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Best light for catch-lights

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#1 Alexander Sutton Hough

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:31 PM

Hi I am looking for a good option for a small LED light that can help with catch-lights in the eyes. Whats a small versatile light that can help when in a pinch to give actors catch-lights in the eyes without effecting the overall lighting on the face, especially in higher lighting ratios and in shadows.  


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 07:39 PM

I have a Yongnuo YN300 LED that I use occasionally as an eyelight. The CRI is reasonable, and it has a built in dimmer. I think it was about $60 on eBay. Generally I would try to use a larger source as an eyelight, though, as otherwise the catchlight in the actors eye is tiny.


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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:41 PM

Something like a LIte-mat 1 is a good choice. Expensive, yes, but you can dim it to just give the right amount most of the time. Generally, though, the eye-lights you see are the reflections of a large soft source lighting the scene.


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#4 Reggie A Brown

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:04 AM

If the subject is still you can use a dedo light with barn doors are a snoot to point light directly into the eyes only. Other than that I've always had difficulties adding a catch light without messing with the over all lighting on the face. I agree with Adrian, the catch light is usually from a larger source that's used the light the face or scene anyway.
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#5 aapo lettinen

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:09 PM

I like to use small diy perfectly round kapa reflectors with shiny aluminium surface and the other side being either matte aluminium surface or white kapa with stripes or dots of shiny or matte aluminium. these reflectors range from about 10cm to 40cm in diameter depending on the distance to the actor. may also use a CN300 cheap led light with heavy diffusion or a small frame with diffusion and a round spot made to the surface with for example a dedolight or similar. 

I generally try to avoid using separate heavy eyelights because they distract the actors and make them blink more often. the small round kapa reflector is normally enough for me in tighter shots is not too unbearable for the actors like a pocket par straight to the eye style approach could be :)


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:01 AM

Anything that puts out light can and has been used as a catchlight in the eye -- a bare lightbulb taped above or below the matte box, a small paper lantern, a 1x1 LitePanel, a #1 Litemat, a Kino MiniFlo, anything.  The eye is like a silver Christmas Tree ball, it reflects a wide area of what is in front of the face.

 

There are so many mitigating factors to choose one technique over another, including how far away is the camera from the subject and how big of a reflection do you want in the eyeball.  Since the eye is a curved shape, small lights tend to produce small reflections, sometimes just a white dot in the eye.  If you want to see the catchlight a little better, you may have to use a larger shape like a paper lantern, but the larger the shape, the more you can see the shape in the eye, whether it is round, square, rectangular, etc.

 

Lately I've been using a #1 Litemat just because I prefer the color over the 1x1 LitePanel, and often we have muslin taped over the front of the Litemat so it is very soft and creates a subtle warm reflection in the eye but occasionally I wish I had used the 1x1 LitePanel instead because I think it is a bit more specular and creates more of a sparkle in the eye.

 

For Steadicam shots I often use a LitePanel Micro LED.  What I wish is someone would make a unit like that that I can dim remotely from my iPhone because as the Steadicam moves through a tight space or a crowd, it would be useful to fade the camera light off when it gets too close to something or is reflected momentarily in a window or something.


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 10:09 AM

You could dim remotely if you could firgure out a way to rig up a wireless DMX system and an app through the iphone. While i'm not big on DMX, I have seen wireless transmitter/recivers around which work off of a WiFi network. I'm not sure what kind of power input they need, I"m sure you could get one which is DC and low volt enough to have a ptap cable fabricated. Also the new digital sputnik voyager has app control from a iphone; so maybe use the 2' tube? jjust thoughts.


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:39 AM

2' tube on a Steadicam along with DMX control unit?


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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:41 AM

For Steadicam shots I often use a LitePanel Micro LED.  What I wish is someone would make a unit like that that I can dim remotely from my iPhone because as the Steadicam moves through a tight space or a crowd, it would be useful to fade the camera light off when it gets too close to something or is reflected momentarily in a window or something.

Rat Pack make a wireless DMX system which is ideal for that sort of thing. There's also a number of stage/DJ oriented products. The problem is finding a DMX capable lamp that is both small and color correct.


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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 03:10 PM

Not the easiest thing to balance, no; but i think it'd work. Taped to the top of the mattebox. I also think they have a macros for it so you can program them to time, then you have an automated one. It's 2.43lbs according to the website


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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 04:42 PM

When, or if they decide to make a 1 ft version it will be viable option, but I think a 2 ft tube on the mattebox is unwieldy, and not the ideal shape.


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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 04:52 PM

True; but i still think it could be done.

I wonder, actually if you could just guy the thing. They're pretty cheap all things considered, just to get to the LEDs and control bits.


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#13 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:02 PM

I'm guessing you mean 'macguyver' :)

 

I don't think it would be that easy at all. The LEDS are probably the easiest part, but incorporating both a WiFi receiver and a DMX controller into the lamp, while keeping power consumption low enough for it to be battery powered, and weight low enough for it to be easily balanced on a rig sounds like it might be tricky to me.


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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:05 PM

I would think the biggest component would be the batteries honestly-- probably taking up most of it-- but if it's 12V input; which it might be, you could probably get it over to P-tap.


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#15 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:25 PM

There are numerous battery powered wireless DMX DJ style lights available on eBay. I guess it would be possible to adapt one to run from P Tap power, and then remove the cheap LEDs and replace them. But you'd still be left with the cheap control circuitry and dimmer. And you'd need a new housing for the whole thing.

 

Maybe a project for a boring sunday?

 

Actually, I suspect Phil Rhodes might have an idea how to make it all work...


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#16 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

Perhaps go lite-gear LEDs onto the board. And yeah i suspect a sunday project. If/when i get some free-er time this yr I might just try to get my hands on a voyager and tear it apart and see.


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