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Old February 21st, 2013, 12:26 AM   #1
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Need a spot light

Sorry for asking some very basic questions, as I am completely novice as far as lighting is concerned.

I am looking for a light, kind of spot light to be used in the night in outdoors for tracking wildlife. I am trying to document nocturnal wildlife (leopards) living in close proximity of people. I am using some cheap chinese torch lights and at times from a spot light connected to my SUV (powered from the cigarette lighter). Whereas the C300 is able to tolerate this kind of lighting, I think I should explore for some flicker free outdoor lights. To get some idea of the work, please check this 8 min preview http://youtu.be/n-Yc5VNUN-o

I will basically need a small but powerful light, as I am already saddled with lot of filming and sound equipment. Appreciate all your help.

Cheers,
Sabyasachi
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Old February 21st, 2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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Re: Need a spot light

Hunting lights? Marine spotlight?
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Old February 21st, 2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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Re: Need a spot light

Something like this would work well.
Underwater Kinetics Light Cannon e.L.E.D. Dive Light 4465 with reviews at scuba.com
http://www.amazon.com/Peak-PKC0TP-Million-Candlepower-Spotlight/dp/B002MF10DC/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1361508565&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=25%2C000%2C000+candlepower+light
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: Need a spot light

There are those battery powered torches with daft candlepower output that have an almost parallel output - BUT surely at night as soon as you turn it on, the animal turns and runs away?
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 03:00 AM   #5
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Re: Need a spot light

Actually I am looking for something which is bright with consistent light. I have tried some automotive lights and those flicker as well as throw uneven lights. I am looking at something which can work well between 30 feet to 60 feet.

I am looking at using these lights above ground. May be sometime, I will be able to explore the underwater world, however, at this point in time, it is all in the forests.

Someone sent me a link to this: - Nila - PRODUCTS - NH Apart from the cost, I guess it is more of a studio light.

Initially I used to face the same problem as Paul says. Switch on the light and the animal runs away. After spending a lot of time, I have understood how and when to switch it on and make it work. There is no substitute for knowledge of animal behaviour.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: Need a spot light

http://www.amazon.com/Cyclops-C18MIL-Colossus-Rechargable-Spotlight/dp/B0018F1CJ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1361723235&sr=1-1&keywords=25%2C000%2C000+candlepower+light%3F is the brightest one Iíve seen used. Good light but limited battery run. You are correct about behaviour, Sabyasachi. Owl researchers often fit their lights with red filters. They turn on the light about 30 degrees off target and then slowly turn them toward the subject. After a couple of minutes they slowly raise the red filter and usually the bird doesnít fly. Iíve seen one interesting DIY rig that would raise the filter at the touch of a button.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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Re: Need a spot light

Just in the last couple days I've been looking for a light to use with my camcorder and came across one that has what they call a "spotlight".

There was one video of it that made use of the spotlight function and I've looked everywhere and can't find it. Anyway, it was in a very large room and I'm guessing at least 30 feet (~10 m) with a woman at the far end. With the room darkened the woman was just barely/marginally visible with the normal light but when the spotlight was used she was very visible. The video was from LAcolor on-line (I think). Maybe drop them a line and ask them if they can give you a link.

Here is the light I was talking about: Comer CM-LBPS1800 On-Camera LED Light (Sony Battery) | L.A. Color Online)

As an aside, in another search I came across a discussion of someone using this light for wildlife photography and they started with a red filter so as not to scare the animal then gradually removed the diffuser so the animal wasn't shocked and would fly away.

Shooting at 60 feet/20m is going to be really, really tough, especially for nocturnal animals.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #8
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Re: Need a spot light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
I am looking at using these lights above ground. May be sometime, I will be able to explore the underwater world, however, at this point in time, it is all in the forests.
I think Trevor recommended to look into marine/diving lights because divers need very bright battery powered lights - you might find something there although you don't need it to be waterproof.

My suggestion would be something like this:
Sachtler Reporter 270D HMI Focusing Flood 1 Light Kit S270DBI

It is a 250W hmi lamp made for video. That means perfect color temperature of 5600įK, no flicker, even beam.
A 250W hmi is very bright, something like a 600W halogen, so that should be okay.
The downsides are it is pretty big and heavy (including the ballast and battery) and the runtime on one battery is only 35 minutes. Not to forget it is extremely expensive.

You certainly won't get anything brighter than this which is battery powered.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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Re: Need a spot light

Hi Sabyasachi,

I looked at your 8 minute preview as I was puzzled as to why a DC light would produce flickering and I got the impression that the flickering was due to unsteady support of the light source used. How are the lamps you use supported?

Also are you using your OConnor head in this project?
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Old February 27th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #10
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Re: Need a spot light

Hi Alastair,
I agree with you that some of the flickering because I was experimenting with lights. I posted one more guy at another place and there was lack of coordination. At the moment handholding the lights as the subjects move.

I have used OConnor fluid head where ever it is possible. However, at times I was forced to use handheld as well as beanbag (I hate it as you can't pan well). I am trying to find an ideal way of filming from my SUV, as I need a good mount for a fluid head to be fixed on the door frame.

I have taken a month break to pause and look at my footage and then go back and improve.

Cheers,
Sabyasachi
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