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Novice needs to light an indoor model racetrack with bad fluorescent lights


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#1 Lorne Cherry

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:17 AM

Hi, I'm new to things that move, but do have some experience as a former Creative Director for print and thus with composing and directing still photography for product shots.

 

My current business builds augmented reality racetracks. (Sounds cool, but so far it's a money pit :) Our first commissioned track build is about 30 ft x 16 ft and located in a basement with no natural light and 8 very old fluorescent fixtures. The track is raised 20" above the ground and covers almost the entire floor. We have only 24-36 inches on each side and 4 feet in front of the track.

 

The track will be used extensively in YouTube videos. To that end, I will purchase about $2000 max of prosumer gear to compliment our Panasonic TM900 camcorder, which is hopefully up to the task. (I cannot invest in/justify a G4/G5 at this time).

 

I will use a small motorised Pico roller and have it roll along the track for some interesting eye level shots. However, to show the scope of the track, I was considering purchasing a reasonably good fluid head tripod (Manfrotto 502 perhaps) and will use both a small jib and a slider for more professional overhead and panned/zoom shots. I also have a small Steadicam that I may use. Finally, we have in-car cameras that record FPV...here we have extensive experience, but still need to pay attention to the track lighting, as we are severely limited by the quality of the in-car cameras themselves, though they do record in HD.

 

1) The first problem I see is the fluorescent lights. There are currently 8 fixtures of 2 x 48" bulbs each on the ceiling, which quite low (7' 9")...should I change those out to daylight 5500K, and if so, can you recommend a tube that is good and will compliment the main and fill lights?

 

2) I have a maximum of $800-$1000 to spend on lighting (+ $1000 for the tripod/slider and jib) not including changing those fluorescents. I do realise that $800 is not much and a third the cost of just one name-brand light in the professional world. But we have ruled out renting, as we will make continuous videos and broadcast races via the Internet and thus want access to our own equipment on demand. 

 

What would you recommend for me in terms of equipment (best "bang for the buck") to supplement the ceiling fluorescents, as this track is quite big and I would like an even light over most of it? Would I also add a light to the jib near the camera, or is that not needed if the room is bright enough?

 

We want to self-produce good quality prosumer videos for Youtube and Vimeo. They will also form the main "push" for our Kickstarter promo videos. (We will get help for post-production and titling until I'm up to speed with Vegas or other mid-range software). I would like to take on the shooting of the videos myself though, hence trying to get the lighting right, to begin with.

 

 

Thanks for your input, Lorne Cherry   Reality Raceways


Edited by Lorne Cherry, 06 April 2017 - 09:20 AM.

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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:55 PM

You can flip the tubes for something like the Philips TL-D 90 Graphica range, which have lots of output when correctly driven. They're more expensive than the very cheapest noname tubes, but they're not outrageous (about UK£6 last time I bought any.) If the fittings don't have electronic ballasts, you may wish to switch those too, for more output and probably less flicker.

 

The 5500K types have better colour performance and more output than the warmer ones, but there's no reason you should have to light it all daylight as long as you colour balance to whatever you end up with.

 

If you need to shoot it from all angles and just have it look technically competent, you may find that a nice even fluorescent toplight is quite a handy way to go.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:33 PM

If I were going to spend the money on more lights, I'd probably just add more fluorescents to the ceiling, maybe even 8' shop lights.


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#4 Lorne Cherry

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:31 PM

Been pouring over these forums and Youtube to ground myself (no pun intended) on rudimentary lighting skills. I found these, about the only thing that has a CRI of 90 and is a T12 

Philips 40W 48in T12 Bright White Fluorescent Tube

 

  • Color/Finish: Daylight
  • Color Temperature: 5,000K
  • Average Lifetime: 24000 hours
  • Lumens (light output): 2500
  • CRI: 90

Would these be OK? I plan to add 2X 1024 Bi Color LED and a small backlight for the youtube product review videos also. 

 

I will perhaps add a RotoLight Neo for when I have to vlog. Was also considering Came-TV 1024 high CRI for key and off-axis light for when I do youtube product reviews. Any thoughts on the above are appreciated. Thanks, Lorne

 

 


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