View Full Version : What's the best simple lighting gear for a single person doing run n' gun filming?
May 20th, 2012, 05:16 PM
I'm starting a project next year where I'll often be traveling by myself, doing sound and image on my shoots. I want a few simple lights to carry around. Given space concerns, I'd want them to be versatile and smallish.
I have no idea where to start about a basic traveling kit. I realize this is somewhat vague but I'm just trying to get some ideas at this point. So, any thoughts here are appreciated.
May 20th, 2012, 07:26 PM
You could do worse than get a few of these (or similar) and rig them with the gruntiest CFL's you can source:
Designers Edge 8.5 In. Incandescent Clamp Light Remodelista (http://remodelista.com/products/designers-edge-8-5-in-incandescent-clamp-light)
Cheap, light, self contained and will glom onto just about anything.
May 20th, 2012, 07:33 PM
I use this kit: GO Jet Set Kit (http://www.lowel.com/kits/goJetSet.html)
It's been pretty reliable. Small enough to take just about anywhere, professional enough to use with any client without embarrassment. Fairly light weight, I've packed the pieces in a suitcase and flown with it, taken it on the train, and lugged it all over.
May 21st, 2012, 04:44 AM
Schlepping gear around by yourself and staying in the baggage limits of airlines takes planning. I don't know how much you want to spend but battery powered LED are as compact as it gets. I used a Matthews travel stand, a LEDzilla powered by SWIT 8U62 batteries using the D-TAP cable and a reflector. You'll need more light for full indoor shooting. The Lite Panels Sola 3 may be a solution for you as it packs a lot of lumens per cubic inch of space.
The LEDzilla can be camera mounted but doesn't mount to the Matthews stand without modification. I solved that by adding a shoe to the stand. I like the Matthews stand because of it's build quality and use of standard hardware for field repairs (which, pleasantly, I haven't had to do yet).
Matthews Reverse Stand - 7' B387486 B&H Photo Video
May 21st, 2012, 04:43 PM
What will you be shooting? Single person interviews? Lighting a room? Car interiors? Outdoor interviews. There are as many lights as there are scenarios. Without knowing the scope of your project, and how sensitive your camera is, I wouldn't run out an buy any type of kit.
If you'll be in a foreign country, then there are even more variables to consider.
May 21st, 2012, 11:08 PM
I have 1 Litepanels 1x1 and 2 zylight z90s. I never leave home without them. It's expensive as hell, but with a couple of batteries, they last for an entire shooting day with no heat and can be controlled to match their environment perfectly.
May 23rd, 2012, 09:32 AM
I'm a Comer LED Light reseller but I also use Comer 1800 for on-camera at weddings.
Comer CM-LBPS1800 On-Camera LED Light (Sony Battery) | L.A. Color Online (http://lacoloronline.com/product/?CM1800-Comer-CM-LBPS1800-On-Camera-LED-Light-(Sony-Battery))
June 4th, 2012, 10:28 AM
Oren - your question is spot on.
I want it to be versatile, to be useable for interviews, both of persons and individuals. I'm doing a project with lots of road travel and I will have very little space so I'm thinking I want stuff that's battery powered (since outlets will not always be available). i also think I'd want the ability to switch between different colors. I'll be using a Panasonic HMC-150 and Panasonic GH2. With that in mind, any ideas?
June 4th, 2012, 12:41 PM
I'm still unsure what camera you're shooting with. A 5DMkIII or FS-100 will have much better sensitivity and cleaner images at high ISO than most other cameras. This means you can get away with fewer lumens (and a smaller/lighter kit overall). If your native ISO is around 400, you're going to 'need more power' to generalize.
What is your budget? LED lights would probably suit your needs for a travel worthy-battery powerable kit, but at double or triple the price of tungsten options.
A super light-weight solution (for sensitive cameras) would be the on-camera LED lights. Using them off-camera on stands and with some diffusion can yield decent results at a reasonable cost. Don't expect great throw (once diffused) or accurate colors (especially with the Chinese knock-off brands). If I needed a 'one-backpack' solution, that would be my go-to option.
June 4th, 2012, 01:39 PM
for the travel three of these (http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Aputure-AL-126-LED-Camera-Camcorder-Video-Light-For-Canon-550D-600D-450D-60D-/120821640572?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2187ed7c), three of these (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Photo-Video-Light-Stands-Studio-Stand-6ft-200cm-NEW-/330728572212?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d00f58534), batteries and gells for different color temp. and color, for about $200 you'll get nice, under 10Lb mobile setup, i use them on every shot,
light, cheap, very bright, dimmable, over two hrs on one NP F730, and btw, very durable, i drop em all the time, lots of dings and scratches :), not a single failure;
June 4th, 2012, 03:04 PM
You know what's missing from this thread? Examples.
I can tell you that I spent $1.98 on lighting and get great results, but unless I show you a few examples, how do you know that my standards of lighting will meet your standards? There is an awful lot of bad lighting being done out there, and quite often the person doing it doesn't even know how bad it is. Ignorance is bliss.
I'm not saying good lighting can't be done on a budget, I'm just saying you better ask to see some examples of what someone thinks is good lighting before you take their advice on what equipment to use. Bad production is all around us, even on network television.
For a professional, a decent set of lights, stands, and grip accessories are tools that should last you for years and years. Invest in quality and you will enjoy your job more, get better results, look more professional to clients and colleagues, and not waste money on replacing crap that falls apart or can't get the job done right in the first place.
June 5th, 2012, 02:59 AM
Dedolight travel kit - hands down.
June 5th, 2012, 07:14 AM
You know what's missing from this thread? Examples.
I can tell you that I spent $1.98 on lighting and get great results
oh yes, but don't forget - great results for $1.98
because you ALWAYS get what you pay for :)
June 5th, 2012, 11:42 AM
The lighting gear I want is going to be used mostly for lighting interviews for documentary film when I'm in a pinch. That being the case, I think what I want to do is get two LED lights, something like the Switronix 200w or a Vidpro, to go along with the Comer 1800 I have. I feel like this gives me a chance to have something portable that can give me some lighting options for dark interviews.
Thoughts on this?
June 5th, 2012, 03:10 PM
I would recommend picking up one of Doug's excellent lighting tutorials via Vortex Media. It will give you some solid tips that will save you money in the long run, and give you great looking interviews.
June 5th, 2012, 05:08 PM
Thank you, Oren. I appreciate the comments.
Jack D. Hubbard
June 7th, 2012, 10:41 PM
Ditto on Doug Jensen's lighting tutorial. I have been using a Litepanels Sola 3 Fresnel as a single light in a pinch. Wonderful creation, and it works nicely on outside interviews.
June 19th, 2012, 09:32 AM
Tutorials pay for themselves very very very quickly.
For what it's worth, my "go to" backpack lighting kit includes a RIFA 55, a Prolight, a few CTB gels and diffusion, three collapsible reversible 5-color reflectors, a few stands, clamps and things, and two dimmers. I've pretty much used the same kit for five years, through several iterations of camera (PD150, HV30, HVX, Z1U, AF100/GH2). I don't light significantly different for the newer more sensitive cameras than I do the notoriously light-hungry HVX.
While the GH and AF CAN get exposure with half (or none) of the lighting, they still need lighting to make the image look GOOD.