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Author Topic: Need help with video lighting!!!  (Read 7884 times)

dirtcastle

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Need help with video lighting!!!
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:25:05 PM »
What should I get?

I will be shooting a variety of indoor and outdoor. I want to have a variety of lighting options for different situations.

It would seem like I could save money with CF bulbs from Home Depot. But last time I went, I couldn't figure out what to buy. What brand and color temp of bulbs is good? I'm looking for good prices, over quality (unless it's worth it to spend a little more).

What about modifiers? A friend of mine was telling me "china balls" are good modifiers. Where might I get something like that in Los Angeles?

I have a softbox... what's the best way to rig up a bulb in that?

What about spotlights or big fill lights?

Your help is greatly appreciated!!!

EDIT:

I have refined my question...

If you were just starting out with video and needed an inexpensive lighting kit for indoor shooting... what would it be?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 04:33:14 AM by dirtcastle »

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Need help with video lighting!!!
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:25:05 PM »

sanj

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 12:56:10 AM »
I am a working DOP and wish I could help. But your question is too loaded.

dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 01:28:42 AM »
I am a working DOP and wish I could help. But your question is too loaded.

Glad to hear you are a working DOP.

Maybe you could muster the energy to pick one of the sentences I wrote and give a half-assed response? ;-)

Drizzt321

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 01:33:14 AM »
First, are you being paid? If you are going to be shooting for paid stuff, roll the cost of renting any lighting that you need for that particular shoot. Even if this is a no/ultra-low budget short or teaser or reel you're trying to get off the ground, it'd be worth it to put the money you'd spend trying to cobble something together on renting some actual lighting, even if you only get 1 or 2 lights and use reflectors instead of having a whole bunch of smaller lights.

If this is something you're going to use a lot for personal stuff and you can't afford to rent as many times as you'll need it, I'd say put whatever money you'd spend towards trying to get something together to buying a quality low-end light, even if it's just a single used kino-flow that you managed to scrape together the money for. Then buy some lighting modifiers (flags, reflectors, etc) which can help make up for only having the 1 light.

If you're just wanting to get something that's better then nothing, get a cheapo 1 or 2 head fluorescent kit from Samy's or Calumet and know you're likely to be limited in some of what you're going to do.
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dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 01:46:56 AM »
I'd prefer not to rent. I'd rather buy and sell, if that's what it comes down to. I will be shooting without deadlines, all personal projects.

I would say my budget for purchase (or DIY) is around $300-400, but flexible if I find something incredible. Kino-flow kits look great. But I'd like to start with something less expensive and see what I can do with it.

I will look into those cheapo fluorescent kits. Thanks for the tip.

I'm also looking at building something like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NFzIP_TN75A
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 02:05:54 AM by dirtcastle »

sanj

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 03:03:53 AM »
I tried my best but could not figure out what to say.

What are you shooting and for what? On what format?

What is the kind of end result you looking at?

How many crew members? Will you have someone who can hold reflectors, lights or you will have to fix all on stands yourself?

How many lights do you want to use and what power supply do you have?


dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 03:21:48 AM »
I tried my best but could not figure out what to say.

What are you shooting and for what? On what format?

What is the kind of end result you looking at?

How many crew members? Will you have someone who can hold reflectors, lights or you will have to fix all on stands yourself?

How many lights do you want to use and what power supply do you have?

Thanks!

It's just me. I will be shooting personal projects. No crew, low budget. I'm just starting out with video, but I have a lot of experience with stills. I will be shooting with a 5D3.

I plan to shoot random different stuff. For the end result, I will probably go for a variety of looks. Flexibility is good. I'd like to have some sort of 3-light setup:rim/spot, key, fill/ambient. Everything will be on stands. I will mostly be shooting in small rooms and tight spaces. Power supply for indoors will be AC wall power. For outside, I will assume a battery does the trick (I don't need to light up the Eiffel Tower :-).

I'm not necessarily looking for a magic/complete answer. I'm just looking for whatever advice you've got: which bulbs to use for what, where to go DIY, where not to skimp, etc.

My target budget is $300-400. I'm trying to keep my costs low so I can get a decent slider.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 03:29:14 AM by dirtcastle »

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 03:21:48 AM »

peederj

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 03:38:27 AM »
Given your budget and needs I suggest the cheap Chinese LED panels that are battery powered. Get a couple of the $30 160 LED ones and one of the e.g. fotodiox 312A or 508A LED ones as a key light. Don't get the color changing ones, you will need the full power of all the LEDs at one temperature, and can use gels to change color just as well if not better. Along with some cheap stands and sandbags to place them.

They would be my very last choice to use if I had options but it sounds you have none and if I had to pack only one set for everything I suppose it would be them as I can use them anywhere.

For something that actually looks and works professionally, the cheapest you can do is a Lowel kit. The three Pro Light kit would be what I'd use if I had AC power and needed something small cheap and portable. But it will still set you back a lot more than you are willing to waste on junk.

AG

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 03:58:06 AM »
I have to say i agree with Sanj. Your question is still very loaded. What you use to shoot with others may not.

Its one way to really cause arguments around here.

As for what to use, you can go the LED panels (120LED or more) from eBay for fairly cheap but you have to remember that they will be daylight balanced (usually) so you are either going to have to invest in some Gels to match room lighting or any other lighting that you have around you. They are usually plastic so they will be fragile and they will also use a lot of batteries and probably not last too long if used on full power.

There is then the other factors that need to be addressed, such as can you DIY any of your kit? Do you need portability/battery power. If you are going to use mains power are you allowing for safety backups in your budget (trip switches, locking power boards, quality RATED extension cables, circuit testers etc).

Like Sanj said loaded question.

If you are interested, have a look at some other links on the net such as FIlm Riot. The guys there started out as low budgeters and have evolved from there.

http://youtu.be/lJ5rZrNQBXo

http://youtu.be/w6QlrTXwdNE

Plus many many other similar links.
Yes, i shoot video on a DSLR.

leGreve

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2013, 04:01:06 AM »
3-400 dollars for lighting? You wont even get 1 decent light for that... well, maybe a couple of used open face Arri or Mole lights.

With lights you still get what you pay for.

Tungsten lights like Arri, Mole etc. is top of the line. They have the best color spectrum around.

As soon as you move to Kino Flos and the like you start getting small spikes in the spectrum. Even HMIs are not perfect.

When you then move down to CFL, and if we head straight to the cheap ones, the color is visibly worse than any tungsten light and a camera set to 3200K.

LED is another ball park again, since even the decent brands like LitePanels don't render color good enough. The best LEDs I've seen is the Arri L7 which has a pretty nice color rendition.

In what I would consider the budget end, the K3200 LEDs would be the best bang for the buck.

In the tradional light end, you'll get better results buying a tungsten worklight and either bounce and control it or diffuse it that wasting your money on CFL / cheap LED lights.

The worlds best cinematographer Roger Deakins still uses good old tungsten lights bounced on muslin etc for his interior shots. That says a lot....
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dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2013, 04:15:53 AM »
Good stuff! These are very helpful responses.

To make my question easier to answer, I have refined it...

If you were just starting out with video and needed an inexpensive lighting kit for indoor shooting... what would it be?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 04:43:18 AM by dirtcastle »

dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 05:18:25 AM »
Tungsten lights like Arri, Mole etc. is top of the line. They have the best color spectrum around.

As soon as you move to Kino Flos and the like you start getting small spikes in the spectrum. Even HMIs are not perfect.

When you then move down to CFL, and if we head straight to the cheap ones, the color is visibly worse than any tungsten light and a camera set to 3200K.

LED is another ball park again, since even the decent brands like LitePanels don't render color good enough. The best LEDs I've seen is the Arri L7 which has a pretty nice color rendition.

In what I would consider the budget end, the K3200 LEDs would be the best bang for the buck.

In the tradional light end, you'll get better results buying a tungsten worklight and either bounce and control it or diffuse it that wasting your money on CFL / cheap LED lights.

The worlds best cinematographer Roger Deakins still uses good old tungsten lights bounced on muslin etc for his interior shots. That says a lot....

This is a great breakdown. Much appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 05:20:32 AM by dirtcastle »

cayenne

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 03:16:41 PM »
I tried my best but could not figure out what to say.

What are you shooting and for what? On what format?

What is the kind of end result you looking at?

How many crew members? Will you have someone who can hold reflectors, lights or you will have to fix all on stands yourself?

How many lights do you want to use and what power supply do you have?

Thanks!

It's just me. I will be shooting personal projects. No crew, low budget. I'm just starting out with video, but I have a lot of experience with stills. I will be shooting with a 5D3.

I plan to shoot random different stuff. For the end result, I will probably go for a variety of looks. Flexibility is good. I'd like to have some sort of 3-light setup:rim/spot, key, fill/ambient. Everything will be on stands. I will mostly be shooting in small rooms and tight spaces. Power supply for indoors will be AC wall power. For outside, I will assume a battery does the trick (I don't need to light up the Eiffel Tower :-).

I'm not necessarily looking for a magic/complete answer. I'm just looking for whatever advice you've got: which bulbs to use for what, where to go DIY, where not to skimp, etc.

My target budget is $300-400. I'm trying to keep my costs low so I can get a decent slider.

Well, after a few shoots of my cooking show I'm doing (mostly to learn shooting and editing)...I've found a few things out.

1. Make sure all your lighting, practical (in place lighting) and your external lights are ALL the same temp. I replaced all the track lighting in my kitchen...and found at Lowe's / Home Depot...those particular lights were best priced at about 2700K. I then made sure to by my CFLs at the same 2700K color temp.

I bought cheap clamp lights, and some flash light stands...and use those as my external lights (key light, fill light...etc).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055PKS98/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y2ILB6/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This seems to work quite well.

I also found on amazon.com, some pretty cheap 22" or so reflectors, that when you take off the covers...are nice white diffusers. I bought some clamps and I put these in front of my clamp worklights to soften the light in a DIY lightbox fashion.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y2GTG0/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I recently bought something from amazon, that is a kit that has 3 softboxes with 3x CFL sockets inside (I've not looked at the temp of the bulbs sent yet)...and a rack and a large green screen.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054K9ZFM/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've not had time to unpack and look into that yet....but I will incorporate that into my mix of goodies.

But anyway, that first thing....and this works wherever you film at indoors...if possible, switch out ALL practical light fixtures to bulbs of the same color temp as your external lights, that will save you a TON of grief in post processing.

Get lights same temp...just pick one....set your white balance to them and shoot....
I bought this to help with setting custom light balance, put it on the lens, shoot from the point of view of the talent to be filmed back at the lighting...and set custom WB to that:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002GFOSU/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hope that helps.

cayenne

ps. To see the problems with mixed lighting even after a TON of PP trying to grade it...my last video I did:

CWI: Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo

I'm currently editing my latest one, using Marvels Cinestyle...and found that it was best if I exposed to meter, then set to underexpose by about 2 steps...this stuff looks great in post so far...and should be the best imaged video I've done to date...what I'm editing now as opposed to the link above, has all lights same color temp and it makes a world of difference.


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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 03:16:41 PM »

dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 05:06:18 AM »
After doing a ton of research (and raising my budget a little), here's what I think I'm going to get...


Litepanels 1x1 LS Daylight Flood LED Panel
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=880837&is=REG&A=details&Q=


GiSTEQ Flashmate F-198C LED Video Light
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/863687-REG/GiSTEQ_C8_03_F198C_01_Flashmate_F_198C_LED_Video.html

And when my funds replenish, I'll get this one for my third light...


Genaray SpectroLED-14 Light (100-240VAC/12VDC)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/850293-REG/Genaray_SP_AD75_SpectroLED_14_Light_100_240VAC_12VDC_.html

I know this won't be the most powerful/sexy light kit. But whatever I lose in light quality... I should get back with other benefits: low temperature in my no-AC-having L.A. apartment, super easy to move and pack, and low power draw. The only thing I'm not sure about is color. But as long as the colors aren't noticeably bad, I'm okay with it.

I'm not looking for the ultimate/perfect lights. I just want something that gets me in the ballpark of good quality, and isn't a buzzkill to use. I feel like tungsten would be too much of a hassle for the type of shooting I'll be doing. The heat alone sounds awful. And for on-the-go, it would also be a pain in the ass.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 05:32:12 AM by dirtcastle »

dirtcastle

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 06:18:02 AM »
I just came across another possibility...

FV K4000 LED
http://www.fvlighting.com/store/lighting/led/k4000.html

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Re: Need help with video lighting!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 06:18:02 AM »