Light Test! (Diva vs Dracast vs Quasar vs IceLight)

This is my first go at doing a standardized light test. I personally own 4 types of lighting fixtures and I wanted to do a test for color rendering and quality of light. The lighting kits I have include:

I filmed the light test on my C100 mark II and set of Rokinon cine lenses. I used a slightly modified Wide DR color profile and left the image unaltered. In addition to maintaining an approximate 5ft distance from subject to light, I wanted to maintain a constant aperture of t5.6 throughout the test, so I fussed with the Kino and Dracast to somewhat match the intensity of QuasarScience. So I added the flozier and removed the 90º honeycomb from the Diva. I also set the Dracast intensity knob to 40% assuming this would not impact the color rendering. For the Westcott IceLight, I had to adjust the aperture to compensate for the low output of the fixture.

The light test video:
My light test notes:

The Quasar lights are the undeniable winner for color rendering. The Dracast is (a bit) too magenta and the Divas give out an unflattering muddy green mush. I deliberately did not apply translucent powder to my model’s face to best assess how different lighting deals with natural skin. I was impressed with the Westcott color rendering although its probably a tad green compared tot he Quasar. Unfortunately, I think I messed up the blinds before shooting the Westcott and with the different intensity, I don’t think its a real objective evaluation.

And here, I added 0.5 boost to exposure with Red Giant Colorista IV and started messing around with the images to see what I could do with them.

+0.5 exposure+tungsten +magentacooler highlights, warmer midtones

The Kino Diva gives a nice quality of light. The nose shadow falloff is pleasant and the Its got a bit of a cold green that is especially unflattering to the skin. You can add some magenta and tungsten tones to the overall image but then they’ll probably want to re-introduce some blue into the highlights in the background and warm up the midtones to boost the skin. Fixing the color balance of Divas is like complicated algebra equation. Every fix needs another fix.

+0.5 exposure+0.5 exposure+contrast +blue highlights

The Dracast is a bit hard, even with the Chimera. You’ll notice the hard nose shadow falloff might be too intense for most scenarios. Of course, you could soften this up with a fill card or by setting up a book light. Also, if you could mix this light source with the ambient light of the room or an open window, the hard shadows a bit less. The hard light will also make your actor look sweaty. I increased the contrast in the third image to further illustrate the problem.

+0.5 exposure+contrast+magenta +warm midtones

The Quasar is a beauty. I think its the 4ft tube form factor that gives us the seamless wrap around the face. The nose shadow is almost subliminal its so soft. This is kind of what you’d expect from a bounced light or book light setup so I’m pleased we can get a similar effect with a direct light. I’d be interested in seeing how the light performs off a bounce or through extra diffusion. Also, this light is flattering on the skin. Compared to the Dracast, the model looks comfortable and dry. My only complaint is that the shadows off the leaves in the background look elongated and unnatural. And sometimes, you just might need a harder light source.

Unintended discovery!

I also noticed is a discrepancy in color rendering between lenses. Also, just how soft the lenses, especially the 85mm was at t2.8 aperture. The Rokinon DS line is supposed to have better consistancy between lenses but you’ll notice the 35mm and 50mm have very different color. The 85mm is the first issue 85mm (non-DS) so this could account for the decreased sharpness. Also, the subject is sitting 4-5ft away from the lens, which is a bit close for this lens. More tests are needed!

Whats next?

I regret not having a light meter for these tests. Also, I’d like to test the Dracast as either a bounced light source or through a frosted filter and see if color rendering improves when the light is at full intensity. Also, not included in the video for whatever reason is testing 2x 4ft Quasar tubes, doubled up. Here it is raw and with a gentle S curve added.