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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:19 PM   #1
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Lowel Rifa / JTL / Softbox (cont...)

(tangent thread off of the "JTL Everlight" thread)

<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Beasleigh : I haven't used the rifa. i looked at it but decided not to because I got better bang for my buck with the photoflex and Tota.

The Rifa lamps are expensive and not as easy to buy. The Tota lamp range is greater, cheaper and easier to find

You could use the omni with your umbrella but i'll bet that once you get a softbox that umbrella will stay on the shelf.

A lttle side note here. Some lamps provide an umbrella clamp hole either on the lamp or the yoke. the lamp swivel or the yoke locking screws will not do an adequate job of keeping the weight aloft. Spend $20 on a lobo clamp. It's also better to use speed rings to mount lamps uin a softbox rather than mounting the speed ring to the lamp. The locking collarts on the yokes of lights like the ianiro or even the arri are really stressed by the weight of all that crap hanging off them

In fairness we should really start a new thread as this one was intended for the JTL Everlight and the folks asscociated with the topic have put a whole lot of effort into it.

Thanks
Bryan -->>>

So would you recommend buying a 2nd Tota along with a Photoflex softbox setup instead of the Rifa? It sounds like maybe the only advantage of the Rifa is the portability/setup speed...

I also agree that I'd much rather be using a softbox than an umbrella - I've always used Arri Fresnels w/ Chimeras when I've rented, but didn't have the cash for that when it came time to buy. The only reason I've been using the umbrella is due to the backlog Lowel's got on the Rifa...
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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:31 PM   #2
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Read that locked cheap lighting thread. All of the prices and the links are there. be sure to look at the photoflex kit. B&H have two listing and both are $180. The kit will give you a few strip masksa and a circle mask as well as the louvers(free)
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Old May 10th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #3
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At Matt's request

First of all, you can never have too many lights. Its just one of the things, when you are on a shoot, and pull out all your gear, and you say, "damn, if I only had a (insert any one of a number of choices) everything would be perfect." So you may be certain there is no one great answer.

I guess I would still suggest the JTL Kit, in your situation Matt, based on this shakey logic: You will end up with more instruments in the end. Certainly the PhotoFlex Medium with a speed ring will work great with the Tota, but it will cost you about two hundred sixty for the upgrade and you will still have three units with $240 to play with. Maybe buy a LTM 400 watt Pepper. You can lamp this down to 200 watts if you want, and you would have a nice fresnel. We have not discussed the open face versus fresnel at all, and that is a big issue.

Open face lights are used in professional situations where they want some punch, usually to pop through diffusion, or, to throw the light some distance. The fresnel is used to provide a more even, focused light. Put the light where you want it, kind of thing. The glass lens helps the light to be even across its beam. Open face lights tend to be spotty, but if you use them to bounce off a ceiling, or punch through a six by six silk, they get the job done. And they are cheaper, watt for watt, since you are not paying for a lens. Favorite open face lights are Mighty Moles, Blondes, Red Heads, Arris, etc.

But what do you do with three soft boxes? Well you can use one light for the ambient room fill light. Either the 500 watt or 750 will work for this in a soft box. Try to place a practical lamp or two in the scene, and then place the soft box to imitate what that light is doing, with more output.

A second soft box can be used for the key light on you main subject. The five hundred watt should work fine for this. Maybe your subject is standing closer to the practical, so we would expect the light would be brighter on her in this position.

The third soft box can by dimmed way down to provide a very soft fill from the off-key side. Or, whatever.

Use the Omni with a lot of diffusion to light a dark plant. Green plants are notorious for sucking up light. Or, let it be a slash of sunlight on a wall. Or, to pick up a dark corner.

I'm fighting to find a use for the Lowel open face lights, which I don't care for, but there is always a use for an extra light. The trick is making what you've got work for you.

Hopefully, in a couple weeks I will have some stills that will better illustrate what I am talking about. BTW, my latest purchase is a Source Four Jr. which should be arriving any day. More about that later. I usually rent, but I wanted one to play with on my own time.

HTH
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Old May 10th, 2003, 10:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Wayne, great post... I probably need to think about what kind of lighting I plan on doing most often and try to make a decision based on that. I do plenty of interviews, etc., but also some shorts and narrative-style work as well.

Thanks for the suggestions...
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Old May 11th, 2003, 05:33 PM   #5
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I just read the Cheap Lighting thread, and other than the first post (which helped link some of the Photoflex options) I have to say it didn't do much for me other than give me a headache with all the bickering!

Obviously, the equipment I've got I plan on keeping (and for the record, I've had no complaints - even compared to the Arri Softbox kits I've rented. I wouldn't try to argue that they're equal in quality, just saying I was a little worried before I bought them that I might be "cheaping out" by not getting Arri's. I've been pleasantly surprised, but maybe because of realistic expectations...?)

Anyway, I appreciate your suggestion for a couple of alternatives to the Rifa. If anyone else has other suggestions on the best use of about $500 for a soft compliment to my existing package I'd be glad to hear them.

I'd especially love any comments from people who have actually used the Rifa as to it's value!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 08:09 PM   #6
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We bought a couple of the Rifa 88 kits here at The U of M.

I love them! First, they take an FEL lamp up to 1000W. These are cheap
and readily available. The kits come in a nice "only as big as it needs to be"
plastic case with shoulder strap. Stands are light weight, but seem pretty
strong considering their weight.

The light given off is really nice. These boxes use some sort
of vinyl like diffusion on the front which works great.
The box part of the set up is basically a big
umbrella that opens and snaps when in position, then you twirl a set
type screw which locks the umbrella into position. So the set up is
really fast and truly easy. The front diffusion "square" has a grommet
in each corner. The ends of the umbrella spokes fit through the grommets
and then velcro™ strips hold the diffusion to the umbrella.

Bottom line, $750 each at B&H, light, easy and fast setup and great looking
light. If my department didn't have two, I would buy these for myself.

PS The guys at our PBS television station in Flint, WFUM,
drive down and borrow them for every big gig and telethon they do,
so you most likely have their endorsement too.
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 11:32 PM   #7
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Egg Crate and Bulbs for JTL

Has anyone bought the egg-crate for the JTL Everlight? If so, from who and for how much.

And has anyone bought a 250w or bulb for the Everlight? If so, what bulb brand and model is it?

Thanks,

David
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Old September 4th, 2003, 06:39 AM   #8
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What is an "egg crate". I have the JTL kit. Just wondering.
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Old September 4th, 2003, 02:33 PM   #9
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JTL lists an egg crate as a softbox accessory: http://www.jtlcorp.com/lightbanks/4.html. An egg crate divides a 24" x 24" softbox into 144 2" x 2" virtual softboxes. This reduces spill. The louvers are similar, but only in one axis.

The bulb in the kit is a G9.5 EHD. It also comes in a 750w EHG version and in 3200K EHC and EHF versions respectively. The 3200K version are rated at 300 hours vs. 2000 hours for the 3000K versions.

I believe the GY9.5 prefocus version have a close pin/base configuration (both have 2 pins 9.53mm apart on the CL, but the G9.5 both pins are 3.2mm, and on the GY9.5 one is 3.2mm, the other 2.4mm), but a a shorter height. They are the same price at B&H. They only come in 3200K or so versions...no 3000K option.

The GY9.5s are used in the Arri 300w and 650w fresnels. But I haven't found a 120v G9.5 250w bulb. If someone bought it from JTL, we could find what model it is.
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Old September 6th, 2003, 02:22 AM   #10
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http://www.ushio.com/files/entcatalog3.pdf

Cross reference the known bulbs and you'll find evry bulb available. Just be sure to match the base , filament type and position. The bulb codes are generic and will work for GE, Sylvania and general as well as Ushio. It's not hard to march bulbs once you get into it.

You could always try a search, I did look up all of the available bulbs a few months ago.
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Old September 6th, 2003, 06:31 AM   #11
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Ushio doesn't list a 250w G9.5 bulb, but JTL has one in their catalog.
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Old September 6th, 2003, 10:19 AM   #12
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There are no G9.5 bulbs listed that I can see. There is one edison base 250 watter, but that's a whole different ball game and for their web light series. if you read the Ushio catalog there are 400 watt lamps available. Once difused 400-500 watts isn't much light at all.
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Old November 10th, 2003, 11:25 AM   #13
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Dimming JTL Softboxes?

I have been using the JTL softboxes with 500W lamps... I am wondering if I can plug them in to a regular household dimmer (appropriately rated of course) when I need less light? The guy who sold them to me on EBay said he didn't know...

I am very happy with the lights by the way...

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 10th, 2003, 11:34 AM   #14
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Barry,

You sure can, BUT... It will likely change color temp, especially if you dim the significantly. Be sure to white balance once you have final light levels set. Also, if you have the lights that are cooled by a fan, you may not want to use standard dimmers. Electric motors can play hell with dimmers that are not designed for inductive loads.
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Old November 10th, 2003, 05:40 PM   #15
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I would also recommend a "premium" dimmer such as a lutron. Don't skimp on the capacity, a 600 watt would be cutting it close for a 500 watt load if it was used for long periods of time.

A 1000 watt box mounted dimmer is best

Mount dimmer in a utility box and assemble the box with at least a ( two conductor with ground ) heavy duty 16 guage cord. Wire a 2 foot length of cord with a heavy duty male 120 volt plug cap as input and the same with a heavy duty female connector (recepticle) as output.

Use the appropriate clamp or compression box connector to secure the cable in and out of the box. Find and fit a metal coverplate, plastic will break and is unsafe. Outdoor or watertite boxes have a professional look to them and they're only $3-$4. Don't use a residental new work type electrical box, it looks cheezi and it's dangerous.

Heavier wiring won't really benifit you as #16 will safely handle 10 amps. 1000 watt's is 8.3 amps .
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