A Good Light at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 12th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 26
A Good Light

First off, I have been viewing this forum for the past 9 months. I started with nothing and I have purchased a Gl2 and lots of other equipment based on opinions and reccomendations form the board! My original plan was to go into wedding vidoegraphy. I have been a DJ in the industry for 8 years and hate it! I just finished my degree in Radio/Television from a Sam Houston State.

I have recently found myself doing lots of Freelance ENG. I have some great equipment, but I have run into a problem. The Gl2 is fairly week in low light. I'm looking for a good flood style light to really pierce darkness. I have a 50watt Bescor Interview light with battery pack. It is a great light, but the light does not travel far (i.e. more than 8-10 ft). I need something that will light an area from 10-20ft. I have everything, just need a light, a good one!

Any suggestions?
Chris David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 286
I use both...

Frezzi Dimmer Mini-Fill On-Camera Light with a 50watt lamp housed in the frezzi softbox

and a NRG 56001 Varalux Professional Dimmable DC On-Camera Light with a 20watt lamp (no diffusion)

both work great with my Sony FX1's.

For weddings, I wouldn't go higher than 50watts (diffused) for an on camera light. I would suggest moving closer to your subject.
__________________
Matt Trubac
Matt Trubac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
frankly the only way to get more distance from your light is to get more power. Not battery (although you'll probably need that also) but a more powerful bulb.
I also have the Bescor 50W and change bulbs to different wattages to fit the job - I also do the same with my Anton Bauer light-I've used up to a 75W bulb in the Bescor-it throws about 15 feet. (maybe it's really only 12 I never measured)
What I'm getting at is most if not all on camera light really aren't going to be effective at more than about 10 feet. If you need more than that you'd better look at setting up a 250-300 watt lite off a battery for portability.
If I'm doing an interview with say the fire chief at that midnight fire then the 50 or 75W bulb is all I need because I'm close enough for the light to be effective.
If you're in a small room and it's painted white (glossy is best) with all of the reflective surfaces the light might appear to throw further but it really doesn't-it just had more surfaces to bounce off of.
For 99% of my weddings I use a 35W bulb in either light I'm using with a softbox and it's generally more than sufficent.

Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 26
THanks

Thanks for your replies!

My interview light works great.

Here is an example of when I need more light to help everyone better understand.

I pull up to a house on fire, firefighters are working in the front of the home. I'm in the front yard about 20 ft or so away. I need to get a good shot of this one firefighter working near the roof. Once I zoom a small bit in low light with the Gl2, the picture is very poor, still good, but not what I want.

I need something to flood that area, even if it does comprimise the deapth of the subject.
Chris David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern ireland
Posts: 57
Im not an expert in light, but what you need is indeed a portable 250 or 500 watt light. I have never come across a on camera light that can through light more than 10 or 12 feet. The largest on camera light I have come across is 100 watts.
Robert Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Well, you can get a sungun that will throw 650 watts. But really, in the situation you just mentioned, why not use your headlights?

A sungun is typically powered with an AC cord, so while it might be mounted 'on camera' or more probably on a grip next to it, you're going to be tied to a cord. You CAN get adapters and power cables to boost batteries for it. The Lowel OMNI light can be used in a pinch as a battery powered light, I forget what wattage it is, but it's a BIG light with a handle on the side. You can just go by one of those honker SPOTLIGHTS like a Q-Beam for that matter. Not an 'elegant' on camera light... but that's the sort of power you're asking for short of a truck and genny or LOOOOONG extension cords.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
The statement below is far from true. I own a Cool Lux light that I never use or rarely use for anything, but anyway....it will easily flood an area 20 feet away....and its not near 250 to 500 watts, I think it is 50 to 75 watts but I havent used it in so long I forgot.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Johnston
Im not an expert in light, but what you need is indeed a portable 250 or 500 watt light. I have never come across a on camera light that can through light more than 10 or 12 feet. The largest on camera light I have come across is 100 watts.
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Everytime I go to a fire which is very frequent I make sure I have my AB light with a 75W bulb and perhaps it will throw 20 feet. Again I've nevered measured, so maybe my numbers were a bit conservative. Regardless, having shot many many fire over the years I have found that more often than not I don't even use the light when shooting the guys working on the house, First there is generally enough light from the trucks and engines-many times they have the squad out with the light tower and trust me thats like being in the sun at high noon (no light needed then :-O) and sometimes even though they all know me you can't get closer than 50 or 100 feet so any light you use would be useless. 20 feet is really close and having done fires for a long time and with one of my sons a FF for over 8 years and doing a lot of their burndowns and real calls 20 feet and you're probably in the way. Regardless, with the GL2 being not so good in low light anyway get yourself a 75W bulb from the local hardware store and you should be in better shape than before-also if possible kick up the gain to 12 or 15-hey it's a fire-no one will probably notice a little grain in the footage.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
The statement below is far from true. I own a Cool Lux light that I never use or rarely use for anything, but anyway....it will easily flood an area 20 feet away....and its not near 250 to 500 watts, I think it is 50 to 75 watts but I havent used it in so long I forgot.
I have to agree with Joe. I also own Cool-Lux (2 of them - 12v. DC), and had to lamp them down from 35 watts to 10 for wedding use. Indeed, I also had to make a flip-up diffusion gel because they projected too hot a center beam for close up work.

However, regarding the fire work you do. I might be worth your while to visit the local Chief and training Captain regarding your work on site. If you provide them with footage, they will be more than willing to help you out. I met some years ago a firefighter with a fascination with video. His work and cooperation with fire captains ended up getting him a whole department (complete with helicopter camera) dedicated to providing footage to the Miami news organizations. Far as I know, he is still at it.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
Wald, I have a friend who started shooting fires and fire fighters just for fun, he also was shooting stills too. The next thing you know, he was giving the videos to the fire stationw which they ended up using them for traing purposes....plus they loved the stills for just haning around the fire house. In the end, the firestation ended up giving this friend of mine a "volunteer fire/videographer" credential which he often uses to shoot the brush fires we are plauged with here in california.....he is always ablt ot get to fires...up close to where the news stations can not because they do not hold the fire volunteer credential. He sells the footage to every network out here for the news and makes very good money from it. From all of that he now shoots often for various news networks as a stringer and he gets to shoot with kcal7 news hellicopter all the time....all this from shooting some fires for fun in the start.

Thought I would share the story.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
I have to agree with Joe. I also own Cool-Lux (2 of them - 12v. DC), and had to lamp them down from 35 watts to 10 for wedding use. Indeed, I also had to make a flip-up diffusion gel because they projected too hot a center beam for close up work.

However, regarding the fire work you do. I might be worth your while to visit the local Chief and training Captain regarding your work on site. If you provide them with footage, they will be more than willing to help you out. I met some years ago a firefighter with a fascination with video. His work and cooperation with fire captains ended up getting him a whole department (complete with helicopter camera) dedicated to providing footage to the Miami news organizations. Far as I know, he is still at it.
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern ireland
Posts: 57
Jeo and Waldemar are correct, and that the lights they are shooting with will do the job you want. Here is a link to there web site (http://cool-lux.com/Merchant2/mercha...ory_Code=MCOOL) And light that you might consider. it is 150 watts but there is other lesser wattage bulbs to. Thanks Jeo And Waldemear for enlighting me to new lighting systems.
Robert Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bloomington, IL
Posts: 636
Chris,

The best solution for the ENG work you're getting into is to sell the GL2 and pick up a used PD-150/170. Compared to the GL2 the Sonys can see in the dark and after the first evening/night shoot you go to you'll never look back. The canon is best in a controlled lighting environment or outdoors only in the daytime. In addition, the camera bodies are more durable on the sonys. Keep your on-camera light for the interviews you do.

Also, I have to say that using a powerful light could distract the firefighters/subject from their job and could possibly result in an injury because of that distraction. If your shooting news you need to document events as is, not as you want them to look. Be careful using anything more than a 100watt on-camera light while shooting. Working in a stressful situation you need full concentration, not bright lights on you watching.

Ben
Ben Lynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 496
A few things I want to comment on..

-I have two years of experience with the GL2's at weddings, and two years with the PD-170's. The 170's are almost perfectly engineered for low budget live events like weddings. They are the ideal choice for the wedding videographer. In short, they will make your job alot easier, and the quality alot better.

-I don’t shoot weddings anymore unless they are at a certain price point, I realized over time that I wasn’t getting paid for a lot of the hidden work that goes into a quality product.

-I love using off-axis lighting at weddings for interviews, on camera lights look horrible. I am lucky enough to have a 200/400w HMI PAR Joker Bug kit with a lens set and softboxes for location lighting ;-)( we use them for corporate work mostly). The bugs are ideal for location lighting, and I like having the extra power so I can stop the lens down a bit.

Last edited by John DeLuca; January 14th, 2007 at 04:35 PM.
John DeLuca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2007, 03:22 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lynn
Chris,

The best solution for the ENG work you're getting into is to sell the GL2 and pick up a used PD-150/170. Compared to the GL2 the Sonys can see in the dark and after the first evening/night shoot you go to you'll never look back. The canon is best in a controlled lighting environment or outdoors only in the daytime. In addition, the camera bodies are more durable on the sonys. Keep your on-camera light for the interviews you do.

Also, I have to say that using a powerful light could distract the firefighters/subject from their job and could possibly result in an injury because of that distraction. If your shooting news you need to document events as is, not as you want them to look. Be careful using anything more than a 100watt on-camera light while shooting. Working in a stressful situation you need full concentration, not bright lights on you watching.

Ben

I would definately agree here. Your success in capturing these shots will be better if you use a Sony PD170, or even VX2100. Great low light cams. Also critical is being as unobtrusive as possible, so I would want to minimize use of strong lighting.
Steve Wolla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 26
Thanks

Thank you all so much for your help! I have been told to get rid of the gl2 and get into a sony!

Now, the question is how! Money is tight, but I could afford to pay the difference if I sold my Gl2.

Any ideas, besides ebay, on picking up a low hour sony and selling my gl2?

Chris
Chris David is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:33 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network