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Lighting kit question - PBL VL-1000

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Russell Robertson
Lighting kit question - PBL VL-1000
on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:22:36 pm

Hello,

Is anyone familiar with the PBL VL-1000 lighting kit? http://www.pblvideolighting.com/product-p/pvl-10130.htm

In a few weeks I’m going to be shooting a small opera company (13 singers), who will be stationary, standing up/down a large, elegant staircase in a grand old house. I’ll be shooting with 3x Sony EX1Rs, in HD.

Today I do not own my own lighting kit. The cost to rent something simple to light such a stationary shoot is just about the same as purchasing this PBL VL-1000 kit outright. I like the idea of 3x soft boxes with variable outputs, with integrated fans.

But again, I’m not the lighting expert and welcome and comments, suggestions, etc.

Many thanks in advance

RR



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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting kit question - PBL VL-1000
on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:41:55 pm

Well, I won't give a recommendation either for or against... just make a couple of observations.

These instruments are fairly dirt cheap... and the invariable rule in lighting is "you get what you pay for." They might work fine for your shoot, but don't expect a super robust instrument that will last for years.

Secondly... be aware that these are fan-cooled. You will hear the fans. Not loud, but your mics might very well pick them up. Especially if you are in a quiet interior with an acoustically reflective space, and/or the instruments are anywhere remotely near the talent or mics... that might be an issue. We have a little set of three similar fan-cooled 1K instruments that we don't use very much (maybe once a year), and we only use them for MOS shoots (never for sound shoots) because you can hear them.

Thirdly, I wouldn't rely on the dimming feature of them too much, you will likely get shifts in the color temperature if you use that.

Fourthly and lastly, all halogen instruments run very hot. Just be prepared for that.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Russell Robertson
Re: Lighting kit question - PBL VL-1000
on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:21:04 am

Todd,

Many thanks for your comments. The fan noise is something I did not factor in.

Of course no one likes dealing with the heat, but I’m not sure what options I have. Attached is a photo of the room of the shoot. The event will be in the evening so there will be no natural light, and the ambient house light is minimal. Whatever light I go with, there must be some throw since they will not be on top of the talent (I’m estimating 15’ to 20’ lights to talent – tomorrow I’ll be making proper measurements). Other than tungsten, what else is there? Can you purchase (or perhaps rent) LED or florescent panel solutions with enough wattage for under say $750/$1k? If so, what would you suggest? I’d just hate to rent. I have to start acquiring lighting.

Thanks again

RR




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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting kit question - PBL VL-1000
on Oct 27, 2010 at 1:49:01 am

Yikes... that's a pretty huge space to light from scratch with no instruments and a low budget. It can be done though.

Personally, I'd go with HMIs for such a sizable space... but I'm a big fan of daylight lighting. You'll get much more output per watt (about five times as much compared to tungsten), and less heat.

Depending on where you are and what kind of rental facilities you have, you could probably get three (possibly four) 800w Joker-Bugs with Chimeras for around 1K. I could rent those for that amount here, but your mileage may vary.

I'd put two in their Chimera soft boxes out in the room to wash the staircase, and I'd see if there was a place on the second floor to hide the third one (no softbox, open face with barn doors) to wash down the staircase and give you a backlight.

I know you don't want to rent... but this setup involves many thousands of dollars worth of ligting instruments... but you should be able to rent them on your budget.

It's not ideal, it will probably be a little flat and probably not the world's most interesting lighting design, but it will get the job done. For such a big space I'd normally suggest larger instruments than the 800 Jokers, but that's about what I think you can get on your budget... and they aren't too power hungry which might be a concern in your old house location... which might have some wattage limitations. The 800s are fairly punchy with good throw so you wouldn't have to put them nearly as close as you would with flos or other lower-output instruments. Unfortunately neither flos nor LEDs will give you anywhere near the 20' throw you need.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Samuel Loy
Re: Lighting kit question - PBL VL-1000
on Oct 26, 2011 at 6:36:34 pm

In all of my searching/researching there seem like a large gap in between "cheap" lighting. My situation is this: I'm trying to replace a two $90 umbrella light set-up, I want something more professional looking that will give me brighter, better soft lighting for my small studio, and small on location set-ups. Would the PBL VL- 1000 be good for me?

Videographer, Photographer, Bubble-wrap enthusiast


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