rokinon lenses and nila led lights – red epic commercial shoot

recently i had the opportunity to shoot a commercial for local director willem kampenhout for the agency behind the poo-pourri viral ad.
the tone is a bit different from the aforementioned ad, however a similar high-key/beauty style was desired.
the budget and locations lead to a couple of equipment pieces that i haven’t been able to fully test yet: rokinon prime lenses and nila led lights.
rokinon lenses have made quite a splash in recent years at offering geared lenses with decent glass at rock-bottom prices.
led lights have also become quite popular, i offered a simple review of arri’s l7c last year, and was excited to test out a different par-style light at a similar price point.

here are some images from the shoot (shot on red epic)
natural light as key (diffusion and bounces) with nila hair light:

rokinon85 with nila led hair light

nila boxer led light as key:

nila led-unfixed skin tones

impression on rokinon lenses:
generally speaking i think these lenses are pretty solid for their price point. we kept the lenses at their peak sharpness, hovering between f5.6 and f8, and while they weren’t quite as sharp as the affordable sony cinealta primes i reviewed last month, with a bit of post-sharpening they look fine output at 1080p.
critical focus:

rokinon85 critical focus

There was little to no edge softness orvignetting even at 5k on the epic, and while they didn’t add much to the look, they certainly didn’t detract.impression of nila boxer led lights:
i was quite impressed with how little wattage (~75w) the nila required to have quite a bit of punch and throw. having a variety of lenses to dial in the spread was great and we were able to use the light effectively as both a hair/rim light and eventually a key later on in the day.
did it take my place as favorite led light (arri l7c)? not quite. while i’d take this over mole richardsons nearest equivalent any day, it still left me wanting a bit in skin-tones, and costing more than the L7c doesn’t have as many features. however, this light certainly has more punch than the l7c. at 10ft spot equivalent lux reading is around 5700 for the arri and a whopping 17000 (@10º spread) on the nila.
granted on my previous review of the l7c it included a rather heavy grade, and was shot with a canon sensor, i felt the skin tones were much truer. that being said, its nothing a little post couldn’t easily fix:

nila led skin tone fixed

before and after

thanks to the cast and crew for a fun shoot. it was a… blast.