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Thread started 22 Feb 2012 (Wednesday) 10:58
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What lights do you like to use, or prefer to use?

 
Mr ­ Rogers
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Feb 22, 2012 10:58 |  #1

A good friend of mine has had a kit of bright soft boxes that i've been borrowing for a little while but now i think it's in my budget to buy some of my own (300-600).

His are nice but they've got skinny halogen bulbs and i think that in the long run those will be more expensive then your everyday Edison type bulbs.

Alright so my question is what are your experiences with lights. which do you prefer which do you think are total garbage.

For now i am looking for a kit of 3 soft boxes that will put out a nice amount of light. I've already got flags and those sorts of things to reduce light.

Thanks!


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gibsonla
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Feb 22, 2012 11:08 |  #2

kinoflo tegra's are my all time favorite lights... but thats way out of your price range.

I personally prefer fluorescents when I can use them. Nice large soft source that won't give you or anyone else 2nd degree burns (though, they can never be turned into a hard light source where as a tungsten light can be made into a soft source).

Insofar as what's in your personal budget you pretty much have two options

Option 1: Buy used arri's or used mole richardsons. I would get 650w lights. If you buy used there's a small chance you can get two and a softbox. But that would probably run you closer to $7-$850

Option 2: Buy some fluorescent lights http://www.coollights.​biz …753d59b69ce5f81​fb192815ed (external link) - These are kinoflo rip offs but they're actually very very very nice ripoffs. I would suggest the 4x55 dimmable, but that's your entire budget

Lighting isn't cheap. Ask yourself if you really need lights or if it would be more prudent to rent. I almost bought a lighting kit, then I realized that every project I'm brought onto had a rental budget where they just rented the lights out. A three point arri kit from most rental houses will cost you $50 for an entire weekend.


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mtimber
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Feb 22, 2012 11:15 |  #3

gibsonla wrote in post #13943652 (external link)
I personally prefer fluorescents when I can use them. Nice large soft source that won't give you or anyone else 2nd degree burns (though, they can never be turned into a hard light source where as a tungsten light can be made into a soft source).

We are going to have to get some lights after a videography job fell into our laps.

We are currently considering 3 sets of lights that have 5 daylight bulbs in each.

The hard light question has arisen though...

I am guessing that when you pull the flourescents back to create a smaller light source, you lose usable light to an unusable point?


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gibsonla
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Feb 22, 2012 11:18 |  #4

That depends on the camera that you're using. No matter how far you pull it back though, you'll never turn it into a real hard light source. It will get "harder" but it won't turn into a hard source. It's just the physics of how the fluorescent light operates and how light leaves those bulbs.

Whenever I light, I have my fluorescents for my nice broad soft source, then I'll have an arri or a mole for when I need a hard source. For example, kicker/hairlight/accen​tuation of an object in the scene/etc.

All lights are a specific tool, they all accomplish different things. Utilize what you need to make the scene match your vision =)


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mtimber
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Feb 22, 2012 11:20 |  #5

The shoot we are doing is a product training video, so I am hoping the soft light will do the trick.

I have considered maybe purchasing one Red Head, but the safety issues hold me back.

Do you have any experience of them?


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capri_stylee
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Feb 22, 2012 12:56 |  #6

I've been using 2 500w Interfit lights similar tothis kit (external link), although mine has 2 softboxes instead of umbrellas. Its not great TBH, although its quite cheap and better than nothing. Got a lend of 2 300w Arris for a shoot a few days ago, i now know what i am saving for (external link) :D




  
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ChasWG
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Feb 22, 2012 13:03 |  #7

What I perfer to do with lights and stands is to let the grip and gaffer department deal with that stuff. I'm a sound guy and we don't touch such dirty things. ;) Though I have done a lot of that kind of work in my past and still help out when the crew is small. personally I really like the new FloLites. Super cool, east to set up. No cords if powered by battery and fairly light wieght. I shoot a show on HGTV called "House Hunters" and we use two of those 1'x1' LED panel lights for most of the shoot. Only busting out a couple 400 watt, K5600 HMI's when needed. Some of those houses are dark.

Open face lights can used in perfect safety, as long as you treat them with respect. They should have a fine mesh screen that covers the face of the instrument. Some people remove those thinking they will get more light out of the unit. And yes, they do, but that is where you run into issues. If for some reason that bulb bursts (the stand gets bumped hard, you adjust the forward or backward orientation of the bulb to focus it) the bulb can bust, sending molten glass outward. The screen stops that from happening. Sometime those bulbs still burst, but the glass is kept inside the unit.

I was shooting a commercial years ago (one man band before I knew I wanted to do sound only) and I was adjusting a Lowel 650w light shifted the lever for focusing the lamp and it snagged and then let go, smashing the bulb backward and bursting it. I was behind the instrument when it popped and man, was that sucker loud! Molten glass came flying out because there was no screen to stop it and it sprayed all over the brand new carpet in this vacuum cleaner store melting it right to the subfloor in about 16 spots instantly. Lesson learned. Production company paid for the carpet and then found all the screens for those lights and put them back in the kits.

Not that I like Lowel lights, but they are cheap and can be used to some good effect. The Tota is the ugliest light out there. More of a "splatter" light, but it can be used in soft boxes (its best use) and they are cheap and put out 1000 watts of light. With the proper speed ring and softbox it's not too bad. They can also be bounced off of white surfaces (not too close to the wall or ceiling) to help raise the over all ambient light level in a room with good effect. But these are all open faced lights, so treat them with some caution.

And then in a quick search on Amazon I found this kit. No endorsement here, just found it and thought it was worth a look for super budget minded folks.
http://www.amazon.com …/B001P7G0ZQ/ref​=pd_cp_p_2 (external link)


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Channel ­ One
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Feb 22, 2012 14:52 |  #8

Mr Rogers wrote in post #13943601 (external link)
Alright so my question is what are your experiences with lights. which do you prefer which do you think are total garbage.



Personally I prefer incandescent lighting, I find it to be reliable predictable and rugged, obviously the downside of incandescent is heat and the amount of power needed to operate the lighting, which can literally and quickly overload the standard 1800 watt branch circuits commonly found in the residential environment, and in some cases can even be a problem with 2400 watt commercial branch circuits.

Another reason I like incandescent is simplicity, about all that can go wrong is a bulb burns out, as such restoring the light to operation merely requires allowing it to cool down and replace the bulb, the same pretty much applies to both florescent and HMI as the ballasts are quite robust and reliable leaving the bulbs to be the primary point of failure, where the electronics becomes a problem is in LED lighting, as those fixtures utilize a series of buck-boost regulators and LED strings, neither of which are filed maintainable, if an LED panel fails you are dead in the water.

Now as for the good and bad of lighting, that’s pretty simple with incandescent, most of the made for the purpose lamps from companies like ARRI, Mole-Richardson and NSI/Leviton will serve you well, and though they may appear to be a bit pricey they will none the less provide you with a good return on your investment, these lamps are designed for the job at hand utilizing heavy duty ceramic lamp holders, heavy duty toggle switches, high temperature fiberglass sleeved internal wiring and heavy duty SJO cords.

Where people get burned with incandescent, (pardon the pun) is when they try to utilize similar looking, but not properly designed halogen shop or construction lamps, the primary problems with those lamps is they utilize poorly designed reflectors that fail to provide a flat even level of illumination, they also exhibit poor ventilation characteristics resulting in shortened bulb life, they also lack on-lamp bracketing which makes the attachment of gels skrims etc. difficult.

And if that was not enough, a lot of these lamps are equipped with cheap plastic cords and plugs and almost universally utilize 90 degree centigrade internal wiring, and while that meets the code for high temperature lamp wiring, it will eventually become brittle causing the insulation to flake off, which will result in bare conductors and subsequent electrical hazards. Furthermore, the sockets in most of the shop and construction lamps I have come across, while ceramic, are not robust and after a few months of use lose the proper tension required to make a good solid connection to the bulb causing arcing, intermittent lighting and premature bulb failure.


Wayne


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Mr ­ Rogers
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Feb 23, 2012 13:25 |  #9

Thanks for all the comments guys!
Chas I've always got a pretty small crew so i do the dirty work and the clean work generally.
I don't usually mind the heat the lamps give off (maybe i'm just saying this because it's winter and i've forgotten how terrible it is to shoot on summer nights.
Gibson, I really wish i had the money for Kinoflos but with the amount of light they put out and the cost they generally run it's not practical for me.
I think i'll look into some used arris since i'm sure i can keep them in good shape long enough for me to get my money back and some. Also the fresnel lenses will be a cool addition.
I'll probably get just two softboxes in a cheeper kit for now.

Thanks all!
John R.


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gibsonla
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Feb 23, 2012 13:32 |  #10

A kinoflo divalite 400 (runs off 220 watts) puts out roughly the light output equivalent of an arri 1k


Michael L. Solomon
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What lights do you like to use, or prefer to use?
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