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Thread: Video lighting

  1. #1
    Team Starburst Ian@1904's Avatar
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    Video lighting

    As some of you might have noticed I have been doing a fair bit of diving over the summer and one or two dive videos have been produced. I am using a GoPro9 and DivePro D90F lights that throw out 9,000 lumens and the results have been very pleasing to me.

    I am considering upgrading the lights to 15,000, 18,000 or even the massive 30,000 lumens. Mostly because in Scapa I feel that I could do with more light at times. However I am not sure what benefit I will actually gain. Hence me asking the question. So I am hoping that the light will go further in the water, if that makes sense so that I can illuminate more of the wreck sites.

    Next year I plan to dive in Scapa, Mull, possibly Norway among other places.

    Given the cost of such lights I don't want to make an expensive mistake. So please can anyone provide advice on whether to buy the more powerful lights and in which case what size.

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member Paulo's Avatar
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    Have a look at the Big Blue Dive Lights models. I am sure they will have a UK distribution.

    In terms of value for money they are hard to beat.

    My understanding of video lights though is that they are not intended for projecting light very far
    If my post doesnt have a typo, then I have probably been hacked!

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    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    Lumens is the amount of light put out by the bulb, Lux is the amount of light per unit area reaching the target which is what matters. So for the same beam angle the amount of light reaching your target falls with the square of the distance - that means that to get the same "amount" of illumination at 2m as at 1m range requires 4x the amount of lumens. So if your current 9000 lumen light is ok for a subject at 2m you need a whopping 36,000 lumens to get the same amount of light on your target at 4m if the beam angle is the same. This ignores absorption/scattering in the water and obviously doubling the distance also doubles the amount of water and crap the light has to pass through so doubles the losses on top of this.

    Hence, you should not expect a massive improvement in reach even if you go to a light with 3 times the output - and of course Chinese lumens are a fair bit smaller than others if you are doing a comparison.

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    All hail ZOM Woz's Avatar
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    For the survey work on the Vanguard, Royal Oak and Hampshire the teams used a mix of custom designed video lights and Keldans. Obvs they were working in the sort of environment you're looking at!

    The photogrammetry survey was done using a Paralenz camera with 4 Keldans on it, combined with stills shots.
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    Established TDF Member Timw's Avatar
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    If you want to try a cheaper option before you invest in expensive lights, you can do worse than something like these:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304071989...Cclp%3A2334524

    Output is probably a bit exaggerated but you can find them for around 50 + batteries on Amazon or ebay. I've used a few for off camera lighting for stills for a couple of years. The switch will fail eventually but proper rinsing will prolong the life. If they do what you want, you can blow a lot more on good quality equivalents.
    Tea Boy

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    More, as in brighter, is not always better ... particularly if you can't get it away from the camera ... even the, with the inverse square rule, massively bright lights are not very bright a few m from camera even in good viz
    Last edited by graham_hk; 08-09-2021 at 09:06 PM.

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    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timw View Post
    If you want to try a cheaper option before you invest in expensive lights, you can do worse than something like these:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304071989...Cclp%3A2334524

    Output is probably a bit exaggerated but you can find them for around 50 + batteries on Amazon or ebay. I've used a few for off camera lighting for stills for a couple of years. The switch will fail eventually but proper rinsing will prolong the life. If they do what you want, you can blow a lot more on good quality equivalents.
    I have a box of similar lights in storage somewhere - they are the survivors of a bunch of cheap lights I bought off Alibaba a few years ago for about 20 each and will fail eventually (and unpredictably) but in the /light equation are hard to beat

  8. #8
    bottlefish Stuart Keasley's Avatar
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    As others have said, you're not going to get the light to travel any further (if the sun can't do it, what chance have you got?), you will just be increasing the exposure levels and colour balance in the foreground. And as Graham say's, this can be counter productive, as in exposing correctly for the well lit foreground you end up under exposing the not so well lit background.

    An ideal starting point for wide shots would be to expose the background sufficiently well to retain the green/blue environment, then light the foreground to bring out the colours... so less is sometimes better.

    But with that said, if you get a couple of more powerful lights, then you have the choice to adjust and play around.... and if you find that you only use them at 50% you'll enjoy a much longer burn time between recharges.
    Please visit bottlefish for my personal web site, Quay Cameras to chat to me about the cameras and kit that I sell

  9. #9
    TDF Member huwporter's Avatar
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    Big lights can be useful if you can get your models to hold them.

    You don't need really big lights on the camera, that is a recipe for blown out foregrounds/black backgrounds and backscatter. The exception is in clear water shallow and/or with bright sun, where you need a lot of power to compete with the blue light from the sun to get a bit of colour back in to the foreground.
    Last edited by huwporter; 08-09-2021 at 10:52 PM.


 

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