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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:18 AM   #1
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LED reception lights causing banding?!?

We just got back from a wedding where every wall in reception hall was lit with coloured LED lights. We've shot many weddings with lights like these, and they've never been a problem. At this venue, however, the lights were causing terrible banding. (The banding looked a lot like you see if you use a video camera to record a television or computer monitor.) I found shooting at 1/30 helped, but the banding was still there and incredibly distracting.

VERY FRUSTRATED!!!

Has anyone encountered something like this before? What can be done to prevent it? If it matters, we're shooting with DSLRs (5Dmkii, 7D, GH1s).
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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:48 AM   #2
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Re: LED reception lights causing banding?!?

I would say if you had it on all three of those cams, the problem is with the lights, not the cameras. Maybe they are 50mhz lights and not 60mhz ???
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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:52 AM   #3
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Re: LED reception lights causing banding?!?

After some google searches, I've discovered that it's actually a rather common phenomenon with LED lights on dimmers. I guess when some lights are dimmed with poor dimmers they can cause terrible banding. That would also explain why we didn't encounter any problems when we took detail shots as staff set up the tables (the LED lights were on but not dimmed).

The next question is: does anyone have any suggestions for how to minimize banding in post? I've thought about vignettes and maybe some cropping. Any other ideas?

Thanks and I hope no one else runs into this!
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Old July 1st, 2011, 03:32 AM   #4
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Re: LED reception lights causing banding?!?

Had the same thing happen to me at the end of last year, the lighting was a cheap set-up in a marque. Fortunately though it was balanced with more stabalised lighting elsewhere so didnt drastically effect the overall look. I now take a couple of reception lights with me just in case, although Im not sure they would have helped in your instance.

Steve
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