Light kit for students
I was recently asked to suggest a dirt cheap starter kit for kids at a Community College. These kids as you all know have very little to spend. I have read past threads on this subject and made use of some of those responses. I did put together suggestions using stuff from places like Home Depot. I also suggested kit solutions from Lowel and Arri however, most need to stay under a grand. I've been doing this for 30 years and have a pretty extensive selection of gear and recognize all the negatives of cheap gear. I am certainly making them aware of the "you get what you pay for" element. That being said,have any of you had any experience with these: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/638599-REG/Impact_QL300_2KII_Qualite_... , http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/298604-REG/Impact_401470_Three_Light_...,
I'd honestly rather see your students using these, than adapting home depot junk. I think the first two kits need a third light and stand added.
Obviously, these three kits would be of most use with a 1 or 2-person sit-down or immobile stand-up interview situation. You will be rather limited IMO if you want to do more dramtaic-type work with just these pieces. But it looks like a good start to a larger kit to be built up over time.
Can't know anything about the build quality, which by experience is liable to be weak on imported Asian products, but I like all these linked pieces.
I will say again that a real pro lighting instrument costs more up front, but lasts for decades and still holds respectable resale value, so in the long run, dividing the higher cost into the number of years you'll own it, any good pro light is actually cheaper than a low quality unit that needs repair or replacing more often.
I would say the softboxes have no eggcrate grilles for controlling their spill, so budget for some extra stands and clamps and foam core sheets, or maybe borrow the reflectors from that last kit, to help flag the softlights down.
Also budget for some diffusion materials like tough spun or tough rolex, for some additional "stingers", black wrap cinefoil, and c-47's. Could still be under a grand.
Thanks Mark. My actual recommendations run nine pages with my rational and pros and cons of each kit and include stuff from Cowboy Studio, (light stands, open face 800W), as well as Harbor Freight, (router speed control/dimmer,pony clamps,etc.) I did recommend specific Rosco/Lee/GAM gels rather than the gel kits they sell. Black wrap is a good catch. I'll add that in. I did recommend the white/black foam core 4x4 scored to be foldable...I stole that from either you or Todd.
You are so right that quality build will last but these kids just simply don't have the resources and many will end up graduating and doing this for fun rather than professionally. The more serious ones will hopefully go with my more expensive Lowel/Arri starter kit recommendations. The very top students would probably be able to teach me a thing or two.