Anamorphic Day-to-Day

FlapJack LED Edge Light C-200L

October 30, 2016

Trailing off from anamorphic for a little bit for a quick review of my newest addiction, the FlapJack LED EdgeLight by Fotodiox. I’m a big fan of portable light sources and this one fills a void in my heart with cool daylight.

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Tito Ferradans here, once again trailing off the anamorphic business. For this episode I wanted to talk about lights. As any decent cinematographer, I love lights. I’m the biggest fan of practical lighting and portable light sources. Here’s some stuff I shot with flashlights, phones and fire.

Some weeks ago, along with the Fotodiox ND Throttle, I got the FlapJack LED Edge Light panel. This one is the version 200L, with 4 by 11 inches and color temperature of 5600K, daylight – but there are bi-color versions as well. The daylight version costs about $140 (or at B&H), which is pretty amazing for what it delivers.

I held back as long as I could before doing this review because I wanted an in-depth review, with both pros and cons of the light. I have failed. I haven’t found anything I dislike about this LED. On a basic level, it hits all the marks: color is accurate. It has a 1/4″ hole to be attached to a tripod, a smooth dimmer to control intensity, and a small display with battery level, power output and color temperature.

On a deeper analysis, it uses external batteries for power – the NP-F style battery – allowing you to stock up batteries and swap them as they dry out. It comes in an (almost) hard case, with slots for everything: a hot shoe to 1/4″ screw for mounting the light on a camera; one battery; a dual charger; an AC plug if you wanna use a wall outlet; and a car plug that keeps tempting me to light the inside of a moving vehicle. I’ve done it before, guerrilla style, and power was our biggest challenge – with wires running to the car’s battery. Super safe stuff. The wires melted.

It’s basically a light you can take anywhere and power easily. In these few weeks I’ve had, I took it to the beach for a scene, as well as I shot under pouring rain – not the friendliest of scenarios – and had no issues or malfunctions yet. The manual says the battery lasts two and a half hours at full power. To me, it felt endless. I shot for two days straight (nights, actually) without charging. On the beginning of the second night the LED alerted me I was on the last bit of battery, but it still blasted it until wrapping the shoot. We did turn it off between takes – we’re not maniacs, you know. But still, when my camera beeps its battery is running out, I know I have less than five minutes, not many hours!

This is another piece of gear I throw in my bag whenever I go out to shoot, lately. Along with my two kicks, but that’s subject for another day. When I opened the box I was like “Hey, an LED light? Doesn’t Fotodiox only make adapters??”. Well, they’re not limited to adapters, and based on this light, I’m curious to try out some more gear.

If you’re interested in more practical lighting and portable lights, they’ll certainly come back in future episodes, so subscribe. If you were here for anamorphics, we’ll be back on that next week! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you then.