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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 8th, 2009, 08:09 PM   #1
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On Camera Lighting

Hello,

I'm about to start doing wedding videography and all I'm missing is a good on-camera light when having to record the reception. I've been researching and I haven't found a truly convincing model. Unfortunately I'm on a tight budget and the most I can afford is the Litepanel MicroLite. But after reading some reviews about its poor performance in "throwing" the light to a reasonable distance, 5 Feet, I'm not too sure about it being worth it. Like I've read on other threads, I definitely don't want to be an annoyance to the guests with the light.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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Well you've seen pros and cons for all products and you've probably seen my thoughts on the LP Micro-but in a nut shell, I love it. It throws more than 5 feet but keep in mind that ANY on camera light with anything less than a 100watt bulb will only throw effectively about 8 to 12 feet and only 12 with a 100 w bulb. MY Micro is about the same throw as my Anton Bauer Ultra light with a 35 watt bulb an a softbox, about 8 t 10 feet. The Micro is 25watts and with the diffusion filter and 1/4CTO I run on it that's the throw I get. I shoot with a PD170, 1/60th shutter and f/1.6 iris with gain generally set to 0 but will and have gone to +12 on the gain with no ill effect. Again keep in mind any oncamera light has a limited throw.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #3
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I saw this article in EventDV a while back. It's a review of the Switronix TorchLED TL-50, which they loosely wrap as a "search for the perfect reception light." Seems like it might pertain to your situation!

Here's the link: EventDV.net: In the Field: Switronix TorchLED TL-50.

Hope that might help,
Glenn Fisher
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Old March 9th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response, it really helped a lot. I wasn't aware of the Switronix Torch LED TL-50 existence. And since Don pointed out the comparison between the Micro and the Anton Bauer Ultra Light, I have a bit more of faith in it now. I was a news photographer and I used the Ultra-Light...I enjoyed it a lot. But now that I have a clear perspective on their performance I can now worry on their practicality. The Torch LED with the rechargeable batteries and the Micro being able to run on AA or having the option to buy the plates to attach a compatible camera battery.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #5
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The TorchLED does indeed look good from that review, and comparing it with the ancient-but-able Sony 20DW2 is a good idea. I've just done a test of 3 LED on-camera lights ranging from the cheep to the dear (Mic Light to Pro-X to Swit S2000), and my conclusions are that the Sony still comes out tops. OK, it uses far more power and runs a lot hotter, but if it's light of the proper colour you're after - at a sensible price - the Sony still wins.

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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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Hey guys, I wondering if anyone has used the MicroBeam 128LED Ultra Bright Camera Mounted Light, I found a link to it on one of the other threads and wanted to know if anyone has compared it to the Litepanels Micro.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #7
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I just pulled the trigger and bought a microbeam earlier today. If anyone's interested, I will report on it when it gets here. I can't find ANYTHING about this thing other than some guy's very unscientific account of how bright it is, and the specs on the company's site.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #8
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I recently got a light from The Wireless Wedding Reception Video Light - HOME. That may be worth checking out.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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That's neat. I wanted something on cam. . .most receptions don't WANT lights set up anywhere, I thought?

I went with the 'beam for several reasons: price, dimmer, color correction filters (comes with several), brightness (best out of all the ones I seriously considered), and runs off camera batteries (not the actual cam battery, but that TYPE). So even if I sell my XL2 some day, I keep the batteries and can use this thing. While I have the cam, the batteries I have will also power the light.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:18 AM   #10
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TorchLed TL-50

I purchaced the TL-50 before the article in Event DV came out from a dealer in Alabama which was the colsest to FL. Cost $230 shipped. At our local video meeting we compared with my Sony 10/20, 2- SIMA LED lights and the Lite panel Micro. The TL-50 was brighter the all of them. I use it with Sony Z7U and FX1. Works great and so far I have not even used the battery to where the mid warning light has come on. Of course I turn it off when I'm not shooting. The light weighs nothing , a lot less then the Sony and Micro. I use the CTO filter that comes with it and I also made my own by inserting a 1/4 CTO filter into the frosted cover that comes with it.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Reynolds View Post
I also made my own by inserting a 1/4 CTO filter into the frosted cover that comes with it.
smart man! That's what I'm going to do... :)

I think the torch led will be my new on cam light and I'll get a couple of those microbeams for a "reception light" kind of setup and also for a quick and dirty lighting rig for run and gun interviews.. Seems like it might be bright enough to use in situations when you need to add a fill light for a subject standing in front of a window during the day.. might reduce the dynamic range needed just enough so you don't have to blow the window out completely...

We'll see...

Cheers,
Scott
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #12
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How do you mean "reception light setup"? Do you mean setting them up on stands and just trying to light the dance floor or whatever? Those microbeams, while allegedly pretty powerful, are still meant to be used pretty close (within 10 ft of subject). . .they're not like regular video/movie lights. There are probably cheaper/more powerful ways to light a general area.

If you're going to leave lights on and blast an area of the reception with 'em (if the wedding folks let you, that is), you could get a couple fresnels, lowell omnis/dps/prolights, even a few softboxes, for the same amount or less (photoflex makes a softbox, and totas can fit inside instead of the more expensive starlights or whatever they're called). Maybe bounce a hard powerful source off the ceiling to raise the ambient level in the room without blasting anyone directly. Any of these things can be put on dimmers to make them more acceptable to whoever's running things, and will be way more powerful than the microbeams.

PUt your stands in corners of the room, sandbag 'em, you should be fine.

If you're going to have bright spots of light (that's how the guests will see it) on all the time, might as well get the most bang for your buck.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:42 AM   #13
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I know a bunch of people who do that with just the sony LED light that costs $500.... and it's output isn't near what that microbeam should be.. also the microbeam is a consolidated more agile setup.. no external battery that weighs a ton...

Cheers,
Scott
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:48 AM   #14
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Just saying, if people in a generally dark area will be staring into a bright light, that light should be doing something to make itself worth the trouble, not just barely giving you an exposure.

I vote a couple of softboxes in the 1K wattage area for this type of setup. If you're allowed to do any of this, of course.

Also, I'm not real saavy with the more psychological aspects of video production, but I've HEARD that if you have lights on when people first enter the reception area, it's much less troubling to them than if starts dark and moody and then BAM you pop the lights on.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #15
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Soft boxes with 1Ks? Dude... not sure how they are in your market but a big ugly softbox is a tough sell to a bride in my market... I also don't have the desire to lug around a a full blown lighting kit... especially when the setup I suggested will work wonders compared to the majority of the reception footage I see. That torch led on real low will be great to fill in addition to the 'beams...

Also you said they are meant to be used at under 10 feet... they are apparently 85 lux at 9 feet... seems like they will work for a much greater distance than 10 feet...
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