Portraits Using Fiilex LED Lights

A friend gave me a nice deal on his Fiilex K412 LED light kit.  Like most expensive photography equipment, they seemed over-priced until I used them.   They’re really meant for video and I hope to use them for that one day.   I have them set up in my “working” office and they’re easy to move around and put back in their small travel case.   I wish they were brighter; however, that’s unreasonable for their size.  These are all test shots.

Sony A7-55/1.8, shot at ISO 100, 1/200th, f2
Sony A7-55/1.8, shot at ISO 100, 1/200th, f2

She’s standing in front of a projection screen.  I have a P360 and it’s soft box on her hair.  I have one of the smaller Fiilex lights up high for a hair-light.

Here’s my cousin against a wall.  Again, Fiilex P360 and softbox.  Though I might have turned on one of my DIY fluorescent soft lights near the wall.

Sony A7-100mm Topcor, probably f2.8. ISO 640
Sony A7-100mm Topcor, probably f2.8. ISO 640

I have to get the soft-box/light within a few feet of the face.  This is a problem because it is sometimes difficult to shoot directly into the face and not shoot the light itself.

A feature I found more useful than I thought I would, is the color balance.  Marilyn is looking out my office window.  I could manually adjust the color temperature to my liking.

Sony A7-24-70mm kit lens, 1/160, f/5.6 ISO 1260 at 70mm
Sony A7-24-70mm kit lens, 1/160, f/5.6 ISO 1260 at 70mm

I keep trying to drive the ISO down using these lights, which is stupid.  For office portraits, I can get a nice shutter speed and sharp f-stop at ISO 1260, which is still low, noise-wise, for full-frame cameras.

Settling Down With Sony

As much as I loved the Canon 5D (original) and Nikon D600, I can’t see going back to through-the-lens cameras. So useful is the digital focus assist of mirror-less cameras and EVFs. And the Sony cameras are small and light (which is both good and bad, but more good). On the wide end, I shoot with a Sony A6000 and 10-18mm.

Here’s one that I’m pretty sure was at 10mm, or 15mm effective

DSC06649_LongShot_BW

At a standard focal length, I’m using an Sony A7 with the 55mm1/8.  The lens delivers images that often jump off the screen for me, especially shot wide-open at f1.8.

Sony A7 and FE 55/1.8
Sony A7 and FE 55/1.8

At a portrait focal length, I’m using an old Topcor 100mm/f2.8

DSC06055_seamus100mm

I always love the $30 Fujian on the A6000 and should use it more.  This is a throw-away shot while I was sitting near the Harvard Library during a walk.

Sony A6000 and Fujian c-mount CCTV lens
Sony A6000 and Fujian c-mount CCTV lens