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Duplex

Low light shooting with GX80 - tips etc?

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I'm going to be embarking on my first proper video project with my GX80 soon, which will be making short films of abandoned houses and other locations.

 

This is already my main subject photographically and I'm keen to use video to give a greater sense of the wonderful atmosphere I feel when I'm exploring these places.

 

This will mean shooting in less than ideal conditions as for obvious reasons these places are generally pretty poorly lit. This isn't an issue for stills photography, but I'm inexperienced when it comes to video in general and I'd love some advice and guidance on how to best tacklethe lower light areas im inevitability going to encounter.

 

I currently have a GX80, 12-35 2.8, and a generic (cheap copy!) Canon FD mount focal reducer with a 24mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.8. I have also ordered a 25mm 1.4 CCTV lens (more for fun than anything else). I also have a tripod, Velbon PH-368 head, and a cheap Neewer slider.

I will be using Davinci Resolve to edit although I'm still learning with regards to editing as well!

 

I know none of this is high end kit but it's all I've got and I really want to make the best of it! So does anyone have any tips, advice, guides etc? 

 

All responses are much appreciated :o)

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1 minute ago, Cary Knoop said:

Buy (or rent) some nice LED lights or use some reflectors if you have natural light coming through windows and doors and you should be fine!

 

I've seen some LED light sets, but I'm sort of out of budget at the moment, and the only ones I could realistically afford are the cheaper Chinese copies, and I'm not sure how much use (or how safe!) they would be.

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8 minutes ago, Duplex said:

I've seen some LED light sets, but I'm sort of out of budget at the moment, and the only ones I could realistically afford are the cheaper Chinese copies, and I'm not sure how much use (or how safe!) they would be.

Just buy a reflector for £10 ( or make one) and use small LED torches that have an option to change beam behaviour. These are a cheap way of learning how to create moods and set up lighting without breaking the bank.

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10 minutes ago, Duplex said:

I've seen some LED light sets, but I'm sort of out of budget at the moment, and the only ones I could realistically afford are the cheaper Chinese copies, and I'm not sure how much use (or how safe!) they would be.

Those are fine, LED technology has improved a lot with respect to CRI values. 

You need lights (or reflections of light) to have good results, even a million dollar camera looks bad with bad lighting.

 

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50 minutes ago, Cary Knoop said:

Those look great.

 

How successful could I be with a couple of reflectors and torches?

 

I guess it's all part of the learning curve!

4 minutes ago, DPC said:

Test everything beforehand. Fully exposed high ISOs are not as much of a problem as underexposed lower ones.

This is interesting!

 

This is the type of thing I need to learn!

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9 minutes ago, Duplex said:

How successful could I be with a couple of reflectors and torches?
 

Much more successful than without light! 

Play with it, it's a creative process.  Reflectors and/or LEDs (with or without gels) will make it look good.

 

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3 hours ago, Cary Knoop said:

Much more successful than without light! 

Play with it, it's a creative process.  Reflectors and/or LEDs (with or without gels) will make it look good.

 

I think I'll grab a couple of torches, clamps, stands and reflectors and see how I get on!

 

I'm assuming bouncing the light will be best?

 

There's a lot more to think about than with stills photography, but this is all part of the fun.

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34 minutes ago, Duplex said:

I'm assuming bouncing the light will be best?
 

Best is a mater of taste. 

Check the work from some photographers to get inspiration, people like Alexey Titarenko, Rut Blees Luxemburg and Fan Ho to name a few.

 

 

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Replace your canon fd 50 1.8 with a 1.4 version. Or for not that much more money you can buy a FL 55mm 1.2. (There's a really good review here http://www.vintagelensesforvideo.com/canon-fl-55mm/) I'd also recommend getting the FD 24mm f2, but that lens will cost you $2-300. There's is a vivitar version in the fd mount that is $100 cheaper which I'd recommend looking into. I haven't used that lens so I can't speak to its performance so please research before you buy. 

There's also, I think, a vivitar 28mm f1.8 which might also be worth looking into.  

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I suggest you start shooting your subject and then decide what extra lenses you need (I bet they will be wide angles - you will need at least some establishing shots). For interiors / architecture 25mm or 50mm lenses etc are only really going to be good for details. And I wouldn't get too hung up on moving from f 1.8 to f 1.4. that's only 2/3 of a stop difference and you'll only be able to take advantage of that if you don't need depth of field. If I had just one lens for MFT it would be the Tokina 11-16 + a Metabones Speedbooster.  

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On 06/12/2016 at 7:29 PM, DPC said:

I suggest you start shooting your subject and then decide what extra lenses you need (I bet they will be wide angles - you will need at least some establishing shots). For interiors / architecture 25mm or 50mm lenses etc are only really going to be good for details. And I wouldn't get too hung up on moving from f 1.8 to f 1.4. that's only 2/3 of a stop difference and you'll only be able to take advantage of that if you don't need depth of field. If I had just one lens for MFT it would be the Tokina 11-16 + a Metabones Speedbooster.  

I think I'm going to mainly use the 12-35 for establishing the location and then use the 50mm (with a normal adapter rather than the speedbooster) for any details.

 

As I've said it's all a huge (and fun) learning curve because it's so different from stills photography! 

 

 

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