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Old June 3rd, 2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Shooting With Available Light

How is everyone dealing with shooting in available light? I've got some pretty fast Nikon lenses, but I don't think I'd be able to shoot indoors with available light without having to crank the gain way up. Heck, sometimes I don't have enough light when I'm using our 3 x 1000wt Arri light kit! :)

Here's a good example of shooting with available light (first 60 seconds of video):
???? (????) ????? on Vimeo

Maybe I could shoot with our 50mm f/1.4 and get some decent exposures. But if we used our 17-35mm f/2.8 or especially the 80-200mm f/2.8 I don't think we could get a decent exposure. Am I missing something?
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Mitch, I think your link is corrupt, unless you also go by the name "stathis" and wrote your vimeo page content in cyrillic!!!!!

Bob
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Old June 4th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Hahaha! It's not my video. It's a link to a video I found on Letus Lounge that I'm using as an example of someone who used the Letus and shot in available light.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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I shot the first scene of this commercial with available light (the bottom video, boy getting a haircut): Franklin Federal. But there was a nice big window as key. Otherwise I've never been able to do it. Off comes the Letus if I can't use lights indoors. But frequently I just use my Rifa 55 and it's enough.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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Nice spot Rob! What lens did you use (what was the maximum f-stop?)?

OFF TOPIC:
I really like the warm feel of having a variety of people in the commercial. This is something I've been doing more and more of lately. But sourcing and lining up all those people can be TOUGH!! Got any tips? :)

Thanks Rob.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #6
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Thanks Mitchell. I use my Zeiss 50mm 1.4 whenever I can--the barber shot and several others in this. Then otherwise my Sigma 28mm 1.8 when space is tight (often), and I think I used my Nikon 85mm 1.8 for the blowing bubbles shot. Those are the only lenses I own. The timelapse was EX1 naked and the underwater was shot by a friend on a HVX200.

As for lining up people, it can be a pain. There was no budget for talent on this, so most of who you see are friends and family (the boy is my son). Since I didn't need any crew, it was relatively easy in that I could get the shots here and there over a couple of weeks, rather than trying to schedule on one or two days.

Also, I'm in one of the shots--you know you're small time when you need a body and so you press record and walk in! But I thought this would be good for my reel, plus I can sell some shots as stock at some point.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 10:46 AM   #7
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Those are some fast lenses. I'm learning that the difference between 1.4 and 2.8 is pretty big. (I only have a 50mm 1.4, the rest are 2.8) I think this is the key for you to be able to get shots with available light, where I am struggling. I need to just use the 50mm more often I guess. :)

Thanks for the tips on Talent. Again, great job.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #8
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Thanks again Mitchell. The other thing about lenses I'm learning is that the "sweet spot" is never wide open, but a bit stopped down--like 2.8 on a 1.4 lens, making the need for a fast lens greater.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #9
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Yeah, I've heard that too. I just don't get much of an opportunity to test that theory as I'm almost always shooting wide open when I'm shooting indoors. (maybe I need to find some locations with better ambient light! hehehehehe)
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #10
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What kind of stuff are you shooting that you can't light?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #11
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I'm not. I could light everything. We have a three instrument light kit (Arri 3 x 1000wt open-face), but sometimes it would be nice to just shoot indoors with available light.

The worst it's been is when I had to interview a group of 4 people. They were sitting on stools all facing the camera, and I used all three of my lights on them, plus a couple of 500wt Tota lights and it still was barely enough light to use our 80-200mm f2.8. I had to shoot with the 80-200mm at 2.8 and the camera almost wide open (I can't remember exactly, but it wasn't enough that I could drop the 80-200 up one stop) Because of this, I had a heck of a time getting the people quickly in focus. It would have been great too be able to shoot f4.0 or something even higher.

Outdoors is wonderful though. :)

Today I shot indoors with artificial light and when I used the 50mm lens, I was able to shoot stopped down a bit. But when I used our other lenses (17-35 f/2.8 and 80-200 f/2.8) I had to shoot with them wide open and the gain turned up to +3.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 01:36 AM   #12
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Ya, I've noticed most of my lenses at 2.8 drop the camera down to ISO 200 to 250. You typically need light. If you have a light meter, figure out your ISO with that lens and then you can better figure out what you can get away with. Dont know if youve ever seen this but great for working with a letus and lenses http://www.freshdv.com/2007/07/calib...tal-video.html
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Old June 16th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
The worst it's been is when I had to interview a group of 4 people. They were sitting on stools all facing the camera, and I used all three of my lights on them, plus a couple of 500wt Tota lights and it still was barely enough light to use our 80-200mm f2.8. I had to shoot with the 80-200mm at 2.8 and the camera almost wide open (I can't remember exactly, but it wasn't enough that I could drop the 80-200 up one stop) Because of this, I had a heck of a time getting the people quickly in focus. It would have been great too be able to shoot f4.0 or something even higher.
For me, in this situation off comes the Letus. Add a little edge softening in post.
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