs with LED bulbs at around 5000K (probably Cree- thanks for the tip FilmMan!) to match the other ~5000K LED lights I use (currently Z96, YN300, YN600, and F&V R-300). An LED spot in a clamp-on work light will also be handy.

 

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~zhuxj/astro/html/spectrometer.html

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/tests/incandescent-vs-compact-fluorescent-vs-led-ultimate-light-bulb-test#slide-1 (see the spectral charts)

 

(CFL can work OK, but I had to use a tuned camera color profile and make sure WB was set carefully, otherwise trying to fix in post was time consuming).

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

The 100W (18W used), 1600 lumen Cree 5000K LED lights were $21 each. They are super bright, and look pretty good. When recording at 24fps, they look OK. However at 240fps (Sony FS700), they flicker. I tested the Yongnuo YN-300, YN-600, and F&V R-300- no flicker at 240fps. The old 120W (45W used) 5100K CFLs don't flicker (though some make noise & buzz). Here's a 60W Cree tested (no flicker at 24/30fps): 

 

Those looking for budget lighting, I'd start with the Yongnuo YN-300: 2280 lumens for $67

http://www.amazon.com/Yongnuo-Professional-300pcs-sheets-Camera/dp/B00AZFE5DS/ref=sr_1_1

 

and this power supply (in addition to Sony NP-970 batteries for non-AC use), $25:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110V-220V-AC-Adapter-Power-For-SONY-NP-F970-F960-F750-F550-YN-300-II-YN600-YN160-/291005963183

 

Based on specs only (not tested), 2 Cree 5000K lights are 3200 lumens for $42 + $20 for 2 clamp-on bulb holders = $62. The YN-300 with AC adapter is $92, however it's also dimmable, camera mountable, doesn't flicker at high frame rates, and can also run on batteries.

 

The YN-300 II and YN-600 are "bicolor" and more versatile, however they are effectively 1/2 brightness when using the daylight LEDs (I'm using lights in the daylight 5000+ K range).

 

I'm going to keep looking for LEDs that don't flicker at high frame rates to replace the CFLs. This info is helpful: http://www.davidsatz.com/aboutflicker_en.html

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I looked over and researched all that you have posted and I count it all a real wealth!

 

I'm having some trouble understanding, due to inexperience, what is meant by...

 

"The YN-300 II and YN-600 are "bicolor" and more versatile, however they are effectively 1/2 brightness when using the daylight LEDs (I'm using lights in the daylight 5000+ K range). "

 

I'm actually planning on purchasing the YN-300 regardless, just curious what is meant by 1/2 the brightness. 

 

Any information or experience you have with the battery life would be helpful to know. To see that you have posted a link for an AC adapter is interesting :)

 

Also, what percentage of the time do you have a light such as this mounted to the camera? 

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Had to do a quick shoot and left 4 of the Cree 100W bulbs in the key light. Shot at 23.976, 1/48: no flicker at all was visible. CFL and 4 kinds of LEDs were used (all around 5000K): worked well (no grading was needed in post).

 

The bicolor LED panels use two kinds of LEDs, 1/2 warm (incandescent), 1/2 cool (daylight). When using 100% of one light color or the other, only 1/2 the LEDs in the panel will be active. So, a 600 bulb bicolor light is the same brightness as a 300 single color light when using pure warm or pure daylight LEDs (some panels don't allow you to control the color banks individually (they automatically blend color levels as the dial goes from warm to cool)).

 

I use a smaller Z96 light on camera. It's never on the camera unless I'm shooting in the dark. The YN-300's a bit larger- it can be used on camera but you might find something in the Z96 or YN-160 size more suitable.

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do you have any experience with led fresnels? like litepanels sola series, lupolux or other portable-battery charged-daylight/tungsten switchable-low energy consumption yet high output-CRI>95-working horses... are we there yet :)?

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Huuow- haven't used an LED Fresnel yet. Sounds like tungsten is the most cost effective at the moment. While not a Fresnel, the Alzo-3000 looks decent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHeImPqjoCM, but does have some fan noise (supposed to be fixed next production run): http://www.learningdslrvideo.com/alzo-3000-led-light-review/ (and colors aren't as accurate as his fluorescent lights).

 

This has a good review: http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Daylight-Fresnel-High-Intensity-Television/dp/B00CN3032W/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1399876188&sr=8-8&keywords=fresnel+led+light

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