Podcast Episode

The Lensrentals Podcast Episode #15 – How Lighting is Evolving with NoFilmSchool’s Charles Haine

Published January 30, 2020

Each week Roger Cicala, founder of Lensrentals.com, hosts conversations about the art and science of capturing images. From photography to videography, film, history, and technology, the show covers a wide range of topics to educate and inspire creators of all kinds.


How Lighting is Evolving with NoFilmSchool’s Charles Haine

Charles Haine is the Acting Director of the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College and writes for NoFilmSchool.com. Charles joins Ryan and discusses how consumers can help shape the future of sustainable lighting, apps with UX/UI worth your time, and certain lighting apps he considers to be “total screaming garbage.”

Charles has been a filmmaker and entrepreneur working in the motion picture industry since 1999, founded the Academy Award nominated production company Dirty Robber in 2008 and was part of the inception of Cinleicious.tv. He also hosts the “Week In Film Tech” podcast, and co-hosts the “NoFilmSchool” podcast.
Mentioned in the episode:
Luminair 3
LumenRadio MoonLite Wireless CRMX DMX Transceiver with Bluetooth

Review of the Hive App by Charles Haine
No Film School Podcast
Week in Film Tech Podcast
Follow Charles on Twitter



0:25 – Ryan Hill introduces us to Charles Haine, the Acting Director of the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College

1:00 – Charles tells us what he looks for when using light for video productions

3:00 – Charles and Ryan discuss the variety of lighting systems and what to look for in the spec sheet

4:00 – Talking about the atmospheric impact of using these large light systems

7:00 – Weighing the pros and cons of LED vs. Tungsten

9:00 – Charles laments about how no one uses DMX boards, despite their value

12:00 – How each brand has their own individual plan for their apps and lighting effects

15:00 – How Charles wishes that Luminair would become the industry standard for lighting apps

17:30 – How digital recording and the use of color-calibrated monitors has changed the lighting techniques used on film productions

19:30 – Discussing the technicalities and limitations of wireless DMX and Bluetooth

25:00 – Charles talks about how he believes wireless lighting control is going to become the industry standard in the next few years

27:00 – BREAK

27:45 – What features to look for within a lighting app

31:00 – Ryan and Charles throw a few brands under the bus for their poor app development


The Lensrentals Podcast is a production of Lensrentals, founded by Roger Cicala. Our production staff includes Drew Cicala, Ryan Hill, Sarah McAlexander, SJ Smith, Julian Harper, John Tucker, and Zach Sutton. Other contributors include Roger Cicala, Joey Miller, Ally Aycock Patterson, Joshua Richardson, and Philip Robertson.

Thanks to Jacques Granger for our theme song.

Submit a topic idea, question, or comment, leave us a voicemail at 901-609-LENS, or send us an email at podcast@lensrentals.com.


Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.

Posted in Podcast Episode
  • Thanks Ryan! I’ll try bouncing and diffusing the LEDs more than I think I need. From what I’ve seen, the results can look really good but light scatter around the room becomes an issue. I also gel my lights by default now as I don’t think the multi-colored lights out right now create very good colors on their own.

  • Ryan Hill

    Hi Andrew, thanks for the question. It’s a little tough to nail down a precise comparison between LED and tungsten in objective numerical terms because, like you mentioned, the physics are so different. Even CRI measurement isn’t equally applicable to both types of sources because it’s based on a particular color temperature and most LEDs these days are at least bi-color, if not full RGB.

    In general, I agree with you, but I think comparing the difference between tungsten and LED sources is a little like comparing the differences between film and digital. There’s always going to be a particular feel to a tungsten source that might be difficult to replicate with LED, but that may be more of a subjective aesthetic judgement than an objective qualitative one. We may prefer the look of tungsten because that’s what we’re used to seeing. I know personally, I find myself bouncing and softening LED light a lot more than I ever did with tungsten.

    You may want to check out the Aputure C300D:

    It’s a single-point LED (obviously the term “single point” is a little more nebulous with LED than with tungsten, but it’s not a panel) so it’ll behave a lot like a traditional tungsten lamp. It’s also a single color temperature element at 5500K. This makes it a little more difficult to work with because you have to deal with gels, but the CRI is super high. I hope this helps, and, if you try it, let us know what you think.

  • Hi guys, is there an LED out there that approaches tungsten’s smooth spectrum that’s not crazy expensive? I know the physics of LEDs are working against them, but I’m curious if there’s any out there that’s close. Last year, I got to shoot in a theater with tungsten ETC Source Fours, and compared to another theater with the LED versions of that same light and modifier (Lekos), I can’t unsee the difference. The tungsten lights were less harsh and smoother … I’m not sure if I have the vocabulary to describe it.

    In that shoot with the tungsten ETCs, I also had a Fiilex Q500 there that I rented from you guys, and beyond white balance differences, the difference in quality of light was pretty stark with the Fiilex much harsher looking than the tungstens. Thanks!

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