Aputure seems to have had quite a busy time recently, as they didn’t just release the DEC VariND lens adapter, but also some very bright and indestructible lights. Meet the Amaran Tri-8 lineup of compact LED lights. The Amaran Tri-8 LED light There are times when you just need that extra punch of light, no matter what. If you happen to be in some rough terrain or on a fast paced run-and-gun type of shoot, this new Aputure Tri-8 LED might just be the right tool for you. It’s super bright, yet quite compact at the same time, around the size of an iPad. It outputs the equivalent of a conventional 500 – 550 W tungsten light and has a massive 888 LED array. That’s why it is called Tri-8, obviously. The Amaran Tri-8 LED can take a beating! Another feature is its upgraded build quality, as its actually now built like a tank. Unlike the old 672 version made out of plastic, this new Tri-8 is made out of aluminum and features a pure PVC front. As Ted Sim from Aputure puts it: “Beat it up, kick it, play hockey, you can do whatever you want with it!” That’s a rare statement, but one I could get used to hearing from other manufacturers. Very nice! There are three versions of the Amaran LED available: 25° degree beam angle version 40° degree beam angle version bi-color version All of these LED fixtures, like older models, are controllable via a dedicated remote to switch the light on and off as well as dim the output from a minimum of 10% all the way up to 100%. As earlier versions of the Aputure’s LED range, the Amaran Tri-8 is mains powered, but also accepts NP-F style batteries. As an optional accessory, you can buy a diffusor called the EZ Box, which will double the size of the light. As it is foldable, it won’t take much space when packed away. Also, there is a 35° degree grid available. It will be priced at around $350 to $400 and will be available in about two months from now.Read more
D-Fuse has expanded its line-up to now feature 6 products. The new fuss-free pop-up white softbox now comes in 3 different sizes with a recent addition of all-white-sided versions to allow additional spill. We posted about the original D-Fuse a couple of months ago: it’s a neat little pop-up softbox designed for standard sized 1×1 LED panels. This release was quickly followed by two others: a larger one for panels like the Litepanels Astra/Aputure Lightstorm, and a smaller one specifically for the popular & affordable Aputure Amaran panel. As an owner of all three sizes of the D-Fuse, I’ve been relatively happy with them. Very quick to setup, offering an additional level of softness by diffusing & enlarging the light source, all without the addition of another lighting modifier on another stand. The new D-Fuse boxes arrive with all white sides as opposed to the black ones found in the originals. This creates spill from the light that travels in multiple directions. This extra spill can help you with ambient levels in low light environments. Since the light is less focused, you may lose a small amount of stop from the front, but depending on the situation it can be more effective at disguising the direction of the source more. This makes it a great tool for replicating practical lighting, or lighting subjects in dim studio setups. The D-Fuse softboxes are a great alternative to conventional softboxes, much easier to build/pack down and much smaller when travelling. They attach using a set of 4 elasticated velcro tabs, making them fairly universal fitting to a variety of LED panels: just match the front face of your light with the opening of each D-Fuse box. I would still not pick these over traditional flags, silks and frames, however. The general nature of a softbox is a softer but un-modifiable source. The former options allow you to enlarge in size, pull away or move closer to the light source or subject, and therefore offer much more control over lighting. However, for compact, run n’ gun situations where another stand and modifier is not possible, these are a great option. I use the Aputure Amaran D-Fuse box a fair bit for hair light setups. Flying a compact flag in small spaces is not always possible, so it’s nice to have a fuss-free lightweight option to bolt onto the front of the light itself. The White-Sided D-Fuse boxes come in the same three sizes as the original line.Read more
Aputure has announced what is probably the smallest filmmaking light you’ll own. The Aputure Amaran M9 is a sub $50, credit card sized LED light with high color accuracy, 5v USB charge power and magnetic front for colored gels. We thought the matchbox light was small, we now get the credit card light. The Amaran M9 is Aputure’s teeniest, tiniest light fixture. Just 11m thick, weighing 5oz and fitting in the palm of your hand, you’ll be able to mount the Amaran M9 pretty much anywhere you please. A cold shoe bracket and 1/4″ thread ensures the light is compatible with industry standard accessories. Here are the specs: – TLCI 99 – > 350 lux at 0.5M – 5500k Color temperature – 5V USB rechargeable (even while in use) – built in lithium ion battery (90 min at 100%) – 120° beam angle – includes 2 magnetic diffusion filters TLCI is much more handy for considering LED fixtures than CRI, so it’s nice to see a company disclosing a useful rating for color accuracy. Aputure are known for offering high color accuracy on daylight fixtures at an affordable price, so this is exciting for sure. Its tiny size will not only open up many possibilities and doors but also make it quite a niche tool. Such a small fixture can yield a harsher cast than a larger one, but in low light situations this may be great bounced off a bit of card, or great for illuminating foreground detail when shooting through objects. Its built-in 90min battery life at full whack keeps it ultra nimble. But there’s added versatility in that it can receive charging power from universal 5v USB power even whilst in use. The Amaran M9 will ship for just $49, and we have one in for testing so will share our thoughts on it properly soon.Read more
Aputure has announced a new modifying kit to their Amaran HR672 and 528 lights. The EZBox+ is a frame, soft box and 35degree grid that gives you much more control over your super cheap and color accurate LED light. The new EzBox+ is a response from Aputure from the high levels of requests they received from users looking for a light modifying kit for their Amaran panels. Whilst this maybe quite a specific item to write about, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the specific lights themselves, as they’re one of the few products out there that manage to combine true affordability and color accuracy. Enter all camera gear analogies here: Buy cheap, buy twice/ you get what you pay for/ Cheap Fast Good – Pick just two (albeit gear doesn’t always fit the fast part), then throw them out the window. Aputure Panels break the mould in offering affordable LED lighting that has fantastic color accuracy. Just Check out Ryan Walters glowing review of the Aputure LED line: The review touches on a few subjects including the lack of relevance CRI is for modern LED solutions. For more on this and considering Extended CRI, check out this other video. Back to the new product, the Ezbox+ works with Amaran HR672 and 528 lights only, not the Lightstorms or smaller on-camera panels. It mounts via ears on the side of the light and is a three step process. The frame adds a small amount of direction as well as forming the foundation to the modifier. Coupled with the diffusion front the frame makes up a softbox, increasing the size of the light by 1.5 times and therefore creating a softer cast. The final part is the 35 degree crate, which gives the light more direction (35 degrees more funnily enough). If you haven’t already I’d strongly recommend checking out the Aputure Amarans. I own the HR672D and find its a great affordable lightweight solution, the fact that they run off Sony NP-F batteries also can make them an easy investment for beginner filmmakers. Here’s the Amaran HR672 in action as a backlight. I used a make-shift softbox and some velcro solution for this look; the EZBox+ will be a warmly welcomed accessory.Read more
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