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ideal documentary assistance light

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Paul Hanssen
ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:27:34 pm

Ok,

I am about to start a documentary in a nursery home where there is mostly coming enough day light .... from one side .. and I will need a light which can be used either as a fill (next to a window) or a key (when available light is spread too even) ... mostly for the interviews .. (other scenes I will have to do with available light)

Does anyone have suggestions here??

Diva's are too expensive here for me (cost 1500 euro's here; i'm willing to spend about half now). I am not sure a bout leds since everybody is complaining about the green or magenta aberrations of it.

I already measured the light inside and it is from 20 to 80 foot-candles. I will be recording with a canon c100, probably on 800 iso or perhaps 1600 (have to test the noise on the 1600 level yet but i will do that soon)

Any help?


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john sharaf
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:36:10 pm

Hi Paul,

You're instinct to use a Diva for the purpose you describe is correct. It's unfortunate that you can't afford to buy it. Perhaps you should consider renting?

The one drawback I see to the Diva, is the need for a cable to the mains in a nursery school setting; this creates a danger of tripping to the young subjects.

I wouldn't worry too much about green shift in the LED;'s, you can either use some minus green gel or white balance it out, so I'd consider a battery powered LED that is at least 1x1' square, although you'll probably find that purchasing this and the batteries will be as much as the Diva! So again, cnsidering the term of the project rental might be a thought?

Good luck,

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:27:01 pm

I second John's advice... rent a Diva.

I also concur about LEDs. We are now using LEDs for probably 90% of our lighting and I do not have any trouble with color balance or green spikes... at least nothing that is not within the easily-correctible range.

Don't worry about light levels with the C100. Canon has made that almost a non-issue, the camera is so light sensitive. I don't shoot with the C100, I shoot with the C300... but it has the same sensor and the same range. The picture looks fantastic all the way up to about 16,000 ISO, and even above that (up to 20,000) it's still what most people would call perfectly acceptable. With the C series (C100/C300/C500) you don't really get any noise at all until about 12,000-15,000 or so, and even then it is very organic, much more like film grain than video noise. You can literally shoot in a cave with three little birthday cake candles and still get a great image... and that's not an exaggeration.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Paul Hanssen
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:27:21 pm

Thanks John and Todd. This is very encouraging since II lack a bit of experience here. I'm still thinking about the cable issue. So if I buy or rent a Led which brand led's should I go for and are as soft as the diva's?


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john sharaf
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:38:12 pm

Hi Paul,

The most common unit would be the Lite Panel 1x1 but I'm much more partial to the Cineo (formerly known as PRG) TruColor LED's. They have a new smaller unit similar in size to the 1x1' called the LS:

http://www.cineolighting.com/index.php/pages/product_ls/90

This unit costs about $2K, but is vastly superior in that it has an interchangeable color correction panels that make it daylight or tungsten and offer a very high CRI (*Color Reproduction Index), essentially eliminating the green spikes and assuring a very accurate color rendition of skin tones. By using the panel instead of paint on the actual LED's one is assured that the color remains consistent and accurate not only as the light heats up in use, but also as accumulated heat would otherwise change the color over time.

While pricey, I can not think of a better long term investment in lighting equipment; consistent and accurate color, high efficiency, low temperature, extremely long globe life and solid professional build.

I own a pair of the larger HS units and am expecting delivery of two of the LS units any day now, and can honestly say that these are my "go-to" lights for interviews and cinema portraiture over the HMI's in Chimeras that I've been using for many years.

Cheers!

JS



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Mark Suszko
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:06:39 pm

"Nursery home" : do you mean an Old People's Nursing Home? in which case, their eyes will be sinsitive to too much bright light that isn't a softlight.


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Paul Hanssen
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:09:02 pm

yeah, nursing home .. ah I improved my english ;-)

Thanks


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:14:09 am

You may not need to worry about little kids tripping over cables in a nursing home, but watch out for the old folks tripping. What I generally do on location is gaffers tape the cables to the floor with multiple passes of tape, especially where there is any possibility of someone trying to step over it (doorways, hallways, between chairs, etc.). Also sandbag your lights in case someone tries to steady their self with a light stand, and brings the whole thing down on their head.

There are also all sorts of portable cable protectors that you can purchase to keep things safe on location:

http://www.electriduct.com/drop-overs.html

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Bob Cole
Re: ideal documentary assistance light
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:28:46 pm

If you have lights on stands, you may want to bring an assistant who can carry the lights for you and make sure everything stays safe.

If the nursing home has a drop ceiling, and you want to avoid the danger of light stands, consider a drop ceiling scissor clamp to hang a small light from the ceiling.

Natural light is best, of course. Soft light from windows is very easy on your subjects and more flattering than most artificial light.

And/or, consider a small camera light just for filling in the shadows. That would avoid the problem of light stands and cables, it's inexpensive, and if handled appropriately (with diffusion), can be beautiful. It would be even better to hand that small camera light to an assistant, who stands a couple feet to the side, so that your subject can look at the camera without squinting.

Bob C


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