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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #1
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What's the very 1st light you would buy?

Not necessarily a specific brand and obviously a key
light. No specific application, would be used for all different
kinds of content. A softbox package? Stand alone fresnel?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:48 AM   #2
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My advice would be some sort of open faced light with a softbox.
That would probably be the most versatile solution, and if you are
only going to have one light for a while a softbox can make a nice
key.

Just my 2 cents.

-Luis
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Old July 26th, 2004, 12:25 PM   #3
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Thanks, do you have some examples of 'open faced' lights and
what kind of wattage?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #4
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If you want something you can put a softbox on, you probably
want to look at 500+ watts. Anything less than that isn't going
to throw much light once you put a softbox on it.

As far as which lights specifically, well, it depends on what kind of
budget you have. Lowell, Arri, and others have some good open
faced lights that can take a softbox. Chimera makes great
softboxes that can be attached to most of these lights.

Here is a link to open faced lights between 500 & 1000 watts available at B&H.
That should give you some ideas.

But, if you're looking for a well constructed lower cost solution I
would suggest the Britek lights. I haven't used their softbox
myself, but recently got their 250watt light and I'm pretty
impressed with how well it's constructed for the price.

Here is a link to a thread about the Britek lights.

-Luis

PS.

Also, you should get some advice from other people.
I'm not exactly a lighting expert, just giving you my 2 cents
based on my limited experience.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 07:32 AM   #5
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Definitely consider the Britek+softbox. I've used their 1000's with the softboxes, and they're an amazing value for the money. Easily the best buy out there, considering cost vs. performance.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #6
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My first light would have to be a lowel Tota ($110) I'd couple the Tota with a $25 silver umbrella. You'd need a decent light stand as well. The manfrotto 8036 can be had for $52. With a load rating of 11 lbs it has all metal collars and clamps. For fill i'd buy a 42" or larger collapseable reflector for $50.

If that's too rich for you then sub a 4x8 ft piece of foamcore or plasticore for reflectors. Just cut the 4'x8' piece as needed. (less than $10)

The next step would be a medium photoflex silverdome or a large chimera (same size) The silverdome is $180 with a strip mask and loverkit at B&H. You'd also need a speed ring to mount the Tota to the softbox.

There are lesser priced units but I personally wouldn't bother. It's entirely a personal decision. You get what you pay for.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 10:14 PM   #7
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Thanks Bryan - no budget constraints, what's the Tota go for?

My problem is harsh light vs soft light, get harsh light and make it soft? I want light that will allow for a music video in a warehouse
but need some 'spottier' focus type lighting for facial contrast.
I asked the question originally for 'anybody' that might wonder.
I have a lot of lighting but it's oriented towards live band/stage
lighting > par cans - so I thought I'd get some direction, which
I have, but I want to think 'video' now. Most of my lighting would be very soft 150 watt flood light type stuff so I want some input
on focusable harsh lights that offer diversity and can be diffused for soft lighting. 1000w with barn doors? 600w with barn doors? 250w maybe? Halogen? Flourescent? I've got three
music video clients lined up and have recently learned how unbelievably crucial lighting is to everything so I want to make my purchases based on the experiences of forum members.
(Where else would I go? ) Point me, I will follow........
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Old July 27th, 2004, 10:17 PM   #8
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Skip that - you told me what the Tota goes for - sorry...
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Old July 28th, 2004, 12:16 PM   #9
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I like the Lowel Rifa 88 softbox kit. Not cheap, but they're very easy to
transport and set up in 1 minute. You can use inexpensive FEL lamps from
500W-1000W.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 12:32 PM   #10
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I had the Lowel kit, and wasn't happy with the plastic knobs. It seems that after a short time, they would snap off before they held the lamp up with an umbrella.

As far as needing a more focused light for faces, make a snoot out of black foil. A snoot will act like a funnel for your light, allowing a tight beam. You might want to use a small lamp, maybe a 250, or risk frying your talent's retinas.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #11
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How long do you make the snoot and where might I find black
foil? And ah thanks!
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Old July 28th, 2004, 02:51 PM   #12
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I have never bought any foil, but it should be available through some of this site's sponsers. Try EVS or Zotz. As far as how long to make the snoot, maybe 18" long will work.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:39 PM   #13
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My advice would be to get a 1k fresnel, then buy a soft box that will fit on the front. That way, you can have a soft key/fill or a good hard source. For lighting faces hard, I would definitely use a fresnel. Open face and some PARs arent quite as clean as they will cast small double shadows. The fresnels are great because you can simply remove the lens for a reeeeally hard source if you want to.
If money is no object, check out Dedolights (www.dedolight.com). Low wattage with super long, bright throw. Works well for slashes, hard on faces, etc.

Good Luck!
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