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
Kamerar has released an interesting product for getting a softer cast of light from your LED panels. The D-Fuse Softbox is a universal fitting pop-up diffusion box, currently suitable for 1X1 sized panels. Introducing the D-Fuse Softbox LED panels lights are great; they’re reasonably soft, cheap, light, cool running and variable in colour temperature. With a bit of modification, they make a great key light; my Litepanels Astra 1×1 is my go-to quick setup key light with a silk flag in front. Lighting modifiers like silk flags are fantastic; you have complete control over how it affects your light source by altering the distance/angle in relation to your lighting and subject. However, it’s another bit of kit. Another light stand, meaning another spare hand required to move from location to location. When you’re working quickly, under the cosh and with a small/no crew, that extra bit of kit to lug will likely be the first thing you leave at home. Enter the D-Fuse Softbox; it’s designed to be a fuss free lighting modifier that universally attaches to the front of your light, offering a decent off-the-lens-but-not-off-the-light diffusion to soften your light. Resembling a reflector packed down, the D-Fuse Softbox is very compact when storing; you can just chuck it in your 1×1 bag without it adding much of a footprint to your kit bag. It pops out in seconds, with a magnet hinge per corner adding to the quick setup. You then strap it to your light around the back with a few Velcro tabs. Why Soft Light Soft lights are much more pleasing on the face, blurring contrast lines as your cast wraps around the subject. The larger the light source, the softer your light; therefore the closer your lighting modifier can be to your subject, the better*. (*better when seeking a soft light) That’s a reason why an independent lighting modifier (like a silk) works so well, but in situations where the additional kit is not feasible, something quick and bolt-on like this is an excellent substitute. It also works better than just attaching diffusion directly to the lens of your light, as sitting off the glass gives the light space to disperse, plus the added surface area. Please note, the original D-fuse does not fit the Litepanels Astra. For this light (or similar sized LED fixtures) seek the larger version, all sizes found below. Via photographyandcinema & CheesycamRead more
F&V have recently announced their new Soft series of light panels: the smaller Ultracolor Z400s and the larger Ultracolor Z800s. The new UltraColor Soft series prides itself with “soft, softer, ultrasoft”. It offers true colour reproduction throughout the complete colour temperature range. The UltraColor Soft series light renders neutral skin tones, colors and shadows. CRI and TLCI measurements can only give a small insight into how LED lights render the full spectrum. The UltraColor Soft series can shine beyond those values with a well balanced colour response. Pure white light with a TLCI of up to 99. The Z400S is already bright at 1841 lux @ 1m and a beam angle of 130º. With The KS-1 intensifier, the light is concentrated into a 50º beam angle, allowing the Z400S Soft to achieve 4400 lux @ 1m (5600K). The UltraColor Soft series light panels are also flicker-free up to 15 000fps. There are two different version of the UltraColor series: UltraColor Z400S Soft: 90W 3200 – 5600 K 12-24V DC Incl. V-Mount Plate 8cm Thin Silent Passive Cooling The F&V Ultracolor Z400S Soft is available now for $890. UltraColor Z800S Soft: 180W 3200 – 5600 K 12-36V DC Incl. V-Mount Plate 8cm Thin Silent Passive Cooling The larger F&V Ultracolor Z800S Soft will be available in June 2016. No Price has been announced yet. There are various accessories that you can buy with the F&V UltraColor Soft series. Direct the light to create accents as well as to create a visual focus within your scene or turn your light into an omni-directional space light. The choices are endless and F&V have made sure to fulfill all your lighting dreams. INTERNATIONAL: Get the new Z400S HERE for $890 EU: Get the new Z400S HERE at CVP. (Price about to be corrected at CVP – Standard Pack is €899 plus VAT, Premium Kit €999 – during the introductory period they offer the Premium Kit for the price of the Standard Pack) What do you think of the new UltraColor Soft Series? Would you like to have it in your kit? Let us know in the comments below.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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