I have a question that might provide some useful knowledge
when on remote locations. I'm going on vacation very soon
and doing some back packing in Turkey. I’m looking for
a CHEAP and highly portable light that’s battery powered.
My specific situation is going to be where I'll hike into
man made caves where their may be little or no available sunlight
nor existing artificial light. I'll be carrying nothing more
than what can fit in a large backpack. The format I'll be
shooting on is 24P (approx. 320 ASA) and since this is a vacation
and not a job I probably wont have anyone to help me.
The light would also need to have a fairly wide beam (not
a flashlight) and the rooms shouldn’t be much bigger
than what you would expect in a traditional home with the
walls being a off white color (bounce). Shots will be short
so battery life doesn’t have to be long (1hr/per day
should be just enough).
Anyone have any creative solutions to this problem? (Cheap,
light weight, small, battery powered, bright enough for 320asa/f1.7)
Xenon, halogen, fluorescent, HID, etc?
>Anyone have any creative solutions
to this problem? (cheap, light >weight, small, battery
powered, bright enough for 320asa/f1.7)Xenon, >halogen, fluorescent,
I've been doing some "Home Depot Lighting" for a
project. I discovered some small 12v xenon bulbs in my local
store that really put out some light. They are used for under
counter lighting and are cheap. You would have to find a fixture
for them and wire it up , but that would get you a decent
bang for your buck.
Mark Smith DP
Oh Seven Films Inc.
How about MR 16 fixtures in the 20w and 50w varieties?
They come in five beam configurations from narrow spot to
wide and could work off a camera battery in your own enclosure
or an Anton Bauer fixture.
A few ideas...
Coleman makes a twin-tube fluorescent lantern that runs on
eight ³D² cells that might put out enough for you;
should be relatively soft as well. The fixture itself is dirt
cheap and I¹m certain there are other makers that would
My really wacky idea is a SureFire M6 with a piece of diffusion,
sort of like a small soft box, in front of the lens. This
is not cheap, about $400.00 bucks, but I don¹t know anything
else that packs so much punch in a small package. You get
250 lumens for an hour run, or 500 for a twenty minute run.
The M6 requires six 123A lithium batteries. I always carry
a SureFire 6P, which uses two 123A¹s, and it really throws
I guess you could also try one the on-camera news-type lights;
there are small Chimeras available for them and you can probably
pick up a used unit cheaply.
Lastly, you might consider fuel lanterns purchased on the
scene. I¹ve shot a commercial using three of them and
they do make a beautiful light with a little bounce behind
them; pretty rapid fall-off, of course.
Sounds like a wonderful adventure!
>I’m looking for a CHEAP and
highly portable light that’s battery >powered.
I recently had to shoot in a cave with battery powered lighting.
I wound up using a 2,000,000 candle power light from Pep Boys.
I put some diffusion over the front, and it gave me a nice
bright source with a fairly wide throw. They have a 12v 3Ah
battery built into them which give you a 20 minute burn. If
you got a 20ah 12v battery and some wire from your local electronic
store you could probably get a 2 hour burn.
The lights cost $35.00, and are a halogen light with a very
efficient parabolic reflector. The ones I got were yellow.
I also tried a 2,500,000 candle power light which was actually
weaker once the diffusion was applied. It seems that the bright
candle power measurement applies only to the hot spot - which
was simply more tightly focused on the supposedly brighter
I used a 115ah marine battery while shooting, which I calculated
would give me a 10 hour continuous burn on the lights. A bit
heavy to lug through caves though.
"...you start out wanting to make the greatest movie
ever made, and you end up just wanting to live through it."
Cinematographer Los Angeles
I would go for the flame-based lighting the people who lives
(or lived) in that environment would use to live and work
inside those caves, used as key lighting, supplemented with
a couple of groups of cheap battery powered fluorescent fixtures
(some even have internal rechargeable batteries) held in position
by collapsible ENG-type light stands (you can use Velcro for
attaching the fixtures to the stands) for fill light (to be
gelled with CTO and Minusgreen to match the key light colour).
If in need of limiting the light spread, you can make up cheap
flexible black plastic barn-doors you can, again, attach to
the fixtures with Velcro. That way you would, not just light
the location, but give it a true and natural feel. It could
all fit in a backpack.
Madrid (Imperial Spain)
Arturo Briones Carcaré wrote :
>I would go for the flame-based
lighting the people who lives (or lived) in >that environment
would use to live and work inside those caves,
No. Sorry, but if you mean actual fire inside a cave, then
don't. The cave environment probably sensitive, even if it
is a man made cave.
Soot will accumulate on the Cave ceiling.
Went to some caves once off of Route 50 (loneliest road in
America), Lehman caves I think. Very interesting, informative
too about how our presence inside the cave affected the "ecosystem"
of the cave.
Cinematographer - Gladstone Films
Cinematography Mailing List - East Coast List Administrator
Better off Broadcast (B.O.B.)
New York, U.S.A.
I didn't mean big fires, but candles, oil lamps or some kind
of lanterns, which are much more friendly in that respect.
If you mean it doesn't matter the flame size, those would
be forbidden, also consider we are talking here about Turkey...There
the authorities can be much less strict.
Think also this is
not something to happen daily anyway, so the cumulative deteriorating
effect can be much lesser than the cumulative effect of simple
human breathing (this effect alone, for instance, was causing
a intense deterioration of the stone-age primitive paintings
of the caves of Altamira, in Spain; so visits were strictly
restricted to a few people a day (or a week, I can't remember
now exactly) and today are forbidden while a perfect life-size
replica has been made for visiting)
"I was lucky enough to visit the real Altamira caves
at age seven, before the restriction"
Filmmaker (They are nicer in the photographs anyway)
Madrid (Imperial Spain)
>I didn't mean big fires, but
candles, oil lamps or some kind of lanterns
Is it me or did this guy say he was alone doing this on vacation?
Now you folks have him carrying around car batteries and 55
gallon drums of kerosene. Some vacation!
How about a simple double barrel 100 watt 12V MR16 sun gun
that plugs into the camera or a battery belt and 250 watt
30 volt Lowell Pro light which will light up a 4 story building
very easily. These simple lights light up the cave and don't
take a 'boy Friday' to carry around.
Producer, Director, Creative Director, Cinematographer
HellGate Pictures, Inc. www.film-and-video.com
Well, the best solution for the cheapest price and the smallest
size, plus the least weight, that I could think of would be
the SONY battery video light model no. HVL-20DW2 and a couple
Sony np-f960 infolithium batteries.
The batteries are the size of 2.25 mini - dv tapes and the
light is the same. Each battery lasts practically all day.
The light fits on a hot shoe and if you think it's too sourcie,
bring some rubber bands and the diffusion of your choice.
Here's what I found through Google, under a hundred bucks
for the light :
just just check out www.sony.com
and do a search under professional products
Disclaimer - I have no financial connection to this company
I would highly recommend the Frezzi Mini-Arc.
I think it's the best sun gun for your situation. It's a bright
and fairly broad spread HMI that runs on inexpensive NP1 batteries.
It can also be clamped on the handle of any camera without
using a hot shoe, 1/4" or 3/8" threads.
Light output is about 100-125 quartz watts, but the draw on
the battery is only 24w. This certainly will be more expensive
then a home depot DIY creation, but you should be able to
find this light at a local rental house who could get you
the light for your shoot and it probably won't be too bad.
If you had to but the light batteries and charger you'd probably
be looking at about $1500.
Senior Camera Rental Agent
Hollywood, CA www.moviola.com
Keep in mind, too, not just for lighting, but all your gear,
there is probably not a more humid place on earth short of
being underwater...and cold...if this is a real cave.
Patrick Gaynard writes :
>The best solution for the cheapest
price and the smallest size, plus the >least weight, that
I could think of would be the SONY battery video >light...
Can you be more specific about battery life? These may solve
a problem for me, but I need a realistic idea of how long
they'll run at the 10-watt and 20-watt levels, respectively.
Thanks for any info....
Marin County, CA
K5600 make a small 200 watt fixture that will run off a 30v
battery belt with an invertor- use it in the jungle at 100%
humidity all the time its lightweight and rugged.
Producer / Cameraman
BBC Natural History Unit