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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old September 5th, 2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Lights?

What kind of on camera lights do you guys use? Now that I have a shoulder mount I may go back to my Anton/Bauer Arsenal.
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Old September 6th, 2013, 03:48 AM   #2
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Re: Lights?

Hi Randy

For camera lights I assume you are talking about on-camera lights ?? I just use a 6 PowerLED on the camera BUT only as a fill.
What I do it limit the camera to 21db gain so I know the image is clean and if the subject itself is under lit I just splash a tiny amount on fill on the couple ... Just using the dimmer on the light. Normally with constant F2.8 lenses it's mostly not required as the lens is already fast enough to get a decent picture.

At wedding receptions it's way better to get the venue to lift the house lights just a tad during speeches and you will find you won't even need a camera light ..With me it's mainly used during the first dance where the couple are almost in the dark!!

Chris
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Old September 6th, 2013, 03:55 AM   #3
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Re: Lights?

im using also on-camera as "fill", and sometimes, when almost dark (party moments on weddings for example) i use on a light stand (about 2.5-3m from the ground), to give a wide and smooth light on the environment.
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Old September 6th, 2013, 01:05 PM   #4
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Re: Lights?

Randy,

I do the same as Chris most of the time.

This guy is a DVINFO member, I am not sure if he is a sponsor but I think so?. He will fix you up with the right lights and personal service:

L.A. Color Pros | Professional Photo/Video Gear Shop

I bought the VL312 from him and I love it.

Steve
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Old September 6th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Re: Lights?

I use a light that is similar to the VL312 or the CN160 (Amazon among other places to get it). I run them both of Sony batteries but the 312 can be run of the D tap on my HM700 with V-lok batteries. I also have a Bescor 50W NiMH if I use it on a stand.
After some unscientific tests I found the CN160 to be 1 stop brighter than the 312 so that has become my light of choice however I also have an 8 bulb power LED light that is really got some guts and use that as a fill when outside. It has the power to reach about 8 feet when outdoors so it's kind of like the AB Ultralite with an 85W bulb in it.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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Re: Lights?

Since 1975 I've recorded well over a thousand weddings (before portable video, on 16mm and Super8mm film!). Beginning about 1988 I started using the Lowel ID-Light 100W Focus Flood Light as my on-camera light, with some slight diffusion material rigged on the barn doors, and only for receptions of course. The light was soft and beautiful in all cases, despite having to lug around a 12volt battery pack AND added weight to the camcorder.

About two years ago I started purchasing and using the lightweight LED units, everything from the $50 cheapos to the $400-500 units. The size, brightness and lightness of these lights are wonderful!!! I now own about six of these LED lights (unfortunately sold the Lowel light to one of my former university film students).

What I've been struggling with ever since the move to LED on camera light is the harshness of these LED units. The light they give off is hard and incredibly specular (read, silver umbrella versus white umbrella specularity). Nothing "soft" about them, despite using EVERY conceivable kind of diffusion material on them! Can't believe what they do to faces. Just not a flattering light in any way. Interestingly, the other wedding videographers I know don't seem to notice (or care) about what these harsh lights do to people's skin.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I've tried to soften-diffuse these LED lights to get them to the point of emulating the much softer light of my Lowel tungsten-halogen unit I used for over 15 years. Does anyone have any suggestions???

(also, I've noticed that on all my LED units, the bulbs rest in front of a SILVER plate, and I'm now thinking, hey, it's reflecting just like a silver umbrella. Wow, maybe this is it. You can't diffuse and make softer light that is bouncing back via a silver background material!. So this week I'm going to disassemble one of my LED lights and paint the silver plate FLAT WHITE. Perhaps this is the reason why these lights give off such an harsh ugly (for skin) light.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Re: Lights?

On all of my LEDs I use a piece of diffusion material. Personally I like Tough Spun but to each their own.
Yeah without something the LEDs can be a bit harsh but I found with a bit of diffusion it brings them down to a level I can live with.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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Re: Lights?

Hey Jon,

Don Bloom and I both "veterans" in the business. My VL312 on camera LED does not have a silver backing, it is white. I posted a link to it already in this thread.

Like Don, I use tough spun. Some of the purists scoff at it but it works for me. I have a roll of it so I will be using it for years to come.

Here is a link to a cheesy video I made about the VL312.

I just took the privacy setting off it for you but I will probably take it down in a few days. It does not represent my work. I was just playing around the first week I got my EA50. In fact the video was shot in HD and the background is SD stock I have ;) I am not crazy about making garbage public

And hey, I have a Coollux Tri-Light with the cigarette plug for the 12 Volt battery belt! The batteries wont charge any more but I still have it!

Steve
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Old September 7th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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Re: Lights?

Thanks Steven, but I already own six different LED units. I'm going to paint one of the silver back panels white and see what happens. Then I will probably purchase the unit you recommend.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 10:30 PM   #10
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Re: Lights?

About a year ago I decided to change from my usual CFL/umbrella setup on a stand for speeches and relace it with a 21 PowerLED panel that could also be battery powered for ease of setup and extreme portability. I used it at just one wedding and it went back on eBay! The light from LED's is really hard and cold to say the least and nothing could beat the soft reflected light from 4 x45W CFL's bouncing into an umbrella! I would love to have an on camera light using CFL's too but it's just not practical sadly.

I'm just using the diffuse filter on my light ...What exactly is "tough spun" guys??? Is it a plastic or what ? I don't seem to be able to find an equivalent over here

Even though I only use the on-cam light for fill I'd still like to diffuse it a lot more and make it a lot softer!

Chris
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Old September 8th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #11
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Re: Lights?

Chris,
Tough Spun is a woven material that is kind of stiff yet flexible that comes in sheets and I think it still comes in rolls. when I was doing still photo work way back when, using view cameras to do product work, I was using some 4K lights and we used it back then (early 70's) to soften the lighting. It does seem to have a slight warm ting to it but it's not really noticeable and frankly on an LED it seems to help tone the lighting down just enough. At least for my taste.
Anyway, it's not the cheapest stuff around BUT it last's and last's unless you cut it or rip it. You can't really just tear the material (well you can but you have to catch it just right) so a piece of 24X24 could last you a lifetime especially at our age! ;-)

I bought 2 sheets of 24X24 about 6 years ago and still have almost a full sheet left even after using it on all 6 of my lights and even messing up a couple of small pieces. Plus I GAVE a friend of mine a piece about 12X12 for his lights.

I Googled "diffusion material for photo lights" and came up with some stuff but I know down under it will probably be different. Try it my friend I bet you'll find something to soften those lights up a bit.

BTW, I place the material over the plastic diffusion lens that comes with the lights. I don't use the supposed 3200k filter because it's not even close. I use the clear diffusion with the Tough Spun. Works for me. :-)
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Last edited by Don Bloom; September 8th, 2013 at 08:48 AM. Reason: fotgot to add
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Old September 8th, 2013, 09:07 AM   #12
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Re: Lights?

Tough Spun is great stuff! I used it for many years when shooting 16mm. It comes in at least two grades and is not expensive, and yes, it lasts a very long time.

I've already tried it on my small LED units. Softens a bit, but not much. People's skin still looks too harsh for me. I thought it would make a difference, but it didn't do much. I'm still experimenting (on a mission).
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Old September 8th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #13
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Re: Lights?

Thanks Don

I can find it here but was looking for an alternative that would work almost as well. You can get it from the lighting guys on our East Coast but they only seem to have rolls available and I really don't want to dish out $149.00 for a roll of the stuff when I'm only going to use a tiny rectangle on the light.

I was contemplating getting a small rectangle of clear acrylic sheet and then getting to work on it with a very fine wet or dry abrasive paper ... you can achieve quite a nice smooth yet semi-opaque finish on any clear plastic this way. Might be worth a try?

Chris
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Old September 8th, 2013, 09:17 PM   #14
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Re: Lights?

You can buy sheets of tough spun, about $8 each. Just Google it.
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Old September 8th, 2013, 09:41 PM   #15
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Re: Lights?

Chris, go to a craft store and see what kind of stuff they have. I've got some frosted type plastic material in sheets that I've used before and IIRC it comes in varying degrees of frost.
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