LED light panels bi-colour and set up for small room


Link Posted 08/10/2018 - 12:33
Hi folks
I would welcome your thoughts on what to get for some portrait photography for my circumstances....

I have a narrowish room I can use to work in (once I've cleared all the kids toys up) approx. 2m W x 3to4m L x 2.3m H, so a low ceiling. I have a AF540FGZ and cactus v4 radio trigger with pentax K5. I have a white/silver umbrella and a couple of stands I can use. No softbox or anything for hair highlights. I also have a plain material backdrop on stands available.

I'm starting to think through whether to get
1) a second AF540 as lighting source circa 300
2) a bowens gemini type 2 head kit circa 700
3) something like this LED panel x 2

#1 appeals because of familiarity, I know how it works etc, I feel I would need an additional softbox too to get a more natural lighting.
however the flash recharge time can be irritating at times and the volume taken up by backdrop, umbrella and softbox is starting to seem prohibitive on usable space in the room, in my mind at least.

#2 appeals because of light level controllability, good light source, remote triggering ok, with manual dials for controls rather than a menu system.
BUT have bowens gone out of business ? If so substitute interfit or elinchrom 2head kit like this
or this

The potential problem with this approach is space both for me and the kit (and potentially heat I guess ?) as it all looks quite bulky

#3 I don't understand yet
The appeal is smaller volume, output level control plus colour temperature control, also less heat and energy use vs #2

Its advertised as useful for video and stills.

Questions :
Is the idea that it's continuous light so no flash trigger is needed, just set up lighting and shoot, or is there a need for a flash trigger.
Is it the same idea as with a studio flash i.e. modelling light + flash ?
How about the size ? I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to do yet, is it large enough to simulate diffuse window lighting ?

The key to this decision is the space available, in order to prevent foreshortening effects I use the room lengthways, however this means there is limited space for the umbrellas to be set up, by the time I've faffed about getting it all set up my enthusiasm has waned somewhat !

Any thoughts on the LED panels and anything to save on space ?

thanks for looking.


Link Posted 08/10/2018 - 13:01
Personally I'd go for flash either your Pentax 540's with a second unit, or Studio flash, I take on board your space limitations, but my experience with LED's is whilst they are good, the output is low which means you'll need higher ISO's to get the shutter speed to anything semi reasonable and or a tripod and a very still subject.

I've some examples of a shoot where the lass was right next to the 400w LED lights, ISO was 1600 / 3200 just to get a shutter speed of 1/60th.

Worth seeing if you have another room you can use, maybe not for full length or perhaps look to hire a room somewhere, studios obviously come to mind, many are very reasonable at 10 to 20 per hour depending on what they offer, I've also used local community centres before at similar rates.


" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax DFA 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax DFA* 24 - 70 F2.8

Samyang 14mm F2.8, Pentax DFA* 70-200 F2.8

K3iii + K3ii + K5iis converted to IR, Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Pentax 55 - 300 F4.5 / F5.6 PLM


Link Posted 08/10/2018 - 15:42
I used to use off camera hotshoe flashes. Nice and cheap option that works very well.

Recently went to a Rotolight workshop which changed my mind about LED lighting in a studio setup. They are powerful enough to work at ISO400 at normal working distances.

I've not been converted to them for outdoor use though.

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