DIY Litepanels Accessory
In my opinion, the Litepanels MiniPlus Flood is one of the best lights on the market. It's small and endlessly mountable, very rugged, versatile power options, dimmable with minimal color shift, and pretty darn punchy for a small unit. You can get the complete kit that lets you mount it to a camera or on a stand for about $1000, not cheap but worth every penny. I've found one of the ways I most often use this light is as a backlight or rim light for interview shots. The light isn't quite big and punchy enough to use as an effective key source but it's very even and looks great on the side of someone's face. Because it's a relatively small source though, it needs to be softened up before it starts to look really good. The diffusion gels that come with these lights, because they fit directly on to the face, don't really have much of a softening effect. They'll reduce the quantity and smooth out the beam a bit but if you want to turn this into a genuine soft source, you need to get some space between the head and a larger diffuser. You can set another stand and put a frame of diffusion on it but that means more crap on the floor and if you're traveling light, your stands are probably tied up holding lights. Here's a little DIY solution I came up with to turn this light into a softer source right at the head using a couple of cheap, readily available parts.
Here's what you need:
-Dremel Drill (hopefully you don't need to go buy one to make this accessory)
-A couple of 1/4-20 Hotshoe Adapters, $12.95, you'll cannibalize the top nut
-Lowel Tota 10"x12" Gel Frame, $22.95
-6" 1/4-20 Machine Screw, not pictured here, you can get these for about 45 cents
1. Drill a hole into the mounting arm on the Tota Frame big enough for the 1/4-20 screw to go through
2. Cut the head off the 6" Machine Screw
3. Remove the top nuts from the Hotshoe Adapters
4. Insert the screw into the 1/4-20 receiver on the Litepanels Miniplus unit
5. Put the rest of it together as pictured below and you have a quick and easy way of turning this light into a nice, soft source. It especially makes a pretty rim light in interview situations.