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Old April 6th, 2007, 02:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cole McDonald View Post
Mr. Cool lights up there ...
Great. My new name ;-)

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Make sure you are using a balanced audio system with these lights, they're really buzzy...and soundtrack pro can only remove so much before the voices are destroyed...listen to the audio in my short scare tactics for examples after scrubbing, and I've got all my footage from my latest short online at http://www.yafiunderground.com/bolts.php This is straight out of the camera...you'll be able to hear how much RF these lights through out.
You know this is interesting. I never have this buzzing problem but I hear other people say occasionally they do. We should try to scientifically figure out what we can do to make sure we don't get buzz when using these things so we know exactly what to recommend to someone when they say they have the problem.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #17
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Also, unless the aluminum is very thin, more squares means more light blocked.
The aluminum is very thin. I noticed no one is really putting out a large aperture eggcrate for their fixture. If you had your idea, what would be the aperture width and depth for the eggcrate.

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I kinda miss my VX2000, but the V1 normally has a much better image.
I have a Red reserved but I'm still not sure that's what I want. I haven't decided on my true HD path yet but before I saw the Red I really liked the Thomson Infinity. The only reason I went with the Red was the extra versatility of the higher definition modes which I might want someday.

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Size does matter. I think my lights were about 6 feet away from their nearest talent, so that means about a quarter of the light is hitting them as opposed to a close interview with the lights 3 feet away. In a one-camera interview, it would be a simple matter to bring the lights in a bit to pick up an f-stop, but the director wanted my camera to do what I would call "effect" work. He wanted the overly tight and roaming composition. This required the two other cameras to ensure coverage. I was the only camera operator, so this couldn't be done with only one stationary camera. More tripods meant that I needed more space to get shots. I guess this particular interview is a special situation, but I would still like to graduate to something more powerful when money is available.
I'm mostly working by myself and when using 30w fixtures they are always around 3 feet or so away. Never more than 6. It just doesn't work well--drop off is too steep with any softlight, these included.

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Fresnel lights are the cornerstone of a lot of light kits for a reason. I think I just learned this reason. Although I prefer soft light, total control is sometimes going to be required. A cool-running daylight-balanced fresnel sort of fixture that doesn't cost $HMI$ money would be quite useful. The little Lowel Pro-light is a nifty fixture and it would be great if it could be 5500K and cool without costing two thousand dollars.
Now you know why I'm moving into other areas of attack. I knew after a while we would need a "hardlight" solution but I'm not going to sell tungsten. Everyone else can if they want but I'm heading in more interesting directions. We can get you a 150w fresnel for significantly under $2000 and most likely under $1000. We may even be able to do the 60w single LED fresnel under $1000. And how about this, maybe even with a choice between 3200K and 5600K.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #18
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I'm not sure about the size of the grids. I guess what really matters is the ratio between size and depth. If I could adjust the position of the grid so I can choke it down or open it up, I think even an even cell-size vs. depth would be appropriate. That would give options for up to 90 degree spread (45 degrees to right and left) down to completely snooted so that the beam cast is almost straight and the size of the light itself.

I have never taken apart a fresnel light, so I don't know how they accomplish focus. Is it a simple matter of changing the distance between the lens and the bulb? If so, it should be easy to get one of these made with a CMH or that LED you linked. A nice benefit of a fresnel made with cool light would be the safety factor and the ability to use it outdoors with a battery for quickly filling backlit scenes.

The RED looks absolutely dreamy, but it's way beyond my means and a bit large for what I do.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #19
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Peter, I thought I would build a light bank for the spirals but I ran across one that has 9 sockets, is only 8 inches square, weighs about 3 pounds (with bulbs) and cost about 80 bucks.
What's unique is it has 2 circuits. One switch for 5 sockets and one switch for the other four.
I put 5 N:vison Daylight (5500 kelvin) bulbs (Home Depot) in circuit 1, and 4 soft white (3300 kelvin) (Lowes) in circuit 2.
It so happens that because the Daylight bulbs have a higher CRI they put out 1300 Lumens. The Soft White put out 1600 Lumens. They're almost the same total light output.
Anyhow I used the setup on a TV Shoot in an Interior Design Company. I ended up using only the soft white bank to bring up the brightness on the models. It blew me away how bright these lights were. I made side extenions out of wood to protect the bulbs (in transit) and covered the inside with mylar to increase the output further. I also now have a second unit, they make a great green screen lighting unit also.

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Old April 6th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #20
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I own the Sony V1 and we also used the Sony A1 CMOS HDV and the Sony Z1 on the shoot. They all were down into the F2.x range, which doesn't leave a lot of room. I have the Brevis35 which doesn't eat a huge amount of light, but just one f-stop of light needs double the light. That brings my desires into the range of the 655.
Marcus, I agree those small CMOS cams ring in around f2.0 or near full. While the Canon was around f3.4-3.7. (I've posted a frame grab from HC1 under the same setup -in my flickr account, the link is provided below).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45378940@N00/446288238/

This is why I consider the HC1 and others like it best for outdoors, or mid-day (natural light) camera. Otherwise, to prevent extra gain/grain you'd have to use studio lights so hot they would interfere with the talents or blow out portions of the shoot. I can get away with using the HC1 while shooting medical procedures in the OR, only because they use highly intense lights anyway, and I stay within f3-f4 range.

It's a shame because I like the small form factor of the HC1 and that it can be held and controlled in a professional manner. However, it's limited and if I were to go with CFLs, I'm inclined to stick with my G1. Even with CFLs, anything beyond 2000 lumens of lights can get uncomfortably bright, no matter how cool, in order to make these small camera's work.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #21
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Peter, I thought I would build a light bank for the spirals but I ran across one that has 9 sockets, is only 8 inches square, weighs about 3 pounds (with bulbs) and cost about 80 bucks.
What's unique is it has 2 circuits. One switch for 5 sockets and one switch for the other four...Gary
Gary, where did you find that multi-socket device? Was it at home depot?

I think that might be the ticket, and your experience seems to confirm that. I was considering a multi-outlet surge protector and using some $2ea direct plugin light sockets. to create a cheap array.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #22
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Peter, I got got it here. But you can go directly to the store. They also hace a 16 bulb fixture but that may be overkill.
Gary
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=160054227930
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Old April 6th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #23
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We should try to scientifically figure out what we can do to make sure we don't get buzz when using these things so we know exactly what to recommend to someone when they say they have the problem.
I was using an audio technica-ATR55 both wired and wireless into my XL1s. When playing the buzzy footage back to a friend of mine who graduated from Fullsail for audio engineering, he instantly said..."Oh, sounds like you're using an unbalanced audio system." He described that the process I use to scrub buzzy audio is essentially the same thing done in XLR (balanced) based systems to get clean audio over long (read:antennas) cable runs.

Two positive leads, one is phase inverted at the source (microphone). It's re-inverted at the receiving end. When you phase invert a signal and over lay it with the original, the waves cancel one another out. Due to the fact that the mic signal is out of phase on separate cables, when inverted back to normal at the end, nothing happens to them...but anything that entered the cable en route gets phase cancelled when the receiving end inversion occurs.

The unbalanced system doesn't have the inversion electronics happening, therefor anything that enters the line en route stays as you can hear in my footage listed above. The power cable proximity acts as a large broadcast antenna (audio runs over power lines when unavoidable should be perpendicular when crossing to minimize 60hz {UK-50Hz there's an exchange rate calculation ;) } rf field contact) and the transformer in the balast buzzes, spiking with each discharge of the electronics into the tube...higher frequency lights = higher frequency buzz which don't get eliminated by 60hz power hum filters.

Switching to a balanced audio system (new mic, cables and XLR input block-canon ma100) allows me to twist the power cable and the mic cable to gether and get no buzz entering the line :) ...although this is not a recommended cable run technique. I can get it to buzz by touching the microphone to the light...but that's pretty extreme.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #24
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Of course. I should have thought of that is the difference. I always use balanced cables and inputs/outputs on everything and I never have any interference problems as a result. I will say though that I still think that wireless sucks even when using balanced runs.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #25
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"This is why I consider the HC1 and others like it best for outdoors, or mid-day (natural light) camera. Otherwise, to prevent extra gain/grain you'd have to use studio lights so hot they would interfere with the talents or blow out portions of the shoot."

From what I've said so far, you might think I would agree. Actually, I was rather pleased with the Sony A1 and it's CMOS performance. For under $2000, this camera produces a nice image. I really place the "blame" for any difficulties I had on the lights and my mistakes. I should have used the two-bulb fixture as a backlight and the single as the fill. The 2x32W fixture was overkill as fill to the 200W softbox.

It's ultimately the fault of the softbox having poor efficiency. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice light for 200W, but I don't think it's the right way to go for soft fluorescent light. The PL55 fixtures like the coollights CL-455 are probably much more efficient because they spread out the light with the bulb itself and don't need any diffusion between them and the talent. The softbox requires reflection and diffusion to get softness. The softbox is also probably more time-consuming to set up than an all-inclusive fixture with barn doors.

Okay, here is why it's okay to go crazy with fluorescent light. You can use as much light as you want because your talent will never be looking at anything brighter than a fluorescent tube. No, it's not pleasing to put your face right into a fluorescent tube, but it's not like looking into the sun or even a bright tungsten fixture. Spreading the light out has many benefits. The only problem is control and big barndoors and grids can mitigate the issue.

The benefit of having excess light is that you can bring your camera into the ranges where the lens and imager look best. Wide open with just a bit of gain is okay, but F4 with no gain is better. This does require much more light, but we're not talking about thousands of watts. If I use my 2x32W fixture as a basis, I think it would be okay as a fill if the key was 4x as bright (2 f-stops). That gets us into that 9x30W CFL fixture Gary has or probably the CL-455 with 4x55W long tubes. I've worked with a Diva400 that uses the same 4 tubes and it was pretty darn bright without being blinding.

With lots of light, you can also increase the contrast between the talent and the background without bringing the lights in too close. Of course, if you don't want this, the extra light can always be turned down. Extra lights for the green screen are mentioned by Gary as a good use of an extra fixture or two. I can't imagine a better light for the green screen as fluorescent tends to reduce hot spots.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #26
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Marcus, I agree that you can use enough light to get a Sony HC CMOS cam back into F3 or 4, just that, and from my experimentation, you won't heat things up, but it can uncomfortably bright. So, yes, something like the HC1 can be used professionally, and that I do in the ORs or during the afternoon where light is already abundant, (I like my HC1 -best $1400 ever spent).

However, for me, I get the benefits of both a pleasing level of light and zero heat by just opting for the my Canon G1. This means less lights, less gear, no barn doors, etc. It's simple physics is all. I'm not arguing, I'm just pointing out my findings.

If I were reading this thread and only had one of the HC cameras, then it's not a hopeless situation, as having multiple CFLs point at you is still better than even one 300Watt tungsten. I do agree, that talents would complain more about the heat than about the brightness. Besides, it's to be expected, and the alternative is swap out CFLs back to tungstens and know what those cheeseburgers on the warming racks must feel.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #27
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"but it can uncomfortably bright"

I can look directly at any fluorescent source without serious discomfort. All performance fluorescents produce a similar amount of light per square inch so there aren't any super bright spots. More lumens with fluorescent just means more area. No, it's not fun to look right into the light, but the talent is usually looking a bit towards the camera rather than a light.

Assuming about 20 lumens per watt (studio tungsten is more efficient than consumer), compare the ~13,000 lumens that a simple Arri 650 puts out from a face about 6" in diameter to the 11,600 lumens from the relatively huge CL-455 fixture with 4x55W tubes. Even if the Arri is not as efficient as 20 lumens per watt, it is clear that a fluorescent fixture is much easier to look into than a tungsten.

There may be some cumulative effect at looking in the direction of a huge fluorescent fixture, but it isn't really all that bad. Couple that with the cool comfort and fluorescent is a huge improvement overall to talent being shot by video. Nobody seemed bothered at all by the brightness of the lights during the interview and another f-stop of brightness shouldn't be a problem.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #28
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It doesn't start to hurt until you get these energy efficient point light sources like the ceramic metal halide (hmi by another name) and my 60w single LED (1800 lumens). Both those really leave spots in the eyes if you look at them too long. Particularly the daylight versions...
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Old April 9th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #29
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Marcus, do you remember what your shutter speeds were for the shoot? I believe that you had the iris wide open. The HC1 is having trouble, adding more lights creates issues bleeding into background, and not much gain in image quality, etc., but I would think both your V1u and FX1 would have enough to pull it off.

I may consider upgrading my HC1 to a V1U. I need something small and professional looking. Currently only a dressed A1/HC1 and a V1u fit that ticket.

My goal of using these CFLs is less gear and small proximities. Otherwise, why bother, I'd just break out the big guns. I like the idea of everything in one rolling case.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #30
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"The HC1 is having trouble, adding more lights creates issues bleeding into background,"

Could you explain that? Bleeding into the background? Do you mean spill?

All cameras were set to 1/60 shutter.

My goal with fluorescent is to have equal look as tungsten kits, daylight compatibility, low temperature, and the reduced electrical draw that can allow shooting in locations with insufficient wiring and/or from batteries.

I favor somewhat soft lighting, so I would probably be using somewhat larger tungsten fixtures anyway (softboxes).
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