I have just bought 2 of the CE-1500WS LED Fresnel lights and put them through some basic tests for colour and flicker performance.
Size and Packaging
Each light comes well protected in shaped polystyrene in a cardboard box. The box measures 37 x 31 x 30cm. It comes with a cable to connect to the mains, a cable to connect two or more lights together (so several can be powered from just one mains socket), a remote control (which only turns the lights on/off, so it is of little real use), a tungsten balanced filter, a diffusing filter, a set of barn doors.Interestingly, the filters are held in place with small magnets, which makes them very easy to use.
The specs claim the light is 5400K +/-200.
Red Epic footage shows a colour temp of 5000K, needing a tint of 17 (green) (in RedCine-X).
Canon 5D Mark II stills show a colour temp of 4500K, needing a tint of -58 (green) (in Adobe Camera Raw).
This means that there is a significant magenta colour cast with these lights.
Dimming the light didn’t affect the colour temp significantly. At lowest power the colour temp was 4300K, measured with the Canon and ACR (as opposed to 4500K at full power).
The specs claim the light is 3500K +/-200.
With the light 2m from the subject, the following settings were achieved:
There was no apparent flicker, even at frame rates of 300fps!
The following video shows Red Epic footage shot at frame rates of 25, 50, 75, 100, 120 and 300 fps.
Fresnel or not?
The first thing I noticed was that despite the product description claiming it is a “Fresnel” light, the lens is not a fresnel lens. I wrote to the supplier pointing this out and they replied:
“[the manufacturer] admitted their lenses are not the same as photo showed on their official website. But they said this new lens performs better than the one with concentric ripples.”
They also said they would send me the fresnel lens, so when it arrives, I will repeat these tests [09 Oct 2014, fresnel lenses arrived in post, so additional tests are shown below]
How even is the light?
The spread of light remains the same regardless of dimming,
The drop off of light (and colour change) is noted in this photo of the light shining on white background paper. Exposures noted are in stops, relative to the brightness at the centre.
The product claims “Power variation: 0-100% stepless adjustment”. However my tests show that the difference between max and min power is only 3 stops. So that would be 15-100% !
The supplied diffuser snaps into place with magnets. It succeeds in diffusing the edges, and the drop-off is shown below:
The focus knob physically moves the LED within the unit. When all the way in, this halves the diameter of the light beam.
[Update 09.Oct.2014] With the Fresnel
Today the replacement fresnel lenses arrived in the post.
Now the orange ring around the edge is gone, and there is a much smoother drop-off:
[Update 28.Jun.2015] photomart
The web-based company photomart have just started selling this light. They market it as the “Hollywood led hybrid CE-1500WS”.
It is worth noting that the model they show in their brochure and online (http://shop.photomart.co.uk/led-soft-focus-hollywood-1500ws.html) does NOT have the fresnel lens.
Their price is currently £396.
If anyone wants one, I can get them sent direct from the makers for £300 (you may need to pay approx £22 import duty), or £520 for 2 of them.