Earlier than I even get into this assessment, I simply wish to state that I completely love versatile LED mild panels now. I’ve correctly been lacking out on how good they’re. Any longer, something I shoot in a studio setting shall be shot with a versatile LED panel. 

There are a few causes as to why I really like versatile LED panels. To begin with, the flexibility to vary the temperature of the sunshine is extremely helpful. Admittedly, for probably the most half, I are inclined to shoot at 5,600Okay; nonetheless, having that capacity to heat up the sunshine might be so helpful at instances, particularly for those who’re making an attempt to be artistic with coloration. With flash, you need to mess about with gels if you wish to change the temperature of any mild, and that is all the time been a little bit of a ache to take care of. LED panels will let you change the colour, and you’ve got the flexibility to see in real-time the way it impacts your picture. The second motive I really like a majority of these lights is that they take away a whole lot of the guesswork if you’re taking pictures. Once you’re taking pictures with cameras just like the Sony a7R III or just about any present mirrorless digicam, you are in a position to see the publicity within the viewfinder earlier than you are taking the shot. That is merely not potential for those who’re taking pictures with flash, however with LED panels, you realize precisely what the sunshine and publicity will seem like earlier than you press the shutter. This massively reduces the period of time you spend making an attempt to determine issues out earlier than you are taking your first shot, and I completely love that about LED lights. 

In a earlier article, I reviewed the F&V Z100VC comfortable mild. I personally love the standard of sunshine this panel produces; nonetheless, it does have just a few points, that are principally its measurement and weight. Lately, an organization known as Soonwell requested if I needed to assessment their FB-21 mild, and I am very glad I accepted this assessment. 

Construct and Design

That is in all probability one of many largest benefits of the Soonwell mild. The versatile nature of this panel provides a number of notable advantages, that are a few of the predominant the explanation why I completely love utilizing it. To begin with, the sunshine itself is extremely light-weight. That is tremendous helpful, as a result of transferring the sunshine round is extremely simple. This may occasionally not appear to be a giant deal, however if you’re on a protracted shoot and also you usually have big flash heads to maneuver round on heavy mild stands, it actually begins so as to add up. The light-weight nature of this LED panel is a good benefit for me, as a result of it additionally means I can use a smaller, extra compact mild stand, thus additional reducing the general measurement and weight.

It phrases of construct high quality, all of the cables really feel very sturdy and properly made. The connections all really feel safe. Within the precise package deal, you obtain two rectangular sections that handle and regulate energy to the panel. The primary part homes all of the controls and can even accommodate V-mount batteries. The truth that you may connect batteries to this mild means that you can apply it to location way more conveniently than say a Godox AD600. The rationale I say that is purely because of the total measurement, weight, and compact nature of the sunshine. The second rectangular part is there for those who want to energy the sunshine from the wall. This does improve the variety of cables you might have laying round, and I might have most well-liked for those who might merely energy the sunshine from the wall through the controller. This may have been a a lot better resolution; nonetheless, I get the sensation this might have been technically tough to supply reliably. 

The panel itself additionally has a reflector and diffuser housing unit, together with the bracket that attaches to the again of the sunshine and means that you can get a comfortable, even mild with the flexibility to instantly mount onto most mild stands. For my part, the sunshine is fairly harsh and slightly ugly in most conditions with out the diffuser part hooked up. For that reason, I have not used it for any of my work with out the diffuser part. Though the diffuser does scale back the output barely, it is properly value it contemplating the distinction in mild high quality. 

Portability

That is fingers down my favourite mild resulting from how moveable it’s. Positive, it may possibly take as much as about 5 minutes to arrange and dismantle the sunshine, however that is a minor value to pay. Not together with the sunshine stand, I can comfortably pack this mild into my Lowepro Flipside backpack with a Sony a7R III, the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8, the FE 28mm f/2.0, and the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8, to not point out a bunch of equipment and instruments required for post-shoot rest. 

The sunshine packs down extremely small, and though it does include its personal carry case, personally, I wish to maintain my fingers free and pack as a lot as I can right into a backpack. Beforehand, I might carry a big mild just like the Godox AD600, and though that could be a good mild, it is a lot heavier and takes up way more area in the principle compartment. Do not get me fallacious, I am not making an attempt to recommend one is healthier than the opposite, as they’re very completely different and have their very own respective benefits and downsides. This particular level or comparability is simply to debate the moveable nature of every and the very fact is that the Soonwell LED panel is way simpler to hold and transport. 

Gentle Energy and High quality

I am totally impressed with how brilliant this mild can get. Once I’m filming a YouTube video, I usually set the sunshine to 2% of the entire output. That is greater than sufficient when filming indoors at ISO 200 and f/2.0. If you are taking pictures indoors, this mild is greater than able to nearly all varieties of pictures. I might say the one form of pictures this mild wouldn’t be appropriate for could be high-speed pictures the place you might have any fast-moving topics. For instance, meals photographers who’re dropping elements would in all probability be higher served with a flash. The factor I really like about this mild is the truth that it mimics window mild extraordinarily properly, and resulting from that, you get extra of a pure look to the photographs. 

With flash, I discover that photographs can look slightly harsher on events even if you’re diffusing the sunshine. Flash additionally tends to render photographs which can be sharper, however that, for my part, tends so as to add to the harsher look. It is form of like if you’re filming and you’ve got your shutter velocity too excessive. There is a motive why so many filmmakers nonetheless want the look of 24p, and that is how I might equate the look of utilizing an LED panel compared to flash. As soon as once more, I am not making an attempt to recommend one is healthier than the opposite, because it is determined by what and the way you are taking pictures; nonetheless, I do actually like that extra pure look that an LED panel can produce. For that reason, I extremely advocate you shoot with a steady LED mild. 

By way of energy output, the picture under was shot on the ISO 100, 1/100 s shutter velocity, with an aperture of f/5.6. With these settings, I will get what the digicam believes to be a well-exposed picture at 100% energy from the sunshine. The wonderful thing about steady lights is that for those who do require a brighter publicity, you may merely lower the shutter velocity. It is a large benefit over flash, as a result of altering the shutter velocity with flash does probably not impression the publicity. In fact, you may change your aperture when taking pictures with flash; nonetheless, that may change your depth of discipline, thus altering the form of picture you produce. This is likely one of the different causes I really like taking pictures with LED panels: anytime I would like a brighter publicity, I can merely improve the shutter velocity. In fact, this will likely not work in additional dynamic taking pictures environments. Ideally, you may wish to be taking pictures on a tripod and remotely triggering your digicam if you’re taking pictures longer exposures. 

Understandably, this mild might be not the sunshine I might advocate for those who’re taking pictures outside in considerably brilliant situations. Sadly, it merely is not brilliant sufficient to will let you shoot at quicker shutter speeds. For that reason, it is principally one which I take advantage of indoors. In the event you’re taking pictures outdoor in brilliant conditions then a flash might be the best choice. That is very true for those who’re utilizing high-speed sync. 

Colours

I’ve discovered this mild to be fairly constant for video, particularly when going by the facility vary. I did not discover any distinction in coloration relying on the facility setting, which I believe is extraordinarily precious. Primarily based on my understanding, LED panels are typically way more constant in terms of their coloration throughout the facility vary, particularly when in comparison with flash. Colours are extraordinarily vital to me, and for that motive, I believe that is one other benefit a majority of these steady lights have over flash. The opposite good characteristic that panels like these have is the flexibility to vary the temperature. This, as talked about above, is extraordinarily helpful for those who’re utilizing a number of mild setups and making an attempt to be artistic with colours. 

Within the picture above, I corrected the colours primarily based on the X-Ceremony ColorChecker SG Digital. When taking pictures at 5,600 Okay on the sunshine, the colours had been slightly bit hotter in comparison with what they need to be when corrected. The distinction was -400 on the temperature and +10 on the tint. It is vital to do not forget that this isn’t a scientifically good take a look at and easily a information, versus being actual outcomes.

The one precise adverse level I’ve for this mild is the truth that if you’re taking pictures at 5,600 Okay the facility output is decrease by a few 1/three of a cease in comparison with something under 5,600. Primarily, for those who’re taking pictures at 5,550 Okay, then the sunshine shall be barely brighter than it’s at 5,600 Okay. This is not an enormous situation, however I might have most well-liked if the brightness did not change at 5 600 Okay, as a result of I consider that’s the most well-liked temperature. 

What I Preferred

  • The sunshine high quality is similar to pure window mild, and it is merely gorgeous. 
  • The portability of this mild is extremely helpful. 
  • The flexibility to energy through battery and mains offers you added flexibility. 
  • Makes workflow tremendous simple, barely an inconvenience. 

What I Did not Like

  • The sunshine loses a few of its output at 5,600 Okay. 

Remaining Ideas 

The principle motive why I really like taking pictures with a majority of these lights is velocity and workflow. With strobes, you need to mess about with triggers, channels, and gels, and it may possibly get slightly tiresome at instances. With LED lights, I merely change them on and shoot as if I am utilizing pure mild. It is a lot simpler and easier when it comes to the taking pictures expertise, and I actually take pleasure in that. Do not get me fallacious, I do not assume LED panels change flash by any means, as a result of every has their strengths and weaknesses. I simply discover the benefit of use with LED panels to be one thing that may’t be overstated. That is very true when taking pictures with a mirrorless digicam, as a result of by the viewfinder, you may know exactly what the picture will seem like when it comes to publicity and white stability earlier than you press the shutter button. This makes it extremely simple so that you can rapidly make changes and never must take numerous take a look at photographs earlier than you are glad with the setup. Lastly, there are two predominant the explanation why I extremely advocate the Soonwell FB-21. To begin with, it is very properly priced, and I believe it is correctly cheap. The second motive is that it’s, actually, an excellent mild supply each when it comes to usability and high quality. I now use this mild for nearly all of my indoor shoots. 

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