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Photon Management
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Old January 11th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #16
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Most of this is once again common snses, to us Engineering minded folk. For the rest of the weekend shooters - Read and learn. All great advice. Some of this we just take as a given, like don't use the cigarette lighter...yeah. Like I said, weekend shooters could concievably trash their electrical system but I would hope they would blow a few fuses before the smoking portion of the program begins.

Combine all these posts suggestions and yes, you can do it. Can it be safe, you betcha. Should it be attempted by folks who only know how to plug in a light? Nope.

A generator and a long heavy cable are great as a first choice but several buddies with newer cars and inverters can make a lot of cheap light.

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Old January 11th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #17
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On the subject of generators, can anyone answer a couple of questions? Lots of generators are marketed as "Silent" or "Super silent" with various noise levels quoted in dB. For shooting you would ideally want "Totally Silent" but can anyone suggest what would be a maximum noise level that would be acceptable on a shoot, assuming you can put the generator 100 yards away? Also generators seem to be listed with two power levels i.e its a 1.7Kw generator with a 1.5Kw output, or something. Whats this all about?
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Old January 11th, 2006, 05:46 PM   #18
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the Yamaha I use is about 56-58 db which is fine if you setup a sound board and run 10 guage stingers..

And on the topic of inverters... the cheapsters are not pure sine wave, and may damage delicate instruments. You'll have to spend at least $800 to get a 1000 watt inverter that will produce a pure sinewave. I'd rather get a generator and not have to worry about batteries. Here's a link to a site with a good cross section of inverters.


http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...atchallpartial
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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #19
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You can do alot with $800

Also what do you guys mean by "weekend shooter"? do you mean guys with regular jobs filmming the birds in his garden and his kids at the weekend?. If so why would someone like that be interested in an inverter that can run a 3 point lighting system in the field?. If not do you mean anyone without an electrical or engineering degree is a weekend shooter?
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Last edited by Andy Graham; January 12th, 2006 at 06:02 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #20
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My 1000W inverter was about $73 at Costco and has stepped-sinewave output. It is rated 1000W continuous, 1200W for several minutes, and 1500W peaking. It runs all of the various fluorescent lights I have tried. They do not flicker. The only negative issue is that the ballasts will have a tough time starting if several bulbs are started at the exact same time. It is best to turn on the fixtures after the inverter is started instead of having everything start when the inverter is flipped on.

As far as delicate instruments are concerned, I wouldn't plug an expensive camera into an inverter. Heck, I wouldn't plug it into wall AC either. Battery power is safest for cameras. Light bulbs are another matter entirely.

Concerning my own experiences with my inverter. I used powering my refrigerator as an example. This was on a day in which the power had been off for hours and I ran the refer continuously for two hours from my small pickup and inverter. The compressor never shut off and did not have difficulty starting initially.

About generators: Many of the new high-end, quiet, yet moderately (or low) power generators are using inverters for their AC output. I have used the 1000W Honda eu1000i and it is very quiet. It even powered pro field monitors with no issues. If I had my choice, I would get the eu2000i to be able to power something like a 1.2k HMI. Regardless of how quiet these things are, mics are really good at picking up engine noise.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #21
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Sorry if this has already been mentioned (THREAD IS VERY LONG) but if it just needs to be "somewhere outside" and not at a specific location you can go to a gas station like SuperAmerica where there is plenty of (free) light under the canopy that covers the pumps and you can frame the shot so you can't see that it's a gas station and choose a time of night when they are not busy. I saw this Idea on a "free" trailer clip from DV eductional how to videos on EliteVideo's site
http://www.elitevideo.com/index.asp?...PROD&ProdID=26
not sure which clip or which video but looks like good stuff. It gives an example of what I mentioned above and the lighting looks excellent and the night shot is composed beautifully, then it shows that it is at a gas station. What a suprise!
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:29 AM   #22
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I have a 2000 watt Honda generator. It works well and can fire
a couple of 575W HPL lamps (ETC source 4 parnels) without issue.
I run 10 gauge wire and 150 feet away behind a tree or car you
cannot hear the engine.

There are lots of solutions. This is one.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 07:13 AM   #23
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Jacques, is your generator the Honda eu2000i? The 1000W version is very nice, but a bit small. The 2000W inverter generator is still only 43 pounds (~20Kilos?) and probably fairly quiet if it has a similar design. That would be a perfect generator for a set using efficient fluorescent or HMI lights that needs to be quiet and mobile.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 08:32 PM   #24
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Yes it is. I agree as the 1000 watt is a bit too small for what I need.
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