Tag Archives: ring light

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Rik Cordero over at RunPlayBack.com put together a nice BTS look from one of his recent projects. The new music video for rapper Joey Bada$$ was put together using fairly accessible consumer priced equipment.

A Varavon 3-Axis Birdycam Gimbal was used to help stabilize the handheld and tracking shots. A broad throw of light was offered up by the massive ePhoto R640 LED Ring Light (found here), and a GoPro HERO4 on a DJI Phantom Quadcopter with FPV setup was used for aerials. According to Rik, this massive 640 LED Ring Light was extremely versatile and used almost throughout the entire video. I'm a big fan of this light as well.

find-price-button ePhoto R640 18” LED Ring Light

The video was shot using the Panasonic GH4 camera (currently on sale here) with mostly old Canon FD Lenses and a Metabones FD Speedbooster.

Here's a look at the BTS video.

And here's a look at the final edited piece

I'm just throwing up a bit of a summary here, but you can read an entire article about the workflow and tools used on this and other projects over at Rik's site https://RunPlayBack.com


Here's another product Giveaway and this time it's a Diva Ring Light sponsored by the DVEStore.com. If you're not familiar with the Diva Ring light, it's a round CFL Continuous light with dimming capabilities. There's a few example videos below showcasing the product in use.

Here's an example of the Diva Ring light from YouTube member Lorenzo Pickett during a Photo session.

Here's another great video example of this Diva Ring Light from Eliu Cornielle.

Here's another very interesting BTS video showing how the Diva Ring light was used by Badmash Factory Productions

It's a pretty cool little item that can add some interesting effects to both stills and video. If you're interested in registering for the Giveaway on this item, check it out following the link below.

Diva Ring LightDiva Light CFLRing Light Photography Catch Light
Register for the FREE Product Diva Ring Light Giveaway


The 352 LED Ring light has a certain effect on how it throws light around a subject, so my buddy Dave decided to test it with a Photo Shoot. I removed the ugly bracket and just used a Friction Power Arm. With the Power arm, it can be mounted onto a light stand or to a camera hot shoe and also allows it to be positioned in many ways.

find-price-button Adjustable Accessory Power Friction Arm

The Ring light really needed to be dimmed, it's just too bright at full power, so there's still plenty of power not shown in the video. The 14.4V DIY battery pack I made lasted for hours, and I could have used the Ryobi batteries too. The rim light to separate the subject was the cheap 500 LED (dimmable knob type) Light panel hung from a beam. To add the halo, there's a Nikon speedlite snooted off to the side. To do this, you can also use these HoneyComb Grids.
find-price-button Harbor Honeycomb Spot Grid with Colored Gels

All images of the model were shot with Continuous light, even the Canon 7D video used only the light from the 352 Ring light (and 500 LED from the back). The 352 LED Ring light is definitely a great tool and with the battery pack makes it much more usable, pretty cool stuff.

find-price-button 500 LED Video Light Panel Dimmable

find-price-button 352 12V Capable Dimmable LED Ring Light


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Curiosity is probably my biggest downfall, and I end up buying and testing tons of random products. Some make it on the blog, some aren't even worth mentioning. I'm busy getting back into the swing of things after CES set me back, but here's another interesting product I decided to test out and happy to say it's made it this far. These are the Ring Lights that Serge was sharing through the comments of this blog. I did a little diggin' and it seemed to be a solid product with good reviews, so I decided to give it a shot. Now as far as Ring Lights go, there is a cliche way of using them to get that unique catch light reflection in a subjects eyes. I'm all set with that from my DIY Ring Light project, so it's really not what I intended to use them for.

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(Above) Popular Z96 LED Video Light

Since ring lights provide a very broad soft light source, I was curious to see what the quality of diffusion and light power output these guys had. Mainly to see if these can be used for interviews and on location use. Just to give everyone a baseline, i've compared it with the very popular Z96 LED light that everyone loves. As you all know, the Z96 itself provides a broad and fairly even light output.

LED type lighting can be very powerful at close range and very directional. As you can see from the images below, the Z96 is very directional and has high output in the center, but was not nearly as diffused as the Ring Light. (This is not a comparison between the two, this is merely showing you the difference in light output.) By the way this is shot at 1/60th F/3.5 and only ISO 200. I underexposed the image to show the diffusion properties.

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With my camera at the same distance and with the same settings, here's how much diffusion two Ring Lights can provide for your video or photography. (below)
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Build quality is very nice and the entire unit is extremely lightweight. The big square at the bottom is where the ballast lives (CFL's need this), and it also comes with a set of fuses.
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The included bracket is designed to hold a camera in the center of the ring, and is adjustable. The bracket is lightweight aluminum with a tapped hole at the bottom. The bracket is ok, but the tapped hole pretty much sucks and is completely useless. I'll have to make my own mount if I choose to use this bracket and one of the simple ideas is to just drill and tap in a new steel insert.

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(Above) Using Power Friction Arms on Light Stand

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The bulbs are labeled at 5400k and throws very soft even lighting. As you can see from the next set of images (below) I shot this product using two ring lights and the camera set to 1/125th @ F/6.3. Yeah that camera setting would normally block out quite a bit of light, but these lights handled very well with near shadowless lighting.

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As you can see, they diffuse light much better than LED video lights. They are also cheaper than LED panels and extremely lightweight, but definitely much more fragile. As nice as portable LED video lights go, there's also been many complaints of close up lighting situations. LED lighting is harder to diffuse if you're working with close range subjects, so these types of ring lights would better serve in those situations.

Unfortunately CFL type lighting such as these aren't normally dimmable. You get on / off and no in between. A small sheet of diffusion paper would be no problem cutting the output though since these types of lights generate almost no heat. No heat is another advantage to be used in very close range to any subject and still provide a very soft even diffused light source without bulky softboxes or any type of light modifiers. Yes they can be used with real people and would be great for interviews.

Ring Light Example 1/60th F/3.5 ISO 400

I saw no noticeable flicker using these lights in video or in photos. I even tested this with my shutter speed up to 1/4000ths. There are smaller versions of this type of light that are a bit cheaper, but I have to say the 300w ones I got would be of more use to videographers. If you do decide to try the smaller versions, there are some bundles that come with battery packs. I ended up choosing the 300w versions, which have no bundles with a battery pack. For myself though, these 300w lights worked fine with my personal portable $99 dollar battery.

So what's my take on these? I like them alot. They would be very easy to travel with and since they are very lightweight, the light stands needed to hold them need only be lightweight too. I'll definitely be using these for situations that require close lighting. A great use would be for close up product video demos on this blog and clean shadowless product photography.

find-price-button 150w, 300w, 500w CFL Ring Light for Video and Photography

My version is listed at 40w. The largest version of this ring light can be found here at a claimed 65w:
find-price-button Stellar Diva Ring Light 65w Fluorescent Video Lighting



Two new items came in today. One you can see has a crap load of stamps, so you know that's an overseas item. It's a neat thing that i'll show later on. The other brown box might look familiar to many of you, for anyone that's placed an order from bhphotovideo.com and guess what's peeking out....reviews to follow soon.

Relative size next to iPhone 4
photo 2