Fotodiox Edgelight – Lightweight Circular LED Softbox from the future

Fotodiox is famous for their practical lens mounting adapters like the Sony to EOS with built-in vari-ND. This year at Photokina they present one of the most intriguing lighting solutions I’ve seen so far: A circular, flat, lightweight LED with a smooth surface.

These lights looked really impressive. While their output was not as strong as many other LED’s that are currently on the market, they had some unique attributes:
They are surprisingly thin (less than half a centimeter in thickness), they are lightweight and they provide a smooth lighting surface (no annoying LED dots causing multi-shadows or harsh texture) and they provide a light clarity with a CRI value over 90.

Slowly but surely it seems LED lighting is finally heading into the right direction and these lights seem like a hint on what the future lighting may soon become.

The Fotodiox FlapJack Edgelight should be available early next year and will cost between $300 for the smaller lights and around $600 for the large one.

The smaller lights are called C-200R and C-300R.
They are now available on the Fotodiox Website

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Reply
Myles September 20, 2014

She said they were available now..?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 20, 2014

Yes she did…

Reply
Myles September 20, 2014

So that was utter nonsense.

Reply
bohus September 21, 2014

Hi there! Bohus here – the guy from the Fotodiox videos. The FlapJack LED Edgelights are launching very, very soon. Just a matter of a few days. Hold tight! We will have a launch video on YouTube soon. Just check in with the Fotodiox YouTube channel, or join the Fotodiox mailing list.

And yes… the lights have been a lot of fun to work with! ;)

Reply
Myles September 23, 2014

How do I join the Fotobiox mailing list? Can you add me..?

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve M. September 23, 2014

These look to be some pretty sweet lights, but, there’s one thing missing as with all these LED lights. Fotodiox, if you’re listening, make a simple barn door attachment for these lights, so that we can control the spill. Please!

Reply
bohus September 23, 2014

We’ve been keeping some ideas for this under wraps in the Fotodiox smoke-filled labs… First we’ve got to see how people like these lights, but then we’ve got a couple of very cool ideas for controlling spill.

Since my background is more film, I’ve been pushing Fotodiox to put barn doors on more lights. There’s a compact model called the LED312D that’s one of my favorites to use for shooting when I’m on the road. The larger 500 & 1000 LED panels also have barn doors already. You may like to check them out on the website.

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve M. September 23, 2014

What’s there not to like! I am definitely interested in these lights, but without a barn door attachment, it’s a deal breaker. I’m tired of using black wrap for all these LED’s. I really don’t get it, why are most, if not all, of these type lights sold without barn doors? It just seems like an obvious necessity.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 23, 2014

Barn doors for circular softlights?? Really? Couldn’t think of a situation I would need that for…

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve M. September 24, 2014

It’s called spill light , Sebastian, perhaps you’ve heard of it?

Reply
bohus September 24, 2014

I’m not saying it wouldn’t be useful to have barndoors on there. I’m just saying it didn’t fit in with this version of the design. Why set up a C-stand with a flag if there’s something that’ll do the same job that clips onto the light, right?

One of the design priorities was to keep this simple and elegant, and there was no good way to include barndoors and still be sleek. One of the goals was to have a light that’s pretty enough that it can appear in your shot without being distracting or looking too technical, and that meant keeping the lines simple.

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve M. September 25, 2014

“I’m not saying it wouldn’t be useful to have barndoors on there. I’m just saying it didn’t fit in with this version of the design.”

I completely understand.

“Why set up a C-stand with a flag if there’s something that’ll do the same job that clips onto the light, right?”

Precisely.

“One of the design priorities was to keep this simple and elegant, and there was no good way to include barndoors and still be sleek. One of the goals was to have a light that’s pretty enough that it can appear in your shot without being distracting or looking too technical, and that meant keeping the lines simple.”

I understand your design thoughts, and I think you’ve come up with a really nice design. My point is simple, give me, the consumer, the option of whether I want these looking pretty in my shot, and/or being able to control spill. Something that snaps on and off in mere seconds isn’t a big deal, it’s not like you’re reinventing the wheel.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 25, 2014

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your professional input. Softlights don’t have barn doors, especially the round ones. An egg crate is what you’d need to control spill light. Many Chinese manufacturers have finally come up with several aluminum mesh versions for their LED’s during these latest tradeshows and I’m sure we’ll see them implemented on many of the renown branded LED lights soon, including Fotodiox maybe.

Steve MacDonald Reply
Steve M. September 25, 2014

I appreciate the information! Not interested in an egg crate for a small LED light. Hopefully, someone will come out with a simple snap on flag system for their LED lights.

Reply
Myles September 25, 2014

In the meantime, black wrap/gaffa tape will work wonders. Or a separate flag on a stand. If you’re ‘crafty’ you can always work out a DIY solution which might be better than any mass produced snap-on applications.

Reply
Myles September 23, 2014

Are these lights bi-color?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 23, 2014

I think they’re not and I’m glad they’re not. I suppose you are referring to the 5600K display on the back?

Reply
Myles September 23, 2014

Yep. Why are you glad they’re not bi-colour?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 23, 2014

I would never buy a bi-color led light. Because it always means 1/2 light output. Also I usually need daylight anyway and transforming daylight into tungsten if required takes 10 seconds with a full CTO.

Reply
Myles September 23, 2014

Thanks for the tip. Didn’t realise bi-colour cut the output by 50%.

These lights look very nifty – portable, good CRI, with DC power, pretty affordable. Hopefully they’ll be available in Europe soon…

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 23, 2014

Wish they had an even bigger version. The technician at the show told me he’s planning a bigger one, but each increase in size lowers the light output per inch.

Reply
bohus September 23, 2014

Hi everybody! So thrilled to see all of this discussion about the FlapJacks. We will be announcing something later today, and I’ll make sure to post here as well.

To answer some of your questions…

No, there are no barndoors on these lights. We are working on a novel way to control spill, but right now we don’t have anything in place. part of the design concept behind these lights was to have a light that was elegant enough to leave right in the shot, and we felt that conventional barndoors don’t fit in with the sleek look of these lights.

These are pure daylight color balanced lights. We may offer dual color in the future, but currently the’re just a single color. As Sebastian says, dual color lights offer half the power output of a similarly sized panel because the way everyone does dual color is to alternate between daylight and tungsten lEDs, and then mix between the two.

I do use dual color a lot, especially on interviews. I use full power daylight to light the scene, and then use dual color on the faces of the people I’m filming. That way you can dial in a color that’s flattering to their skin. But for the sheer power you’ll need to light a whole set, I always recommend going with full power daylight and gelling as you need.

New video coming shortly.

Thanks, everybody!

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber September 23, 2014

Bohus, Good to see you again. Love your videos. Cheers

Reply
bohus September 24, 2014

Just a quick heads up – the FlapJack announcement and the new video are premiering on the 24th. just a few hours from this posting. I’ll post a link when we’re live with everything you need.

Thanks!

Reply
bohus September 24, 2014

Here’s the video I promised… the official premiere of the FlapJack LED Edgelights!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKDkSkg79E8

Reply
Myles September 24, 2014

Thanks for the update. Great promo vid. Where/how/when can I get hold of these in Northern Europe?

Reply
bohus September 24, 2014

So they’re not “utter nonsense” anymore, right? :) Just kidding! Sorry about making you wait a few days for the actual availability. We didn’t think that the interview video would go live so quickly.

The FlapJacks are located in the US, so just get in touch with fotodioxpro.com. We ship all over the world.

Reply
Myles September 24, 2014

Thanks.

Just to clarify…when I wrote ‘utter nonsense’ I was referring to the statement re. availability the lady made in the above video. She said (unless I didn’t pay attention properly or skimmed over it too fast) that these lights were available to buy right now.

Maybe ‘utter nonsense’ sounded harsh but as a darkly sarcastic Brit it wasn’t intended to be…

Reply
Myles September 24, 2014

Shame you don’t have any European distributors. Paying import tax, handling fees and shipping is prohibitively expensive.

Reply
bohus September 24, 2014

You’re right of course. It’s something that Fotodiox is working on. It takes time to build a worldwide LED lighting empire. :)

Reply
Myles September 24, 2014

I like the sound of the LED empire. Could stage epic CRI accuracy battles with the Kingdom of Tungsten etc.

Reply
bohus September 24, 2014

I’m just teasing. I figured that was what you meant given that you were being awfully nice in your follow up comments. ;)

It’s like I said, Lillian who was interviewed figured it would take a few days for the interview to go live. When that interview premiered, we were still in the old movie theater shooting my promo video!

Thanks for your interest everybody, and I’m still happy to answer your Qs. I’m going to shoot a quick unboxing video, just to show off everything that comes in the kit. I’ll post it here when it’s ready.

Reply
Marco November 1, 2014

Too expensive. It’s like an LED. Monitor. And you get them for under $100 for 20 inch ones.