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

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Old October 5th, 2013, 08:09 AM   #31
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Re: Do you use lights?

Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
The newest LED I picked up (less than $15, once again, for a 100 LED unit) will dim so far as to almost do nothing, can crank up enough to light a small room rather well, and everything in between... 5-10% setting is probably enough and even the most sensitive eyes won't be bothered by it. Runs on the same battery as the Sony cameras, so less stuff to lug around...
100W at $15?! What light is this?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 12:21 PM   #32
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Re: Do you use lights?

100 LEDs, not W... but it's still quite bright! Definitely capable of blinding levels if you crank it!

It's a CN-LUX1000, they (CN brand) have numerous variations of small lights - I've got a couple that run off of AA or AAA batteries, the 1000 can use standard Sony camcorder batteries, either FM or FP/FH/FV series, whih I have plenty of for cameras! They also include an adapter for one Panasonic battery, not sure offhand which model, and a holder for AA batteries, along with a shoe adapter and three diffusers.

I was just informed that my order for a couple more was not coming because of stock issues (or I got 'em too cheep?). But I've seen another supplier selling 'em for around $20, still a bargain.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 01:50 PM   #33
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Re: Do you use lights?

For almost a decade, we never used any on - camera lights at the reception.

Then, one day, I thought I'd buy a Sony video light for my NX5. It was only $78, so I figured it was worth a shot. Now, after having done that, I can't believe I never got something like it sooner. The video footage, of course looks much much better.

In order to help with the super brightness, I went to the paper store and got some vellum paper and made a cheap diffuser, cut to size, and taped on with Painters Tape, so it doesn't leave any residue when taken off the light.

This is the one I got, and it's no longer made. I bought 2 more used one's on Ebay a couple weeks back just in case my main one fails.
Sony HVL-20DW2 20W Video Light HVL20DW2 B&H Photo Video
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Old October 5th, 2013, 09:55 PM   #34
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Re: Do you use lights?

That dual Halogen light has been a standard for a long time - had a couple myself, with a Sto-Fen style diffuser (don't remember which model, but it's the best way to tone down that light). Gives a very warm light, which is nice compared to LEDs, which can be a bit cool and potentially have an odd greenish spike.

The light weight, low heat, and low cost of the LED lights is hard to beat though. The cheap ones I mentioned have a purple diffuser (I presume to take out the green spike), and an orange one to give a warmer tone, giving you some options. And I much prefer the dimmable capability, which does seem to vary from one LED unit to another for some reason - some go "low", the 1000 goes VERY low. I want to use the minimum of light to give the camera something to work with without blinding the subject - being able to turn a dial to get that is handy!
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Old October 5th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #35
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Re: Do you use lights?

Hi Dave

I have found all my cameras can easily auto WB the cold LED light but having also used Halogens before the biggest asset is also the long battery life! My 6 x PowerLED unit will last an entire reception on a single Sony battery which is great! With my Halogens I used to have a battery fail right in the middle of the dancing and the poor footage also goes orange as the voltage drops!

On my Sony cams I open the aperture to max set shutter to 1/50th and then limit the camera's gain to around 18db and actually use the light via zebras to expose correctly so the dimmer is really a huge asset! It almost acts as a second iris for the camera. Prices are quite amazing too for what you get! I know they usually supply a "generic" camera battery to power the light but the entire light/fittings/battery often costs a lot less than a normal camera battery so it's a valuable asset and you can always turn it off or dim to zero when you don't need it!

The secret is not to try and light up the area like a football field but just highlight the subjects only so the background stays at the correct ambient level (at my weddings that's usually pretty dark!!)

Don also puts a piece of spun nylon (can't remember the correct name) over his lights which diffuses them even better than the built in ones!

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Old October 6th, 2013, 05:43 AM   #36
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Re: Do you use lights?

Amazon has a nice selection of the CN lights. I use the CN160 with the diffusion filter on it and over that I use a piece of Tough Spun to soften the light a bit more. I used to use a 2nd one on a stand with a single button remote but it got kicked around a few times and frankly it just wasn't worth the headache anymore.

Yeah the on camera light can give the deer in the headlights looks but honestly, I'd rather have that than cruddy, grainy footage without the light.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 05:50 AM   #37
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Re: Do you use lights?

I never use on camera lights but always carry lights & light stands & shot bags.

I always mention it to the bride. verbally and in writing and have never had a problem. I use the flash analogy as well " we need as much light as the photographer - he uses the flash with each picture he takes - we take 25 pictures each second - that's how much light we need.

I have light stands that reach 3m and use battery powered led lights - as long as they are up high, no one seems to notice but I still check with the bride to make sure it's okay. Don't use them every time but most times.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:36 AM   #38
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Re: Do you use lights?

I now have a PowerLED light unit on the camera.

I've owned two Amaran 198 LED units which are ridiculously bright and run on batteries (sold them recently). And have also recently purchased the 528 LED Kit from Amaran (2 units) with light stands and everything ... set me back nearly 280 but got rid of it for 150! (some one had a bargain). Why? well because I have simply never had the need to use them ... I always convince myself I will need them but I don't. And I have come to the realisation as a solo shooter I need to travel as light as possible! it's very important I do so.

I prefer the candid non-intrusive footage I capture without a light. People act more natural.

I know it's bad, but I just push the levels up in post production. It suffices with my customers. Brides and family just want to see clear faces and emotion in their videos.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 11:30 AM   #39
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Re: Do you use lights?

I really hate using lights but at a typical evening reception with an f2.8 on my Sony EA50 I'm getting 24db gain - I'm looking at a short, fast zoom from Tamron which will give me f1.8 and hopefully take that gain level down to something more acceptable.

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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #40
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Re: Do you use lights?

Unless you're trying to replicate a studio light setup, you really don't need BIG light arrays... all that is needed is a little "help" to give the camera something to work with if the lights are really low.

You can get LED lights that are both small and light, run on batteries, and will "do the trick" for most purposes, and they don't cost terribly much. Better to have a "fill" light at one's fingertips that you can adjust via dimmer than to try to push the camera into the depths of its operational capability.

Honestly, I found a sub $20, 56 LED unit with dimmer was plenty to have on a camera bracket or hold up in my other hand to add needed light at an outdoor reception. All the amateur shooters were able to get decent phone or cheapo videocam footage too <wink>.

I don't want to alter the ambience, I want to be able to give my cams just enough light to work with in maybe a 6-10 ft. radius, without blinding the subject. That will also give the photog an easier time as they don't need the annoying red focus assist illumination - a small LED light tends to make one a very popular person!
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