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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 24th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #1
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Any experiences with the Cool Lux Mini-Cool AC/DC kit

Hi all,

I'm getting into wedding videos and I'm looking to purchase an on camera light for my DVX100. I've been looking at some Frezzi and Bescor models and recently found a good local deal on the Cool Lux Mini-Cool AC/DC kit. I've been trying to find reviews on this but have come up empty so far. Does anyone have any experience with it?

Here's a link to the kit:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=77813&is=REG
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Old February 24th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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Ryan,

I own that same cool lux kit.....and I NEVER use it, or rarely use it.....its too much light. WHat gear are you shooting with.....you do not need to use lights at weddings, even though you'll get tons of folks on here saying you do, it's not true in most cases and it is intrusive to the guests and bride/groom. I would recommend the frezzi over that cool lux kit for a light.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #3
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I agree with Joe, I hardly use a light, only in times of desperate need or if the bride and groom request it. Guest tend to hate them, but there are times where they are needed, but I wouldn't mess with anything more than 20w or your going to get some crappy reactions from everyone.

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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #4
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Eric/Joe,

I using a Panasoinc DVX100. I want to use the light only when needed, particulalry at the dimly lit receptions. I fear that it would be too dark to capture events like the first dance, games, speeches, etc.

Last edited by Ryan Reyes; February 24th, 2006 at 03:07 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:26 PM   #5
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Don;t get me wrong.....you should have a light no matter what as part of your gear for really bad situations with low light at receptions but i would rather sacrifice a less than "perfect" image for a more intimate shot.....when you don;t use a light, folks tend to not know when you are shooting so you are able to get intimate shots that you couldnt get while using a light....even if the light is diffused, but you will end up shooting with more gain, a slower shutter speed, etc to obtain a reasonable image without the use of a light. we use that look to our advantage as a stylized look for receptions thaht are low in light(most are). I have yet had to use a light with exception of the cake cutting a couple times.....when a couple is having their first dance.....how "intimate" can it be with a light lurking them....it can't. we have also never had a client want tht use of any lights...ever, and we let them know what the image will look like and they have always been cool with it.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Reyes
Hi all,

I'm getting into wedding videos and I'm looking to purchase an on camera light for my DVX100. I've been looking at some Frezzi and Bescor models and recently found a good local deal on the Cool Lux Mini-Cool AC/DC kit. I've been trying to find reviews on this but have come up empty so far. Does anyone have any experience with it?
ERIC says "I agree with Joe, I HARDLY use a light, only in times of desperate need or if the bride and groom request it. Guest tend to hate them, but there are times where they are needed, but I wouldn't mess with anything more than 20w or your going to get some crappy reactions from everyone."

Read between the lines, I always use lights whenever I would have to use the gain at more than 6 db for anything that would be looked closely by my clients. A 50w light with diffuser would give you less than 25w effective watts. For the first dance,garter, bouquet, cake etc. I use 3 650w lights I never in over 26 years had the B&G tell to turn them off.

Does the photographer use a flash or does he use available light?

You do what is best for you. I tell my customers "The demos they see were well lit. If you want bright colors and sharp images that is what it takes." It is their choice. If I have a B&G that doesn't want it, I'll just make them sign a release. I haven't had any, they usually can tell that you're trying to do what is best for them. They know it is easier for you not to have to buy and carry lights around, so you do it for them to have a better video. Guess are always going to complain about something.

Recently more B&G are considering video as a priority and putting more money into the video than photography (That is why with the coming of DVD I stopped doing photography to do only high end video)

I was talking to a potential customer yesterday and was going to referred her to a photographer and she told me that she wanted a simple photographer so she could afford a better video. She went ahead to tell me exactly what we tell them "With a good video you get better memories than with pictures"

I think I cover everything that my friend Joe & Eric are going to rebottle ;-D

It is just my opinion. Their is young guy in town doing a lot of the best weddings and he uses the Frezzi 50w with a softbox. Customer don't know what looks better it is up to you to educate them.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #7
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Hey all,

I hope I don't offend anyone with this post, but I just want to get things back on track.

I understand that you all have your different opinions on lights and when to use them. However, the ongoing "light vs no light" issue was not the intention of my original post. I made my decision before this post, that I do want to have an on-camera light so that whenever a situation comes up that I need it, I will have it ready.

So back to the discussion on the cool lux mini-cool kit, Joe, you said it's too strong? What exactly do you mean by that? It will be too strong for the guests at the wedding or too bright resulting in overexposed footage?

Douglas, after reading your post for the first time, I thought what does B&H photo have to do with this? ;)
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Old February 24th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #8
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Ryan....DONT EVER use ligts on stands at a reception. Thats a real mood killer! there's a recent thread regarding on cam lights.....the frezzi seems to be liked by many and you can sometimes find them on ebay..
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Old February 24th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Reyes
Hey all,

I hope I don't offend anyone with this post, but I just want to get things back on track.

I understand that you all have your different opinions on lights and when to use them. However, the ongoing "light vs no light" issue was not the intention of my original post. I made my decision before this post, that I do want to have an on-camera light so that whenever a situation comes up that I need it, I will have it ready.

So back to the discussion on the cool lux mini-cool kit, Joe, you said it's too strong? What exactly do you mean by that? It will be too strong for the guests at the wedding or too bright resulting in overexposed footage?

Douglas, after reading your post for the first time, I thought what does B&H photo have to do with this? ;)
I was looking for the spot that I wrote B&H and then realized what you were saying.
All of those lights are good, but a 50w light with a diffuser would give you about 8ft of coverage with gain at 0db with a newer model DV camera at a reception hall with high ceilings. It would give more light in a white low ceiling place do to the light bouncing off the walls and ceiling.

Frezzi is probably the Mercedes of lights but at a price.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #10
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I have used the same two mini-cools for close to 20 years. Only paid $70 or so for them in the late 80's. They've changed a little bit. Mine are, I think, 35 watt 12 vDC units. They put out a lot of concentrated light. Very good for subjects 15 or more feet away. To handle closer subjects I made a wire frame from a coat hanger and attached to it a small square of diffusion gel. Excellent results. The 12 or so lb. gel cell battery I have to carry on my belt is one complaint. My biggest complaint, however, is the support of Cool-Lux. Absolutely no response to any of my e-mails, and they don't list a phone number on their web site (at least they didn't last time I looked a few months ago).

The mini cool is a simply and solidly made product. Wiring is simple, therefore easy to replace if needed. It gets quite hot. The bracket that came with mine placed the light about 2 inches above the hot shoe,,,way too low. I made my own bracket and now have the light about 6 nches above the hot shoe. A significant imporvement.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Ryan....DONT EVER use ligts on stands at a reception. Thats a real mood killer! there's a recent thread regarding on cam lights.....the frezzi seems to be liked by many and you can sometimes find them on ebay..
Man, this is so wrong! I had written a response to this post but something happened, Couldn't find it after posting. If two similar posts appear, this is why.

The need for additional lighting equipment for wedding videography is clear. It is folly to not have the equipment; the decision of when and where to use the gear belongs to the videographer. I know of a very successful videographer who consitently uses two diffused 600 watt lights on stands at every reception she shoots, with no complaints and no "killing" of any moods. They are used for key events during the reception, like toasts and traditional dances. These are situations where the use of special lighting is both expected and appreciated. They are not used at other times, the choice for lighting being on camera units or none at all.

How one uses lights is important, and should be very carefully thought out. To deny the use of any device that can potentially benefit the quality of ones work is folly. Jo Allen needs to reconsider that statement.

Speaking for myself, while I have powerful lights on stands, I rarely use them during receptions. My reasons have more to to with cramped facilities, guest safety issues, the amount of time the venue allows for set-up and strike, and liability insurance. I've got a pretty good policy in this regard, but sometimes that is not enough for a vanue.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #12
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my statement stands.....now leave this thread for ryan's specific questions regarding the cool lux as he asked. we can always start a new thread about lights but the guys who use them will continue to anyway so i will never post again regarding that issue....do as you must.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
Man, this is so wrong! I had written a response to this post but something happened, Couldn't find it after posting. If two similar posts appear, this is why.

The need for additional lighting equipment for wedding videography is clear. It is folly to not have the equipment; the decision of when and where to use the gear belongs to the videographer. I know of a very successful videographer who consitently uses two diffused 600 watt lights on stands at every reception she shoots, with no complaints and no "killing" of any moods. They are used for key events during the reception, like toasts and traditional dances. These are situations where the use of special lighting is both expected and appreciated. They are not used at other times, the choice for lighting being on camera units or none at all.

How one uses lights is important, and should be very carefully thought out. To deny the use of any device that can potentially benefit the quality of ones work is folly. Jo Allen needs to reconsider that statement.

Speaking for myself, while I have powerful lights on stands, I rarely use them during receptions. My reasons have more to to with cramped facilities, guest safety issues, the amount of time the venue allows for set-up and strike, and liability insurance. I've got a pretty good policy in this regard, but sometimes that is not enough for a vanue.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #13
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I would recommend the Frezzi Mini Fill, it works great. We use sony's 10/20 watt light most of the time. Buy a new frezzi, considering they sell for 90% of a new one on eBay!

I would have to disagree that you don't need a light at the reception. Most receptions are in the dark and we use the Sony PD170's, which are great in low light but you STILL need light! A 10/20 watt light isn't intrusive, unless you are 3 feet away. Experiment and find what works best for you.

Good Luck,

Jon
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Old February 26th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #14
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I bring a Frezzi with a soft box. I use it when I am pointing my camera at objects not people.

I don't believe in pointing lights at people during weddings. To me it does not seem appropriate. I have over $5,000 in lighting equipment and use it often, just not on weddings. I can tell a better story with 5 seconds of candid footage than and hour of "deer in the headlights" footage. IMHO.

No doubt, there are clients that want pristine footage that requires lights. I am glad there are folks out there that like shooting that way, that means I don't have to. Oddly, I haven't lost a booking yet on that issue. Have you?

Mike
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Old February 27th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #15
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Hi Ryan -
This light might work better for you, it's also a Cool-lux but it's 35W dimmable plus comes with a softbox. :

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

This way you can control how much light you are putting out and won't blind anyone in the process. I have this light and absolutely love it!
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