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Affordable Lighting for the HD100


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#1 warner brown

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:09 PM

Hi everyone,
I'm finally getting an HD100 tomorrow. I don't have hundreds of dollars for lights so I was wondering what I could get away with interms of cheap lighting for basic scenes, fill lights, top light, backlight etc, that could do the job.

For instance what if I grabbed a couple of good halogen worklights, used them for edge lighting a subject? or does the JVC require much more light for mid-dark to darker situations?
Thanks for any advice,

-WB

Edited by warner brown, 06 March 2008 - 10:10 PM.

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#2 warner brown

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 04:03 AM

*clears throat* muted cough echoes deep into the mountains*
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 05:31 AM

You can use worklights or any other suitable lighting units in the short term. The trade off will be less control and perhaps slower set up times compared to the normal film lights.

I started out using home made photoflood lights shooting on 40 ASA Kodachrome. You shouldn't have many problems with the HD100.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 09 March 2008 - 05:31 AM.

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#4 warner brown

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:29 AM

You can use worklights or any other suitable lighting units in the short term. The trade off will be less control and perhaps slower set up times compared to the normal film lights.

I started out using home made photoflood lights shooting on 40 ASA Kodachrome. You shouldn't have many problems with the HD100.


Brian
Thanks for the reassurance. I see what you mean about less control (assuming you mean no french flags, etc) I suppose those could be made the cheapo way, cutting 2 pieces from a plastic bucket, clamping them on the light.

I think two of these 500watt lights should be ok http://www.hardwarea...36551?ref=gbase
possibly with a light dimmer control: http://www.hardwarea...36551?ref=gbase
I might also grab a diffuser and just experiment around.

thanks for the reply!

-W

Edited by warner brown, 11 March 2008 - 12:32 AM.

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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 09:32 AM

I wouldn't clamp anything plastic onto a lamp, it won't last long. However, you can make your own flags etc and put them on flag stands.

The workl ights won't be as good as Fresnel spots, they'll be closer to the open faced film lights, but without the flood/spot control. You might be able to make your own barndoors, but out of metal, not plastic, and you'll need heat resistant black paint.
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#6 Andrew Koch

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 02:57 PM

Photo floods are great for cheap lighting. You can by a chinese lantern for about 5-10 dollars, get a socket for a couple more dollars, stick the photo flood in there and now you have a beautiful soft light. For a cheap, very powerful hard light, par cans are great. You can get a 1000W for about 40 bucks and it is going to have more output than a 2000W fresnel. You wontt have the spot/flood control of a fresnel and the light is pretty harsh by itself, but this can be solved by bouncing it or diffusing it with gel.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 03:05 PM

*clears throat* muted cough echoes deep into the mountains*


You'll find LOTS of discussion about DIY/cheap lighting elsewhere in the forums. I think the fact that this question in the HD>JVC forum is what's buried it.
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:44 PM

I will say that the JVC is a pretty slow camera, especially if you run it at 24fps with the 180deg shutter (i rate it at about 200 or 160 under those conditions). Plan to use a lot of light to get up to key, even when running wide open. My hats off to Mr. Drysdale for making asa 40 kodachrome expose with photofloods.

Also keep in mind that as a location grows, so too does the amount of watts needed grows at an exponential rate. check locations for multiple circuts when running more than 2000w.

I would go for the pars over open face work lights. Work light stands are never tall enough and your built into the height. If you wanted to put it up higher, you don't have much options to place them on another stand. Also good for cheap lighting is a lowell kit. Omni, tota and pro light gives you good choices, and a riffa light adds a cheap softbox option. Britek lights are also very very cheap, but that discription also applies to their construction, so treat them gently. Lowells are more robust in construction.
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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:27 PM

Brian
Thanks for the reassurance. I see what you mean about less control (assuming you mean no french flags, etc) I suppose those could be made the cheapo way, cutting 2 pieces from a plastic bucket, clamping them on the light.


O.M.G.!!!!

I want to re-iterate what has already been said. Please, Please do not do this!!!!

I was on a shoot recently with a 500w worklight. One of those little ones that sits on a floor stand. I was very happy with the result I was getting and I was chatting with my actor, when I suddenly had to break off the conversation mid way, and say Oh god, I'm really sorry but I'm on fire! I had stood for maybe less than a minute a bit too close to the light while wearing a long and thick drifty skirt. I was lucky as I quickly smelled the burning and realised what was happeing so I think I even got away without visible burn marks on the skirt. (It was a black skirt) although I had to brush off some surface ash! Preety embaressing and preety stupid.

These lights get hot! Really hot. Sometimes people use baking paper as diffusion on these lights clipped to the guard at the front with wooden clothes pegs. Baking Paper is the kind of paper you put in ovens, so is very heat resistant. I have had this kind of paper start to burn on a worklight before now. It amuses me that people are scared of health and safety with candles but nobody is worried about these lights beyond pat testing! Treat these lights the way you would candles and be as nervous around them as you are with fire. Never let them near plastic. Do not touch them after they have been on, be really, really careful. I have radiators in my house that put out less heat!

Please do be careful.

Just wanted to underline what has already been said. I feel incredibly stupid about my recent experience but I'm glad it happened and I got away safely. I won't make that mistake again!

love

Freya
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#10 warner brown

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 12:27 AM

You'll find LOTS of discussion about DIY/cheap lighting elsewhere in the forums. I think the fact that this question in the HD>JVC forum is what's buried it.


I didn't check out the other forums because I'm specifically talking about the hd100, so thought I might get some good tips from you guys, and looks like I did!
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#11 warner brown

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:08 AM

I wouldn't clamp anything plastic onto a lamp, it won't last long. However, you can make your own flags etc and put them on flag stands.

The worklights won't be as good as Fresnel spots, they'll be closer to the open faced film lights, but without the flood/spot control. You might be able to make your own barndoors, but out of metal, not plastic, and you'll need heat resistant black paint.


-Bryan, thanks for the info, I'll probably just get my friend to make some barndoors if I go with the worklights.

-Andrew, thanks for the great suggestions.I'll look into the Par cans definetly.

-Micheal Collier. Yes, I read it requires alot of light. I was thinking the same thing about whether the work lights would be tall enough for a high key. Usually they're not (unless I can find a good one) so I'll look into the Pars and the other things you recommended. I might go for a fluorescent key light too. thanks

-Freya, I haven't dealt with worklights, but just working with the fresnels in class gets draining after awhile, they are hot f**kers.
So yes, you always need to be careful.
Baking paper, genius, but it started burning up? maybe it was a cheap brand. kidding

Thanks for the great advice and info everyone
really appreciate it

-W
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#12 Michael Collier

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:57 AM

keep in mind that true diffusion material is relativley cheap, and all true diffusion is rated for high temps. With work lights I have placed blackwrap between the globe and reflector. The stock reflector causes lateral hot spots which can be troublesome. Blackwrap cuts light output but if your not difusion or other modifier it gives a more even light output, though it does cause light loss and a funny smell on set. That said I shot only one short on work lights, and going to better lights I really felt the extra control was worth much more than the extra pittance I paid for them.

Plus learning on equipment you might run into on bigger shoots has its own inherent value. So to does working with lower quality tools to achieve a higher quality result. Learning is never a function of resources. Just ingenuity.
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