Priority - Quality of light vs Quantity of light at

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Old January 30th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #1
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Priority - Quality of light vs Quantity of light

Currently I have an Arrilite 1K and an Arri 650w fresnel. So far I have quite a few diffusion gels (tough spun, frost, etc.) and I've been getting by okay with those so far.

I'm wondering if my next purchase should be a Chimera softbox for the Arrilite 1K, or if I should be getting a third light (to act as a kicker/backlight/hair light/etc.)

Would most of you consider a softbox to replace the diffusion gels I currently have clipped to the barn doors (I know you don't really diffuse too much this way, but that's what I've been doing), or for the same price should I just get another Arri 650w fresnel and put a 300w bulb in there to use as a kicker/backlight/hair light.

I guess I don't know where my priorities should be. I'm using these lights for short drama films.
Craig Irving is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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a chimera is best powered by an open face light simply because you'll get more light per watt then with a fresnel of the same wattage. a lowell DP is a great light to use with a chimera. if you want another light, a DP light is a good addition. not only does it work great with the chimera ( BTW Wescott is $100 cheaper and just as good ! ) its good for background lighting with hard shadows. works great with a cookie, or with gels that soak up a lot of the light.

honestly though, I'd get away from tungsten based lights for several reasons
1. heat !
2. lowest light output / watt of all pro lighting instruments
3. they are not "green"

maybe a LED panel would be another choice. I have a 2 X 24" fluorescent light I use on almost every shoot for shadowless fill. it puts out almost as much light as my DP 500W + Wescott does, but only uses 40W ! a small flo light might be an excellent purchase. I've also used this light as a primary in replacement of the chimera because the chimera wouldn't fit, and if it did, it would be been so hot, it would not of worked.

realistically, anything less then about 6-8 lights is really short for a basic lighting kit. sure I know, we have all done nice work with less, but having the right fixture when you need it is a much better way of getting good results every time.

as for a hairlight, I really like using a 2nd chimera, sometimes the flo light, or even a silver reflector if I'm short a light. I don't know where its written that hairlights have to be hard over bright sources, something I don't like the look of. its pretty hokey / 80's at this point.

oh, and take that tough spun stuff and put it in the garbage where it belongs. it doesn't do much diffusing, but does do a lot to cut your light output. better to use _anything_ else.
Steve Oakley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31st, 2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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I've used fluorescents for so many interviews I lost track a long time ago. They're great, don't pull much power, and don't get hot. Recently I bought three 500LEDs from Flolights. I went there in search of fluorescents but found the LEDs, which are even more compact and lightweight and use even less power. A two bulb Lowel Caselight fluorescent pulls 110 watts; the 500LED, which is equivalent, pulls 40 watts. The LEDs are not quite a softlight as the fluorescents are and you need to gel them for in-close use.

I haven't given up hard lights. Fluorescents and LEDs are not good for everything. There's no one set of lights that works for every situation.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31st, 2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Fluorescents and LEDs are not good for everything. There's no one set of lights that works for every situation.
I find LED lights to still be quite expensive for what you get and the throw on fluorescents is disappointing, to say the least. To my eye, fluoros are quite unflattering on skin tones in particular. I own two of the Diva 200s and while I like them, I really only end up using them in mixed daylight interiors. The Divas look nice but they lack the wrap I get with a Chimera.

I have been working on my DP reel and all of the best looking scenes I have seemed to have been lit with my good old Arris. Maybe it's just force of habit?

Just my .02 worth.

Dan Brockett is offline   Reply

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