Lights for outdoor photography

Hi everyone, I’m new here, nice to join a forum with a list of rules that encourage such good behaviour :slight_smile:
My hobby is photography and I was invited to join this forum after asking questions on an auction for
a powerful flashlight regarding lighting and outdoor video.
I like to use smoke effects and recently discovered that an insect fogger filled with glycerin makes for really good smoke :slight_smile:
I did some tests yesterday and a frame grab from 4K video is pretty good - I’d just like to light it better and when doing video outdoors to get sunbeams coming in through the smoke you need a powerful light to do the job.
I think I’ve solved my problem by ordering a 4WD driving light bar which I will power with a car battery but an open to other suggestions - possibly regarding something with a variable output.

Hi Desmond, and welcome!
Enjoy BLF! :wink:

I suggest the Wuben TO50R, i recently reviewed it here : “REVIEW”: Wuben TO50R = 21700 battery / 2800 lumens / 4 x LH351D / High CRI / Powerbank function [Pic Heavy] .

It is good for good colour rendering, and it has 2800 with 4 emitters , 5000K and 90CRI.

Take a look at it :wink:

I’m a photographer and videographer. I would only use Speedlite for stills but I use flashlights for video. You want something high CRI (color rendition index) and probably a ramping UI so you have a variable brightness. A good start might be Sofirn SP36 (BLF version with LH351D LEDs Anduril UI) it’s available on Amazon or cheaper overseas. Most high CRI is slightly green you may be able to set a custom balance with +1 Magenta or use Lee minus green filters (Adorama/B&H). Fireflies is another good brand and has Nichia 219b LEDs as an option. These are discontinued and rare. They’re also a little “rosy” instead of green. That’s pleasing to the eye and camera but still not neutral. Fireflies UI is a modified version of Anduril and doesn’t have blinks in ramping. If you’re varying brightness in video that UI looks nice and smooth.

We're very glad to have you here, DesmondD!

Hey, thanks for all the replies! I thought I would be the only photographer here at first :smiley:
I enjoy using speedlights but lately have gotten more into video - it kinda makes sense when you
have such high definition video available that you can take stills from the video, while still getting
an interesting video as well.
I just bought a 4WD light bar which gives a nice long light for better diffusion but will also
look at those flashlights.

I’m not a good photographer but I do have lights that I use for photography for work. My personal favorite is the emisar D18 + Nitecore NFD60 Diffuser which is a perfect fit. You can also cut out Lee Filters to put under the lens or diffuser to adjust tint and CCT.

Welcome to BLF!

Having the lights is one thing but setting them up is another. I’d guess you’d favor lights that can be easily mounted on a tripod. The Sp36 is a great evolution of the Q8 but it lacks the tripod thread - the USB port is there. A couple Q8s could be handy. So would be the Astrolux MF01S with a diffuser.

How about some of those portable rechargeable work lights? They’re usually very floody cold white low CRI but could be interesting to try with smoke maybe using color filters…

The LED light bar is going to have a very low CRI. Your colors will look unsaturated and almost grey. It’s probably also 6500k and can look very cool or even blue. Another flashlight I’d recommend is Astrolux MF01S. The SST-20 4000k version is high CRI. That light also has a tripod mount that could be useful. On mine I replaced the glass with polyacrylic and lightly sanded it for a diffused light. I also added Lee filters. It was a little hard to get apart because parts where glued. If you’re camera can set a custom WB then add DC-Fix over the glass for diffusion. That way you don’t have to take it apart. I’m using multiple cameras not all can set WB. For those cameras an LED with 5000k high CRI and Lee filters works best.

Well I’m learning quite a bit here - I never knew much about CRI ratings but now I do, lots of research to do :slight_smile:
These are the specs of the light bar I bought - no mention of CRI:

- LED Type: SMD 3030 Chips

- No. of LEDs: 60 LED’s

- Power: 180W

- Luminous Flux: 16200LM

- Color Temperature: 6000K

- Light Beam: Spot/Flood Beam

- Waterproof: IP67 Rating

  • Size: 840 x 80 x 88mm

I don’t suppose adding a yellow-ish gel will improve the CRI?

No adding film will not effect CRI those colors just aren’t there to begin with. High CRI LEDs don’t produce as much light and make more heat. They’re less efficient maybe 50-80%. Warmer colors also are typically less efficient. LED light bars only care about max output so probably CRI60. You really have to get high CRI LEDs to get high CRI.

Hey DesmondD,

I’m who referred you here :slight_smile:

The SP70 and TK70 have low CRI which I was thinking may not be good. I do have the SP36 with Samsung LED’s for high CRI but haven’t got them listed on Trade Me. Same price as the normal SP36 though.

If you purchase something via AliExpress, eBay etc you’ve got until the end of the month before New Zealand gets charged 15% tax on imports of any value.

Keep in mind that I’m in New Zealand so options are a bit limited. A local seller who referred me to this forum has the Sofirn TK70, SP36, C8T, and Q8 amongst others

Most of us order from overseas to save money anyways. There is no as many options in the US. The Astrolux I mentioned is only available through Banggood and Sofirn has an official store on AliExpress. The Fireflies is Neal’s Gadgets/Banggood. Do you have an Instagram?

Thanks, so do you have a link to an auction with everything I’ll need? SP36 with Samsung led’s and the batteries I’ll need?

Unless you want to emphasize a blueish effect, it’s all about the CRI value. It needs to be at least above 90.

Some examples of lights that should do the trick (just remember to choose LEDs with high CRI)

Astrolux MF01S

If you’re desperate for a flashlight then I can set up a listing for the SP36 Anduril (Samsung version) w/ 3pcs button top 30Q’s.

Otherwise I’d recommend the Astrolux MF01S from banggood. Get the 4000K tint as it’s 95CRI. It’s also over twice as bright with Anduril UI so you can smoothly adjust the lumens to whatever you need.

Grab the coupon on this thread to get a nice discount

If you go for the Astrolux MF01S then I can supply the Samsung 30Q button top batteries which are recommended.

Thanks, plenty of options out there :slight_smile:
I’m liking the look of the SP36 and they sell locally.

Light up a large area. I can always use a diffuser to get the effect I’m after.

You’re almost certainly going to want to diffuse it. The dynamic range of the eye and camera are very different. What looks like a wide even beam (floody) to the eye will still look blow out in the center. Removing the reflector/optics is what we call a “mule”. That will give you nice even light but going everywhere. I wouldn’t use a diffuser made for a flashlight because the spread the light around the flashlight. Putting DC-FIX film on the lens will diffuse the light but still make it directional. I asked about Instagram because I could show examples easier.

Welcome Desmond.
I’m a hobby photographer here too, and have been chasing high CRI for a while. I am finally satisfied. I use these 100w COBs for large area lighting. And a FW3A with SST-20 LEDs for pocket carry lighting. Both have the best CRI_Grades I have ever tested. I love them. They both take amazing photos.