If you are like me and are either seriously considering owning the new Litepanls Astra or have one and are having trouble powering it at 100% with a battery, this post will help you not only do that, but do it for much less than you could spend. I did some research and made some calls to some nice folks who helped me, including a very nice fellow and BH Photo/Video. I kept flip-flopping on batteries. Just when I thought I had the one I wanted picked out, I’d dig deeper and read that someone had issues powering this light at 100% with it. Then I figured I’d just bite the bullet and buy some of those high end new Anton Bauer Digital Series V-mounts. I’m so glad I did a lot of research!
Doesn’t look like there is any way around needing to add a V-Mount bracket unless you want your heavy brick battery hanging down, but that isn’t going to look professional and could damage your plug port. So pick up one of these first:
Next you need some batteries and a charger. The mounting bracket does not charge your batteries. For the Astra it is all about making sure your batteries have the juice required for full power. Look no further than these babies. I’ve used them on several shoots so far. Had one of them on my Astra for over an hour at full power in the desert a few weeks ago. It’s nice they have an LCD meter on the side that tells you how much juice you have left. I’ve read they aren’t 100% accurate in their LCD meter, but these batteries do the job.
Next, you need a charger. Here’s one that charges two of these bad boys at once.
When you add up everything here you see that you save bank versus what you could pay. Video gear is not cheap, we all know that, but this is one area where you don’t have to spend a ton of hard earned money and still be happy.
At the time I’m writing this these items with the V-Mount Bracket cost $567.49. BH Photo/Video has the Anton Bauer Digital90 and Dual Charger kit as a recommended item when you purchase the Astra for $799.00, but the Digital90, from my research, is not going to cut it compared to these Lamparte 150s, and you save a bunch of money towards snap grids or soft boxes.
The Litepanels Astra is an incredible light for your projects, but they are not cheap. Save a little money on the back end by going with these and know they will work and provide enough power for 100%, when on location you cannot settle for 70% or a short life cycle.