Bi-color monolight with nikon es-2

i’m new here, so forgive me if this has been discussed previously.

i have a nikon es-2, but no light source. would a decent (>95 CRI) bi-color led monolight work as a bright light source? any downsides with this approach?

I must admit that I didn’t know what a bi-color led monolight was until I saw your post. I see that they are a type of LED studio light on a stand offering variable colour temperatures, like the Godox ML60Bi Bi-Color LED Monolight for example. From what I’ve seen of them they would, in principle, work fine with a system like the Nikon ES-2 or the JJC cheaper equivalent.

I’m assuming that you already have one because I would have thought that a bright ‘video’ LED panel would otherwise probably be cheaper and more versatile for camera scanning in general but because the design of the ES-2 protects the film or slide from lighting in the room then provided you position your light and camera so that you get even illumination I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

i don’t have one personally, but i do have access to one.

i picked up the ES-2 a while back and just have not had the time to do anything with it until now. the only light sources i have personally is a 20yr old floresent bulb light table and an apple ipad. i was thinking the led monolight might resolve the brightness issue. i wasn’t able to find any posts here from people trying it, so i thought i’d ask.

i appreciate you taking the time to respond

The diffuser on the ES-2 should sort out the evenness (which is important, particularly for colour negative) but maybe experiment with the distance between ES-2 and the light. A good CRI rating and the fact that these lights are designed as studio photographic lights should mean that you get good results. Maybe report back on here once you’ve tried it out. You haven’t mentioned which lens you are planning on using of course, ideally a 55mm or 60mm Micro-Nikkor for the ES-2 on full-frame, but it can be made to fit other lenses with the right spacer rings.

A good start is a Viltrox L-116t video light panel. It has >95 CRI, can run on battery or AC adapter, and fits under an Essential Film Holder quite nicely. Look up Hashem’s PUSHING FILM channel on YouTube to see what he does with it (or a similar panel from Relleno). I’ve used one to scan thousands of frames of B&W negatives, color negatives, and slides. It costs less than $50, a few dollars more with both battery and adapter… The panel is bi-color, LED, and adjustable from 0-100% intensity and 3300K to 5600K. It can work just fine with a Nikon ES-2! Put a sheet of milk plexiglass or perspex over the light panel to diffuse the light if the built-in diffuser on the ES-2 isn’t enough (If I recall, it probably is). Read my white paper to see it in use.

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