Back once again from Calgary Alberta, Chris Nichols joins with studio still portrait photographer Rob Caleffi…
One of the harshest mixed lighting environments to shoot in is the lighting department of a professional camera dealer. It is always at least a couple of stops brighter than anyplace else I’ve ever shot indoors. The ambient celling light is supplied by what you find in most retail locations; “daylight” temperature fluorescent four or eight tube fixtures closely spaced to provide enough light to read the product labels. Added onto this background lighting, you have the actual products themselves, each one shining out its proud presentation of light.
On this particular fact finding trip, the location in discussion is the Pro Lighting Department at Samy’s Camera main location on S. Fairfax Street in Los Angeles. A dealer for all of the most popular brands, Samy’s carries an extensive display area for professional lighting including everything from Professional level strobes from all the major manufacturers, to fluorescent multi-tube light banks emitting that erie green glow necessary for video green screen work, and everything in between.
The strobes fortunately only fire on command, but the rest of the continual lighting all contributes to the background ambient mix. In Samy’s case it is primarily a mix of the store ceiling fixtures, 3,200 degree tungsten, daylight fluorescent KinoFlo type light banks, and in our particular shooting location, a wide variety of LED offerings. Much of this lighting is pretty, but not all of it. Green and blue screen lighting bleed is everywhere as is the light from several low CRI inexpensive LED panels. Bottom line, it is a lighting environment where you want enough power to overpower the ambient by at least a stop, and more if possible.
Attempting to drop that nasty lighting soup into the background presented two questions:
1. Does the Fiilex P360 have sufficient power to overpower the pea soup lighting at reasonable shooting distances while allowing a reasonable shutter speed?
2. Considering the Fiilex P360 is an LED light, is one light “pretty enough” to stand on its own as a main high- key light? (Most of the raw LED panel lights I have tested in the past either required substantial diffusion to be useable for a main key, or the CRI rating was so low the lights were ugly.)
Each of these images were shot on a Fuji X-E1, using a Leica 28mm Summicron, f2, ISO 200. Individual exposures were as noted below each image. All were captured as RAW files and processed in Lightroom 4, each using the same settings. They are NOT exactly as they came from the camera; I shoot with camera settings intended for post processing.
Many thanks to Brent, the Fiilex Product Manager, for his assistance showing me the P360 and discussing its many features. And a big thank you to Ken Smith, the Pro Lighting Specialist at Samy’s Camera, for introducing me to the product and for allowing us to shoot this test in his department. For further information, http://www.fiilex.com, or pickup the phone and give Ken Smith a call directly at (323)938-2420 ext. 1009. Or if you prefer email: email@example.com. Please mention you saw it first on TheCameraForum.Com.
I’m looking forward to using a set of Fiilex P360 lights to test with video. Stay tuned.
TheCameraForum.Com has no financial relationship with Samy’s Camera or Fiilex, nor do we receive any promotional consideration from either at the time of this post. I just love their lights!
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