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

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Old November 19th, 2014, 01:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Circular light sources?

One thing that's been bugging me for a while -- the LEDs I use (and most of the cheaper LED lights available) are rectangular. Now, this means they often look dodgy when you see them in the background (during bridal waltz, for instance), and they can also look dodgy when you see them as catchlights in people's eyes (for interviews, say).

So -- would anyone have suggestions for circular lights? Something like a 1x1 panel, but round.

I don't want to go down the tungsten route; not for weddings anyway.

I've found a couple of candidates so far: Arri L7-C, or whatever the newer model is (expensive fresnel that tunes to any colour... there's also some other similar fresnels on B&H); Rotolight Anova (also pricey... apparently with a bit of a greenish tinge, and the subject of the F-stop Academy controversy last year); Adorama Flashpoint CL-1144R (less expensive, but a bit of an unknown).

Then there's the original Rotolight, which I have a number of, or ringlights that fit around the lens, but these aren't powerful enough to illuminate a dance floor. And I suppose there's also the possibility of some sort of lighting modifier (Chris Harding uses or used to use umbrellas I think) to transform rectangular to something more circular.

So... any suggestions?

Edit: found some more interesting lights on B&H. For instance:

Dot Line RPS Studio Variable Color CooLED 150C Light: Lighting PLFRESNEL1 LED Luminaire with 15-54 Fresnel (Black):

Last edited by Adrian Tan; November 19th, 2014 at 06:04 AM.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #2
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Re: Circular light sources?

You have to be pretty close to the subject with that light to have it appear as a square or rectangle. Any smallish light placed 10' or more from the subject will appear as a point source. Enlarging the apparent size (as with an umbrella, beauty dish, or octobox), will give you the look you want, but at the cost lumens. Then there is the whole issue of putting up a 32" umbrella or 3ft. octobox at an event where you're trying not to call attention to the craft.

If you really do want to go that route, look for a powerful light source, 700w tungsten equivalent or more. The Arri is a great light, but you'll need a beefy light stand, as well as a sand bag, and gaff tape. How much setup time do you have for a typical wedding reception? You'll need more than you think.

Unfortunately, in these live situations (weddings), you'll always be at the mercy of the room, ambient lighting, outlet availability and setup time.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 04:25 AM   #3
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Re: Circular light sources?

Sacrifice a few LEDs & just gaffer tape a cardboard mask with a circular cut-out to the front of the lamp.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 09:02 AM   #4
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Re: Circular light sources?

But use black coreplast instead of cardboard.

Feature film crews use coreplast all the time for "homemade" monitor shades and for boxing 1 x1 LED panels. They will also use a black plastic grid in front of the 1x1 LED to control spill, a plastic grid like the grid that comes with kino flo divas.

I'll take a photo of one the next time I am on set so that you have a visual explanation.
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Old March 21st, 2015, 08:36 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Re: Circular light sources?

Just wanted to add more information to this in case anyone ever Googles for this stuff...

The best circular sources I've found that are similar to a 1x1 panel are:

-- Flashpoint CL-1144R LED Circular Light from Adorama. Currently on sale for $350.
-- Genaray SpectroLED-14 and LED-9. Can get a ridiculously good value kit of three lights for $760 from B&H including such things as light stands with boom arms and car cigarette lighter adapter. Interesting article here on use in the field: LED Lights Keep HVAC "Cool Guy" TV Commercial Cool |
-- FotodioX Pro FlapJack LED Edge Light C-300R ($300 from B&H) and C-200R ($230). Seems to be a concept similar to the Rosco Litepads, but apparently has less of a greenish tinge and is brighter.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 03:22 PM   #6
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Re: Circular light sources?

One more: Rosco 12" Circle LitePad HO+ (Daylight) -- $480 from B&H
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