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Old December 3rd, 2007, 04:26 PM   #16
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Dale, sorry to be confusing. I keep wonder if the big tree in back is going to fall on our house in todays storm, so I'm a bit distracted.

"Is it ok to use a fresnel with a softbox?" I'd sure say so. I've used "normal" soft boxes before (ie Rifa or whatever they're called) and as far as the end result goes, I don't see a difference. You're quite correct, Arri includes soft boxes with a number of their kits. I think its more a matter of if you were looking for just a softbox, there would be no benefit in getting the Chimera box (that's what comes in the Arri kit btw) and putting it on a fresnel lamp. An open faced lamp would work just as well. Because Arri wants to maximize its flexibility, the D4 kit comes with a 650w fresnel that can be used with or without the softbox, as opposed to a kit that has just a softbox/open faced light combination that you either use or don't... does that make sense? I must confess that I've never encountered the notion that using a softbox on fresnel is a big no-no... works great for me.

Am I arguing Lowel vs Arri...? Sorry for this misunderstanding. I drew that comparisson for two reasons. One is that the Lowel kit was my first consideration, and two the Lowel kits are very popular because they are affordable and portable. I'm not saying its the brand that makes a difference. I'm just saying that the fresnel lights I now have to my mind work much better than the open faced lights I've used previously, and most of those were Lowels. A Lowel light is a lot better than working with none, or with "homemade" kits. The Arri kit is a lot better than the Lowels I've used. All can be made to give you professional results, and this is only my opinion.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 06:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Stoltzfus View Post
Ok, here is my redone shopping list:

Arrilight 1000 with 1000w and 600w lamps, scrims, 24x32 video pro soft box.
Altman 650L fresnel with 650w and 300w lamps, barndoors, and scrims.
Arri 150w fresnel with lamps and barndoors.
Asst color correction gels and a few sheets of Rosco 1/4 white diffusion.

Stands are two Impact air cushioned light stands, and one Avenger boom stand w/sandbag.

Speed ring for the softbox???

I would re-think the 1k it is nice to have but I have an Altman Studio 1k and have yet to need it. YMMV

Don't forget the black wrap, gaffer tape, C-47s, Pony clamps and all that other needed grip equiptment!!

Bill
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 08:23 PM   #18
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Bill,

Yes, I do have a speed ring planned - I figured that goes without saying. :) Thanks for the other tips! BTW, what are C-47s?

Bert,

Ok, now you have me thinking more along the lines of my original plan... like I said before, it seems to me that the fresnel lights would be more versatile because, when used without a softbox, you don't have such an extremely harsh light, so they are more usable that way. But that's just theory - I have no experience with pro lights. And think about it - I can always buy open faced later on if I feel that I am selling my fresnels short by boxing them. But right now, the immediate need is SOME kind of decent lighting kit that will cost me no more than $2500; preferably less. In a few weeks, if things pan out like I'm hoping, I'll be able to afford more if I need it.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 08:59 PM   #19
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C-47s are clothespins.

I think you should get a mixed kit, with fresnels and at least one open faced plus a softbox. You get the best of both types of fixtures.

~~Dave
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dale Stoltzfus View Post
seems to me that the fresnel lights would be more versatile because, when used without a softbox, you don't have such an extremely harsh light, so they are more usable that way.
This is a totally correct assumption. Just being honest, for interview shots and the like, when I started working with fresnel lights, I wondered how I did without them.

For your price range, you could buy an Arri kit, something with 4 lights, one being opened faced. Though it seems all light kits are a tight fit, it is nice to have them all fit into one box when you want to transport.

I agree with Richard about the hairlight. The kit that I use is:

2 x 150w Fresnel
1 x 300w Fresnel
1 x 650w Fresnel
Softbox goes on the 650.

Again, this is just my experience, but one of the things I found was more often than not, my shoots were made difficult because I had TOO MUCH light, rather than not enough. Take the hairlight for example. In the past I'd have to cut down a 500w open faced light, and try to focus it on the right spot, sort of fighting two battles at once. The 150w works perfect. Just put a gel on, and its good to go. They also work great for fills, or spoting specific areas.

Yup, you'll want all the little things like gels, c47's, c-stands, sand bags, foam core (art stores sell foam core that is white on one side, black on the other). I bought a really neat gel holder that rolls up. I don't think I'm allowed to say where because they're not a sponsor of this site.

I'll try to post a pic of a lighting setup.
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Last edited by Bert Smyth; December 3rd, 2007 at 09:46 PM. Reason: spelling... doh!
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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #21
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Bert,

Thanks - that was very helpful.

On another note, I see that you're using an xl2 (or is it an xl1...kinda hard to tell) which is what I will be using. Not that it would make much difference, but cool anyway. Oh, and honestly, how necessary is that matte box since there is no light aimed at the lens? Of course, if you call impressing clients necessary... ;) J/K

Thanks!
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Old December 4th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #22
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Dale,

This is personal preference, however instead of the Rosco 3028 Tough 1/4 White Diffusion you might want to try the 3010 Opal Tough Frost.

Bert’s kit is good, I also have an extra 150 that I sometimes use, to his list I would add a separate softbox fixture like a Starlite or the ones I use which I found on ebaY. Search for “PHOTO DIGITAL VIDEO LIGHTING TUNGSTEN LIGHT HEAD”

Bill
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #23
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Very well, Bill, I'll try both!
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Old December 4th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dale Stoltzfus View Post
Oh, and honestly, how necessary is that matte box since there is no light aimed at the lens? Of course, if you call impressing clients necessary... ;) J/K
Thanks!
Its an XL2 and you pretty much nailed it.. yup, lets put on all the bells and whistles so that the client will be impressed. It was a shoot for a real estate company and they kept saying "you're professional, right?" so shoot day I brought out all the toys! :P

I see my kit as a very good foundation, so like Bill says, it wouldn't hurt to ad a separate soft box fixture. Not that my kit is leaving me wanting right now, but I could see it quickly becoming the "next thing" on my list. I just don't think you can have too many softboxes, they offer great light, especially for interviews. I did recently see a Yoga video that my wife got, where it was shot on a set, with really hard lighting, and looked great. Made sense because the hard light really helped define the muscles and body posture.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #25
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That's funny. I want to get a matte box and rails as soon as I can, both because of "impression" factor, but also for when I need them for outdoor shoots. However, there are more pressing needs at the moment.... like lights!

One might wonder... if the client didn't trust you that much, why did they hire you in the first place?!
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