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LED lights for macro

Discussion in 'Other Brands & Accessories' started by AGW, May 2, 2018.

  1. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    Is anyone using small pocket LED panels for macro work? Manfotto are selling some but they seem a bit pricey.... what about amazon/ebay alternatives.
    Interested in hearing tips and observations.

  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The Manfrotto item may have a consistent colour temperature, the cheap alternatives are less likely to be reliable in this respect.
  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I've got a small Manfrotto LED photographic light - probably smaller than the one you've seen (about the size of a cigarette packet), but yes, the colour temperature is described a being set to be the same as daylight and the results seem to bear that out.

    The only issue with it is that it's made up, as I'm sure you're aware, of lots of individual LEDs, and sometimes when I use it up close the light that it throws out can be discerned as being in little stripes from the LEDs - it's particularly noticeable in shadows thrown by anything illuminated by the panel.

    Cheers, Jeff
  4. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    That is why I don't use COB (circuit on board or something) LEDs...it is still lots of different coloured lights but in a smaller space. At the right distance the colours of light merge and at the wrong distance they don't.

    Sorta like a lens that suffers from CA except when it's at the sweet spot...OK if that is all you want.

    Suspect compared to a flash it will be lacking in power and could show greater fall off in illumination too.
  5. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    It would be for 1:1 mainly with a 100mm or for magnification with an MPE 65. So close working. I like the idea of continuous lighting to help frame and focus- the modelling light on the ring flash is pathetic. I will dig about a bit more The small Manfotto units are either 6 led or nine led, the more the better I guess.

  6. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    As a fill with the 100 and a focus lamp for the 65 might work.

    You could also help justify it if it cheaper than a mk2 ring flash which I believe has the custom function for triggering the focus lights with the shutter button although I don't know if they aim any better on the 65 or are any brighter.
  7. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Perhaps Manfotto panels have a higher CRI rating than cheaper products, meaning they're theoretically capable of reproducing better colour. In the lighting industry, the CRI value is seen as something of an inadequate metric because it's derived from too lenient a test, but it still gives some indication of quality. A score of >90 is probably the minimum you should seek for photographic lighting. Bog standard LEDs usually rate at about 80. Most LED lighting is fairly predictable in its weak areas and colours, regardless of colour temperature.
  8. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Glen...long time no see... do you know of any tests that have been published comparing CRI's and i suppose colour temps..?

  9. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Hi Graeme. Unfortunately, no, I don't. If it wasn't published in the specs, I'd think twice about buying it, as you might not be getting anything better in terms of colour rendering than a household bulb. Most LED lighting is particularly weak in cyans and reds regardless of colour temp. A high CRI might address that to some extent. If you wanted to improve things more, a custom DNG profile applied to raw files should help.

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