These seem a bargain

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noddydog
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These seem cheap at £30 provided the colour temp is as advertised:

http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=777_1&products_id=111653&r=20110603

I've ordered a couple of them, so I can let folks know what they're like if anyone is interested.

MAGLINK
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Even if the colour temp is as advertised you tend to get all sorts of weird colour spikes with these type of LED lights, I got rid of mine as it just didn't have a good throw and made everything look flat and lifeless due to the green colour spikes. As far as LED lights go you tend to get what you pay for.

Alan Roberts
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Correct. For £30 you get a lamp worth £30. Good LED kit is expensive, even the Kelvin-Lite from Gekko isn't ideal and that's £1200 a panel, the ARRI kit is better, but costs a lot more.

I've been measuring lots of light sources lately, and I wouldn't touch anything that cheap with a barge pole. The science is a bit hard to explain succinctly, but I've got a measurement set which can assess such sources for video use, and have written an IBC paper on it for this year. The EBU is setting p a working party to validate it before adopting the method formally. Then the CIE will have to listen.

The problem with cheap LEDs is that the spectral output derives from a single blue LED, with a part-covering of an orange phosphor. The phosphor absorbs some of the blue light and re-emits it as orange, 'white' is the resulting colour. BUT, there's a big hole in the spectrum between the blue and orange, there's no far blue and no far red. So colour rendering is very odd.

Lamps like these are ok as fills, but not as keys. Don't expect to be able to use them as an alternative to other light sources, because you'll get all sorts of colour shifts that you can't correct in post. No single post colour-correction will make the pictures right. They're ok for interviews for News or for wildlife, where colouring isn't all that important, but not for anything serious.

I hope to be able to release more on this soon.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Look forward to reading it Alan.

I've bought and tried several small LED lights including an IDX one of the cheap chinese type and even the LED option for the Pag light, none of them look nice at all and make skin tones very flat and lifeless, they look like they are throwing a good amount of light out but there is just something missing compared to a tungsten or HMI light.

i tend to stick with my tungsten Pag lights or the HMI option if I need more portable light.

PaulD
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Hi
This looks like a Yongnuo device, which bearing in mind Alan's reservations - which all apply - is one of the better 'worth £x0' lighting units - they are not the lowest quality LED units.
If you have a budget for 'worth £x00+" light fittings they indeed will be better. But in the dark (= having to use IR nightshoot) then one of these will at least give you some chroma recorded data to work with ;)

FWIW I very successfully used the larger Yongnuo 160 LED light for a session in India. I was filming a cultural dance performance (40+ dancers) at the opening ceremony of a sporting championship in a full size sports stadium at night, with a huge crowd.
It being India the stadium's power failed, and it being India there was no backup generator supply - and it being India there was no emergency lighting whatsoever...

Out came my Yongnuo 160 cranked up to full power, and an athlete held it high on some gymnastic equipment and was able to light up the performance arena sufficiently for the show to go on :)

Alan Roberts
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For that sort of conditions, fine, they're spot on. LEDs make about 80 lumens per watt, compared with about 30 for fluorescents and about 7 for tungsten, so there's a huge incentive to use them. And that can only be a good thing. But, the colouring you get is inconsistent and difficult to correct in post. I've talked to a few professional colourists about this, and they all seem to agree on the limits of what they can do, which is that the cheap Chinese LEDs are not acceptable for high-end production because the pictures can't be graded to look like they were lit with 'proper' lighting without time-consuming and expensive grading.

When my work's done, there will be a single metric for lighting for TV and film. The maths works out a single number, 0~100, assessing the degree of match between the light in question and a standard illuminant, or between two measured lamps. A score of 100 means identical, no grading needed. Score 50 and you can use it but grading can't produce a good match unless you use keying to correct individual colours, frame by frame. Score 75 or above and grading can get there in one move, almost. Below 25 and there's no way you can get a match, but OK as a bike lamp.

We hope to be able to set up a measurement facility so that manufacturers can have their lights tested for a fee, and issue the score on their kit. But my guess is that only the best kit-makers will bother to do that, the cheap end won't want their kit to be assessed, so I suspect it'll be yet another one of those things we have to do as a pro-bono operation.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

col lamb
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I have a LED unit that I got off e-bay for about £65, Tom Hardwick reviewed them a while back in FVM and he highlighted their limitations.

Alan et al are spot on with colour rendering but I used mine as a fill source at a recent wedding with a group of faces 6m from the lens and a clip duration of only 4 seconds it did the job without any need to correct, it was used with its daylight filter attached.

Know your kit and its limitations and strengths and you are fine.

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

Alan Roberts
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Quite right, that's the right approach.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

tom hardwick
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I initially bought one of the cheap 126 Chinese LED lights and quickly swapped it for the 160 LED version that I see Colin has. They're both built into the same housing, and very conveniently run off 6 rechargeable AAs, Panasonic or Sony camcorder batteries. The 160 has a far nicer colour balance then the 126 and I tend to use it unfiltered. It's a cold light (CT-wise) but it's easier to warm in post than cool, I find, so that doesn't bother me. What a bargain at 42 quid delivered.

The 7Day shop units look smoother and more modern than the version I have, but at that price I'd say their output would be no different.

tom.

noddydog
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I will be using the new LEDs mainly as fills on my regular Asian shooting trips. The biggest issue I personally face is weight allowances on airlines going out to Asia. I have a set of Dedos and when I'm travelling with another member of crew I'll take them.

However there are times when I'm travelling alone and I need something much lighter. So far I have been using fairly cheap LED lights (eg http://www.prophotoaccessories.com/buy-fv-r3-ii-10w-led-camcorder-dv-video-light-with-filters.html) and they have been working for me.

In the following video at 3m 25 secs you'll see a Thai chap talking in a library scenario.

http://vimeo.com/13676845

For this I used x2 of said F&W portable LED's, a 650w Arri Junior (daylight gelled) and..... believe it or not an LED Lenser P7 torch (as the backlight). Now in theory that lot should give you a complete nightmare in post..... and yet it didn't. I know it's not perfect, but in my book it's perfectly acceptable.

Now I hear what people are saying about colour temp differences... but I also think there is more tolerance in this than people expect..... provided you get everything in the general ballpark.

PaulD
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Hi
Great for illumination (background/darkside-fill) - the blue cast is a nice 'effect', not easily controllable for foreground/subject lighting.

I bought mine for the same reason as you suggest - air hand-luggage weight limitations.
I found it best to use big Sony NP batteries - putting 24 lithium AA cells through the hand-baggage scanner ALWAYS invited a complete turnout of everything I was traveling with :(

noddydog
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Ah, but I intend to buy the AA's out in Asia in any 7/11, thus limiting my weight even further.

Alan Roberts
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Just to put this into context, if you shoot an entire programme lit with these LEDs, you'll have no problem expect for the colouring looking a bit odd. The problem comes when you try to intercut shots lit with different sources (even with the same CCT), that's when the differences get up and bite you. And, if you can accept that, then they're fine.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

g3vbl
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While I found the videography interesting, I take great exception to the content. It gives a totally misleading picture of Buddhism and is very typical of the type of proselytising by fundamentalist Christians which is repugnant to most thinking persons. I'm not a Buddhist but I do work, pro bono, in Buddhist monasteries in LaoPDR and Myanmar. Monks in LaoPDR feel that Thai monks are not as observant as they should be, but that is no excuse for the denigration of their belief system.

My major criticism of Buddhism is that encourages its adherents to accept their lot in society rather than strive to better themselves.

noddydog
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Hi g3vbl. I'm not sure if this is the best place to have this discussion, but let me offer my perspective.

One thing the video tries to make very clear at the beginning is it is addressing 'Folk' Buddhism. Essentially Folk Buddhism is similar to Folk Catholicism with one major difference, the numbers.

Folk Catholicism has a relatively small number of followers folk Buddhism has ballpark 1 billion.

As the video explains Buddha never actually taught about a spiritual realm and so in its purist form you shouldn't find reference to the spiritual world in Buddhist doctrine or temples (which may be true of Myanmar and Lao). Yet if you've been out to other parts of Asia you'll know the reality is completely the opposite. The images you see in the video weren't hard to find, they are everywhere in Thailand.

So the point of the video is that folk Buddhism is by far the more practised religion, whereas the original teachings of Buddha are only followed by a minority.

I do hear what you are saying about Myanmar and Lao, but I have it on good authority (my preproduction research was guided by Dr Alex Smith, a respected academic in this field, although admittedly a Christian himself) that Folk Buddhism is practised by close to 1.2 billion Asians…. although Myanmar and Lao may not be part of that figure.

I’d really like to avoid an ongoing debate about this, particularly since these things take time, rarely achieve much (other than raised blood pressures) and I have a tonne of work to do right now.

Feel free to comment further should you wish, but with the greatest of respect I don’t have much more to add.

g3vbl
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Hi noddydog. In retrospect, you are probably correct and this is not the place to discuss the matter but the video was referenced and now you have produced figures which are, frankly, mendacious.

I cannot reconcile the figure of 1.2 billion with reality, not only in terms of the population of the region but particularly in terms of the accepted number of Buddhists in the world... 350 million.

On the other hand 'Folk Christianity' can be found all over the Philippines (92 million), Haiti (10 million) and most of Africa (? million) where the missionaries have done their worst. They do some pretty funny things in Spain too. So, the numbers you quote simply don't stack up.

In Thailand I see missionaries trying to impose their Judeo-Christian hangups on poor, uneducated, peaceful Buddhists using devious tactics....... free 'English lessons' and the like. I really don't care what other people believe, that's up to them, but when they try to force their beliefs on my friends or me, I object.

noddydog
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This is exactly what I was hoping to avoid. I imagine neither of us have the credentials to prove those figures either way, so why don't I just PM you the contact details for Alex Smith and you can take it up with him.

g3vbl
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All the figures I quoted are from public sources. The country populations can easily be found and the number of Buddhists is a mid-range accepted figure. I can understand why you do not wish to pursue this here.

'Peace' as Pat Condell would say.

noddydog
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Here is Alex Smith's argument for over 1 billion Buddhists... counting those practising Folk Buddhism:

http://books.google.com/books?id=pgSx-ceKln8C&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=counting+the+buddhist+world+fairly&source=bl&ots=6SYxtNJemi&sig=uZSwSSg37__52DXObyLjRDcUD-A&hl=en&ei=LhB7SpLcCIa0sgPVlbDvCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Would you like to cite your breakdown specifically for Folk Christianity from those 'public sources'?

mooblie
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Guys - might be best to continue this by PM, since no-one else is participating, and it's wildly off-topic? Please.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

noddydog
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Agreed. However I'll come back and post what I think of the lights in case anyone is interested.

There, back on topic :-)

mooblie
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Thanks.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

g3vbl
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These are country populations of countries where 'Folk Christianity' can be found. I'm pleased to see that, in the Philippines at least, they are starting to break the shackles of those who have oppressed them for hundreds of years.

The important figure is the number of Buddhists in the world. Your 'source' seems pretty unique in his estimation; perchance does he have an axe to grind?. The figures he gives for China are particularly amusing and I notice that even at the top end of his guesstimate, the figure is not 1.2 billion. So, on your own figures, more Buddhists in Asia practise 'Folk Buddhism' than there are Buddhists in the world?

I find attempts to change the faith of Buddhists, particularly the uneducated poor, morally repugnant.

Almost forty years ago I publicly accused the Bishop of Portsmouth of 'lies, damn lies and statistics'. Six months later this proved to be the case. Nothing changes.

g3vbl
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Whoops, these appeared while I was typing. Apologies.

noddydog
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Lights turned up this morning. They are definitely keepers for the type of situations I find myself in.

I won't be able to test them in a real life scenario for a while, but compared to my other cheapo LED's the colour temperature seems warmer, as in closer to natural daylight. I realise this might seem contradictory, but my older LED's tend to be at the higher end of the Kelvin scale whereas these ones do seem around the 5500K mark (as advertised). Obviously my opinion is subjective, but in the past I have spent a spell racking studio cameras where you do have to develop an eye for these things.

This is definitely a fill light and as such there is a reasonably good spread of soft light at about 2m from a flat surface, however there is a more noticeable central hotspot the closer you bring it to said surface.

The light has two +/- dimmer buttons on the back which allow 12 steps of dimming. It's a guess, but the range looks like 25-100%. Colour temperature seemed to be constant through changes, but again this is subjective.

In terms of construction they are plasticky, but despite this seem reasonably well made for £30, i.e. all the plastic appears thickish/durable. They are branded with 7-day shop, but I have no idea if they’ve been purpose made or just had a logo slapped on them.

The kit also comes with an extra plastic bracket (for mounting the light some 20cms away from the camera) as well as a USB cable for in light battery charging and a Canon battery adaptor plate.

Overall for £30 I think they are quite a reasonable light that will assist greatly in situations where a full blown lighting kit is not an option. The only thing that is missing is a tungsten filter, but for me this is not an issue since 95% of my Asian interviews are shot during daylight hours with spill through windows.

If you do want the a tungsten filter option then you may want to consider these on Ebay for an extra £15 or so:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HDV-Z96-LED-Video-Light-Canon-Nikon-Pentax-Camera-/260785725248?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb80a5f40

Note the lights I purchased have a permanent diffuser on the front whereas these eBay ones have a diffuser as an option. So at a push you might be able to use the eBay ones as a key light. However a plus for 7day shop is they offer a 2 year guarantee and I would expect them to be around in two years to honour it.

MAGLINK
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Thanks for the review and as they look a bit more robust than the one I got rid of and you seem to think they are warmer I have taken a punt on one at £30 as it may be OK for certain situations with my small canon HF11.

Will post my own thoughts when it arrives.

PaulD
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Hi
This is the manufacturer of the one I've got - the bigger 160 LED version.
http://www.hkyongnuo.com/e-ourproduct.php?category=6.LED%20light
As they make photographic accessories I think they have some relevant design experience ;)
I got mine from a UK eBay supplier.

noddydog
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An addendum to my former comments. I purchased two of these lights from 7dayshop and one of them definitely outputs more than the other. At first I thought it was the batteries, so I swapped them across, but the same unit was still brighter. I would guesstimate by about 15%. Perhaps unsurprisingly the colour temperature on the weaker unit is ever so slightly warmer.

Despite 7dayshop's 30 day money back guarantee I'll probably hold on to both of them since I'm only ever likely to use one during an interview as a fill and consequently the option of a slight colour temperature variation might suit my requirements. I can pick the one most suited to a sunny or overcast day.

But this does highlight that for £30 you aren't getting a precisely engineered product.

foxvideo
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Appreciate the mini review, ordered one with 2 Canon Li-on batts (£3.99 each).

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

MAGLINK
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Well mine arrived today and for less than £30 it is a well made light and certainly better than the other one I had from china, it puts out a reasonable amount of light but still has that flat lifeless quality which is totally different to the tungsten/HMI pag lights I am used to.

The colour balance on mine was around 6.8k straight out of the box so I took the front panel off (four small screws around the back) and put a sheet of 1/4 CTO behind the diffuser.

This has brought the colour temp to around 5.2k but I am not sure what other colour spikes are there too.

Will do some further tests with the camera it is going to be used with the canon HF11 and if all else fails as a video light then it will always do as a work light!

foxvideo
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Mine arrived too, Canon batteries out of stock but to be dispatched soon. Agreed, £30 well spent for the use I want it for. Mine came out at 5900k using the white side of a Douglas Grey card and no other illumination.

Good idea Gary to place a CTO behind the diffuser ;)

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

Alan Roberts
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Gary, the weird colouring comes from the LEDs being narrow-band blue, pumping an orange phosphor. There's no output at far blue or far red, and a deep hole in the cyan region. It's not correctable in post, so don't use it for key lighting unless you're happy with it. On my EBU-aimed lighting metric, it scores about 50, where 100 is perfect, 0 is black, 90+ doesn't need grading, 75+ will be sort of ok if well graded, 50+ is impossible top grade without substantial keying of individual colours, frame-by-frame.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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Don't worry Alan anything work or broadcast related will be using the pag lights and HMI/tungsten, I just like messing around with these with the canon HF11 to see if they are at all useable.

I had a little sony 10/20w tungsten light and a pag C6, wish I had kept them now as I haven't found anything as small and as good for a simple fill with handcam work.

Alan Roberts
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Yep, hang on to tungsten, they're still the best. LEDs are for colour effects and fills, unless they're really good ones.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

tom hardwick
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Well I have the 160 LED cheap 'n' cheerful Chinese lamp as well as the 20DW2 Sony halogen and I can't see me ever going back to hot, power-sapping tungsten. But then again I'm using the LED in all sorts of mixed lighting situations such as discos, and with the pale pink diffusing filter they supply it certainly does the job. Light, cool, runs for 2 hours flat out, is a diffused panel so fewer harsh shadows and the diffuser doesn't sag and melt as it does on the 20DW2.

tom.

Alan Roberts
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For that sort of use, fine, it works (I've measured the 160 version). But I have to aim for the top broadcast standards, where subtle changes in colour performance is important and matching between shots is vital ...

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

delphiplasma
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I suppose, at the end of the day, the majority of 'LED' lights haven't got a 'CRI' rating, so would probably not be that good in any case.

Mind you, I have lamps with good 'CRI' ratings and have left me disappointed.

Alan Roberts
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CRI isn't really relevant, that's the point of the research I've been doing for the past 6 months (the CRI uses ancient maths that the CIE has updated several times since CRI was launched, and ignores some of the crucially different features that TV/film have over direct viewing). I've got a new metric for TV/film (strictly it's an old one, but I've updated and improved it) which the EBU is going to take up. I'm giving a paper on it at IBC this year, and hope to be writing an article on it for the next issue of The Iris.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

MAGLINK
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P.S have been having a play with some Lee lighting filters this morning (it's what you do on a rainy saturday now that Swap Shop and Live and Kicking are off air)

............and I have found that the best filter to do some form of colour correction is the Lee 188 cosmetic highlight filter.

This adds some warmth to the light and seems to correct some of the missing cyan and seems to work better than the 1/4 CTO. I've added a sheet behind the front diffuser as before.

It has also added a little more diffusion to the light which makes it less peaky and more fill like and its nicer on skin tones.

I also tried the Lee 187 cosmetic rouge and both filters made my light spot on 5.6k doing a quick colour balance check with the panasonic HPX371.

The light still looks slightly off colour to the naked eye but adds a nice warm/more neutral skin tone friendly fill with the canon HF11.

Here are a couple of very quick screen grabs from the panasonic HPX371 set at 5.6k, with +3db of gain at f1.6 and about four feet away:
1: No added light with daylight coming in from venetian blinds thru the window:

2: LED light on top of the camera with Lee 188 filter fitted.

Note pink tone on my face may be due to last nights cider!

MAGLINK
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P.P.S

I was teaching for UK Film school at Bedford last week and used the LED light as a single light source for a hospital bed scene, I set the camera (HPX371) to tungsten balance and had the light on a stand about two feet from the subject, looks nice and "cool" to me!;)

The film is a comedy spoof ala Hot Fuzz called "SPOONS the Movie" and was shot by three 12 year old boys and the 17 year old girl pictured!

Dave R Smith
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Yes,:cool: - double meaning understood.;)
For a single source, there is no harsh shadow, perhaps you nicked a pillow case for a diffuser and no overblowns white within the linen.
By the look of fear in the patients eyes, she spotted you.:D
'Hot fuzz' is a worthy aspirational theme, for movie makers and movie buffs alike.

Given the contrived samples to-date, Ii suspect smiling teeth would produce flaring.:D

An after thought. You can see the single source in the girls eyes.
If the light were mounted on same axis as camera with red gel, it could move into 'Shaun of the dead' territory.

MAGLINK
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The gag is that she has been half beaten to death with a spoon that was found at the scene of the crime, the useless detectives interrogate her at the hospital and ask he about the spoon but also accidentally hit her over the head with it, she is an over the top american journalist so all she can say is awesome!:D
Here's the big close up where she follows the spoon with her eyes, great kids and I am looking forward to editing it this week, she also did a run and gun reporters interview scene and she was fantastic in that too:

The light was as supplied by seven day shop with the addition of the 187 cosmetic rouge filter I previously mentioned, no extra diffuser added, you can see it better in this shot.

And here is the wide shot with the detectives inc wigs and 70's tashes:

Dave R Smith
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As you'd expect the LED is struggling in the wider shot with hot spot and flattened blacks.
NHS cut backs mean no bedheads.;)

MAGLINK
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Dave R Smith wrote:
As you'd expect the LED is struggling in the wider shot with hot spot and flattened blacks.
NHS cut backs mean no bedheads.;)

Yup and only one sheet!:D BTW the actor running the course is good mates with old one sheet and at least the radiator in the classroom was sort of NHS style.:)

Alan Roberts
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For that sort of shoot, even the worst/cheapest of the LEDs is just fine, because you're not expecting good colour rendition. Good choice.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.