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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old April 28th, 2005, 06:11 PM   #1
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Light for PD150/PD170?

I am curious as to what brands of lights people are using for their Sony's hotshoe and what wattage works best. I still have an old Canon ES800 with a built in 3 watt light and I remember people screaming at me to turn it off it was so bright.

So now I see 3 watts, 5 watts, 10, 20....etc. etc. and I'm wondering what would be the best (at a decent price) to use for things like wedding receptions or darker venues that I may be recording in for my 170.

Let me know your thoughts. They are all appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old April 28th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #2
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If people thought a 3W was bright you might want to lay in a supply of sunglasses to sell or rent at the receptions ;-)

As for what I use, well lets see. If I 'm shooting my fullsize camera I use an Anton Bauer Ultralight 20W with a piece of Tough Spun to help soften it up-it's good for about 8 to 10 feet.
If I'm shooting the PD150s I use a Bescor 50W with a homemade softbox/diffuser that brings the level down to about 25W and softens up the beam very nicely. The throw on that at 25W is about 10-12 feet. At 50W which I have used on occassion because it was either pitch black in the room, ALL the lights off (no kidding-it happened twice last year) the only lighting was from the DJs colored lights-the throw at 50W is about 15-18 feet.

I've been using the Bescor for the last 4 years and only once did anyone complain-I told them to either turn up the room lights and/or sign off on the contract that they didn't want me to use a light so when they saw the footage they wouldn't complain to me.

A decent light is the Sony 10/20-but you'll need a couple of the big batteries to make it right.
Don
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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:21 AM   #3
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Thanks Don.

Your always a great mine for great information. Any chance you could tell me how you did the homemade softbox?
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Old April 29th, 2005, 07:34 AM   #4
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I went to a local hobby store, Hobby Lobby, and bought a couple of sheets of 8.5X11 material. One is a translucent white milk color and one was frosted plastic. I cut them to the proper size and sandwiched them together, the milk white plastic to the outside of the bulb as it is not heat proof, taped them together with some white duct tape, made some "wings" for it with the frosted material, placed velcro on the wings and the light and BAM! All set to go. I had enough material to make 4 of them as over a period of time the heat from the bulb will kind of warp the plastic but by using either 2 or 3 pieces sandwiched together I have adjustable lighting. Well sort of.

2 pieces make it about 35W and 3 pieces make it about 20W with only a very very slight color shift. It actually goes a bit warm.

Check out your local hobby places, see what they have and go from there. Just try to find and use a piece of heat resistant plactic as your inside layer.

BTW, it took about 30 minutes to make and cost about $5.00. I still use it today.

Don
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Old April 29th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #5
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That's good stuff Don. I gonna head over to my local Hobby Lobby this weekend!
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Old April 29th, 2005, 09:37 AM   #6
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I use the PAG light C6..
It comes with a large battery on a strap.. (but I stick it in a small Domke belt bag). This is supposed to last about 1.5 hours...

It's a 20W unit that I find fine with the FX1. Even in complete darkeness I only require 9db of gain.. so with a 170 you're laughing..
Cost in the UK about 175.

Cheers

Gareth
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:06 AM   #7
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It's really good to use the Sony HVL-20DW2 simply because it'll run both 10 watt lamps for well over an hour on a 960 battery. It locks down onto any conventional shoe and has no dangling wires or different battery packs to worry about. Small, compact, light, but not cheap.

I use it with a Lumiquest Mini Soft-box diffuser. It robs me of a good stop of light, but the effect is wonderful - soft, blurry shadowed even lighting that means I can use my powerful 0.5x converter with ease. Also the diffuser means no-one squints into the light. Perfect for my wedding shoots.

tom.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:41 AM   #8
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Tom -

Is that Lumiquest Mini Soft-box diffuser the LQ951D model ?

I just ordered the Sony 10/20 light and am a convinced diffused light is the way to go in most situations that need a few extra photons.

also am curious,will the softbox simply attach to the light with velcro ? clips? or a few dabs of super glue? <smile>
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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Beals
Tom -

Is that Lumiquest Mini Soft-box diffuser the LQ951D model ?
Ken, I have the same setup. Yes it is the LQ951D (got mine from B&H)

The Lumiquest comes with velcro that you use to attach it to the Sony light.

Pretty nice setup once you get used to the added weight of the light and battery.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #10
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Hi guys

Question : You are talking about the LQ951D on continious light or flash?

Thanks

Anthony
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Old May 29th, 2005, 02:11 AM   #11
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It's the 'Mini Softbox' (don't have the number to hand) and attaches via velcro. There's no 'flash' facility with the 20DW2 Anthony, it's either 10 watt or 2 10 watt lamps on. Use them both to soften the shadows even more - and you'll need both on anyway with the diffuser in place. The Soft Box gets a bit soft in the heat, but mine has survived many hours work, and folds up neat 'n' flat.

tom.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 04:04 PM   #12
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Tom, thanks man!

I never thought that i would find a soft box for my Sony 10/20. That is great, and yes i just found it on B&H FOR $18.00. I ve mention flash because it is for flash use. As long as it won't melt of my VX:) I ll try it this week. Happy man!

Thanks
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