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What would this kit be useful for?

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Matthew Lipscomb
What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 10, 2011 at 4:44:39 am

I almost bought these tonight,

but then a friend dropped by and I got distracted and got bid out. I'm thinking of buying this kit instead

to light music videos, and experiment and learn about light. I wonder though if this is the right kit for a beginner to learn and experiment with. Any thoughts. Oh, and please be gentle with me, I'm not an idiot just a noob.

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Rick Wise
Re: What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 10, 2011 at 7:22:17 pm

That Arri kit is certainly one way to start learning about lighting. And it will last a long, long time. The 650 kit you almost bought might be a more useful purchase as you can plug three 650s into a single 20-amp circuit or two into a 15-am circuit. But the 1ks in the kit you are considering will require two 20-amp circuits or 3 15-amp circuits -- in all cases, make sure there is nothing else plugged into the same circuit or you will trip the breaker/blow the fuse.

The 1Ks have the advantage that you can light a larger area. They are not, however, "big" lights. And all of these are balanced to tungsten and require adding at least 1/2 CTB gels to make them work in most daylight situations.

These are all "hard" lights, creating hard shadows. If you can add a chimera for one of the lights you will find that item useful as it gives you a quick method to create soft light. A soft key often works well as a key on subjects.

Others will have other ideas well worth considering.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
part-time instructor lighting/camera
Academy of Art University/Film and Video (grad school)

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Matthew Lipscomb
Re: What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 10, 2011 at 8:01:49 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks.

I hope others can help push me along in the right direction too.

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Craig Alan
Re: What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:49:07 am

unless you linked to just show item, bh has it cheaper.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz
; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.

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Matthew Lipscomb
Re: What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 12, 2011 at 11:38:16 pm

I just realized that these lights aren't Fresnels. But it does specify that they can be "focused." What's the difference? When will this be a problem/advantage?

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Todd Terry
Re: What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 12, 2011 at 11:52:13 pm

Well, they are basically PAR instruments... meaning they have a parabolic reflector in them, and they are focused by moving the globe back and forth within the reflector.

A fresnel instrument has a lens up front (the fresnel lens, from which the instrument gets its name). Inside, the bulb and the reflector move in tandem for-and-aft which accomplishes the focusing.

Fresnels can be focused very well, from wide to spot, with pretty good definition and control, and the barn doors cut very well. PARS, on the other hand, focus in a more looser sense of the term... often more like medium-widish-but-actually-kinda-tight down to medium-tight-but-actually-kinda-widish. That is, their range and control aren't generally nearly what you'll find from equivalent fresnel instruments. They are much more like open-faced instruments (which, they are... but you do have a little bit of focus control compared to fixed-focus open-face PARS).

Both instruments have their place... they're just different.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Dennis Size
Re: What would this kit be useful for?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 6:15:08 am

MATTHEW: Perhaps you should purchase this BASIC book on lighting for video. It will help guide you through what to do with 3 lights.
It's not exactly the "best" book on lighting for television, and it's certainly not an "up-to-the-minute" text, but at your level you'll find it simplifies the process and it's easy to understand.

Basics of Video Lighting, Second Edition
2 ed.

ISBN: 9780240515595

Publication Date: June 15, 1999
Price: $35.95

Format: Book - Paperback
Pages: 149

Buy Elsevier
Now fully updated by Des Lyver to reflect the latest advances, the second edition of Basics of Video Lighting is a primer for anyone wishing to learn about lighting a video production. It describes the principles and processes involved in obtaining professional results in educational, training and corporate environments.

Assuming little prior knowledge, this book covers everything from the different types of lights and their control, to basic studio and location settings. It features:
� the latest technology, including the use of location and grip gear and changes in lamp and reflector technology
� coverage of studio and location work
� descriptions of the role of each crew member
� full explanations of technical terms
� health and safety precautions
� practical advice on the equipment available and how to use it

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