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    #31
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    The Mole LEDs are built pretty similar to their tungsten equivalents. I was surprised by the material on the Skypanel when I first encountered it in person as I'd expected it to be metal but it's some type of less durable plastic and metal combination or something. I guess the hardware for LEDs weighs more than for tungsten so manufacturers try to lower the weight by using lighter materials, as well as not needing metal because the light doesn't get hot enough to burn through the plastic.


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    #32
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    The Mole LEDs are built pretty similar to their tungsten equivalents. I was surprised by the material on the Skypanel when I first encountered it in person as I'd expected it to be metal but it's some type of less durable plastic and metal combination or something. I guess the hardware for LEDs weighs more than for tungsten so manufacturers try to lower the weight by using lighter materials, as well as not needing metal because the light doesn't get hot enough to burn through the plastic.
    The aforementioned Kamerar Brightcasts, the SMD panel itself is close to indestructible, mud, dirt and waterproof. Unfortunately the control unit itself, which the panel can be attached or detached from, is all plastic and seems fairly fragile, especially the potentiometers. I wish the manufacturers, as usual, instead of giving users a bunch of crap that they don't need (like all of the fireworks, tv screen, ambulance light modes on the new gen RGB lights - I mean those are party tricks that may come in handy for 2% of narrative gaffers, once in a blue moon), would give us better, more robust, bulletproof builds that could take a beating and come back for more. That's what 98% of us care about, will it work when left in a 250 degree car back seat in the Summer in Arizona? Will it still work when left out in the rain accidentally? And will it still work when a crew or talent doesn't see it above eye level on a stand, hits the stand it comes crashing down? I'm preaching to the choir here but the manufacturers will continue to give us doo dads that very few users want, need or care about. That's the way this industry works.

    It's pretty much the same with cameras, the engineering/product concept teams have given us some cool stuff over the years, especially recently. But too often, they build in really, really annoying and dumb "features" (bugs) that make getting our work done much more difficult. Everytime you buy a new camera, it's not really a camera, it's a project to go through how everything works, figure out ways around the dumb things that were engineered in that are counter productive or worse. Case in point, the switched state modes on many new cameras, the camera defaults to a particular state instead of the state that was being used, making the user possibly completely screw up a project for a paying client, like switching from shooting XF-AVC to RAW on my C200. Either way, once you switch formats, the default frame rate always goes back to 59.94, even though you were shooting 23.98 or 29.97. This has hosed numerous C200 shooters, it's a bad design/bug. It's not just on the C200 either, I've seen this same bug now of several other cameras. Any engineer with any experience in shooting in the field in real production would know that we NEED our camera to hold frame rate when switching raster size/media format as the default state, not the opposite.

    The battery compartment door on my new Fujifilm XT-3. Great camera but the door feels as if you breathed on it wrong, it would snap off. The battery door, on a battery powered camera, is quite essential to the continued operation and ability to shoot of the camera. I love all of the modes and toys of the XT-3 but this battery door is a botched or unsuccessful shoot waiting to happen.
    Last edited by puredrifting; 01-11-2019 at 06:45 AM.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
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    #33
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I personally find color effects more useful than a robust light. I don't throw around my lights and cause damage to them. The Astras are very plasticy but I've never done anything to damage them. If your lights are regularly falling off of light stands you've got bigger issues to worry about than if the light survived the fall. Invest in more sand bags. Not saying robustness isn't important, just that it's not super important to me. I don't rent my lights out to other people so it only needs to be robust enough to handle what I personally deal to it, which isn't that rough, generally speaking.


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    #34
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    The Mole LEDs are built pretty similar to their tungsten equivalents. I was surprised by the material on the Skypanel when I first encountered it in person as I'd expected it to be metal but it's some type of less durable plastic and metal combination or something. I guess the hardware for LEDs weighs more than for tungsten so manufacturers try to lower the weight by using lighter materials, as well as not needing metal because the light doesn't get hot enough to burn through the plastic.
    Yes. Besides just the LED's themselves, you have to have the controllers, power converters, power supplies and heat sinks, because the electronics and even the LED's are producing heat. Now, they are way more efficient than tungsten(maybe 4x), so there is less heat produced per whatever unit of light measurement you want to use vs. tungsten, but there can still be a lot of heat produced. My Nila Boxers actually get the hard CC gels so hot, it's hard to touch them after just a little bit. Look at some of the bigger, more powerful fixtures. They have very large heatsinks. With tungsten, it was pretty much just some wires, reflector and a lamp inside a housing. Incredibly simple.


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    #35
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    I personally find color effects more useful than a robust light. I don't throw around my lights and cause damage to them. The Astras are very plasticy but I've never done anything to damage them. If your lights are regularly falling off of light stands you've got bigger issues to worry about than if the light survived the fall. Invest in more sand bags. Not saying robustness isn't important, just that it's not super important to me. I don't rent my lights out to other people so it only needs to be robust enough to handle what I personally deal to it, which isn't that rough, generally speaking.
    We all have different needs. As far as lights knocking over, it doesn't happen to me every shoot or anything like that, but it occasionally happens. I find myself shooting in crazy crowded locations often, a recording studio a few weeks ago. Besides four lights on stands in an 8x10' recording booth, we had numerous mic stands, mic booms, miles of cables and anywhere from one to five artists, streaming in and out. Two light stands were knocked over, one by my elbow when shooting gimbal moves, one by one of the singers as she turned to say goodbye to one of the other artists as she was exiting. It happens, regardless of sandbags. Shooting documentaries, I am often just thrust into existing situations, unlike narrative shooting when everything is in service of the production. Also, if you leave your Astras to a group of Gaffers, working off a truck, they often are broken as they are fairly fragile plastic, most lighting trucks in LA use a lot more of the Arris over the Astras, exactly for that reason, the Arris seem to have the perception of being more robust. I see more Astras iin DPs personal lighting kits as they are a lot of bang for the buck.

    RGB special effects modes, I've yet to use any of them but you shoot more narrative than I do.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
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