Big Ass Light Test at EVS



By: Chris Collins

We decided to gather as many edison plug film lights and put them against one another.  We tested tungsten lights, LEDs, HMIs, and flourescents.  We kept it simple: we lit our subject, Simone, with each light without any diffusion and through a 2×3 silk.  Everything took place inside a 12×12 black duvatyne tent. Everything was shot on a Sony Fs100 with Metabones adapter and Zeiss ZE 35mm. Take a look at the results…

What to watch for:

-Spread: We tested each spot/flood light at full flood and we used the wide lens for any light with a set of lenses.  We aimed the light directly at Simone’s face.  Take a look at how the light’s throw falls on the rose.  Spottier lights will result in the rose being underexposed.

-Shadows: Take a look at how each light looks on its own and how it punches through the 2×3 silk.  We placed the silk so that the light would spread to fill its full 2ft width.  Check out the shadows on the black backdrop and the hotspots on Simone’s cheekbones.

-Color Temperature:  While there is some variation in every light, the type of globe plays a major part in the color of the light.  The LEDs tend to run more green while HMIs tend to more acurately represent the quality of sunlight.  We set the camera’s color temperature to the Kelvin scale of the light (3200K or 5600K), but look for hints of orange, green and magenta.

-Punch:  Take a look at the f-stop each light came in at.  There is a list of camera settings and a link for each light below. Keep in mind that the lights packing more of a punch can easily be bounced for a softer feel.


Camera Settings


ISO: 800

Picture Profile: Off

180 Shutter, 24fps

F-stop: As metered

Light is 6’10” away from subject’s face

Any light that would not expose at 800 ISO f1.4 through silk was omitted from the test


Arri LED (5600) f3.5 SILK f1.7

Arri 300 Full Flood (3200) f6.3 SILK f3.5

Arri 650 Full Flood (3200) f11 SILK f5.6

Arri 1k Open Face Full Flood (3200) f13 SILK f7.1

Arri L7-C (5600) f10 SILK f5

Rotolight Anova 2 (5600) f3.5 SILK f2

Joker 400 Wide Lens (5600) f13+N6 SILK f6.3+N6

Joker 800 Wide Lens (5600) f13+N9 SILK f5+N9

Joker 1600 Wide Lens (5600) f16+N1.2 SILK f6.3+N1.2

Hive Wasp Plasma Par 300 Wide Lens (5600) f9+N6 SILK f4.5+N6

Lowel Rifa 500 w Chimera (3200) f5.6 SILK f4

Lowel Blender LED (5600) f4 SILK f1.4

Nila Light (5600) f13 SILK f4.5

Mole Inbetweenie 200 FULL SPOT (3200) f5 SILK f1.6

Mole Betweenie 300 FULL FLOOD (3200) f7.1 SILK f3.2

Mole Tweenie 650 FULL FLOOD (3200) f9 SILK f5

Mole Mickey 1k FULL FLOOD (3200) f11 SILK f6.3

Mole Daylight Par 800 WIDE LENS (5600) f14+N6 SILK f7.1+N6

Mole LED Tungsten (3200) f3.5 SILK f2.2

Film Gear 2×4 bank (3200) f4 SILK f2.5

Film Gear 4×4 bank (5600) f8  SILK f5.6

Lite Panels 1×1 Bi Color (5600) f5 SILK f2.5

Lite Panels Sola 4 Full Flood (5600) f2.8 SILK f1.6



Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • bhriguji

    do you have an mail id so I can disscuss some technique regarding filters

  • jack

    This is a fantastic test. Thanks so much! Curious a bit off topic but whose playing over the test?