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07-10-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
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K5 video lighting question

Hi all,
I have what I think is a bit of a strange question. I have been using my K5 (with video capability, obviously) and love it. I will be travelling to Botswana, Africa for the second time next May (2014). On the last trip my K5 was so new I wasn't confident about using the video. As a result I took all my video clips with my Panasonic Lumix, and was happy with the result. Except: the special use which I cannot figure out is getting enough light on a campfire scene. Specifically, in the camps in Botswana, at least once during each visit, the local staff sings and dances around a campfire in the outdoor boma. It is a wonderful experience. I have it on video from the Lumix and the audio is fine, but without being able to use addition front lighting much of the visual portion is WAY too dark. I don't know if there are any settings on the K5 which would at least make the most of this bad lighting situation. It just isn't appropriate to have a separate light which lights up the dancers. It would spoil the entire ambiance and the other guests would probably start throwing food at me.

Any ideas?

If not settings in the camera at the time the video is taken, maybe I will have to purchase some kind of video editing software. Any ideas on the best approach to that?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Mary Lippold
Los Angeles

07-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #2
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Put a f/1.4 lens on the K5, and with the dynamic range offered by the sensor - and using Adobe Premier, you should be able to get everything you need without additional lights.

If you still need extra light, and you want it to remain natural, use a reflector to bounce some of the campfire light back into the subject.

Be careful though, in that photography reflectors are highly flammable!
07-10-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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Also, aesthetically, you are going to have your subjects in shadow, profile and illuminated as the campfire is a central light source. I would shoot a campfire with several different cameras if possible, so that you get a mix of footage. Scope out the location in the day if possible, and if you can get above the subjects, that would work too.

One of the great things about the K5 is that HDMI out works great and you can start and stop the video with a remote so you don't have to touch the camera.
07-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot. I do have a remote for the camera, so I'll be sure to take it along. And, since the little Lumix did a decent job, I will have my husband use it while I'm using the K5.
Oh, oops, I don't have an f/1.4. I do have a 70-200 f/2.8. Do you think that would be good enough, along with some post production editing? I hate to admit it, but I don't have a clue what you mean by "...with the dynamic range offered by the sensor..." I'm not anywhere near being a pro, but I'm learning as much as possible as I go along.

07-10-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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Ok, here are my suggestion(s).

There is nothing wrong with f/2.8, but a f/1.4 is significantly faster.

Since you are going to do video, go and buy one of these lenses.

Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens 22177 B&H Photo Video

Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax 85M-P B&H Photo

Bower 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Pentax SLY3514P B&H Photo Video

Samyang 35mm f/1.4 Wide-Angle US UMC Aspherical Lens SY35M-P B&H

All of these lenses are pretty fast, and because you are going to shoot video, you don't need autofocus. The only one that is autofocus is the Pentax 50mm f/1.8

I personally say go with the 85mm f/1.4

Because the K5 is 14bit per pixel, you get a tremendous amount of dynamic range when editing your videos in Premier or other tools. What that means, is you can get more "range" when you take video that might appear as too dark (or light).

As an example, the video below, I created it using some of my footage that I did not use without extra rendering/processing, and only because of what is available with the K5 and it's dynamic range.


Watch it at 1080p or 720p with headphones or good sound!

07-10-2013, 06:06 PM   #6
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Also, here is what I use to shoot most of my videos in the field.



In addition to the on-camera mic, I also use a Zoom H2n for back up.
07-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #7
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A 70-200mm f/2.8 is a very good lens, but I think that's too long and narrow for this king of events. And an f/1,4 lens is 4 time brighter than a f/2.8. My choice would be a 35mm f/1.4, or even an 30mm f/1.4.
07-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
A 70-200mm f/2.8 is a very good lens, but I think that's too long and narrow for this king of events. And an f/1,4 lens is 4 time faster-brighter than a f/2.8. My choice would be a 35mm f/1.4, or even an 30mm f/1.4.
Agree. Either a wide or short tele.
I have them all when I am doing video!


07-10-2013, 10:59 PM   #9
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Thanks Lauren and Jimmy. I will check out the lenses. ...and Lauren, what an absolutely wonderful video that is!
I appreciate your advice very much.
Thanks again,
Mary
07-11-2013, 06:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mary Lippold Quote
Thanks Lauren and Jimmy. I will check out the lenses. ...and Lauren, what an absolutely wonderful video that is!
I appreciate your advice very much.
Thanks again,
Mary
Thanks!

(There are also Parts 1 - 5)

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