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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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AC & battery-operated lights for quick shoots?

I'm looking for suggestions for lights (1 or 2 at most) I can set up quickly to highlight an interview subject in flat lighting conditions.

I'm interviewing people in their booths at conventions, and inevitably they all look flat becaue of the uniform fluorescent lighting. My camera-mounted 10W light isn't cutting it, but I don't want to light them head-on anyway. Ideally I'd like a small-ish light I can set up quickly (or have an assistant hold) that runs on battery or AC for longer sessions. Something between a camera-mounted light and my Lowel light kit.

It'd be great if I could pack it all in the same case: light, tripod, barndoors, diffuser, battery pack...
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Old April 28th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #2
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if the budget is there take a look at the Litepanel 1X1s. They have singles and kits, they have color temp adjustables, of course they're all intensity adjustable and they'll run on AC or battery although at this early hour I can't for the life of me remember which battery.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 08:02 AM   #3
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Litepanels battery is proprietary. Also take a look at LEDZ: LED Production Lights... powerful, efficient, eco-friendly. though note I've never used it.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Take look at the Lowel Blender,

Lowel | Blender AC/DC Kit (120VAC/12VDC) | BLN-911LB | B&H Photo

A couple of local news stations have started to outfit their field reporters with them.

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Old April 28th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #5
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Now I'm not putting down the Blender, this is just an observation.

I don't know how much people appreciate the sacrifice that they are making when they purchase LED fixtures manufactured with interspersed LEDs of different color temperatures.

Lighting fixtures, and specially on-camera lighting fixtures, are always constrained to a greater or lessor degree in their size. It's not terribly practical to attempt to mount a square foot panel on your camcorder. So the number of LEDs that a on-camera light can utilize is invariably a very modest number. But when half of those LEDs are not being used... or are being dimmed to change the color temperature... then you are trading lumens for versatility and IMO that isn't really the best use of the fixture's limited real estate.

It's a hell of a marketing gimmick and it obviously resonates with the customer and if those objectives are all that must be met then say no more. But if pure unadulterated lumens are important you're always money ahead to pop for the most powerful fixture you can afford and deal with gels.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #6
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I have a CoolLight 600 that I attached a lightweight 13.2, 2.3 amp-hr battery made from A123 cells, and that runs nicely for more than a half hour.

You can put a thin diffuser over the front (even a white plastic garbage bag works since there's very little heat), and adjust the output so that your light has just the right amount of directionality.

I use this light if it's overcast or if there's a little bit of backlighting that needs to be overcome.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #7
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@Dean--Would a generic garbage bag work, or should I use a Hefty for better diffuse? (Sorry, couldn't resist :)

Hi Jacques,

We also use the CoolLights 600, but power it with a big and heavy Anton Bauer battery, so it's probably not as ideal for your specific use. But we also use the CoolLights 250 LED, powered by a small third party Sony battery, which weighs so much less than our 600 setup. With this mounted on a light stand you can move it around easily enough. At around 3 to 4 feet, I think it'll shine a "pretty good" light (indoors) on your subjects.

Best,
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Old April 30th, 2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Jeff... I got the white garbage bags from B&H Photo. $15 each. Yeah, right! :-)
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