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Thread: LED lighting

  1. #1
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    LED lighting

    Hi all,
    Been looking at getting some sort of lighting for portrait work.
    I don't have a lot of room in my house where I sometimes take some photo's of hair models after my wife has done them weddings or balls etc.
    These caught my eye as they are so compact and reasonably cheap, at $199.00 Aus dollars.
    The model I'm looking at is the 144 PCS and I will get two if I decide to go this way with lighting.
    Would be interested in your thoughts.
    Cheers, Greg

    http://www.fvextras.com/video_accessories/video_acc.htm

  2. #2
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by gregj1763 View Post
    Been looking at getting some sort of lighting for portrait work.
    Buy Flash Units.

    Have a read of this.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 22nd June 2012 at 07:58 AM.

  3. #3

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    Have a guess :)
    Totally, utterly, completely unsuitable for photography I'm afraid.

    You really need to be thinking (cheap?) strobes.

  4. #4
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    For clarity: 'Flash Units' are the same as 'stobes'.

    WW

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    These are video lights and are really a supplemental light used to help even things out in darker areas for relatively closeup shots. The only place I've actually seen these used is by wedding videographers. LED units are quite costly versus more traditional light sources, so when I see a price of $200, I would be very suspicious as to how much light they actually put out. I find it interesting that they give all kinds of information about the lights, but skip the most important detail; the amount of light output (lumens).

    As others have already written, the are pretty well totally useless for photography. .

  6. #6
    Kittelsaa's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    I would agree with the others, those lights are not going to do you much good.

    The first lights I bought were a three lamp kit from Interfit.
    Sturdy, small, and easy to carry around, and a lot of light for the price.

  7. #7
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    For studio portrait work, a pair of carefully-positioned wireless flashes (or one with a reflector) will do a better job. I have a shoe-mount video LED light, but I use it for urban exploration so I don't have to carry a flashlight, and to make sure my camera's metering system has enough light to get proper readings. Outside of shooting short-range video, close-ups at events, and odd cases like mine, a good, consistent flash is almost always better for photography.

  8. #8
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    Thanks everyone for the reply's.
    Think you just saved me $400.00.
    Let you know what I eventually decide on.
    Cheers Greg

  9. #9
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    If you want to get into lighting at low cost, you can do it for more or less the amount of money you were planning to spend anyways.

    If you already have a an off-camera flash, you can do so quite cost effectively. Add a stand, clamp to hold the flash and an umbrella and you have your key light. Get yourself a piece of white foam-core board (around 2ft x 2ft/ 60cm x 60cm) and use this home-made reflector as your fill light. You then have yourself a basic lighting setup. I paid about $30 for the stand $40 for the clamp and about $30 for a white umbrella. The flash I owned and the board was the reverse side of a project board that my daughter used for a school project (i.e. free). If you don't have a flash, you need to add this to the price. You don't need a huge flash one as your key light will be positioned just out of the frame. An assistant can hold the reflector, again just out of the frame.

    Don't have a flash? Pick up the stand, umbrella and a low cost studio light. A lot of people made their start with a Paul C Buff Alien Bees light. https://paulcbuff.com.au/cms/. I understand that used ones are sometimes available on eBay. You may also need an adaptor if your camera's hot shoe if it does not have built in synch chord plug.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 22nd June 2012 at 02:01 PM.

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    LED lights are great for video work and will often make the difference between a mediocre video sequenceand professional looking shots. This is both true indoors (where supplemental lighting is almost always necessary) and outdoors (the LED lights are really only good for close shots outdoors - they don't have the power to fill from any distance).

    I have this LED light which works quite well for videos.

    LED lighting

    I combine this LED light with a softbox that uses four daylight balanced compact flourescent bulbs. This combination works fine for video when I need to light relatively small areas such as a puppy pen.

    However, I would not want to use these lights for portraits. Even though they do not produce the heat of other continuous light sources (such as incandescent) they need to be very bright in order to get a decent combination of f/stop and shutter speed. This brightness often makes subjects uncomfortable and can cause frowns, squinting and or the subject's pupils to contract. None of this is conducive to good portraiture.

    Flash is IMO the very best lighting for postraits. It produces a large amount of light instantly and produces neither heat nor brightness to disturb the subject.

    I personally prefer studio type strobes which have the advantage of modeling lights which offer WYSIWYG shooting. There are some quite inexpensive Chinese built studio type srobes which, although I would not recommend them for heavy duty and consistant use, are fine for the weekend casual photographer. These strobes will accept modifiers such as umbrellas and can be mounted on light stands without any extra accessories. They also have modeling lights and built in optical slaves.

    While I am not recommending this specific studio type strobe, IMO, this would work better (if modified with an umbrella) than the LED continuous lights. I picked this light from eBay Australia as a example of a low cost studio type strobe which would be a better alternative to the LED lights.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/180W-Phot...item2a1d9d92c5

    However, decent portraiture can be done with one or more off camera hotshoe flashes. Here is a portrait done with a single Canon 550EX on a Stroboflash Camera Flip Bracket; bounced off the ceiling and modified with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser pro. This is a great setup for run and gun shooting...

    LED lighting

    Hotshoe strobes can also be used in multiple light setups...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 22nd June 2012 at 03:43 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: LED lighting

    If you're looking for cheap flashes, the YongNuo YN-560 or LumoPro LP160 are pretty cheap hotshoe-type units which you should be able to get, although they're manual-only. In the UK you can get a YN-560, flash radio trigger, light stand, umbrella bracket & umbrella for less than 100 off ebay/amazon. One or two sets of those and some kind of reflector and you're set! (There are reports of the YongNuo flashes being unreliable, although the recent ones seem to be doing better. I have three without real problems so far.)

  12. #12
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    I not know about OZ but, here in the USA, you can pick up used Vivitar 285 or 285HV hotshoe flashes for very low prices. I got one at a rummage sale for ten U.S. Dollars. It was in fine working condition. The older Vivitar 285 flashes often have astronmically high sync voltages which can fry the electronics of a camera of the flash is physically attached. However, if fired with a remote slave that has no physical connection to the camera, the 285 can be a very decent and very low priced part of a multi flash outfit.

    The 285 and 285HV can be used in manual and you can select from full power to 1/16 power. You can use a low priced hotshoe slave sensor such as this...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rotating-Hot...item2555b86f23

    If you really want a CHEAP setup, here is one that was advertised on eBay USA. I have used three of these lights for a portrait setup as a Navy photographer in a very small area and they worked just fine....

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honeywell-Sl...item33776a92fb

  13. #13
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: LED lighting

    Thank's again everyone.
    I have some homework to do.
    Regards Greg

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