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Old March 16th, 2005, 07:43 AM   #1
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Frezzi mini fill, softbox 11 on XL2

I recently got a Frezzi “mini fill” with the softbox 11 ( for my XL2), which lets you choose between 4 different gels. I have some questions for anyone familiar with this set up or “on camera” lights in general.
1-I tried the different gels, but don’t really understand the theory behind which to use. E.G. when to use the amber or blue. (I realize that the white gel softens and difuses the harsh light).

2-Most of what I’m doing is “run and gun” or” on the fly” observational stuff. For example, we’re following a local politician, and the lighting condions constantly change (indoor, outdoor, afternoon, night). I tried using several white balance presets, but it didn’t work well. Is it ok to use auto wb in this kind of situation? Do you have to re white balance with different gels?

3-Can anyone recommend any reading or web sites that cover these kinds of “run and gun” and street interview situations?
Thanks for any help.
Bruce S. Yarock
P.S.- I also got the anton Bauer( thanks Mark Sasahara and Matt Cherry for the info) dionic 90...no more battery belt giving me that "hip hop" pants look...
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Old March 16th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #2
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Forgot to mention tht I got the "mini fill' with the dimmer.
Bruce Yarock
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Old March 16th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #3
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We have a Frezzi Light that we use with our betaSP cameras, but have problems when we use it with our GL2. Too harsh. We also have a soft box that works pretty well with the GL2 cam, but with a fader you should be set. As long as you have a Dichroic filter for outdoors, or even better a flexfill for outdoors/daylight.
Besides, its always fun watching people try to refold the flexfil back into the holder.

:>)

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Old March 16th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #4
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Jeff,
do I need the dichroic in addition to the softbox 11 with gels? If so, how exactly do I use it? Also, what is the "flexlill"?
Bruce yarock
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Old March 16th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #5
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Hey Bruce- sorry about that.
If you have gels- you shouldn't need a dichroic filter. Its more or less the same as a blue gel, and it color corrects for daylight.

A flexfill comes in different sizes, but its basically a round flexible frame with silver or gold, orrrr white reflective material. When you are outside you have someone reflect sunlight onto your subject with it, which is much brighter than any camera light.

As a side note, I like to have the subject stand in shade close to a patch of light, and reflect the sunlight off the flexfill. You can vary the distance or angle to get some nice looking lighting.

Good luck,

Jeff Patnaude
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Old March 17th, 2005, 12:48 AM   #6
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Thanks Bruce, glad we could help.

The blue CTB (Change to Blue) gel in your kit will cut the light by two stops This will make your tungsten Mini-Fill daylight flavored and would usually be used in daylight situations.

The dichroic daylight blue filter has the advantage of cutting the light by only one stop. It's glass and may not fit in the pocket on the softbox. I'd be worried about it popping out, unless it's attached somehow. Like Jeff said, you already have the blue gel, you don't really need the dichroic.

The amber gel is a full CTO (Change to Orange) and changes daylight to tungsten. This would be used if you had the Frezzi Mini Sun Gun, or other HMI light. HMI's are daylight flavored. The CTO could also be used to warm up the tungsten light as an effect. You probably won't be using this gel much.

The various other diffusion are good for softening up the light. You can experiment with other types as well. Gels are pretty cheap at about $6 a pop for an 18x24” sheet.. Swatch books of gels and diffusion by Rosco and Lee are usually free, but they are usually about 1"x 3". This is helpful for choosing gels. You could tape two sheets together with J-Lar tape. The Rosco Jungle Book is 3"x3" and is all color correction.

You may also want to get a Plus Green gel that will balance the tungsten to cool white and warm white. I forget which filters they are. You can go to their websites to see which gels. This will make the Mini-fill the same color as the overhead fluoros. You may want to try a straight Plus Green and leave it at that, because you can't always tell which is which, warm white or cool white. The Full Green is the equivalent of a 30CC green and loosely matches a variety of fluorescent lights. Again you would WB off the camera light and have that be your main light.

Custom WB using the on-camera light, if it's your main light. If you are using the light for fill, WB off the prevailing light.. Or if you're in a hurry set your WB to the daylight or tungsten presets. If you can have the subject wait a minute while you go in ahead and WB, that can be helpful. If you're outside, you can probably use the same outdoors custom setting for most of the day. There will be color differences if you are in shade or bright sun. Either have a custom preset or re-WB. I try and WB for each situation.

Check out some of the TV News forums for more info. I can't find any of my bookmarks, Google around.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 07:09 AM   #7
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Jeff and mark- Thanks again for all the info.
Mark- If it's a choice between using auto w/b and one of the two Canon presets (tungstun and sunlight),why would I use one of the presets over the auto w/b? Are they more precise?
Of couse, if I had the time, I would do it manually.
Bruce Yarock
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Old March 18th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #8
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Hi Bruce, yes, do it manually. Using the presets is just a time saver. If you're in such a hurry, like following a glad handing politician, you may not have time to WB every time. So, you can reach over and quickly pop the WB knob out and switch from day to tungsten (or whatever), when you're in a pinch.

Doing a manual WB is always more accurate and preferrable. Hopefully the politician will appreciate that you're making them look good, so they'll give you the ninety seconds to white balance. They're fools if they don't.

"How hard can it be? I mean, you just get a camera and you shoot some video. Right"? Heh, yeah, right. There is never a "just" do anything in film, or video.

TV News shooters site: http://www.b-roll.net/]b-roll.net

Good shooting.
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