LED units instead of conventional flash/strobe heads..


20 Dec 2017 10:19PM
As the world moves on...LED lighting panels seem to be a compact alternative to 6 foot by 4 foot clumsy hoods with big strobe units inside....I'm not surprised.

or are they...?

So far, all I can see are relatively small, rectangular or square, LED panels..mostly from...China...but they sometimes have good gear, so not knocking that aspect..

now, I've nothing against continuous lighting, better in fact, especially if no heat involved..but has anyone moved to this technology, and what do you use for example...?

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JackAllTog Plus
10 5.8k 58 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2017 12:18AM
Where i've seen this LED idea used in in strip/bar lights that are as tall as a model, a thin strip of light either side of the subject.

I'm waiting for then to invent stacking LED light cubes, such that you can build a led panel of any size by just clicking more units together - until you have your 6' by 4' panel. Of course it should still not weigh much to keep it mobile.
sausage Plus
15 624 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2017 9:28AM
I have both, but I do use the strobes for studio work. The LED panels are more for the video work that I do.

I did think about using a couple of panels to light the background instead of buying more strobes, but not got around to doing that yet.

I remember seeing at one of the video exhibitions a while ago, panels that could be joined together but they were expensive. And also flexible panels that could be wrapped around things - like posts etc.
21 Dec 2017 7:03PM
Thanks guys...I have a couple of small "panels" I fiddle with for macro-tent lighting, but was just wondering if bigger ones could replace "conventional" strobe units and brollies etc.. certainly seem more portable - but there are probably drawbacks I've not considered...!

I'll keep watching...Smile

Cheers..
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
21 Dec 2017 8:30PM
They are improving... I carry two small panels for close up work, easier to see what they are doing than guessing with a speedlight, I also use an Ice Light clone for the odd times when I want to paint with light.

Large panels are available and we used to have a couple where I worked.

The good thing with LED's is low operating temperature compared to most other continuous light sources, however, and my knowledge here is out of date, they didn't have the illuminating power of studio flash, as I say I could be totally wrong now.

As an aside, all my studio flash units have LED modelling lights...
LenShepherd 11 4.1k United Kingdom
22 Dec 2017 6:53PM
One challenge with the modern photo world is it is increasingly difficult to try before you buy - and so far there are relatively few early adaptors.
The one that interests me is the circular British made Rotolight NEO 2, sometimes available for around 200 rather than the 299 list.
With several hours continuous fill lighting from 6 AA batteries or high speed flash with no recycle time if butterflies and dragonflies will accept them I can see benefits for my wildlife insect photography.
Downsides include little ability to change the nature of the relatively soft light they provide.
Turning to pedal cycling a reasonable led type front light providing sufficient illumination to comfortable see with lasting over 200 hours from 2 AA batteries is down to as little as 10.
Back to photography I expect traditional flash tubes will be entirely replaced by LED units within 5 years.
Chrism8 13 939 26 England
22 Dec 2017 7:06PM
I'm fortunate to work for a company that produces LED site lighting, its pretty good, set at around 5500k, so cloudy daylight balanced ish, both mains and cordless, the cordless has a run time of around 4 -5 hours ( 400 Lumens ish ) but not yet as powerful as the mains which will give 6000 or 3000 lumens, depending on the unit chosen

I have used the early stuff as continuous lighting, the difficulty is it wont obviously take any softboxes or attachments ( Bowens / Elinchrom ) etc, despite my requests Smile

I've some samples to play with, which I aim to have a go at some car photography fairly soon, as prev mentioned, the heat output is virtually nothing even when compared to HMI
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
22 Dec 2017 7:06PM
With the seemingly constant increase in high ISO quality in cameras these days, LED panels should come into their own rather soon. I watched an excellent video last night sponsored by B and H, and done by an elderly photographer, one of the old school types who's seen just about everything, but who embraces new technology fully. He used a 5D MK III and loves to just crank up the ISO and use no flash or artificial lighting.

A bit off topic, but a combination of high ISO capability and LED lighting should work well together. I have little experience with anything other than natural lighting, but I'm interested in lighting for close-up insect photography and also anything in nature/wildlife.
Chrism8 13 939 26 England
22 Dec 2017 7:36PM
I've done some high ISO with Halogen lighting this year, worked out ok, just had to take out the overly yellow / orange cast at the post shoot stage, which has me thinking on our LED stuff we produce, just need to find an economical way of running it away from a mains voltage supply be it a battery bank as the draw is only 50 - 60 watts per unit or a lightweight and ideally quiet generator
Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
22 Dec 2017 8:17PM

Quote: if butterflies and dragonflies will accept them I can see benefits for my wildlife insect photography.


Quote:I'm interested in lighting for close-up insect photography and also anything in nature/wildlife.


I have been using couple of small Manfrotto panels, mainly as a fill for close up work and occasionally as a main light, I can say from that experience that butterflies and damsel/dragonflies have shown no issues at all and would certainly recommend investigating LED's as a light source.

The advantages are obviously the low operating temp, you can see what effect the light/s is having, and there is a complete lack of the very slight 'shock wave' from a flash tube.

You do have some control to the quality of light... move it further away and the source becomes smaller therefore it becomes less soft (within reason as the inverse square law will have quite an effect, but some units are getting quite powerful).

My Ice Light clone puts out a lot of light, when close to the subject it is wonderfully soft, move it away and the quality of illumination becomes more directional... I have even painted with light a roosting dragonfly in the dark....
LenShepherd 11 4.1k United Kingdom
22 Dec 2017 9:47PM

Quote:

I have been using couple of small Manfrotto panels, mainly as a fill for close up work and occasionally as a main light, I can say from that experience that butterflies and damsel/dragonflies have shown no issues at all and would certainly recommend investigating LED's as a light source.


Thanks.

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