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    #11
    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    I would say a quality pair of 1x1 panel lights is your starting point for corporate headshot interviews. A background and/or hair light would be a nice addition.


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    #12
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    If it were me, I'd probably buy the new Aputure Amaran 200D as my key, and possibly an Amaran 100D as a second light. For interviews, a common difficult situation for an interview shoot is when you can't avoid including a window in the background-- it's then that you need the most powerful possible key light, and daylight balance. Bi-color lights are more flexible, but in situations where you're matching tungsten light, it's usually at a lower level, so you can get away with gelling.

    Why Aputure? Only because I have a C300DII. I know the quality of the light is good, and also that there are models you can step up to if you want to upgrade in the same ecosystem later-- your 200D will match the color of light of a 120D or 600D, and the accessories you buy (like softbox or lantern) will still work. I haven't used Nanlite, but you could probably start with that line instead-- it just looks like their 200 watt lamp is more expensive than the Amaran. I also haven't used Godox, but my only concern is that the build quality seems inconsistent from model to model (based on reviews), and I don't see higher end models that you could eventually step up to.

    As a third light, you could buy an inexpensive Aputure/Nanlite/Godox bi-color panel. These can be good for a variety of purposes, but I find them versatile and easy for fill light or lighting a broad area quickly (possibly without setting up a softbox), so I'm willing to trade some power for the speed of bi-color operation.

    Note: Aputure also makes good inexpensive accessories. You could just get softboxes, but also consider one of their lanterns-- they're great for lighting a broad area from above (handy for setting an ambient light level in a room-- more control than just bouncing into the ceiling), and they also work just like a softbox if you use the included blackout skirt.


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    #13
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    If it were me, I'd probably buy the new Aputure Amaran 200D as my key, and possibly an Amaran 100D as a second light. For interviews, a common difficult situation for an interview shoot is when you can't avoid including a window in the background-- it's then that you need the most powerful possible key light, and daylight balance. Bi-color lights are more flexible, but in situations where you're matching tungsten light, it's usually at a lower level, so you can get away with gelling.

    Why Aputure? Only because I have a C300DII. I know the quality of the light is good, and also that there are models you can step up to if you want to upgrade in the same ecosystem later-- your 200D will match the color of light of a 120D or 600D, and the accessories you buy (like softbox or lantern) will still work. I haven't used Nanlite, but you could probably start with that line instead-- it just looks like their 200 watt lamp is more expensive than the Amaran. I also haven't used Godox, but my only concern is that the build quality seems inconsistent from model to model (based on reviews), and I don't see higher end models that you could eventually step up to.

    As a third light, you could buy an inexpensive Aputure/Nanlite/Godox bi-color panel. These can be good for a variety of purposes, but I find them versatile and easy for fill light or lighting a broad area quickly (possibly without setting up a softbox), so I'm willing to trade some power for the speed of bi-color operation.

    Note: Aputure also makes good inexpensive accessories. You could just get softboxes, but also consider one of their lanterns-- they're great for lighting a broad area from above (handy for setting an ambient light level in a room-- more control than just bouncing into the ceiling), and they also work just like a softbox if you use the included blackout skirt.
    FWIW, I have five of the Godox, two VL150s and three VL300s. IMHO, I think they are actually a bit better built than my three Aputures and two of my three Aputures have broken, one needs a new control box that just stopped working one shoot
    and I cannot even figure out how to buy one from Aputure or elsewhere as the only replacement boxes available seem to be for the bi-color version of my daylight panel. I like Aputure but I would buy the Godox all day over the plastic, cheap Aputures. So far, after
    about eight months of relatively busy shooting, no hiccups, glitches, breaks or repairs with the Godox. I think they present a better value equation than the Aputures, which are just okay build quality. Same with the Godox, they are fine but they
    are not Arri or Creamsource build quality for sure. I think with light construction, you pretty much get what you pay for. If the Godox last me 3-4 years, I think they will have been money well spent.
    Last edited by puredrifting; 02-11-2021 at 06:46 AM.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    IMHO, I think they are actually a bit better built than my three Aputures...
    Thanks for sharing your positive experience-- I guess I should give them a real look next time I need a fixture, maybe save a little money!

    I've had better luck with my Aputure units (a C300D and a C300D II) and the ones I've borrowed or rented in recent years-- knock on wood, but no failures or repairs yet.


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    #15
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    Seriously, 3-4 years life for these LEDs? Oy.

    Just wrapped a another shoot using my ~18 year old Lowel kit. Replaced a few globes and soldered some new wires over the years and fried more than a couple sets of fingerprints off, but it makes you wonder the real value of some of these ‘advances.’
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    #16
    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    I think it's a good thing to keep in mind when you're dealing with rapidly advancing tech. For example I bought hot lights 3-4 years ago and even though they work just as good as the day I bought them I haven't used them ever since I got my LED lights. Same goes with cameras and computers. They are tools used to accomplish jobs not assets that gain or retain value. Once they've paid for themselves there is no shame in replacing them if newer better tools are developed. So I wouldn't wring my hands too much over making the perfect purchase. It's hard to say if LED lights have reach most of their potential and only have modest improvements.
    Last edited by Peter C.; 02-11-2021 at 01:00 PM.


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    #17
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    Yep, lights are now in the same cycle of obsolesence as computers and digital cameras. OG Litepanel 1x1's are laughably bad in comparison to modern 1x1's.

    On the plus side, something that puts out the right amount and quality of light will still put out that amount of light 5-10 years later (unless the circuitry fries, which is a distinct possibility with anything sporting a board). It's not like apps or video codecs which change more often than underwear.

    Get what will pay itself off, cycle it out when you can or need to upgrade, and move on.

    ......but FWIW, there's a reason we're still waiting for 3200K LED's to get "as good as tungsten." ;) Running power can be a pain, but so can color correcting in post
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    #18
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbob View Post
    Seriously, 3-4 years life for these LEDs? Oy.

    Just wrapped a another shoot using my ~18 year old Lowel kit. Replaced a few globes and soldered some new wires over the years and fried more than a couple sets of fingerprints off, but it makes you wonder the real value of some of these ‘advances.’
    I know, I STILL have and occasionally use my Arri Tungsten Softbank kit I bought in the mid 90s. The Arris will be here after the apocalypse along with the cockroaches.
    LEDs are ALL fragile in comparison to tungsten instruments. I can't think of any LEDs, even the Arri Skypanels, that would likely function after hitting the ground from 10' up on a stand whereas with tungsten, replace the globe and keep on working!
    Last edited by puredrifting; 02-15-2021 at 09:11 PM.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #19
    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
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    On the lower LED price level I have one each Godox UL-150, VL-150, SL-60.
    The nice thing about the UL-150 is it is completely silent.


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    #20
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
    On the lower LED price level I have one each Godox UL-150, VL-150, SL-60.
    The nice thing about the UL-150 is it is completely silent.
    How do the build quality and color compare on those units?


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