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Erik A.

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Erik A. last won the day on April 30

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  1. I've had mine (original model) for nearly 15 years now, and I barely use it these days. Main reason is that they excelled with longer, larger cameras that had uniform sizes that you didn't really add any custom, cage-style accessories to, like full-size broadcast HD cameras or film cameras. The way it's designed it sort of wraps around and cradles the camera at various angles and the longer and more minimal body styles "sat" in them quite nicely. They're not great with smaller modern cameras or modern camera rigs, which tend to be custom sizes that vary considerably. They just don't wrap around them and hold steady nearly as well, to the point that I've found you might as well just use a sandbag. I know they make smaller models for smaller cameras, which I haven't tried, but it doesn't make much sense to me to carry more than one of these when I barely use that one in the first place.
  2. I completely understand the sentiment and when working like this, logistics and efficiency are paramount. That being said, experience has taught me that "lighter" or minimal is not necessarily synonymous with better or more efficient while on set. I don't know what clients or budgets you're working with, but the bottom line is that it's often LESS efficient to try and bend a location to limited choices. One or two small(ish) lights might be light to wheel up and enough to get a basic job done, but your flexibility is really compromised. In the quest for a unicorn of a keylight for the types of interviews you describe, I think it needs to be LED certainly, and as large as reasonably possible. The larger a source you start with, the softer it can be for talent. It also has to have a whole lot of output, as you often have to be able to fight bright windows, overpower existing practicals, or have flexibility as to how far away you can put it from the talent. All this is especially important if you can't see the location ahead of time. Bi-color, of course, +/- green adjustments even better, and being able to mount it almost anywhere you want are also important, I think. Large, high-quality flex-mat types are really your best bet here while also maintaining some semblance of portability. A single, awesome keylight, even if it's not super low-profile, ultimately saves a lot of time and aggravation when you have a unit that can work with almost anywhere you get thrown into, or conversely, to be able to take advantage of an unexpectedly great spot that would otherwise be unworkable if you didn't have the firepower. Unless you are being MANDATED to keep gear to certain dimensions, you'll be much better off going for the unit that is the most useful in the most circumstances. You might not like to schlep it around, but personally, I'll accept (some) portability concerns for peace of mind that you can handle almost any space you reasonably encounter on shoots like this any day of the week.
  3. That thing looks really neat! Would love to try that sometime, I've somehow not heard of it until this post. Looks like it fills a softbox with minimal depth like the Dedo Panaura system does, and that system produces a beautiful quality of light. It's obvious from the design how it would fill a softbox well and be flattering, but have you used it much in any of the other configurations? Also, how's the output? Unless I missed it, I don't see any photometrics on their website and while the light quality of Litemat units is very good, I've found they lack a bit in punch compared to others.
  4. Does this have to fit into a carry-on? Are we talking THAT portable? If not, I would reconsider the point source element to this and steer more towards a flexible LED mat if you're wanting to fire it through a 6 or 8x. You're better off starting with a larger source to begin with to try and fill the frame, plus it will be softer right off the bat and could therefore use thinner rags if you need more punch. To that end, I would suggest a 1'x4' LED mat from Aladdin or the 1'x3' flex mat units from Westcott. I own the Westcotts and a colleague I work with a lot for multicam shoots has the Aladdin and they're equally impressive. We usually use 2 of them (though one would be plenty unless background is super bright) through a 6x Magic Cloth as an interview key and it's beautifully soft and wide enough to key the talent and interviewer sitting across from each other. The nice thing about the Westcotts specifically is that the framing system allows you to make custom framing sizes, I often combine 2x 1x3s to make a very bright 3'x2' source OR a super-long yet lightweight 1x6' source, which after draping a 6x in front of gave more than enough for a 5 person interview, much less 2-person. They weigh very little, which makes rigging them higher much easier and also have good softbox options.
  5. Erik A.

    Luxli Taiko 2x1

    I posted some of these findings comparing this directly to a Gemini on Matt's main review thread, but just to follow up here with a TLDR of my additional findings on that one😉 - 1. Beam angle of 76 degrees is without any diffusion panels. With the medium one installed, I'm guessing it's in range of the Skypanel's angle of 115 degrees, perhaps a touch less. 2. Output is excellent. Matt's meter numbers are right on, and in on-camera comparison on my monitor with IRE readouts, the Taiko was at worst a fifth or so of a stop less bright than the Gemini, basically the minimum I could move the iris and see any appreciable change in the line. In further testing today, that was corroborated by my dimming the Gemini down until the levels matched what the Taiko put out at 100%. The level on the Gemini was 92%. And in the highly scientific, cutting-edge technique of "how much would I need to move this fixture closer to get the same output as the Gemini??" the answer is a whopping 4.5 inches😉All this is to say the output differences are very minimal. 3. There is very little appreciable output difference when using the light diffusion panel as opposed to no diffusion panel. It softens it slightly, but not much and doesn't reduce the output by much. 4. Lastly, I found that with no diffusion at all, it beats the output of the Gemini by a 1/3rd of a stop. I use the Gemini all the time and plan to continue, so it's no knock on it. It's a light I know the capabilities and situational uses of very well.
  6. No hands-on experience in the wild (I don't think anyone really does yet), but when I researched them before I think the Alpha is made to be the LED equivalent/approximation of the Joker 800, and the Joker 300 is the LED version of a Joker 400. All accessories appear to be interchangeable between the HMI and LED units, and both LEDs pull 300w. I think the 600w refers to a dual-output ballast that you can plug two different lights into since they're 300w apiece. Knowing K5600 products, I'd be shocked if it isn't top-notch. The issue here will be that I'm not sure it's going to be SO much better than other lights that have similar output and color performance with a much lower price point. Not sure if this is promoting a competing website exactly, but it's a pretty funny (perhaps unintentionally??) example of having to sell a product that you clearly never wanted to make - https://www.cinema5d.com/hmi-manufacturer-k5600-dives-led/
  7. Fantastic review Matt! I had planned to post my findings with this compared directly to a Gemini tomorrow but not much point now! That being said, I do have a couple things to add regarding the output that I found in my testing as well that might be helpful to people - 1. The beam angle of 76 degrees is WITHOUT any diffusion panels. That’s stated in the instruction manual that came with the light. See photo below. I would guess with the medium diffusion panel installed it would put it closer to the Skypanel in terms of beam angle, which would make it a bit wider than the Gemini and the wider spread probably accounts for some of the LUX difference. However that difference is very minimal, bringing me to...... 2. I stacked the Taiko and Gemini units right on top of each other (also just swapped em but readings were the same), and put a large white card 10’ away. My meter findings echo Matt’s almost exactly, though my taiko was the SLIGHTEST TOUCH brighter. I also went old-school and put up a camera and my monitor with the zebra IREs as well to see the on-camera difference - and it ain’t much, lol! Somewhere around a fifth of a stop at most, it was literally the least I could move the iris. For reference, I was set at 320 ISO, 100 shutter speed, and 10’ away. Gemini read exactly f8 and Taiko literally the least I could move towards 5.6 to get the exact same IRE level. See photos below, G is Gemini, L Luxli. To use another illustration, the difference in output is moving the card 4 inches closer to the Taiko than it was with the Gemini. I did the move 😂 So, yeah.....not much between the two.
  8. Frankly put, I've found that the "fastidious" clients are (for the MOST part) company/agency types that need to justify their presence on the set in some way, so they make "suggestions" or raise "concerns" that demonstrate that they have no actual idea what they're talking about but feel like they need to interact to demonstrate some level of control. We've all seen 8 people who have no discernible role gathered around the monitors looking very pensive all the time. I know my day is going to suck when I see that in the morning. My general response to these types of situations is to always point out the time factor when things get silly because that's almost always the primary concern. Something along the lines of "Yes, it is POSSIBLE to do what you say, but in total honesty it will take 20-30 minutes to do it. Do we have that?" But more to the point, while I think it's a given that the most accurate response is "it depends", I absolutely believe perfection is the enemy of the good, as the saying goes. Unless there are technical or aesthetic reasons for doing so for the particular project at hand, generally-speaking I color-match when it comes to shooting people or the specific product in an ad, but otherwise in backgrounds or such I don't worry about it much. In the TV & film world, mixed lighting has been no issue for some time on anything I've worked on. The good directors and producers who WILL notice but also have at least some understanding of technical reality will want to craft a look where almost anything goes should it serve the story or the make the location look good/interesting. In the non-fiction and commercial world, as long as the people or product looks the way they want, lighting and color otherwise is almost never a concern. They're far more likely to point out something physical that they like or don't, such as a door, an existing lighting fixture, or some furniture element deep in the background. I have no problem admitting that there are times (probably more than I'd like) that I've done the mental calculus and consciously determined that taking the time to make things better for this particular client or shoot simply isn't worth it.
  9. Ahh, I didn't realize that. OK then, that's perfect! Thanks.
  10. Thanks Mark, that does illustrate things well. I had used them on a Venice on a shoot or two but the widest I think I used was 28 or 35mm and saw no real vignetting issue in on-set application. Would love to see a similar test with Monstro VV.
  11. Thanks Matt, I think I should’ve been a bit more clear - I meant to ask which of them might have the slight vignette? Would I probably be safe with a 28mm to not have any vignetting?
  12. Hey everyone - not sure if I should’ve posted this here or the Red page, but alas. COVID-19 dependent, I have a potential project that I may be mandated to use the Monstro VV for, and I’ve never used it. I have a very nice, very late-era set of Leica R primes that I use frequently and would be good visually for this piece. Anyone have any firsthand knowledge of what the widest Leica R lens is that will cover the Monstro sensor? They’re all full frame lenses and I wouldn’t go wider than my 19mm, which I’d guess is iffy. Next widest is a 28, which I assume would cover without issue.
  13. It does look massive, yeah. I'm guessing it's because the lens is probably custom-designed to maximize the shape and output of their particular LED module. The company that makes the Re-lamp modules for existing tungsten fixtures, Visionsmith, did that when they designed the acrylic lenses to swap out the regular glass fresnels for. The shape and density of them maximized the output of the particular module that they built for each specific lamp. They work quite well too, btw. I don't have a good answer as to why more companies aren't doing this. My best guess, basic as it is, is that they just haven't been asked to and the demand doesn't seem to be high. I've talked to many lighting companies about why they made certain design choices in specific products and they were all unanimous that they were based directly on customer feedback. I was absolutely dumbfounded by some of the feedback they were apparently getting, lol, but that's neither here nor there. Seems this the demand for this kind of design has been usurped by RGBWW and app control.
  14. I assume this is the product you’re referring to? https://hivelighting.com/products/source-four-mini-barrel-and-lens-w-adapter-plate-for-bee-50-c-wasp-100-c-hornet-200-c/ If so, the adapter plate looks custom to use on the Hive units, so any other lights would need to be able to take the same plate. I suppose theoretically if you were to figure a way to attach it, it COULD work. But that assumes the COB structure and beam angle is indeed very similar.
  15. The Hive Wasp I have is one of their plasma units, it's not LED so therefore has no COB. It is a single bulb and it's tiny, not much larger than a grain of rice. Their LED units don't seem to be much different in their basic structure and layout than others, as far as I can tell. They are also multi-chip, LED arrays with a small dome over them. There are differences between the specific technology they use for output and color fidelity of course, but the basic physical design seems to be fairly common so I don't imagine it is much different from others in that respect. I could certainly be wrong though, I've never done any hands-on comparisons.
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