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Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy

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Howard Mills
Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy
on Jun 16, 2009 at 6:58:13 pm

Hello everyone, (I hope I'm posting in the right forum)

I’m a newbie when it comes to video production so please be gently. I need advice on which lighting equipment (kit) to buy. I’ll be shooting in various locations, for example: a 12x24 room (our new studio), a kitchen, fitness room and in various homes. The lights should be portable and cool (someone here mentioned the LED 500). My budget is about $3,000.00.
Thanks for all your help.


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Rick Wise
Re: Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy
on Jun 16, 2009 at 9:29:39 pm

It sounds like some of the locations where you will be shooting will have significant amounts of daylight. So you are probably best off buying daylight-balanced units. It also looks like you studio is tiny, so you will have a hard time lighting the foreground separately from the back ground. Fortunately, all these spaces are indoors, so you do not need to be fighting the sun, other than what you see out any windows. You can reduce that intensity with RoscoScrim and/or ND gels

The classic approach would be one 4x4 Kino with daylight bulbs (though you can also get tungsten bulbs for not a whole lot more money), and 2 2x2 Kino with daylight bulbs. I haven't looked at prices lately and this may break the $3,000 limit.

There are cheaper fluorescent alternatives to Kino Flos, but I have not used them. They all tend to have green spikes that you can deal with by adding 1/4 to 1/2 minus green gel. (See the thread on "a little green.") Sooner or later you will want some diffusion to soften even the soft Kinos: 1/2 grid is great but chews up quite a bit of light. Opal transmits more light but does not diffuse as much. If you can, get some of each, for starters. (There are many other diffusion gels to consider.)

Another way is to go LEDs. I'll leave that to others with more experience to describe. I have yet to use them.

Be sure you also get with your order: several C-stands, some means to rig one of the 2x2 Kinos from the ceiling, some scrims, at least one 4x4 piece of foamcore. You can make flags out of wood or cardboard for now; just paint them black.

Rick Wise
director of photography
and custom lighting design
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Howard Mills
Re: Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy
on Jun 18, 2009 at 7:24:00 pm

Hi Rick, thanks for responding. You’re absolutely right, quite a few of my locations will have a significant amount of light from nearby windows. On the other hand, the studio has no windows. I took your advice and tried to order the Kino lights but was advised they’re not very portable (which I do require). I was steered to the Lowell DP Super Remote Kit, what do you think?
I would love to go with LED’s, but I don’t know where to start.

I appreciate your time,
Howard


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Patrick Flaherty
Re: Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy
on Jun 19, 2009 at 12:55:40 am

I'm not a big fan of the lowell DP kits too much. I have purchased an Arri Kit with 2 300 fresnels and 2 150 fresnels. Plus a Chimera portable kit. This works well for interviews in small spaces and they are quite portable. Carry a white board or someother type of bounce like a round reflector. You could add some 650 arris for larger setups. For years I used arri 1k open face with bounce cards, I like the soft boxes better. I also purchased a 1k zip light for quick setup situations . c-stands and drop celing clamps are a god send as well.


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Howard Mills
Re: Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy
on Jun 19, 2009 at 4:44:25 pm

Patrick,
I took a look at the ARRI Kits and so far I like what I see. They seem to be very portable but appear to produce tons of heat? Am I correct? The Kino sales rep. recommended the Kino Flo Diva Light 400 2 Light Kit. I may need additional lighting, but it’s a good start. What do you think?


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Rick Wise
Re: Need suggestion on what type of lights to buy
on Jun 19, 2009 at 6:36:48 pm

The Lowel DP kits are tungsten kits. You need, I think from your description, daylight lighting. One option: the Lowel Caselight with daylight bulbs: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=sort&A=search&Q=&sortDrop.... These come in 4-bulb and 2-bulb models, and fold into a single, portable case. Another is the Kino Flo Diva Lights which are a bit more expensive: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=sort&A=search&Q=&sortDrop...

Note that you can use the same daylight units to light your windowless studio.

Another alternative is to go with tungsten units and add 1/2 CTB to each. Remember when you see out the window you want the outside to be around 2 stops hotter than the inside.

Finally, for LED options, do a GoogleSearch. Two quick choices: BHPhotovideo.com, search for "LED", and CoolLights. (Their server is down right now.)

Rick Wise
director of photography
and custom lighting design
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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