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Old April 9th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
I favor somewhat soft lighting, so I would probably be using somewhat larger tungsten fixtures anyway (softboxes).
I think HD in general favors soft light. How often do you work with talent that has perfect skin? How often do you work with a room and background that has great details, etc. HD picks up all these imperfections so softlight helps balance that out.

Another thing on your comments about the 200w light. It's also a truth that the ballasts in these self-ballasted lights aren't as efficient as fixtures like the CL-455, and others that have separate ballasts. Those ballasts that are chosen with the criteria for all the things we appreciate in video production are hard to rival for quality, efficiency, etc. The spec known as "power factor" in any ballast tells the real story. You want as high a number approaching 1 as possible -- where 1 is perfect. It describes how much of the theoretical output you really reach when operating. Our ballasts are somewhere in the range of .95 to .98. The ballast on the typical 200w light is more in the .8 range so it's wattage output is not as efficient as one of the CL-455 ballasts. You just can't fit that sophisticated of circuitry in such a small package as that required by these self-ballasted lights.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #32
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update

I did some further testing with the HC1, and have better results with a classic three light setup (key, fill and back or edge). I did this over my lunch break, so if you see gear in the scene, etc. I wasn't too concerned. My only goal: to get a clean, noise-free image with minimal lighting.

The trick? Well, as Marcus indicated, just add more light. Only, I went over-board initially. Too much. Taking a redo, I only needed one extra 23watt CLF to the key, thus using two 23watt CFLs to equal a single 200watt tungsten output (Duh! Don't know what I was thinking, or not). Anyway, that did the trick, I was able to use F2, and 0dB for a noise free image that would pass muster.

Here's a link to my flickr site, and the slide slow for 1/60sec shutter:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/4537894...60424743/show/

and for 1/30sec shutter:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/4537894...60585748/show/
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Old April 10th, 2007, 02:30 AM   #33
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Peter, I agree that your current rig does the job. Personally, I would want more light so that a bit of zooming would be possible. It looks like the amount of light you have is just on the edge of workability for the HC1. The shots that looked good were 1/60 f1.8 6db and 1/30 f1.8 and 0db. Without increasing gain to an unacceptable level, there is almost no leeway in this setup. I might switch to 30-40W bulbs/lamps. Regardless, it does work and it cheap and portable. What is that? A 3-point setup for $50? Really, the only thing I noticed was that the backlight was a bit low and hitting mostly the neck area instead of coming down and hitting the hair and shoulders. I'm thinking you may not be using a light stand and can't get high enough. Get one more 8-ft. stand and you have a nice portable setup that gets the job done for a ridiculously small amount of money and space. A bungee cord or two will strap the stands to your rolling cart.

This is clear proof that CFL works and can be made into a portable kit. It's the brains that count, not the cost of the equipment.

Richard, I'm sure you are right about the 200W lamp. I'm thinking I might just take off the diffusion the next time I use it and want more light. The source is so spread out that it's not really that harsh without. I think one factor in favor of keeping the 200W softbox is that it looks more professional than my other lights.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 02:46 AM   #34
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Peter, I think I might know why you feel more light is too much in your setup. You may be running into effects from the inverse square law. Your light may be so close that the side of the talent's face that is closest to the key is getting much more light than the other side. Think of it this way:

Assume you are doing a profile shot of someone and their nose is pointing toward the key light. The tip of their nose is closer to the light than their ears by about 6 inches. If the key light is very close, the nose could be getting twice as much light as the ears from the same light. This will cause a highlight on the nose and the ears to underexpose. Of course, this is not a normal situation, but your real scenario may have the light so close that you are getting highlights on the keylit side of the face too soon. Pull the light a bit farther back and you will get more even exposure across the face. Of course, this requires more light and these open fixtures may spill even more, but you get the idea.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 04:22 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
P
Richard, I'm sure you are right about the 200W lamp. I'm thinking I might just take off the diffusion the next time I use it and want more light. The source is so spread out that it's not really that harsh without. I think one factor in favor of keeping the 200W softbox is that it looks more professional than my other lights.
It does look pro. Walk in a room with that 8U bulb and people notice it. ;-)
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Old April 10th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #36
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Hey Marcus, I realize I could have used more light and the placed the stands farther away, etc. The backlight was just set on the table as I did this over my lunch break and only had about 15minutes. But that was the challenge, how quickly and cheaply could it be done, and with as little room as possible? (Do understand that I have about five-grand invested in both photo and video light kits, gels, etc. I could easily just spend the usual half-day in perfecting the set).

I'm aware of the back light, I just set it on the table as I was impressed with that particular clamp that would double as a stand. I could have also moved the key around another 15 degrees, and up a foot to address the neck shadow, and place the nose shadow directly downwards.

I also dealt with the 'discomfort' of direct light, as looking down the nose of those CFLs can be distracting in close quarters. So using a simple Y adaptor, I was able to angle the CFLs to prevent direct lighting and rely more on reflected lighting from the housing.

There are folks here whom are just starting out, and I, like you, wish to convey that it's not about going into debt trying to get 'the kit' in order to do the job. It's about the application and thinking things through. Being a problem solver, starting with the basics and working from there. There really is no magic to this, just lots of practice and patience. So yeah, $50 bucks might have been a stretch, and maybe a $100 for a few more lights would be a better start.

I highly recommend those starting out to check out Nino Gianotti's website epflighting.com. That will give you the visuals needed to get started. What I've done here is apply similiar techniques with $50 of Home Depot goodness. So, no more excuses.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 09:32 AM   #37
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It does look pro. Walk in a room with that 8U bulb and people notice it. ;-)
I think these lights alone will earn some points. It's just that presentation is part of the game. Many folks in the profession are familiar with the hoods, and their absence may raise questions. Give it some time, folks will adopt.

BTW, Andrew I'm interested in learning more about these new high output LEDs. They speak compact to me. Any pictures?
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Old April 13th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #38
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How about a fluorescent spiral in a worklight fixture with barndoors attached. Looks confusingly like a video light almost doesn't it. LOL...

On the 60w LED I'll post pictures soon of the LED and the fixture I've chosen for it too.
Attached Thumbnails
Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-halogenconversionlavenderbkgd.jpg  
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Last edited by Richard Andrewski; April 13th, 2007 at 06:18 AM. Reason: add a picture
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Old April 13th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #39
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Update. I just shot an outside situation where senior management of a mall was demonstrating (to corporate) how traffic was being controlled during their huge construction projects. Anyhow, the sun was at an unflattering position, could not use reflectors. I used one of my cfl spiral boxes on half power and run off an inverter in my car. Voila! no harsh shadows.
The CFL's are very viable and useful.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 07:51 PM   #40
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That's great. The normal expectation is that you need an HMI to do that kind of work outside.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #41
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Gary, is this what you're using?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ayphotohosting
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Old April 13th, 2007, 09:53 PM   #42
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Just finished adding barndoors to my clamps

Note the ACDelco neck attachment is by bolt, not by friction knuckle...I've gone through 10 of the knuckle based lights, but still use the same 5 ACDelcos! Paint is high heat paint for grill interiors. Bulbs are CFL GE Softwhite bulbs. They have wattage equivs up to 250 tungsten watts.
Attached Thumbnails
Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-1.jpg   Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-2.jpg  

Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-3.jpg   Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-4.jpg  

Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-5.jpg   Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-6.jpg  

Shooting with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).-barndoors-7.jpg  
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Old April 13th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #43
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Wow, good job. Just like the one I did ;-). So your bulbs are drawing 60 actual watts? That's a pretty big one. Didn't know there were GE ones that big yet.

Looks like you decided to use all rivets. I'll be interested to hear how that goes. I found that with the thin aluminum fixtures, its better to attach the hinges to the worklight with machine screws, nuts and lock washers. More secure. Also, looks like you decided not to add the compression spring and wing nut to one side of each hinge. Sometimes I found that the rivets (after much movement of the barndoors) become too loose and the upper and lower barndoors (which are subject to gravity more don't stay in place as well). Hence the reason for adding a machine screw, compression spring and lock washer on one side of the hinge and rivet on the other. Allows tightening up the movement should it get too loose.

If you have time, could you post those pictures in my forum under the user articles DIY section? See link below:

http://www.coollights.biz/forum/index.php?board=6.0
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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:18 AM   #44
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Yes Mark that's it. I put 5 100watt daylight (5500k) in one circuit and 4 100watt 3500k in the other circuit.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 08:52 AM   #45
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I don't have the screws because the hardware store was closed when I decided I wanted the screws...they're open now and pop rivets are both cheap and easy to remove...after one night, I've already got some play in one of my hinges, so I'm switching it over.
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