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Old May 9th, 2005, 01:13 AM   #1
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Lighting Suggestions for XL2, xi and General Use Lighting kit?

Hi Folks,

I am getting ready to start a long trip where I will be shooting musical performances in a wide variety of venues (i.e. clubs, coffee shops, radio stations etc.) and will be sitting down in homes and offices to do Q&A interviews. I will also use the Canon xi to do little on the spot interviews with artists before and after their performances on stage.

My plan is to use the XL2 as the main camera to get the stage footage and carry the xi to get candid moments, close ups of the performances etc. Some venues will have actual lighting systems, but others will be coffee shops and bookstores with no lighting at all except the ambient in room which isn't going to be enough.

So I am looking for suggestions for a small mounted light for the xi which I could carry around and point at close range at people for interviews lighting them without blinding them or washing them out, a large light for the XL2 which will mostly be mounted on the trip pod for the small rooms with no lighting so the stage area is lit and also a lighting kit for general use (especially sit down interviews) which hopefully comes in a carry case so I can pack it all up in one big case. I saw recommendations on this site a few months back which included a general lighting kit that came in a nice case, but can't seem to find that listing. And I have no idea which mounted lights would be appropriate for the XL2 or the xi. And finally, what are the top 3 retailers you would suggest for these items. I plan to buy this week and have gotten great advice from all of you on every previous question!

Thanks in advance for the info and help.

Brian
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Old May 10th, 2005, 05:37 AM   #2
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Hmmm.. did I ask the wrong question? Or one that is either too obvious or too difficult to answer? I figured since there are several retailers/manufacturers hanging out around here, this would be a no brainer for some of them at least since they sell these products.

If anyone is out there, I'd still like some suggestions.

Thanks,

Brian
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:44 AM   #3
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Hi Brian,
There are many ways you could go, but a lot depends upon your budget. The Lowel omni/tota kits are quite popular, versatile and portable. A tota light with a softbox, like a Chimera works wonderfully with the XL2 for interviews and such. Of course, there are other companies that make better kits, but it all depends upon money. For instance, check out the Dedolights, or the Arri Softlight Kits.

For stage lighting, I'm not sure what you will be able to do in a practical way. The XL2 does good in low light, so unless you are able to mess with the stage lighting, you will probably have to rely on the XL2. I've had similar situations where I stucvk a couple of Lowel Omnis in the back ato just raise the ambient level. Lightng up a coffee shop or something of that nature really depends upon what they will let you do.

As far as an on camera light goes, there are bunches of them. I have an Anton Bauer Ultralight 2 which works great. The newer ones are dimmable which is really nice. You might also want to look into the IDX LED based light. It too is dimmable and puts out really nice light.

Some of them get pretty pricey, but they are generally the type of device that lasts a long time, can be used for almost any camera, and a really good one used properly can make a huge difference in your video. That actually goes for all lighting. So I would invest in the best possible stuff you can. It will always payoff in the long run.

regards,
Matt
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:46 AM   #4
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On-camera lights:
If you have the money, a LED-based light would probably be ideal. High output for low power consumption, and they're soft lights (less blinding, nicer aesthetic light quality).

Lite panels (litepanels.com) is one such product. You should be able to dig up lots of info on on-camera lights if you do a search.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #5
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On camera light...

It largely depends on your budget.

Find something with a good power source, wattage adjustable and a Chimera Micro Lightbank.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #6
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Camera bright has an inexpensive LED light (click here)
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Old May 10th, 2005, 07:45 PM   #7
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Thanks Guys!

My budget is probably 1000 dollars for all the light stuff combined. Give or take depending on the products. Since we plan to use this stuff every week for the next 2 years on the road, I am willing to spend more if the products are both convenient and flexible for multipurposes. For example, I'd strongly prefer rechargable light sources than anything requiring batteries (I saw another post that was discussing that topic and I think being able to recharge is a much better option). Our events are often 4-6 hours long, so battery life is another issue (or being able to have multiple batteries for on camera lights).

I know I saw some light kits that this site was promoting (they said one kit was even named for them here? or am I imagining things?) and there were 3 options, one of which had all the pieces that went into 1 carrying case. I had intended to just come and buy that, but haven't found where it was listed?

So if I have about 1000 dollars to spend on the general light kit (for Interviews, for some small venues where we'd be lighting usually a solo performer, perhaps for some simple re-enactment scenes (we're having folks tell stories about their music career and funny things that happened and are interested in experimenting with a few re-creations)) and a light that could be mounted on the XL2 and the xi (which as you know is a tiny camera) that would have rechargable batteries (and availability of a charger and extra batteries) and that could be adjusted (thanks for that tip.. I wasn't' sure if that was available) and that will last a long time since I expect to put several hours a day on these lights nearly year round for 2 years (we do about 15-20 events a month around North America) that's what I need.

I really appreciate the feedback so far. I will check all the resources you all suggested. If you have more specific suggestions based on budget and needs, that would be great as well.

Thanks again,

Brian

PS: If you want to see where we're going this summer, the first leg of the trip is posted on our home page at www.jpfolks.com/home.html. If any of you live in those areas, and want to offer your guidance on how to do it right in person, we'd welcome it! We're the consumate entry level filmmakers.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:24 PM   #8
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Brian,
In addition to cost limits, the level of portability you need may help folks give advice, too. Does "on the road" literally mean "by auto?" Will your stuff go by commercial air, coach bus, or VW Bug?
Unfortunately, I personally don't have much knowledge in this area to help much. Best of luck, though.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #9
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Yes, I doing most of my touring driving around in a loaded down mini van. I run a music organization, so it has some music gear, lots of camera gear, stuff we sell to raise money and my clothes/travel stuff. We have nearly 100 dates planned in 44 states this year and will do the remaining Western US and Canada in 2006. I am often in a different city/state every day and most of the time I am doing events in venues I've never seen, so we're trying to keep everything as simplistic as we can. I figure if I have a really compelling segment that falls short on footage, I'll pack up and head back to the places I need more footage in 2006. (It helps that I run the organization and have the freedom to travel whenever I want). But we're a free org. so I drive and stay with local musicians and industry folks to save on costs.

I only fly to a few locations each year (Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico) but if I can reasonably get their by van, I drive.

Brian
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Old May 12th, 2005, 02:07 AM   #10
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Hey everyone:

Can someone help me find those light kit suggestions that were endorsed by this site? There were 3 levels. The middle kit all fit into one travel case. I keep searching but I am not finding it and I know it was here. The post stated that the company selling the "kit" had named one of them after either the person or this site that had put the combination together.

I am really running out of time to get this stuff. I leave for the road in 10 days and need time to test it all out before leaving, so I need to buy in the next day or two.

Thanks again for suggestions. I am still hoping for a few more specific ones.

Brian
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Old May 13th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #11
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Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Is this thing on? (tap tap tap)...

= )

Brian
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Old June 13th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #12
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Sun guns

Well, from what I can see, you're going to be on the move alot. So I strongly suggest a sun gun with a diffuser on it. Its light, mounts onto your camera and is versatile for all occasions. I believe someone has already mentioned it, but did not mention the diffuser.

As for a power supply, get yourself a battery belt. They are rechargeable and I've been able to shoot for 5 hours straight using one of those babies!

I really don't see any other solutions that wouldn't mean using up alot of space in your car and require you to setup everytime you shoot (plus find an outlet if the light is not rechargeable)

Cheers

Jason
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