LED Light Panels

Started Oct 9, 2011 | Discussions
sacentre
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LED Light Panels
Oct 9, 2011

I've been surfing around looking for some small LED light panels that would be suitable for macro work that I won't need a bank loan for.

Can anyone point me to a likely source? I'm thinking of something in the region of 3" to 4" square and hoping that there are some reasonably cheap Asian products out there. I can't believe I need to pay almost US$300/- which some US manufacturers are charging.

Thanks in advance.

Trevor

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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to sacentre, Oct 9, 2011

Search ebay.

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Cerumen
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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to sacentre, Oct 10, 2011

Consider why you want LEDs. The expensive ones are a whole lot brighter than the cheap panels, and even an expensive panel puts out less light than any shoe mount flash (using similar shutter speeds). If you're after softer light, and that's why you want a panel, consider adding a Lumiquest diffuser to the flash. This will easily soften the light as much as an LED panel, and you'll have all the power you need.

Also, any continuous light source will be more disturbing to critters than a flash will. Continuous lights are good for video, but for still image purposes, a flash has too many solid advantages.

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Duncan C
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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to sacentre, Oct 10, 2011

I've done a ton of macro, and tried a huge variety of different lighting setups, including a pricey Sigma TTL macro flash unit. Of all of those, my favorite is also the cheapest: A simple pop-up diffuser that I attach to the front of the lens.

It gives slightly directional lighting from above, with soft shadows, and very soft-edged, natural looking highlights.

Here's a picture I took from the eBay listing back when I bought mine:

And here's a current search link that finds a very similar product on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l2736&_nkw=on+camera+flash+diffuser

And here are a few sample images taken with that setup:

Look at the highlights on the ants' exoskeletons, and also note the subtle shadows under their bodies.

It works best with a hotshoe flash, but it also works pretty well with a pop-up flash.
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http://www.pbase.com/duncanc/macro_pictures&page=all

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sacentre
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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to Cerumen, Oct 10, 2011

My set up is mostly for focus stacking with the StackShot motorised rail device for small product photography, machined components, watches etc. The camera is tethered to a PC using Helicon Focus remote control software.

For insects or wildlife, I'd always use a macro-flash like the Canon twin lite but for a static set up an inanimate objects, continuous light would be better.

When the camera and lens is moved by tiny amounts as with StackShot system, the lights need to be stationary. Flashes can be used off camera in fixed positions while the camera moves but continuous light would give me a much easier control over shadows - like modelling lights - and the result monitored with Liveview on the PC screen. Also, when you're shooting anything up to 200 stacked shots for a single image, it represents an awful lot of flashgun wear and tear.

Thanks

Trevor

Cerumen wrote:

Consider why you want LEDs. The expensive ones are a whole lot brighter than the cheap panels, and even an expensive panel puts out less light than any shoe mount flash (using similar shutter speeds). If you're after softer light, and that's why you want a panel, consider adding a Lumiquest diffuser to the flash. This will easily soften the light as much as an LED panel, and you'll have all the power you need.

Also, any continuous light source will be more disturbing to critters than a flash will. Continuous lights are good for video, but for still image purposes, a flash has too many solid advantages.

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sacentre
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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to Duncan C, Oct 10, 2011

Great shots, Duncan. You're use of a simple diffuser seems perfectly successful. I bought the Canon Twin Lite before I realised much similar and cheaper altrenatives (in the right hands) can achieve just as good if not better results.

Thanks for sharing the great macros.

Trevor

Duncan C wrote:

I've done a ton of macro, and tried a huge variety of different lighting setups, including a pricey Sigma TTL macro flash unit. Of all of those, my favorite is also the cheapest: A simple pop-up diffuser that I attach to the front of the lens.

It gives slightly directional lighting from above, with soft shadows, and very soft-edged, natural looking highlights.

Here's a picture I took from the eBay listing back when I bought mine:

And here's a current search link that finds a very similar product on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l2736&_nkw=on+camera+flash+diffuser

And here are a few sample images taken with that setup:

Look at the highlights on the ants' exoskeletons, and also note the subtle shadows under their bodies.

It works best with a hotshoe flash, but it also works pretty well with a pop-up flash.
--

Regards,

Duncan C

dpreview and PBase supporter.

http://www.pbase.com/duncanc
My macro gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/duncanc/macro_pictures&page=all

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Pom_ZJ
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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to sacentre, Oct 11, 2011
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drh681
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Re: LED Light Panels =
In reply to sacentre, Apr 16, 2013

Grow lights...

They've gone to LED because the old lights used to give away their location by power consumption levels.

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hotdog321
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Re: LED Light Panels
In reply to sacentre, Apr 17, 2013

I bought these NEEWER CN-160 for video. Cheap, multi-tasking, cool and takes a variety of batteries. Pretty handy.

http://www.amazon.com/Dimmable-Digital-Camcorder-Panasonic-Samsung/dp/B004TJ6JH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366232224&sr=8-1&keywords=led+camera+light

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