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Robin Probyn

Roll up LED lights

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13 minutes ago, Erik A. said:

Not heresy at all, IMO - I feel like the name Arri is what's carrying their LED offerings so far. I agree the Skypanel does go a bit green, though with +/- green control correcting that isn't much of an issue. For the price and reputation however, it should be better right out of the box. It's VERY well-built but very heavy and unwieldy. Their fresnels and the Locasters are underwhelming. I think that it's a case of being such an established name that it's basically a rental-house default, which then makes them proliferate enough to be considered "standard," and even the dumbest producers have heard of Arri. To be fair, it does seem to be designed for larger crews and to ride on a grip truck. 

Come to think of it, HMI's are really the only type of light I think Arri really nailed as a whole. Their older tungsten offerings were convenient as kits and low weight, but I think Mole beat them in design and durability on almost every fixture, as did many DeSisti offerings. They never even bothered to take on Kino Flo in any real way. 

Tangent aside, I wasn't bowled over with the Intellytech's. I have 2x 160 Litecloths and the magenta tint is noticeable. Using them by themselves it's manageable, and the output is nice, but matching them with ambient daylight never worked that well for me. The accessories have good designs, but I found them pretty flimsy and didn't really hold up to any kind of abuse. Perhaps they've been upgraded, I got them pretty early on, but I rarely use them anymore.

Yes, the Arri's are built to survive the rigors or rentals and being handled roughly on-set, there's no doubt about that.  And the Intellytech's are what I'd call owner/operator lights.  You definitely don't want the surly 'ole union grip or first-day PA handling them. Lol.

I think some of the "brand acceptance" was regional.  Here in the Southeast(at least back in the day), it was largely Arri.  We were in the warehouse at my local Barbizon one day(YEARS ago) and there was a large Desisti sitting on the shelf and my rep points it out and asks if I'm interested, because they'll make me a deal to get rid of it.  They said 'down here' we can't give them away, but in NY we can't keep them on the shelves.  Mole...  Maybe more of a west coast thing?  Never really saw a lot in-the-wild.  Now, with LED's it seems to be all over the map, outside of the rental houses, who are largely Arri, except for LP Astra's, which seemed to become a "standard", as well.  I did have a rental house call me up and sub-rented a set of my Gemini's for a client, though.

That's a shame to hear about your Intelltech's, especially since they don't have a +/- green adjustment like SkyPanel's and Gemini's.  Maybe it just speaks to the quality of the lights, but I've never had to use the +/- green adjustment on any of my LED's that have them.  Well, mostly true.  When the Hive 100C's first released, they were green, and they didn't have a dedicated +/- green adjustment.  If they did, I would have used it(I just manually "dialed it out" with the color wheel).  But they added more color profiles for the lights, which really eliminated the need for that, most of the time.  But they do have that option, now, too.

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Yeah Arri really pissed me off with locasters... the priority $600 or what ever it was battery.. on one of the two I bought .. was a dud  .. Arri just refused point plank to replace it ..wasn't covered in guarantee or something along those lines ..  such arrogance .. they just didnt care about one freelancer . so I have never bought anything Arri ever since .. from lights,mattboxs,base rigs.. to a camera .. just will not do it if I can avoid it  .. pretty bad PR just to save $600.. 

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I remember those.  Can’t remember if I knew anyone that bought any.  They were huge for what they were.  Looked like comically large Litepanel “bricks”.  I also remember sitting there for a demo at Barbizon and the Arri rep saying they guaranteed the color from unit to unit, regardless of when they were purchased or they’d replace it/them.  Wonder how that played out...

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Run&Gun said:

I have two of the larger 160's(2x2) and a Mega(3x4.5) and the quality of light is great.  I can mix 'n match them with my Astra's, Gemini's, Quasar's, Astera's and HIve's with no problems.  My only real issue with them, is that they are "erector set" lights and the older 160's have a really janky controller/ballast set-up.  But the light that they produce is up there with my Gemini's.  And I may get burned at the stake here for heresy, but the quality of light is better than a SkyPanel.  The Arri's have a green push, and at least to my eye and on my cameras(F55, VariCam's, C300), these two models of Intellytech's look neutral.

Yeah, I'm really thinking I may have gotten a bad unit with my Intellytech. Earlier this week the ballast started going haywire like it was picking up a separate radio frequency (which it may have been). It started dimming itself and the color temperature would begin to shift on its own. Of all my lights, it seems to be acting up the most and I've only used it 3 times. Sometimes when I strike it, it will just flicker like a bad fluorescent and I have to restrike it to get it to stop. 

I've been doing table top shoots since the lockdown and in between takes I did a quick (unscientific) test between all my cheapest lights to see how they interpreted 5600K. I shot everything on a Fuji X-T3 in 422 running the feed to a Blackmagic Video Assist. I set the camera's white balance to 5600K and then each light to 5600K and pointed them at a neutral white seamless. After this test, I really want to get a Sekonic C-800 color meter now. These lights are all over the place, lol. The only two that match are the 120D II and the 300D II. And while they might not be true 5600K lights, they definitely look the cleanest to me (through the eyes of an X-T3)...
 

 

Edited by DcD

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I know someone earlier mentioned the Fomex but thought I'd just jump in to say I've had some good experiences with these lights.

I've primarily used the FL600 but they do have an FL1200 that's essentially two of them stuck together. They arent fully foldable like some thinner lights, but they are flexible and have a really solid build quality. When I was looking around everything I found felt a bit flimsy and was worried Id destroy most of them pretty quick. These lights just feel well thought out and solidly made and for the 12 months Ive had a pair theyve never skipped a beat.
 

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I tried several of the cheaper flex options before going Intellytech, which I was very happy with on a full season of a travel show.  Admittedly I took it out of its hard-case and carried it wrapped in clothes in a normal suitcase and beat the absolute heck out of it...but nearly two years later its still working, if a bit beat-up cosmetically.  Nothing that I've seen gives this much light, this much control and this much portability at this price.  I'd love to get a kit of them as they continue to improve the options.  

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The only problem Im seeing with all these lights is there is very little room to tilt them down.. as Im doing a lot of interviews, with a high percentage of people wearing glasses ..  very often need to hike up the light and point it down .. although convenient .. these type of lights might not work for me ..  

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1 hour ago, Robin Probyn said:

The only problem Im seeing with all these lights is there is very little room to tilt them down.. as Im doing a lot of interviews, with a high percentage of people wearing glasses ..  very often need to hike up the light and point it down .. although convenient .. these type of lights might not work for me ..  

Not really. I've had the FalconEyes for a couple of years and that issue is very easy to solve. Either buy this:

https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B018LQGL8O/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Or use some C-stand arm or boom. But that simple flexible metal goose neck is all you need. It allows you to tilt the light down over 90º even with the softbox and it is really sturdy (and the mat is not really heavy, less than 1 kg).

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6 hours ago, PabloRollan said:

 

Not really. I've had the FalconEyes for a couple of years and that issue is very easy to solve. Either buy this:

https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B018LQGL8O/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Or use some C-stand arm or boom. But that simple flexible metal goose neck is all you need. It allows you to tilt the light down over 90º even with the softbox and it is really sturdy (and the mat is not really heavy, less than 1 kg).

Oh ! genius ..  nice one .. I would want to avoid C stands and boom arms as it would be against the point of the light weight Matt lite.. but yeah having some arm like this would work.. many thanks. you rule ... hope springs eternal !

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2 hours ago, Robin Probyn said:

Oh ! genius ..  nice one .. I would want to avoid C stands and boom arms as it would be against the point of the light weight Matt lite.. but yeah having some arm like this would work.. many thanks. you rule ... hope springs eternal !

There's also apparently a frame now made for the Falcon Eyes units -

https://www.ebay.com/itm/FALCON-EYES-Foldable-X-Frame-For-Flex-Light-ROLL-FLEX-RX-18-RX-24-/192610244616

Looks like they have different frame options depending on which light you want/have. Looks similar to the foldable frame the the Intellytech 160s have. Maybe this would help.

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7 hours ago, Erik A. said:

There's also apparently a frame now made for the Falcon Eyes units -

https://www.ebay.com/itm/FALCON-EYES-Foldable-X-Frame-For-Flex-Light-ROLL-FLEX-RX-18-RX-24-/192610244616

Looks like they have different frame options depending on which light you want/have. Looks similar to the foldable frame the the Intellytech 160s have. Maybe this would help.

Thanks Eric .. I think this is the frame for holding the light /mat ..that comes with the kit .. rather than a separate yoke for allowing there lite to be tilted down .. ?

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50 minutes ago, Matthew Allard ACS said:

1432289182_Screenshot2020-05-06at9_14_11AM.thumb.jpg.437284c3697d6a7c620d020a6ae78616.jpg

Thanks sir .. will check that out .. I would pretty much be using it for interviews 99% of the time .. which is why I need something bigger than a 1x1 sort of size..   

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I bought a Mega when they offered a nice discount during the pre-order phase, last year.  It's a beast with power to spare.   After I used it the first time, I started carrying it around in my truck all of the time, despite the case size.

 

Balancing with the frosted windows in the BG. I believe here it was running at 10%.  Cam 500 ISO, T1.5/1.8 and one or two stops of ND.

Mega.jpg

Mega 2.jpg

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17 hours ago, Robin Probyn said:

Thanks Eric .. I think this is the frame for holding the light /mat ..that comes with the kit .. rather than a separate yoke for allowing there lite to be tilted down .. ?

It might indeed be, yeah. They might make a specific yoke as well, I know Westcott and Aladdin do, but once you install that you sort of lose the featherweight aspect of the mat. You could use the X-bracket plus maybe a 4 or 6 inch baby stand extension and just stick that into a grip head on your stand, which would give you a full range of motion and not hit the stand while tilting down, and you wouldn't need a boom arm or a full C-stand.

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On 5/6/2020 at 9:17 AM, Matthew Allard ACS said:

1432289182_Screenshot2020-05-06at9_14_11AM.thumb.jpg.437284c3697d6a7c620d020a6ae78616.jpg

Looks good.. I did say I wanted a bigger light .. but this beauty might be too big.. if I was more studio bound work wise , I'd get this for sure .. 

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14 hours ago, Erik A. said:

It might indeed be, yeah. They might make a specific yoke as well, I know Westcott and Aladdin do, but once you install that you sort of lose the featherweight aspect of the mat. You could use the X-bracket plus maybe a 4 or 6 inch baby stand extension and just stick that into a grip head on your stand, which would give you a full range of motion and not hit the stand while tilting down, and you wouldn't need a boom arm or a full C-stand.

Yes agreed a big yoke is sort of defeating the purpose ..  I think that bendy arm posted earlier look s like a very good solution .. easier than a magic arm .. 

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On 5/6/2020 at 11:25 AM, Run&Gun said:

I bought a Mega when they offered a nice discount during the pre-order phase, last year.  It's a beast with power to spare.   After I used it the first time, I started carrying it around in my truck all of the time, despite the case size.

 

Balancing with the frosted windows in the BG. I believe here it was running at 10%.  Cam 500 ISO, T1.5/1.8 and one or two stops of ND.

Mega.jpg

Mega 2.jpg

Lovely quality light sir .,.  bit big for my needs .. I know you cant have the cake and eat it .. but its primarily for air travel .. if it ever happens again !.. for interviews .. so I have to find the Goldilocks light .. Falcon eyes RX 24 is looking a likely candidate .. or the smaller 18 is about as small as I would want to go ..  glad to see its not just me that gets crammed into tiny featureless rooms for interviews  .. and chairs with wheels .. 🙂 

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6 hours ago, Robin Probyn said:

Lovely quality light sir .,.  bit big for my needs .. I know you cant have the cake and eat it .. but its primarily for air travel .. if it ever happens again !.. for interviews .. so I have to find the Goldilocks light .. Falcon eyes RX 24 is looking a likely candidate .. or the smaller 18 is about as small as I would want to go ..  glad to see its not just me that gets crammed into tiny featureless rooms for interviews  .. and chairs with wheels .. 🙂 

Yeah, she’s a beast to travel with.  It’s actually compact and flexible(LED’s), BUT the frame and diffusion are not.  The diffusion actually has an internal frame like the Chimera POP stuff, so it’s not super packable.

I hate modern building.  So often, they’re all the same, like this.  Grey or white walls, uncontrolled light and if there is anything semi-interesting on the walls that you could use, it’s way above the subjects head level and there’s probably a light switch or similar at head level.  If you notice, we’re actually covering that switch up with the subjects head.  There was actually a good space there, their indoor batting cage area, but the still photographer was in there...

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8 hours ago, Run&Gun said:

Yeah, she’s a beast to travel with.  It’s actually compact and flexible(LED’s), BUT the frame and diffusion are not.  The diffusion actually has an internal frame like the Chimera POP stuff, so it’s not super packable.

I hate modern building.  So often, they’re all the same, like this.  Grey or white walls, uncontrolled light and if there is anything semi-interesting on the walls that you could use, it’s way above the subjects head level and there’s probably a light switch or similar at head level.  If you notice, we’re actually covering that switch up with the subjects head.  There was actually a good space there, their indoor batting cage area, but the still photographer was in there...

Oh right .. good move with the light switch .. yes I share your pain .. Im in Tokyo and corps are a nightmare .. tiny grey and white walled rooms ..devoid of any pictures ,just totally blank.. then made worse by totally inflexible PR who have no idea about video and have booked the tiny room in the first place .. general rule is to allow up to an hour to negotiate a better room ..this happens 80% of the time.. you have things like you cant move a chair from one room to another next door .. its pure Kafka .. ! 

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I bought a handful of Intellytech FL-40/FL-80 airlights last summer, specifically for a 24 ep/12-hour cooking instruction video shot in the tiny kitchen of a private residence.

Using these as primary lighting, mixing with ambient daylight on our 10-day shoot, we got very reliable results with minimal color-shift and, since then, these have become some of my favorite lights to use in and out of studio.

As with some other manufacturers referred to here by others, the power packs, cabling, accessories are odd, weird to deal with, and not quite as sturdy as one might like for repeated use, but quality of light-wise, I like them.

 

 

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