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Kevindale222

Gopro - recommended video light arm length?

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Hi. I'm currently in process of purchasing gopro 4 rig. From your guys experience what is the recommended length of arms with video light.i like the look/ ease of the locline system. I see they do 6" and 12". Am mainly purchasing for my upcoming trip to Galapagos and want a good set up.i usually shoot stills so this is kinda new and any advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

Do you aim video light straight or is it best to angle like strobes so the light catches the subject at the edges of the beam. Is it the same process as strobes?

 

also anyone have reviews/ different options on following

 

backscatter tray and handle system?

locline flex arms?

FIT 2400 WSR Video lights?

flip 3.1 filters?

 

Many Thanks in advance.

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Well, there are a couple things to consider.

 

First of all, the FIT 2400 light you are considering is a bit overkill for goPro. Do you really need UV? If not, then look into the lower end of other brand like Archon which you can generally purchase from ebay. I have Archon D32vr, which get the job done. If you need more light and plan to grow into it, the Archon W42vr is 5200 lumen and cost about the same as FIT2400 and way cheaper than Light & Motion.

 

As for arm length (and how much light you need), it depends on the subject. For Macro/night dive, 2000 lumen is more than enough. If you want to video reef that's within 2m in front of you, 2500lumen should be enough. If you want to video school of jack, hammer head or any big animal, light have no use and you need color white balance. In the case of the goPro, it depends on depth, if it's shallow, then the red filter flip may help but expect to do some color correction in post. The 5200 lumen on Archon W42vr would be good for wreck, especially if you need to light up the interior of the wreck.

 

Most video lights are only 120 degree, and the goPro is wider than that, so you might want to get two lights that go to left and right of the handle. I shoot with Panasonic LX100, and have two segment of arm consist of 8 + 11, this give me the flexibility to pull the arm behind the camera and not to cause hard shallow and blown out highlight, which will happen if you have the light too close to the subject. I don't use locline because I generally prefer something that I can swap out for longer/shorter length when I need to. Besides, I need float and lens holder on my arm, which doesn't apply to you.

 

At the end of the day, it depends what kind of result you're expecting from the goPro. If the visibility is not great on the dive and there is overcast, there is only so much you can do to bring out the color by using light, and the deeper you go, the more difficult it is because goPro lens has limitation.

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Thanks for the reply. The fit2400 LED doesn't have the UV. The pro version does.

 

The archon W42VR is £450-500 and there is very limited/no reviews on the web. Which worries me a bit. I would like to use the video light as a focus light on with my Olympus rig and the archon is heavier. I see Archon so a 2600 lumen, Might be worth a look.

 

I am looking at purchasing 2 video lights. The only real reason I asked advice on FIT 2400 LED is because I can grab a second hand one at min for £200.

 

I already have lattice type arms and floats for my still rig but don't wanna have to keep swapping them out. Just wanna pick up the gopro rig and go.

 

Thanks for you info with regards to lighting various scenes. I was hoping to use the lights as you suggest and shoot playing sea lions/marine iguanas, red lipped bat fish etc in Galapagos. And use the flip 3.1 filters for the larger pelagics. I'm point the Hero 4 has the good low light improvement as I have read. :).

 

What positions for the video lights have you found work best?

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I see, so you are going to have two sets of rig, one with the existing Olympus and one is the goPro. I won't get into the possibility of mounting the goPro on top of the Olympus or swap out the Olympus and put the goPro on your existing tray as it's really a personal preference and travel carry on luggage limitation.

 

For lighting, I don't use light during the day unless it's late in the afternoon or night dive. During the day I just use custom white balance and ambient light. If the visibility is great, then I would use a red filter, but still use custom white balance.

 

For light position, I have my light on my right as I'm right handed and easier for me to adjust. When I need to get really close up, then I would move the light to the center but very high just so it won't create hard shadow and blind my subject. I think the concept is very similar to strobe position, you want the cone of light coming from both side so you don't hit the center hard. If there is silk in the water, position the light in the center will make it worse.

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Yeh two set ups. I don't wanna go down road with trying to shoot still and video. I wanna concentrate on one. If not it will be a mess. :).

 

For the price of a tray and handle etc. like one from backscstter it is just easier for the go pro to hav its own tray etc.

 

Yeh same concept as strobes then.

 

Why would u not use the light during the day? Is there a reason? Surely it can only benefit the subject lighting it with the video light or not?

 

I like to post process so will most prob be using the adobe premiere to do so. I just like to get the best quality/colour when shooting.

 

Appreciate you helping us out.

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If you use light during the day, then the color will not be great, in the sense that the foreground will be lit (probably around 2 meter or less), then the rest of the stuffs are pale and blue, creating a lifeless scene, look something like this (just grab the image URL from Google, so not sure this violate any posting rule):

 

Plan%20a%20scuba%20diving%20trip.jpg

 

A custom white balance scene would look like this:

 

MagicFilter.jpg

 

 

But if you do custom white balance, then the color temperature will be correct from the foreground all the way to the back. If you use light during the day, the color temperature of the area that get lit would be 5000K (depends on which light you use), while the background is totally different color temperature. When you put on the flip red filter, you shouldn't use light as well because the area that get lit by the light will be very red, so you can't mix two color temperature in one scene.

 

Also, during day time, I'm having hard time to see which area get lit by the light just by looking at the camera LCD.

 

Why can't you use the Olympus to shoot video? Is it because you need the 2.7K/4K of the goPro? I don't know which model of the Olympus you have, it might just be easy that way since you already know the Olympus lens well, and you can just swap your strobe out with light if you want to do a video dive. If your Olympus have IBIS/5-Axis stabilization, that will make the footage more stable as well.

Edited by kc_moses

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For Galapagos light are non that useful. Sharks usually stay at 4 - 5 feet the only subjects that come a bit closer are turtles. Also surf is quite bad and it's better to have a simple set up. I used a tray with two float arms connected as a triangle on top by a single clamp. Invest in a good filter. Considering that depths are around 18-25 for most a magic filter would be ideal. If you dive Isabella the water is really green consider a magenta filter too. In short don't waste time with lights would be my advice

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thanks interceptor. I am thinking the backscatter flip 3.1 filter with the magenta for the green water and one of the red filters. i get where your coming from with regards to the sharks not coming close. was thinking more iguana's, sea lions, turtles, rays etc. As its a once in a lifetime trip just want to cover all areas. :)

 

From what i have read not all dives are super strong currents. mainly Darwin and Wolf. So wouldn't think shooting a tiny GoPro with couple of lights on tray would be to strenuous?

 

Did you shoot GoPro when you were in Galapagos. have you used dual video light with a GoPro set up??

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I shot with my Sony rx100 I had two sola 1200 and I put them on very rarely. You can try lights as you wish but you will most likely end up with just one part of the frame lit up. Better use a filter and forget about it. Some fish do perform well with lights though such as barracudas you can check on my channel the shot on the red sand those are with lights. But for the Sharks lights do nothing. If you are lucky to see a whale shark you wouldn't be able to cover it anyway

Edited by Interceptor121

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love the video.

 

When do you find it best to use dual video lights?

 

I guess using filter and a good post process is the way to go. just always thought lights were better than filter.

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I always use two lights. Using only one for video is only possible in gin clear water. Even for macro I use two one as main and the other one as fill light. Galapagos is a challenging destination for photos really no need for a fisheye as there is no coral and no macro either. For your Olympus you need a 7-14 or 9-18 and two good twin strobes. For video the FIT are ok but other than barracudas and the occasional turtle or group of snappers you won't find much use out of them

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Yeh the challenging conditions is the reason for the gopro really.

 

I was looking at the FIT 1200 as the two video lights but u have put me off now/saved me money one way or other. :). I was thinking of using X1 video light as a focus light on camera housing. Yeh have the 9-18mm with zen dome.

 

Just all this talk of strong currents I am thinking of shooting video with gopro mainly I think and just enjoying the diving.

 

Looking at decent tray/handle combo and set of flip 3.1 filters.

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Galapagos has more surge than currents at Darwin. For still images makes sure you have at least two 8" arm segments or longer and two strong strobes.

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