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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 19th, 2003, 08:45 PM   #1
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On-Camera Lights At Receptions

Hello,
For those of you using VX/PDs at wedding receptions,
how many of you are using an on-camera light? What wattages
are working out well?
Thanks,
Dave
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Old August 19th, 2003, 09:02 PM   #2
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Absolutely use one. WHY???? I thought the PD150 could see in the dark. Yes, but at what cost to image quality?

Sorry, I'm old school. Just like 30 years ago shooting stills at a wedding using a flash, I could have not used it but at what cost to the quality?

I use a Bescor 50W with a homemade softbox/diffuser that brings it down to about 15 or 20W. A nice soft light that isn't offensive. I also have a very inexpensive SIMA 20W (Best Buy-$34.95) as a back up and that also has a homemade diffuser on it.

I'll even use the light outside on occassion to help light the eyes and bring out the detail of the brides dress. Of course then I take off the diffuser and use the full 50W.

I'm kinda passionate about using it only because anytime I didn't I got a call.
Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;-)
Don
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Old August 19th, 2003, 11:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Don,
Two things.
When you didn't use the light and you got a call (I'm assuming
from B&G), what did they say? That their vid didn't look as good
as your demo?
Second, do you use a battery belt to power the light?
Dave
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Old August 20th, 2003, 05:40 AM   #4
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The question was generally some thing like "Gee, the video is kinda dark isn't it?" The answer was something like "Yeah, but remember you turned the lights down so low that you needed a flashlight to walk around" It went on from there, so it was either light it up or have dark footage with grain. I prefer to light it up.

I have a power belt and a juice box for the Bescor, between the 2 the light can go about 4 to 41/2 hours. The belt is my primary power source, I rarely and I mean rarely ever have to use the juice box at a typical wedding.

The little SIMA, which I used in Hawaii for a 10 day gig and it worked great is 20W about 10W with the diffuser. It runs on a battery that is attached to the light. No umbilical cord :) BUT, the battery has to be on the light to be charged. It does however last about 2-21/2 hours. I now use it as a backup or when I'm too tired to strap on the power belt.
Don
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Old August 20th, 2003, 07:16 PM   #5
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I use a Bescor KLK-624, 6V, combination 20w/40W. Run it on 20 for the dance, takes the worry out of getting the shot.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 03:12 PM   #6
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Re: On-Camera Lights At Receptions

<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Largent : Hello,
For those of you using VX/PDs at wedding receptions,
how many of you are using an on-camera light? What wattages
are working out well?
Thanks,
Dave -->>>

I'd recommend against using a light unless absolutely neccesary. Most people can't stand to have a light pointed into their faces, and candid shots will be nearly impossible to capture.

That said, if you have to use a light, I recommend the Sony HVL-S3D Hotshoe light. It's only 3 watts, so it won't annoy people too much, it draws it's power from the camera, and weighs next to nothing.

I did use it at my last reception, but only to film the Bride and Grooms "getaway".... on a dark street.

For the rest of the reception I made do with the available light (mostly candles and christmas lights). The camera did well overall, but I did have to crank up the gain in those dark corners.

I'd also recommend making sure your white balance is adjusted correctly... it seemed to affect my exposure quite a bit.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #7
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I've been looking into getting that Sony HVL-S3D, just aren't too sure what the results are. Sounds like it's good, and the price ain't bad either, they got it for like $30-$40.
But, i think i read somewhere that the light since it's only 3 watts, isn't that useful and that you get that spotlight effect.
Any recommendations on what light to get?
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Old May 30th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #8
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Ray, the light to get - or certainly to consider - is the HVL-20DW2. You can run this off any NP-F battery (although the smaller 330 and 550 will only allow one of the lamps to light). You can have it in 10w or 20w mode and I find it really excellent - no dangling wires, good diffusion, runs for hours on a 960 battery and is compact, small and light. I tested it for a British magazine this year, and if you log into the VX2k yahoo groups at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vx2k/ and click on the files section, you can read all about it. Alternatively I could send you the text.

tom.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ray Echevers : I've been looking into getting that Sony HVL-S3D, just aren't too sure what the results are. Sounds like it's good, and the price ain't bad either, they got it for like $30-$40.
But, i think i read somewhere that the light since it's only 3 watts, isn't that useful and that you get that spotlight effect.
Any recommendations on what light to get? -->>>

The 3-watt is almost useless and it does not cast an even beam.

I use a NRG VariLight Pro if I need a light at all. Or a little Sun automatic 20-watter that has a wide setting that is fairly even.

Depending on the situation, I may put a softbox on the NRG but only when the rig is on my DSR-300. Very nice light to use when you want even and soft.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #10
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I tried regular light (w/o softbox), not good for "head on" shot, which gives deer-in-the-head look. On the other hand, the same light does pretty good for scene shoot, particularly if shooting at an angle (like 45-degree). 25watts bulb.

How do you guys hand-build your softbox? The Chimera one is about $150, frankly too much for very occasional use.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 06:37 PM   #11
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Bought mine at NAB a few years ago - Cimera is nice but NRG recommended the Photoflex Actiondome ENG That cost closer to $100. It does need the 100 watts to reach out and get a reasonable area. Very flattering though.

You could get sort of the same results by pointing the light straight up and using an angled piece of gaterboard to reflect the light forward. Like the still photogs use with their flashes. It would also illuminate a bit of the ceiling which would also help soften the shadows on the hair.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 12:29 AM   #12
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I use the Sony HVL-20DW2. In most weddings and even in some corporate shoots I'm told no light. Guests don't want lights on them and certainly aren't as candide. Some corporate shoots also find light an intrusion/disruption.

The above light is enough to not draw too much attention when needed in key moments. I bring a bunch of batteries and change them as needed. Much better than wearing a build for me.

I use FCP Color Correction if the shots need to be cheated up a bit and moved away from the green. Sony PD-170 is one GREAT camera in low light though!
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Old May 31st, 2004, 05:25 AM   #13
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I'm really happy with Paglight C6 kit.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 05:26 AM   #14
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I use the Sony 10/20 watt light with a Lumiquest softbox ($18 at B & H). This combination has worked well for me. The softbox is actually designed for a flash but it works with the Sony light. I've velcroed it to the four edges of the light and put it on during receptions when 10 watts is too bright, such as when people are dancing.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 07:41 AM   #15
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Great idea Dave and I've just been over to the Lumiquest website for a look. Can you tell me which of the models you use on your little light, and are you happy to use both of the 10w lamps on at the same time? My guess is it could get quite hot in there. The Mini Softbox looks as if it's designed for electronic flash, which is cold and quick.

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