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On Camera Lighting


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#1 Anthony Quesada

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 11:27 AM

Hope everyone is having a great spring and it was nice to meet some of you at NAB. Im wondering if anyone with some experience with on camera lighting, particularly ringlites, can provide some guidance. If you could only have one kit between the spot or flood what do you find to me more versatile and more useful? As I have just recently started out in the Steadicam world I am finding myself on a lot of low budget lighting that isn't particularly professional and often a little extra light is needed on the actors.

thanks so much

anthony
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#2 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 11:54 AM

if you're shooting narrative work, how often would you want a dominant light source coming directly from the camera? Ring lights are rad, but not for every application.
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:27 PM

Agreed--ring lights have their place and are best used when the particular look they deliver (when they are the dominant light source) is desired, which tends to be more in the commercial/music video world. I have however worked on narrative shows where we have them on the camera full-time. Where you run into problems is shooting against any kind of reflective surface, as it is impossible to flag them. Due to the nature of Steadicam, it's more often than not that you would hit a glint somewhere and you end up just turning it off.

Handheld fill is often a better way to go. The person carrying it can regulate their distance to the actors more efficiently. If your Steadicam shot requires pushing in on talent, obviously the ring light will increase in intensity as you move forward; a handheld fill can stay the same distance.

In the situation you described, Anthony, it's up to the DP to improve his lighting without you having to buy a ring light (they aren't cheap). If you have to have something, why not just a top-mounted LED panel, there are many inexpensive ones being made these days.
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#4 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 03:21 PM

I liked the Ringlight Mini demo that LitePanels sent over a few months back, but like Charles and Sydney have suggested, I can't find many situations that call for it. Ultimately, I found myself dimming it to 50% and turning off the very top section (or top 2 sections) to avoid that "local news light on the camera" look.

In the studio, all we really want to achieve is some fill under the chin and nose. For that, I've got a LitePanels MiniPlus brick (3200K flood) under the lens. It's not as overpowering as the ringlight, not as expensive, far less space consuming, and easier to flag. The base kit comes with a 1/4-20 swivel mount and coiled PTap cable.

Whatever you choose, I think you'll get far more use out of a Flood fixture..
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#5 Anthony Quesada

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 05:11 PM

Thank you guys for the great responses. It sounds like the ring lite is a bit of overkill. I was thinking it would be a good solution for still and video work. But like you guys mentioned all I am looking for is just a touch of light and it sounds like the small bricks will be a better solution. Thanks again everyone.
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#6 John atkinson

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:15 AM

Hope everyone is having a great spring and it was nice to meet some of you at NAB. Im wondering if anyone with some experience with on camera lighting, particularly ringlites, can provide some guidance. If you could only have one kit between the spot or flood what do you find to me more versatile and more useful? As I have just recently started out in the Steadicam world I am finding myself on a lot of low budget lighting that isn't particularly professional and often a little extra light is needed on the actors.

thanks so much

anthony


I think less is more. I don't want to become a lightstand either. I've used onboard lighting on several occasions and, as Charles said, if the set lighting isn't working, it isn't working. The only time I use onboard is for an eye light for sparkle. I use both LED Litepanels and LTM 50W mini HMI both effective.

John A.
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#7 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 01:46 PM

...I don't want to become a lightstand either...


Check out this low-mode ringlight abomination!

They told me the camera would be an HPX-170 with prime lens adapter so of course I brought my 11 pound weight plate to get some decent weight and inertial stability

When I saw the rigging / mounting method I said no-way this will fly. It took the four batteries you see mounted, plus two you can't see gaff taped to the rear rods along with my Preston and CanaTrans all strapped to the rear to get it balanced totaling 54 pounds. No it was NOT dynamically balanced!

So much for needing the weight plate!

Robert

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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 02:51 PM

that is such a cool set up Robert, I don't know why you shouldn't fly like that all the time.
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