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Old December 3rd, 2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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I have a 1500-2000 budget, please buy a kit for me!

Hi,

First post here. I'm going to do a shoot in feb. The locations that need to be lit are:
1. 15x15 living
2. Greenscreen room
3. standard sized Bathroom
4. 10x10 bedroom.
5. 1 outdoor night/city scene(mostly light the actor).

My budget is 1500-2000 dollars. It should include stands and what not.. compactness and portability would be awesome!
I prefer lights that don't get too hot and won't blow every fuse in the building.
What lighting kit, or kits would you suggest, and where to buy.
Thanks so much!
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 02:38 PM   #2
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Old December 4th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #3
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thanks for the link. I was checking out b&h and they seem to have a lot of options. I think I'll reduce my budget down to 1k or under and rent the rest when we start the shoot. I just need a kit so I can learn and practice some of the ins and outs.

here are some that I've been looking at:
Lowel GO Intro Tungsten : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...o_3_Light.html

I saw this one for more money

Lowel DV Creator 55 Tungsten 4 Light Kit :
Lowelhttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ator_55_4.html

or Altman swingpac, with less features:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ungsten_3.html

Last edited by Ron Wilber; December 4th, 2007 at 04:51 PM.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #4
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The Go Intro is a great start, but it's not enough to cover all your needs. I would say it is enough for the living room, bedroom and bathroom stuff. Perhaps enough for the ext. night too, but not forr the greenscreen.

What about this? The Lowel Action http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
Add a Lowel Pro Light to it and I think you'll be covered for everything on your list and more.

Good luck.

~~Dave
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #5
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cool, looks good. Lowel has me confused. Is a Lowel Pro Light their version of a fresnel? Is it their flood light?
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Old December 4th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #6
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The Pro-light is a 250w fixture with a "fresnel-like lens." It's not really a fresnel but it gives off some nice light nevertheless. Lowel makes a real fresnel, the "Fren-L." All of their other tungsten fixtures are open-faced, except the Rifa, which is a softbox.

If you want fresnels, the the kit I linked (and Lowel in general) is not right for you. I do, however, think that the Action kit is a very nice kit and will do exactly what you need and more (and is within your price range, even with the purchase of a Pro-light added).

Good luck.

~~Dave
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Old December 4th, 2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilber View Post
Hi,

First post here. I'm going to do a shoot in feb. The locations that need to be lit are:
1. 15x15 living
2. Greenscreen room
3. standard sized Bathroom
4. 10x10 bedroom.
5. 1 outdoor night/city scene(mostly light the actor).
<clip>
Thanks so much!
Hi Ron,

Yes, a Lowel kit with Totas, Omnis, Pros and Rifa should do for most of your needs (assuming you'll get barndoors, snoots, flags, gels, cinefoil, diffusion, reflectors, umbrellas, dimmers, etc). I suppose if you're not close to the actor outdoors, an Arri with fresnel would be nice. Also, don't short change yourself on too few or inadequate C Stands (like Manfrotto Avenger), counter-weights, extension cables, etc.

Good luck, Michael
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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #8
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cool, thanks for the info guys. I'll look into those options. One thing, will I regret not going with a fresnel instead of a pro-light?
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Old December 4th, 2007, 08:29 PM   #9
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I haven't done a side-by-side comparison between my pro-lights and comparable fresnels, but I'm very happy with the light quality the pro-light puts out. I've heard that a fresnel of the same size has more "cut," but I haven't seen it for myself. So my short answer is no, you won't regret it.

~~Dave
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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilber View Post
cool, thanks for the info guys. I'll look into those options. One thing, will I regret not going with a fresnel instead of a pro-light?
Rehi,

Well, this isn't quite an either-or question. While the Pro light tries to focus a small lumen beam, fresnels come in all sizes up to HMIs that can easily throw tenfold the light of anything in a Lowel kit (or bigger for the movie crews). So it really depends on what you're trying to do and your budget. If you simply need a kicker, backlight, etc, the Pro will probably be fine. But if you envision a lot of heavy/hard usage with a bigger/hotter throw or maybe stopping the light a few f-stops with diffusion to soften shadows at a considerable distance, etc, then the Pro won't be your best light.

Back to your implied fresnel question, among the more popular fresnels used by folks on these forums are the Arri 650, 350, and 150.

http://www.arrikit.com/

It's seductively easy to add an extra zero on the credit card purchase, isn't it? How about this 6,000 watt baby for only $19K (bulb costs extra):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._HMI_Open.html

Or maybe a 3-4 Kino Flow 300 watt Fluorescent VistaBeams that will give you a nice daylight temperature balance for only $2.3K each - you get the idea, pro gear is great but a tad pricey!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._DMX_Yoke.html

Michael
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Old December 5th, 2007, 12:08 AM   #11
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For the greenscreen, very soft, even lighting is important. Fluorescent softlights, like the ones at Coollights.biz work very well and they don't overheat the room either.

Books on lighting by guys like John Jackman and Blain Brown, can at least give you some idea of what the lights do and why you might buy/use one over the other.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #12
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actually, for the screen itself, hard light works too, as long as it's even. The two terms are often confused. The lowel totalight is actually a pretty fantastic fixture, perhaps my favorite small tungsten piece (next to my dedos). It can be many things and works quite well at all of them. I use it bounced off light-colored ceilings to bring up levels, bounced off cards, on a speed ring for a very nice, even light inside a softbox, and as a cyc-light. On the floor or hung from the ceiling, (look at the provided diagrams with the light), there's a combination of one reflector open and the other in that allows this light to project an almost perfectly even wash of light down a backdrop from about 8' away. If you have that kind of space, and a couple of totas, you will be able to nicely flood the back. Note that you may not actually want all that power, so you can easily lamp-down the tota to 500 or 300 watts. The nice (and ass-saving) feature of the tota is that in a pinch, when all your lamps break inside their case inside your pelican case, you can run to any hardware store and use an off-the-shelf halogen lamp in a pinch. The color will be warmer, and chances are you'll be limited to 500 watts, but some light is often better than no light.

Now, if you DO want soft light on the back, or must throw from the side, pop the tota umbrella on, and put the lights at 45 degrees to either side, and aim till you make it even. There's a sweet spot where with 2 lights in umbrellas shooting diagonally down and across, you can evenly (within 1/3 stop) light a cyc. Not as cool as a flo, but what do you expect for a $120 fixture? It's very even, very versatile, and most importantly VERY small. Note that it will take a while to cool though, so once you shut it down, it needs a FULL 5 min to cool.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #13
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hmm, those arris look nice but quickly get up there in the price range. I think the lowel's are the best bet. I like the compactness.

Those coollights look cool, but I don't see any kits. I sure would pay more for a set of lights that keep the room temp down and power consumption lower..
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Old December 5th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #14
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Ron,

Yes cool light is well, cool. For instance a 300W Arri HMI put out as much light as an 800W Tungsten. And if you need to daylight correct the Tungsten with a blue gel, then the 300W HMI, it would take a whopping 1600W Tungsten to do the same job. But at $1,500 it would blow the budget of most Indie filmmakers - even worse, it requires an external ballast power supply for another $1,900!

You get the idea - a Lowel kit makes a nice starter set. You can add some Tungsten fresnels as you grow your kit.

Enjoy, Michael
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Old December 6th, 2007, 03:00 AM   #15
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$1500-2000 is a lot if you're frugal... I just picked up 5 fluorescent lights at Home Depot. They take two standard T12 48" bulbs each, so I also got a 10 pack of 40w T12 bulbs. Grand total was $65.00.... You can team them up to make one large (and extremely bright) soft light, or you can break them out and use them as strip lights.

I'm using three of them for greenscreen lighting, so I had a lighting/stage supply company make up 6 T12 sleeves with green gels (Lee 738). That came out to $90... So for about $150 total, I have three soft, extremely green lights for the screen, and two fixtures to help light the subject...

Flos are great because they're cool to the touch, very power efficient, cheap, naturally soft, and they last a really long time.

HD also sells halogen work lights for when you need a lot of light. The 750w worklights were going for $29 last time I was there. They have a version that comes with two lights and a stand for $79...

I would spend a relatively small amount of money on the lights themselves, and a larger amount of money on the light modifiers. Get yourself a nice variety of 20x24" color correcting gels, some 20x24" sheets of diffusion, filter holders for both 12" and 24" sheets, a couple C-stands, some compact stands for the filter holders (Bogen 3373 is nice), lots of foam core, blackwrap/black foil, etc. If you start out with a nice powerful hard light, you can modify it down to just about anything.

Don't get me wrong -- nice lights are nice. But if it's a choice between two nice lights and 10 cheap lights with tons of light modifiers, there's no choice. :)
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