Today, I’d like to discuss one of the most cost-effective components of my continuous lighting setup.
As someone who writes a column for Fstoppers, I frequently get the opportunity to review photographic and video equipment, which can be both a blessing and a problem. When I seek to receive a review unit for a product, it is frequently for a brand-new item that has recently been released on the market.
Sometimes I want to test something because I’ve seen it used by a colleague or on a set, and other times I want to test it because I’ve seen it utilized. And other times, it’s a product that I bought on the spur of the moment, discovered that I absolutely adore, and can’t wait to tell my audience about. The kind of light that belongs in the latter group is what I’ll be discussing today.
I am now sitting here writing this while wearing pants that are an olive green color. They do not possess any distinguishing characteristics at all. They are not going to appear in any fashion publications at all. You won’t even see me wearing them in many images; at least, you won’t see me wearing them in photographs that I allow to be viewed by the general public.
However, out of all the articles of clothing that are now stored in my wardrobe, this specific pair of trousers is the one that has most likely been worn several times. Why? Simple. They offer an incredible level of comfort. They are really useful in every way. They make things simpler for me. The fact that I purchased these pants at the local Goodwill store for a paltry $8 indicates that they have more than justified the price tag that they were given a long time ago.
I’m not going to try to sell you some secondhand olive pants by telling you that story. This is a true tale, and I share it with you because it exemplifies how to get the most out of your money. They were available at a price that was really reasonable. Fill a particular void in the market. Get a great deal of use. And, quite honestly, just get the job done.
In addition to all of the influencer marketing initiatives and promotional films, I believe that this is also the most effective approach to thinking about photographic and motion picture gear. It is easy for us to become distracted by the news. But if you’re being really truthful with yourself, the pieces of equipment in your kit that have the most value are the ones that you use the most, that are the most trustworthy, and that give you the fewest amount of issues.
When people look at me from the outside, they can get the impression that I am more intriguing since I have a lot of expensive and unique equipment at my disposal. On the other hand, the less well-known pieces of equipment are frequently the ones that make it possible for me to do my duties in the first place.
The Cinematography Podcast was the first place I heard about the amaran COB 60d camera. My legs had given up about mile twelve of a fifteen-mile run that I had done early in the morning, and I was listening to the podcast throughout the final mile of the run. The hosts of the podcast have a part in which they discuss things that they enjoy, and during that segment, they discussed the COB 60d.
I will be very honest and say that I have splurged much on continuous lighting this year. To a ridiculous degree To be honest, maybe not all that much at all. My strobe dilemma has been resolved for some time now in the area of still photography.
My work is moving in a new direction, and it has become abundantly evident that my collection of hot lights was noticeably lacking in several respects. As a result, now that the Nikon Z 9 has resolved the issue with the camera, I have prioritized investing the majority of my gear budget for this year toward consistent lighting.
In contrast to the inconsistent results of my hunt for a new camera over the past few years, I have pretty much fallen in love with every lighting item that I have bought. Each of them is designed to do a certain task. However, each one of them has been given careful consideration, if I may say so myself, and the whole image is shaping out very nicely.
In that case, technically speaking, I didn’t actually require the addition of another light. When the presenter mentioned the COB 60d, though, regardless of whether it was due to a true need or a shortage of oxygen to my brain, I became fascinated. After I arrived home, I checked the price and saw that the lights were only $169 each, so I went online to B&H and purchased a pair.
It will take more time to tell how I came to purchase this light than it will to describe the light itself. It is a very simple daylight balanced 65 W COB LED fixture with a maximum power draw of 76 W, a CRI score of 96+, and a maximum power draw of 65 W. The worth of the light in terms of the usefulness it provides is something that sticks out about it.
To begin, these items are on the smaller end of the scale. The light’s form factor, which is around 4 12 inches square, is a welcome change for someone like myself who has a number of big panel lights and a number of massive metal supports to hold them.
They are compact enough to fit into virtually any tiny camera bag. Alternatively, you could squeeze more of them in there. The reason I say “many” is because as soon as they arrived, I headed back to B&H to make more purchases. In a moment, we will discuss that more.
The lights are highly strong, producing 45,100 lux at a distance of one meter, despite having a relatively compact form factor. For the sake of comparison, I also have other lights, such as the Aputure 300d, which I like, but which I only seldom use at their maximum output.
Due to the conventional ballast and the other components, this light, while incredible, is significantly bigger than others and its installation needs more careful preparation. When used at greater powers, the COB 60d is capable of producing the same amount of light (compared to how I usually use my 300d).
In addition, the COB 60d is completely self-contained, extremely compact, and almost only plugs into the wall. Or, even more amazingly, it can be powered either by batteries or a standard V mount. This is significant since the size of the fixture makes it the kind that you would want to install in locations that are more difficult to access.
The fact that it can be powered by batteries at a reasonable price and does not require running cables adds an unbelievable amount of value logistically. Because it is connected to the Aputure Sidus Link app, I am able to remotely control all of the units using my phone, tablet, or another device, in addition to having control over my other Aputure lighting devices.
I noted that the majority of the time, I use my 300D at a capacity that is lower than its maximum. This is significant because it indicates that the 60d is capable of doing a bigger number of the day-to-day responsibilities that I require it to execute with more ease.
When illuminating a space that is around the size of a medium-sized living room, for instance, the light is more than bright enough to penetrate a smaller softbox or reflect off of things. Again, due to the cheaper costs, you are able to get a large quantity of them for the same price as a number of other single pieces.
I went as far as putting together a little bag that has five of these smaller lights inside of it. I have the option of using them singly or in combination with the reflectors and/or socks that are provided to diffuse the light. I can connect many of these into one larger and more powerful PAR-type light if I group them together.
That can be reflected off of an ultra-bounce, which will result in a massive soft source being created. Because it already has a Bowens mount built in, I can use it with a variety of the other modifiers that are already part of my arsenal. Incredible adaptability characterizes this light.
And despite the fact that its particular specifications aren’t on par with those of some of the other fixtures in my kit, it excels at so many different tasks that it’s typically the first thing I go for when I’m preparing a scene.
This light may be found in two distinct iterations. The COB 60d is the model that I now own. There is also something called a COB 60x, but the main difference between it and the 40x is that the 60x is changeable, which means that it can switch between daylight and tungsten lighting.
But because the 60d was both more powerful and more affordable, I decided to go with that one instead. Your options can be different depending on your requirements and the other resources you have available to you.
But the COB 60d, in my opinion, is the best illustration of how one does not need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to have a wonderful image. It is a blessing to be able to select from a variety of lighting configurations.
However, if one were interested in constructing their kit but did not have a significant amount of money, there are not many options available that provide as excellent of a value for your money as this one does. My delighted surprise was that the purchase of this lamp, which I made on a whim, turned out to be an excellent acquisition.