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#1 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:16 PM

I need to film in a large space where I have to overpower the local light. The local light which cannot be switched off - reasons beyond my control

so I built a ringlight that is 1600W - it is 8 x 200 w bulbs -

I did some tests which were very useful. The heat melted the matt box etc

BUT the test actors were complaining about the brightness - I find it OK (for shortish periods of time) - there are occasional scenes to camera

My pro actor friend finds it OK (but then he almost caught fire in a photosonics shoot so...)

What would you say is the brightest wattage camera side light (Tungsten, HMI) that actors can use - assuming the necessary saftey features (UV and heat Shields) in normal situations (not constant staring into the lights?

My recommendations are 3 or 4k of tungsten and 1.2HMI or thereabouts. I think a 1.6K ringlight is bright but OK - should I stop coddling my performers?

thanks

Rolfe
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#2 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:30 PM

Well, if they are squinting then you can't really get a good performance from them. If they are walking into the light from a very low-light situation then by comparison it will seem really harsh, but with a minute or so to adjust, seems like they should be fine. If they don't like it, tell them to take their pacifier and get off your set! (kidding of course;-)
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#3 Nick G Smith

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 02:48 AM

I think a couple of factors come into this. Is the problem the amount of direct light into the actors eyes or the heat from the fixtures? A lot of actors hate a frontal hard souce, bare bulbs/ fresnels etc. while if you soften the light through a large silk or bounce and diffuse they will not have a problem. I have had a couple of 10ks through a silk next to the camera without problems for the actors, although the heat on the focus pullers head is another issue. If you are in a large studio I don't find heat such a huge problem and I tend to bring in a lot of tungsten light as you can have time to set up and they are not expensive to hire. If the area to light is small and heat from tungsten light is a problem then going with kino's and hmi's is a solution but far more expensive. Rolfe, i am interested in seeing your 1.6k ringlite! I tend to use the kino Kamio if I need a ring light and dim it right down - about 10W! Am i just molly cuddling the actors?
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#4 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 04:06 AM

The problem is it is a hard source.

Here are some pics of the ringlight -

basically use ceramic BC lamp holders to stop heat moving up back to the £4 plastic mirror. (£1 at maplins)
wired in parallel
Use fuse in plugs for safety
cost about £30 and 3 hrs to make
Held in place with matthews clamps

These photos have 8 x 100W spot BC lights (4 Clear, 4 mirror)
I get the same fc from the 100W spot and the 200W open face and far less heat

The ringlight can be used level and pointing up but not pointing down (due to heat issues) I found a cheap solution to wrap the lens and matt box in tin foil (works for short time periods pointing down)

The type of bulb makes a huge difference to look (6 clear spot and 2 mirror spot vs 8 clear and 8 mirror spot vs 8 200W vs 4x 100W clear spot and 4 x 200W Open etc)

If I do another version I will do more support with aluminimum rods and a wood box hole for the camera placement

ringlight.jpg ringlight2.jpg

thanks

Rolfe
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#5 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:31 AM

Why don't you stick som matte regular bulbs in the BC sockets. Say 40W or 60W? That'll probably do the trick.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:34 AM

That's no ring light, you've built a keylight.

Spot bulbs!? It looks way overkill to me. I know you are trying to overpower an existing source but I always thought a keylight to be just enough to put a glint of light into the actors eyes. Just bright enough where the eyes reflect a source like a mirror, but not bright enough where it is a fill light.

Just my two cents.

best

Tim
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#7 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

That's no ring light

i beg to differ. things are called different things in different areas of the world. here in stockholm that's definitely a ring light. :-)

/matt
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#8 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:08 AM

I will shoot some tests on Thursday and post them (as soon as my MAC is back from the doctors...)

I will take 8x100W mirror spot, 8x100W matt spot and 8x200W and see what works best

Thanks Adam - good idea but the location needs brighter lights than 40W - last time I used 2x500W key light floods but it did not look good

I will then use this once a week for the dance tests I do

thanks

Rolfe
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#9 timHealy

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:15 AM

i should have elaborated. my apologies. i associate ring lights with eyelights and confused the two. it is technically a ring light and i was thinking it wasn't an eyelight with all those bulbs, unless one was doing something flat lit as a model shot. then even still, spot bulbs are serious bright and intense without additional diffusion if the actors are close to the camera.

best

tim
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#10 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:46 AM

[quote name='timHealy' date='Oct 9 2006, 01:34 PM' post='131979']
That's no ring light, you've built a keylight.

- a ring light is a front key light!. A light that's purpose is to put a glint on the 'film' on the eye's surface is a kicker or an eyelight... A keylight can come from any direction.

Rolfe ... The actors might be suffering a little because of the different brightnesses of the bulbs used - some are the diffused type and some are clear bulbs. If a ringlight has a uniform and consistant brightness around its circumference it should be easier for their eyes to adjust. On your setup the bulbs of the ring light and the front element are also very close together - perhaps if the bulbs were an inch or more away from the lens this could also help as the actors won't be staring directly into the light source as much...

It's a tricky one as actors need to give a little too. While it's our job to make it as comfortable as possible for them to work, they are there to work and one of an actor's jobs is to learn to work under lights...

Regards,

Rupe Whiteman.
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#11 timHealy

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:16 PM

"- a ring light is a front key light!. A light that's purpose is to put a glint on the 'film' on the eye's surface is a kicker or an eyelight... A keylight can come from any direction."

Hey Rupe,

I'm sorry but my sarcasm did not get through on my post and I disagree with your statement above. A ring light is not a key light by default. The only thing that makes a ring light a ring light is that it is circular and usually has a hole for the lens to poke through. The thing that may make a ring light a key light (or an eye light or fill light for that matter) are your light levels and exposure relative to the other lights in your shot.

best

Tim
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#12 Michael Collier

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:30 PM

As mentioned before, try some light diffusion. Its not the amount of light hitting an actors face that proves discomforting, rather its the range of light in their vision. Think of their eyes as cameras. The point in which the light is generated can be thousands of times more powerful than if you put even a small diffuser on the end. Try staring into the bulbs yourself with and without the diffuser and see which you prefer.

That strong point (or rather, strong 7 points) of light could make it quite difficult to stay in the moment (and ignore the camera) a slight diffuser would not change the quality of light very much (its already modestly soft, since light is coming from several directions) and would make it much easier on your actors to deal with. The only problem is unwanted spill. Maybe a light frost would diffuse the direct light comming off of the filament and not introduce a lot of unwanted bounce?
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#13 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:23 AM

The only problem is unwanted spill.

is that really a problem with a ring light? they usually spread to the edge of the frame and beyond anyway, and by definition cast no shadows. i guess it could become a problem if it starts hitting reflectors and shiny objects outside the frame, but that's about it. i've very limited experience with ring lights though, so please educate me.

/matt
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#14 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:02 PM

"- a ring light is a front key light!. A light that's purpose is to put a glint on the 'film' on the eye's surface is a kicker or an eyelight... A keylight can come from any direction."

Hey Rupe,

I'm sorry but my sarcasm did not get through on my post and I disagree with your statement above. A ring light is not a key light by default. The only thing that makes a ring light a ring light is that it is circular and usually has a hole for the lens to poke through. The thing that may make a ring light a key light (or an eye light or fill light for that matter) are your light levels and exposure relative to the other lights in your shot.

best

Tim


... we're getting into semantics here! - I meant that the ringlight in the way that rolfe is using it is his keylight! Lighting definitions are, as you point out, a very fluid thing...

Regards,

Rupe Whiteman


Rolfe

- did you get much flaring from your ringlight?

Curious,

Rupe.
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#15 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:34 PM

I think that part of the problem may be that the diameter of your ring light is fairly small. I have a 16 lamp fixture which is 36" across. This means that I can place it reasonably far back from the talent, and still get a nice reflection in the eye. Also spot bulbs may be overkill for this type of thing. A selection of 25w, 40w, 60w and 100w pearl GLS globes should cover most situations.
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#16 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 04:05 AM

Agreed with the diameter problem

The problem is I plan to use it often just to film the dance stuff I do - and it would have to be stored in a small locker - but maybe the next version will be a larger one that folds in half :-)

Pending permission from the electric guys at the studio - I should start using it tonight

I got very little flaring in the tests I did - I had a matt box - which melted when I used the 200W bulbs:-)

I do get an issue on my wide adaptor - but the old tinfoil with black gaffer tape does the trick- I have a Sony pro monitor and use the underscan function to check

And when my Mac comes back from the doctor I will post some videos

thanks

Rolfe
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#17 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 01:12 AM

Got the mac back from the doctor so posting a small video of the effect in one of my dance classes

teaching, choreographing and filming at the same time is not ideal
The quicktime and the still are fairly grainy -
I have to use a very wide angle attachment and it degrades the quality of the image
for some reason the colour balance on the camera keeps moving around - not sure why - So I had to desaturate the image
The quicktime is about 15Mb but is quite soft (even with H264)
There is a big hot spot on the wall behind but hey

enough excuses :)

http://www.creatives...peedingcars.mov

speedingcars.jpg speedingcars2.jpg

been thinking about the best holder for cheap ringlights and come up with these two so far

1- toilet seat
2- bicycle wheel frame

Any other ideas?


thanks

Rolfe
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#18 Hal Smith

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 01:26 AM

Any other ideas?
Rolfe

I'd use some sidelight on your dancers - helps to "model" their bodies and, similar to backlight, cut them away from the background.

I've got dance in the genes, Alan Howard was my uncle, my mother's brother. He was a Ballet Russe dancer and taught in Hamburg for years.
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