Cinematography Mailing List - CML

 

Search

Basher, Obie, On-camera Light

Published : 6th Dec. 2006

In these desperate times I find myself working as a one man band, camera on the shoulder (at least it is Hdv and not mini), one eye on the audio meters, wishing I could do something about the lighting.

I tried handing the producer a battery belt and a chimera/dedo; may as well have given a monkey an Uzi. I have decided the best replacement gaffer is a mini on-camera litepanel (they are on sale until the 30th). Clearly, I have no experience with eng on-camera lights.

I know, whatever it is, it has to be dimmable and daylight balanced. Is the litepanel the way to go? Opinions? Cheaper, better options?

Thanks
Nils Kenaston
DoP NYC, LA


I think a Frezolini is a better option. Its a real light that you can diffuse better and has better output. I use the for many TV shows and no one would know that I do.

Here's a little intro to sun guns:

http://www.bluesky-web.com/sungun.htm

Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.


class="style15">>>whatever it is, it has to be dimmable and daylight balanced. Is the >>litepanel the way to go? Opinions? Cheaper, better options?

Nils,

I think a litepanel is your best bet. Particularly in the daylight realm. I am in Vegas on a shoot this week and I spent some time yesterday staring at that very show special set. I looks great and I may be spending my own money on one before the 30th.

I have no affiliation with litepanels.

BTW, I couldn't find someone to trade my RSVP email for my invite yesterday, and I'm shooting today, no NAB. Am I SOL for the party?

Christopher Seivard
DP/600/NYC&PA


Not being in Vegas, I checked out a litepanel at Film Tools. I am sufficiently impressed to plop down the $700 to make one mine. Unfortunately, they are out of the spot version and I assumed getting that version is a no brainer - can always diffuse it to be like flood. But from internet chatter, the flood seems far superior as an eye-light fill; the spot is touted as an edge light.

This is tying in to the Rifa thread :

If both units are the same size, diffusing the spot should equal the flood, no? I suppose you might lose some intensity in diffusing, but that is about the only sacrifice. Still, I am nervous now about opting for the spot as all I really want from the unit is a nice even fill / eyelight.

Should I get the flood?

Thanks

Nils Kenaston
DOP, NYC, LA


Nils Kenaston wrote:

class="style15">>>Still, I am nervous now about opting for the spot as all I really want >>from the unit is a nice even fill / eyelight. Should I get the flood?

Why not rent one to try it out.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


Nils Kenaston wrote :

class="style15">>>...I am nervous now about opting for the spot as all I really want from >>the unit is a nice even fill / eyelight. Should I get the flood?

I got the 20 degree spot, as its far more versatile and can diffuse as you say.

The price you quoted was about 50% of what I paid about a year ago.

Wow, but I added some odds and ends too (mounts and such).

Its a neat tool - saves you lots o times.

Mark Doering-Powell
LA based DP


>>all I really want from the unit is a nice even fill / eyelight. Should I get >>the flood?

Hi Nils,

I had one of each litepanel, a flood and a spot, and I found I was always reaching for the flood. In fact, with the flood living on camera (definitely need the spread to cover head and torso), I was often frustrated trying to make the remaining spot unit do what the flood does so naturally. I found that diffusion on the face did not really do much to spread the beam, rather, it seemed to only take away intensity. I think this may be due to the projected nature of the LED's themselves- they have a prescribed emitter angle and, like a par bulb, you can't really shape the beam with heavy diff up close (Note that I did have some luck with brushed silk, spreading the light a bit along one axis) But in the end, I was always wishing for a second flood and so when my spot unit was stolen off a job, I quickly replaced it with the flood version.

I'd love to hear more about how others are using the spot- I love these lights so much I am tempted to get a third... I tried to talk Litepanels into a combined flood/spot version that- like their original, abandoned 1x1 design- would separate alternating flood/spot LEDS into two, independently dimmable circuits, so that one could dial in combinations of flood and spot (this was truly the genius of their original 1x1 unit: alternating circuits combined with a unique checkerboard CTO/Clear gel sheet allowed adjustable levels of daylight, tungsten, or any combination thereof. Sadly, Litepanels abandoned that approach and the new 1x1 is simply a larger version of the single-channel litepanel). Anyway, does anyone use the spot panel for anything other than a quick edge?

Sorry to get distracted- I really though they were onto something with the switchable colour-temp thing...

Best,


Alan Jacobsen
DP - NYC


Alan Jacobsen wrote:

>>...one of each litepanel... with the flood living on camera (definitely >>need the spread to cover head and torso), I was often frustrated >>trying to make the remaining spot unit do what the flood does so >>naturally...

I think if you're looking for head-to-toe coverage, the flood is the way to go.

I've never used them that way, combined with the fact that our Gaffer, Erik M. had 2 floods, I found the spot to be more versatile. Its replaced my SureFire for the rare hail marry handheld fill light - and that was just when I'd developed the skill to use my hand as a "douser" to mechanically dim the SureFire... ah the skills you develop as desperate cameraman.

the spot panel's more forgiving somehow for this - I was never truly skilled at the dousing.

For spread and subtlety, I've always diffused the spot and gotten just enough eyelight... never used it solely to light/fill someone.

probably the most absurd thing we've done is made a "triple header" : a spot sandwiched between 2 floods. all of them with varying diffusion. Its almost a 1x1.

I think the lack of diffusing ability of the spot panels is due to the diffusion being right on the LED's - toughing them. If the light diff were literally an inch or so away, you would get a better quality. I wish they made a spacer for that.

Mark Doering-Powell
LA based DP


Alan Jacobsen writes :

>>alternating circuits combined with a unique checkerboard >>CTO/Clear gel sheet allowed adjustable levels of daylight, tungsten, or >>any combination thereof.

That gel alone sounds a bit of an expensive item.

Clive Mitchell
http://www.bigclive.com



Sponsored by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CML Home CML-Tests Home

© copyright CML - Cinematography Mailing List all rights reserved