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Which LED lights ?

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#21
zaz

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

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The torchLED works great on stands. It comes with a ball head with hotshoe and 1/4 20. B&h sells one that also comes with a high capacity battery and charger for free. From what you said earlier, I gathered this would be a good tool for you - just a little something extra to add some fill, a background light, or hair light... It is also very small and can fit in your bag with little fuss.

You should be thinking of this light as something to either augment existing light, or be aided by it.
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#22
KirkGaydon

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:44 PM

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Which would would be more powerful, and essential for a video shoot? Do the Z96 lights compare to the LED torch bolt?

 

They are virtually identical IMO, both dim, both support 5600k and 3200k (with tungsten filter on the Z96), both powered by a Sony F970, batteries or mains adapter, , Oh wait, I can get four F&V Z96 lights for the price of one Switronix LED Bolt? No brainer for me!



#23
Sean Cunningham

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

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They are virtually identical IMO, both dim, both support 5600k and 3200k (with tungsten filter on the Z96), both powered by a Sony F970, batteries or mains adapter, , Oh wait, I can get four F&V Z96 lights for the price of one Switronix LED Bolt? No brainer for me!

 

Looks like with a bank of 4 Z96 you have ~3200LUX where the Switronix is ~2000LUX.  I do love the scaleability of these.  Seems like, with just a little engineering for some kind of support frame, there's no reason you couldn't keep clicking on additional units passed a 2x2 matrix.



#24
craigbuckley

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:02 AM

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The Z96 are way cheaper. I am going to get a bunch of those but wanted to see if there was anyone on the other side saying LED bolt would be the way to go (consider the price).

 

Also, if I couldn't use a set of the Z96's or LED bolt lights as my main lighting source, what could I use? What kind of light would I buy as my main lighting source? Other forums recommended these

 

http://www.bhphotovi...i_Boom_Kit.html

 

Would this be better than those LED's?



#25
OzNimbus

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:46 AM

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Those fresnels are cheap and available for a reason.  Their time has passed.

 

The look is old fashioned.  They're inefficient.  They melt your talent and turn your set into an oven.  Blast them into some diffusion outside a window maybe or to throw light down a long corridor, or possibly for supplemental light outside.  Unless you're just trying to be ironic using that stuff with contemporary camera gear.  

 

With respect, sir:  It might be "old fashioned" but it's a look that I'm in love with.   In my experience, they're no hotter than the cheap Chinese redheads I used to work with.  , Those would fail several times during a shoot... from bulbs constantly blowing to ceramic insulators cracking, to smoking parts, what a pain!  After messing around with those & cheap worklights, the Fresnels are a nice step up.   ....and they're reliable.  

 

FWIW, I shoot a lot of music videos & the bands I work with jump around a lot anyway... the heat's pretty much a non-issue.  But yeah, if you're doing feature work, something cooler might be the way to go.

 

 

Here's a quick pic off my cell phone (didn't have time for a proper still) from a shoot I did last week.  Used an Arri 1k, Mole Baby Baby 1k for key & fill lights (with fairly heavy diffusion), back lights are Pepper 650w on the left and Mole 407 750w on the right.   It's Februrary in Canada, so after we finished shooting, we just put the lights out the front door to cool off before packing them back in the car! :)

Look closely, you'll see my GH2 loaded up with a Nikkor 35 & Bolex anamorphic :) and yes, this might just be the nerdiest heavy metal video in history.

792353_10151490339646081_687508746_o.jpg



#26
Sean Cunningham

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:34 AM

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Hard light.  Looks like what it is.  Especially if you're running them without heavy diffusion in front so it doesn't look like you're shooting an early color talky or classic television show.  Unless you spend a great deal of time and effort and real estate to make it look like something other than what it is...nope, not interested.  

 

Pretty ridiculous saying they don't get any hotter than other kinds of lights though.  

 

 

edit: I'm reminded of an old rommate of mine.  The man should have been born in the 40s.  He ended up going out and buying a bunch of these lights which ended up taking up a fairly good chunk of his 1940s bachelor apartment later on.  He then, after scouring the Hollywood camera shops found a blimped Mitchell that was once used by one of David Lean's cinematographers and bought that big bitch too.  It's neat and all, these museum pieces but what he's not doing is actually going out and shooting something on a whim, or to learn, or experiment with because he needs an old Hollywood grip team to mess with it.

 

There's no way he could go out and shoot on the weekends because asking other for help, with that sort of equipment, it's like asking folks to help you move...every weekend.



#27
OzNimbus

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:48 AM

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Question : are arri fresnel lights still not widely used?

#28
zaz

Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:11 AM

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personally i went with the TorchLED because 1, it outputs a lot of light for one small slot in my bag, and 2, as far as i had heard it is more reliable than the F&V's. I also liked the ability to blend the color temp of the light - a feature i have ended up using the hell out of.



#29
Sean Cunningham

Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:57 AM

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Question : are arri fresnel lights still not widely used?

 

 

I'm sure they are.  And, I'm sorry for giving you a hard time about it.  They are high quality lights.   I'm seriously sensitive to heat though, truth be told, that's where a lot of my bias comes from.  Location interiors you gotta turn off the AC and we tend to be making stuff in Texas, in the Summer.   

 

Some DPs are traditionalists and likely think something like Kinos are the Devil's lightsource.  

 

They're certainly still on the grip trucks that go out.  My producer was so frustrated with me because I wouldn't let the guys get any of them off the truck we were paying for to bring into the house.  "Couldn't you just use one?"  I think he said to me once, hah-hah.  Then, the one day of the shoot we did nighttime exteriors we didn't bring the truck to the house and only had the Kinos and the bat-strips I'd built so, there was my karma.



#30
Sean Cunningham

Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:52 AM

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FYI, most of Zero Dark Thirty was shot with six banks of Creamsource LED lights.  Based on the comments in AC Mag about the lighting of this film they were likely using the "doppio" or "bender" version since they compared it to a 1.2K.  These guys, however, aren't just using readily available, standard LEDs.  They're actually using different shaped sources, for either flood or spot usage.  These suckers look rather expensive.

 



#31
craigbuckley

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

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Yeah I can't seem to find any prices on those, but I bet they are out of my range...

 

If you had under $500 to spend on lights for a shoot coming up, what would you get? Would you just wait until you can afford something more expensive? Or would some of these LED light kits work well for a shoot?

 

FLOlight LED's have been highly recommend, would something like these be ok? They are out of my budget for now but I could save up. I am going for a "cinematic" look so far with my old canon lenses that I use, so I don't want my light to throw off that look.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item4d0991bbf8



#32
jgharding

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

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I have some cheap 600LED panels. I've run them alongside hired (really expensive) lite-panels and there's not much difference for most purposes. Both look alright on most cameras. Put them up in front of an Alexa and it shows them up as green/magenta spikey.

Anything else I just hire per job to be honest, unless you want to get something you KNOW you'll use on every shoot, lighting requirements vary massively per job, so I personally don't blow cash on Kinos/HMIs etc, which can be hired cheaply if you live in a city. A couple of hundred for some LED panels is a great fallback though. You can also use them to light your house ;)

Tungsten incandescent still looks nice on screen, but I've not used it for ages as I get sick of the sweating.
 


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#33
craigbuckley

Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:03 PM

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Could you show me the LED that you use or that you recommend?



#34
Axel

Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:54 AM

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I think there are more basic questions to consider when discussing light(s). What is the purpose of it all? To pump enough light into the room? This is the one obvious. But unless you are a news reporter, you might want more. 

 

You want to control the appearence, the mood. With modern equipment, it's not too hard to get sufficient light for correct exposure from existing sources. And if you don't get it from the source light, you have to decide whether you want to *add* more light or exclude the natural/existing light(s) completely and lighten everything with special lamps.

 

Old textbooks on filmmaking let the latter option look like the more sophisticated one. Since almost fifty years though, the concept of controlling (or mimicking) existing sources has become an alternative to a dogmatic view on film light.

 

Simply put: The more you want to use artificial light in the sense of a 'dodge tool' (*don't forget the relatively new possibilities to 're-light' an image through color grading) or 'fill light', bounce shadows a.s.f., the less you need to look for a big variety of specialized lamps (floods, spots with different power). 

 

The thing is, that once you start to plan the lighting with external lamps exclusively, you are condemned to follow this path consequently. The physics of light say, that greater distances (bigger sets) need high power lamps, and you end up sitting in midst of a hot film studio, where every mood and atmosphere needs to be created from scratch.

 

Old hands detest LED lights, for a variety of reasons. They may not be appropriate for every situation. For a very soft light, you can use china balls (cheap, make experiments), for the odd spot you can literally buy or borrow a disco or theater spotlight. Scale everything down to your (comparatively) fantastic low-light capabilities of your modern camera.


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#35
jgharding

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

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If you have a look at my (currently half finished) web page http://www.jgharding.com only one of the example shots on the front page used anything other than found light, either natural or on set already. What's said above about camera is true, with a modern camera, a bit of Neat Video etc, you can sometimes make a great look by herding the light that's already there with reflectors and moving talent and other such things.

 

That one light in one of the shots (which shot would you say it was?) was a 600LED panel, that you can buy from eBay. However, when I shot a band in a huge theater I used an Arrisun HMI, two 575W HMIs and two Kino Divas. Beautiful lights, though expensive, heavy and power hungry. You can see the money on screen though. Then last week I shot a talking head with one cheapo ebay LED and two LitePanels. It's all horses for courses.

 

If you want some cheap and versatile panels, just eBay search for 600 LED.

 

 

I used two in this video, as well as some high powered flickery LEDs that were used to create the desync strobing effect.

 

N.B. General audiences think the strobing is cool, camera people always assume it's a mistake. What an anal bunch ;)


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#36
craigbuckley

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:12 AM

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 cool so I am going to look into some 600 LED's...

 

But as far as the other point, Axel can you recommend any good readings or video for this mattter? i don't know much about color grading (is it the same as color correcting?) and I would love to learn how to use reflectors and such, but every shoot I have in this one studio comes out dark.. so let me know what you think I should read up on to educate myself on "lighting without lights."



#37
Sean Cunningham

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:57 AM

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Check out Shian Storm's sight for his new color grading tools, ColorGHear.  He has loads of helpful video tutorials on the site for everything from lighting to grading, some of them free without purchase of the CG toolkit.

 

http://www.colorghear.com/


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#38
Axel

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:29 AM

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 cool so I am going to look into some 600 LED's...

 

But as far as the other point, Axel can you recommend any good readings or video for this mattter? i don't know much about color grading (is it the same as color correcting?) and I would love to learn how to use reflectors and such, but every shoot I have in this one studio comes out dark.. so let me know what you think I should read up on to educate myself on "lighting without lights."

 

I didn't mean to promote a fix it in post philosophy. But I had been working in a specialized photo lab long enough (and long ago) to know, that analog photos used to be enhanced as well and to a degree (masks, dodge, burn, color filters, almost the whole photoshop palette) only few seem to be aware of nowadays.

 

 

What software have you got? A lot of things can be done without a dedicated color grading software, but of course with one your life will be easier. Find one, then watch tutorials for it.

 

'Chief lighting cameramen' as well as digital colorists sometimes describe the core of their work as 'painting with light'. It's useful to arrange everything before shooting in such a way that motif and background are composed and lit to form a perfect image. If what you aim your camera at looks good already, the only thing you need to know is, how the camera reads light in a different way than your naked eye. Easy as it sounds, it obviously divides the boys from the men.

 

So *just* train yourself to see, where in the frame you need to add or take away brightness, reduce or accentuate shadows asf. Paint with light.


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#39
jgharding

Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

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I find digital relighting is the one thing Looks is good for. Try and use it to create your actual main colour grade and it tends to end up plastic and obviously very "Looks"! Its Spot Exposure, Gradient Exposure and vignette tools, and well as Auto Shoulder are particularly useful for reshaping light.

 

Lean towards subtlety though, or things get cartoony very quickly.

 

Or try out DaVinci for main grade then send to After Effects for finishing with other bits and bobs.


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#40
craigbuckley

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:29 PM

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I have after effects and final cut pro x, so I'm sure I can figure something out. But I like your idea of painting with light. Thats why I figure I need more lights (or paint) to use. If the room is dark, there is only so much I can do. Its definitely more dark in my camera than it is with my naked eye, even with an aperture of 1.4..

 

Would getting one LED 600 light be stupid ? I really just need it for small indoor shoots  of bands (for now). The room I always shoot in is not well lit.






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