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Old March 6th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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So many Lighting Options

[
Quick Summary :
Shooting : Short Films; Budget : ~$600;
Considering : Lowel Tungsten Portrait Three Light Kit or
(Coollights 650k fresnel and Coollights Softbox Kit)
Looking For : Suggestion
]

I have read almost every post concerned with buying lights as a beginner. The moment I think I have nailed the lights I need to get, I read something different. I understand each need is different and there is no single light to accomodate all.
My intention is to shoot short films (lights are to be used indoors, mostly 3200k balanced).
Budget is $600 (I understand it is very very low).

Originally thought of getting the following kit from B&H:
Lowel Tungsten Portrait Three Light Kit(
Lowel | Tungsten Portrait Three Light Kit | 401440 | B&H Photo)

I read conflicting opinions about totas and omnis (Like tota's are almost never used except to light a factory types, the otherhand tota's can be used as fill inside a softbox or with an umbrella or to raise the light level in a given room). Same goes with omnis. DP is the only light almost all people seem to like to some extent. Other recommendations were Rifas, Arris and are little over the budget.

Current consideration is :
Coollights CL-TF0650 650w Compact Tungsten Fresnel
Coollights CL-SFT1 Softbox Kit 3200K (With Stand)[CL-SFT1KST56]

Any suggestions are welcome. If I don't get any, I can understnad why as this question has
been beaten to death several times. :-)
Had to ask this here just before I hit that "order" button.

P.S: I am sorry for the long post.
P.P.S: Sorry if it felt like a dejavu (Newbie comes by asking the same question over and over. I know, But I spent 100 hours on reading posts and more confused than ever.)

Thank You
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #2
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You know the answer to this.

There is a reason that light kit is called a portrait kit. It's for subjects that are not moving. If that's how you shoot your movies, you're golden. If your subjects are moving, then you're in trouble.

Trying to light a movie with $600 of lights is like trying to shoot a movie on a camera with no lens. You can point them at things all day, and you'll never get the image you want.

Maybe take that money and buy one GOOD light, and a stand. And buy more as budget allows. You could maybe get a couple Lowel Pro lights with stands and maybe a c-stand with the money. That would be better than nothing.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Thanks Perrone

Thanks Perrone. I guess, was in denial :-) Thanks for the advise. I am surprised how you never get tired answering the same questions over and over from newbies like me ;-). That sure is amazing to me. Thanks again.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:08 AM   #4
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Another option is to buy good quality used lights.
There is always a steady stream of them for sale on places like ebay from rental houses freshening up inventory, and wanabe film makers who have found out making movies that people want to watch is harder than it looks, so they sell all their gear.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Thanks David

That's what I did, picked up used arri 650 fresnel, lowel pro and a Metthews cstand.
Thanks for the suggestions.

Last edited by Subbu Vedula; March 9th, 2009 at 09:10 AM. Reason: dp=pro
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Old March 10th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #6
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And don't forget china balls as a soft light option. They're dirt cheap, and give a nice light with the larger sizes.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Thanks Ralph

I am looking around to get a soft box option to add to my kit.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subbu Vedula View Post
I am looking around to get a soft box option to add to my kit.
I will say for softbox options, for me, nothing beats the Lowell Rifa Lights (44,55,66,88.).
The reason being that there is no faster way to setup a softbox than the Rifa lights, as they are all self contained. So you simply pull the light out of the bag, pull the rear rod out, which opens the soft box, attach the diffuser and you're done, just mount it on your light stand.

Also nice is the new EX line lets you switch out light assemblies, so you can run Tunsten lighting, as well as one or double florescent fixtures to convert your light source to soft cool flos.

I use a Rifa 44 and Rifa 55 all of the time with a reflector for my interviews and ahve been very happy with the results
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Old March 11th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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I have a Lowell Rifa 66 with the standard diffusion and an egg crate and I absolutely love the look. But mine is like every other Rifa light I have seen, it is separating at the seams down the side. But it looks so good I will try to patch it and keep it going as long as I can. And like Michael said they are super fast to set up and take down. I would easily recommend them, even though they are not perfect.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 05:04 AM   #10
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Interesting. Mine is not separating at all. Got any pics?
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Old March 13th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #11
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Subbu,
You've gotten good advice here. I would only add that I've been down the same path. I found the 4 light Lowel Omni system I picked up on ebay had two prior owners but is still going and has proven to be a very economical system that is flexible for handling the many situations you will need/want to light. There's also economy of parts when your lights are using the same barn doors, cords, globes, filters, gel frames, soft boxes etc. There's very economical frames and soft boxes for the Omni. ALso, before you go too far with stands, consider a stand/crossbar approach for hanging lights.
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