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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #1
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On Camera light during reception

So I am a "professional" videographer in a small market (basically I do everything that needs to be done) and am about to try my hand at wedding videography to make some spending money.

I am planning on buying a canon hv-20 and was curious about handling the low light situation of the reception. I figure I have to have it on during the critical parts of the reception, right? I will get the canon on camera light (VL-3 On-Camera 3 Watt Video Light maybe upgrade to a paglight c-6 kit if I do this enough)

Any advice out there for a newbie?
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Old September 5th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #2
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for receptions I have a simple rule of thumb. When indoors the light is on. I know some will say you don't need it, some will say it annoys the guests. To both I say phooey!!! ;-)

In the last 25 years I have only had a handful of people say the light is too bright and that was many many years ago when we had to use 100w sunguns. Today I use a 35W Anton Bauer with a softbox and honestly I haven't had any complaints. Of course you gotto know what the gear can do and at 35W it's only good for about 10 feet MAX anything past that and you might as well not use a light. Again, I've not had any complaints about the light even when I walk in to as close as 4 feet from the subject matter. People realize that the room is so dark that they can't see anyway and without the light I might as well be home watching TV. Here in my area the big thing is to turn the room lights down to just about off and even the photogs I wirk with pretty much all the time like the light. They can see to focus.
Frankly I think the 3 watt light would be a waste maybe not but IMO it is. Get a 20-30 or even a dimmable 50 and use some diffusion and dim it down. Now you'll be able to capture an image that you can work with.
Just my $.03 worth (adjusted for the cost of living)
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #3
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Just tell the DJ or venue manager to keep the house lights "up". You'd be surprised how often they listen.

The times they don't however 3 watts won't do much good. It all depends on how far away you'll be.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #4
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Hi guy's

I always have drama's when i ask the reception to turn the lights up there excuse is it sets the mood but even with my camera which is at 0.4lux i still carry my swit on-camera light which i plug directly into my camera fantastic.
If the lights are up in the reception while they are dancing i dont use it other than that you need a light. I know for my camera 35w is even over kill.
Can i just ask what camera are you guy's using i mean reason why i haven't opted for a smaller camera say like the Z1 is because i was always worried about how it copes in low light.

I would love to scrap the shoulder mount camera and go for handheld as long as it can perform close to my JVC or not
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:12 AM   #5
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First off in Chicago it's not the room managers call-it's the B&G who insist on keeping the lights down. The DJ has no say in it what so ever. I explain to the B&G in our meeting before the wedding that killing the lights is not a good idea but it's their wedding and they want the "romantic" look of a dark room. Not for me to say anything.
As for a 35W light being too much - I used to shoot with a JVC5000U w/ Canon 16X and the 35W barely got it done. I went back to Sony's and still will occassionally use 6db of gain for the receptions. Not at all noticable but just a small safety margin. Remember, if you're using an LCD to judge exposure by, don't! Use Zebras! A 35W light with a softbox knock the effectness down to about 30W and again that's only good for about 8 to 10 feet maybe.
Personally, I want the best image quality possible, I don't want stuff that's so dark you can't see a clear image or distinguish colors. I would rather have someone say something about a "bright light" than have the B&G call me after and complain how they can't see anything of their reception because it was too dark.
Use your best judgement but this is what I've been doing for 25 years and it works for me.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #6
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Just tell the DJ or venue manager to keep the house lights "up". You'd be surprised how often they listen.

The times they don't however 3 watts won't do much good. It all depends on how far away you'll be.
Ryan, do your self a favor, as soon as you get to the reception, address the lights being turned down. Find out who's in charge and explain to them that if the lights go down, the video will be dark. I've only had a couple of times they refused to listen to me. The last time the lights were turned off, I looked at the person and told them that if the bride and groom are unhappy with the video, I will blame the person who keeps turning off the lights..........3 minutes later, the lights were turned up to a reasonable point for my camera light.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:19 AM   #7
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for receptions .........Today I use a 35W Anton Bauer with a softbox and honestly I haven't had any complaints. Of course you gotto know what the gear can do and at 35W it's only good for about 10 feet MAX anything past that and you might as well not use a light. Don
Hey Don, do you have a link for your kit. I have a pag light 6, but I'm trying to decide if I want to diversify with a different kit, or get another pag light.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #8
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Steven,
I use the standard Anton Bauer UltraLight and throw a 35W bulb init (from home depot) and then cover it up with the AB softbox. I've used everything from a 20W bulb to a 75w bulb for news type stuff and found the 35w w/ softbox works best for receptions. Last weekend I did 2 weddings, great examples both. They were so dark the photogs (I know both really well) hung by my side all night waiting for me to turn on my light so they could see to focus. Talk about dark! BTW, I use the AB power tap and power off my camera battery-I use AB Dionic90s and yeah it sucks down the juice but generally 3 batteries will get me thru the entire day and night with a 4th in reserve. I even use the auto "ON" feature for the light (a switch on the camera-hit record it comes on hit record again it goes off)-that way no chance of forgetting to turn it on.
I know B&H has them, they're pretty standard in the industry.
Also you might look at the Frezzi dimmables. A 50W dimmable with a diffusion filter works great. I know a couple of guys that use them and love them.
Don
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Old September 6th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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There's no doubt about it, you need light to film by. And generally with video cameras the more light the better the image quality. I use the Sony's 20-DW2 10 +10 watt light with a Lumiquest soft box diffuser on the front. Again, no complaints, and always better than upping the gain.

But back to your original post Ryan. I'm just slightly concerned to hear you're attempting weddings on the diminutative single chip HV20. Fine camera that it is, it's not really 'manual' enough for the job I feel.

tom.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #10
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But back to your original post Ryan. I'm just slightly concerned to hear you're attempting weddings on the diminutative single chip HV20. Fine camera that it is, it's not really 'manual' enough for the job I feel.

tom.
Exactly the same thought I had. Plus, what about audio, back up camera, tripod, etc.?
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Old September 7th, 2007, 09:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ryan Szulczewski View Post
I will get the canon on camera light (VL-3 On-Camera 3 Watt Video Light maybe upgrade to a paglight c-6 kit if I do this enough)
3 watt on a hv20? Don't think so, maybe if you bought a Sony vx2100 but I'm sure the canon will not handle dark situations well on 3 watts of light.
To be honest, I think you would be better off buying a second hand, but bigger, camera in the range of pana dvx100 or sony vx2100, especially the sony might sell "cheap" since it's not produced anymore and it's not HD.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 02:20 PM   #12
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There's no doubt about it, you need light to film by. And generally with video cameras the more light the better the image quality. I use the Sony's 20-DW2 10 +10 watt light with a Lumiquest soft box diffuser on the front. Again, no complaints, and always better than upping the gain.

tom.
Tom
For how long can you keep the Sony-DW2 on? I am not talking battery-wise but hot-wise. Does it do any damage to leave it on long periods of time?

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Old September 7th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #13
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Tom
For how long can you keep the Sony-DW2 on? I am not talking battery-wise but hot-wise. Does it do any damage to leave it on long periods of time?
I'm not Tom but mine goes for at least 2 hours (with momentary off periods between some dances). It'll get pretty warm but an NP F-970 battery will die before there's anything to worry about.

I also use the Lumiquest soft box that attaches via permanent velcro strips. It's kind of oversized for the 10/20 light so you have to be careful not to cover up the ventilation holes when applying the adhesive strips.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #14
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I'm not Tom but mine goes for at least 2 hours (with momentary off periods between some dances). It'll get pretty warm but an NP F-970 battery will die before there's anything to worry about.

I also use the Lumiquest soft box that attaches via permanent velcro strips. It's kind of oversized for the 10/20 light so you have to be careful not to cover up the ventilation holes when applying the adhesive strips.
Rick

Thanks for the info. Why do you use the Lumiquest? Does it go in front of the light? Can you post some pictures?

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Old September 8th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #15
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Well I am tom.

And here's a shot of the Sony light with the Lumiquest diffuser attached:

http://www.fortvir.net/gallery2/tom-...X2000.jpg.html

Like Rick I'm perfectly happy to leave the lamp running as long as the NPF can take it. The diffuser doesn't obscure the ventillation holes, but what happens is the self-adhesive velcro strips begin to 'creep' as they heat up, and every couple of weddings I have to pull them off and realign them on the lamp body. No worries.

Rick - have you thought about this? My Lumiquest diffuser has a welded insert panel to give extra diffusion to the area of the lamp fillamants themselves - it's just as if this Mini Softbox was expressly made for the 20-DW2 lamp.

But the amount of light is reduced considerably by this 'double skin' of diffusing material, and I'm tempted to use a scalpel to remove the welded layer. Whaddayathink?

tom.
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