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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:42 PM   #16
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Hi Bill,

Yes, my kit includes 3 of the soft boxes and they're great. It's a bit challenging setting them up for the first time but once the support rods are bent into position they're much easier to assemble again later.

I also like the switches on the back of the soft boxes that allow you to adjust the intensity of the light.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gary Burlingame View Post
I own a Steve Kaeser lighting kit (Steve Kaeser Backgrounds & Accessories) and have been VERY happy with its construction quality and the results I've been getting.
I am happy to hear I was wrong about this. After seeing SO many people get burned with "cheap" lights, it's nice to hear there is something out there that's actually decent for not a lot of money. When I was looking for lighting, I heard nothing but horror stories about lights in this price range, so I waited and went for different lighting.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am sure it will help many others.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 04:43 PM   #18
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I used to feel the same way. If a light didn't say Lowel, Altman, Mole or Arri on it, I didn't want it. Then the cheaper fluorescents and LEDs started coming out of the Chinese factories, and as long as the designer and importer are reputable and insist on quality, the stuff is pretty good. Not like the old S-V lights from the last century.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Tota's are harder to control than some other lights. And it's not all that often when you need a broad light. .
thats exactly my point. hard to control, not a really directional hard source like a DP or mole, and you really don't need a broad very often. just raw light. in fact, I haven't used the one tota light I have in 5+ years. its in the light case though. I also have two real broads. big honking lights with barndoors. with full frost on front, the are 24X24, soft boxes of sorts., but not a lot of light output, so they don't work very often. would I use a tota to light up a wall or some trees at night in the background... maybe, but moles or DP's are much better at this because they focus. bounce in a room ? now that I have some flow lights that pull 1/10th the power, no. so like I said, its not really a light at you use very much, so why spend the money on it.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:46 PM   #20
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Well, I spent the money on it because it works in MY situation, and because I don't have the other lights you mention. We all buy gear and outgrow it. Nature of the business. I have a shoot coming up in a few weeks in an auto shop garage. I'll need to light the background of the shop. Guess what I'll be using for that?

Hey, I understand why you don't use a Tota. You've outgrown it and have other available options. Not everyone does. I need my two DP lights for the talent. I also need my Rifa for the talent. So the only light I have left is the Tota. I have a few small pars, but they are for special uses.

Again, we do what we can with what we have.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #21
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Totas are nice for lighting interviews when bounced off umbrellas. About the same thing as a softbox. You can also turn the umbrella around, so the Tota is shooting through it, for very heavy diffusion and that will give you just a little bit of nice, soft fill if you need it. Since they are so lightweight, they're easy to hang. With the clip-on barn doors, you have some control if you want it for background lighting, and you can clip gels to those or use the gel holder. They're so broad and even they are excellent for lighting chroma key backgrounds or for an even light if you want to do the ol' Apple white wall thing so many people copy these days. I've also use them to stick in a corner to bring up the level for a whole room, like for a reverse angle on an audience. I've never run across a light that I couldn't use for something. There are lots of different lights, but it's inaccurate to say one is better than the other. It depends on what you're going to do with it. You don't outgrow a light--you may have different needs and buy different lights. There's no one single set of lights that will serve every need. Sometimes you need fresnels, sometimes open face focusing, sometimes broad and soft, sometimes HMI and on and on.
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