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Old September 6th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #1
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Newbie Lighting Question

Hello. I have a question on lighting. I am shooting a few indoor interviews and have found the following lighting kit on EBay:

1) Two NEW Britek 200 Watt Digital/Video/Movie Lamps
2) Two 2-Flap Barndoors (built-in)
3) Two 6 1/2 Foot Light Stands
4) Two 32" Transparent "Shoot-Through" Umbrellas
5) Two 10' Power Cords
6) All Bulbs

http://myphotohome.com/p/cle400Ws219.html

My question is will 200 Watts per light be enough to light this room? Will 2 of these lamps be enough, and the obvious question, has anyone had experience with the lighting I have chosen?

I am shooting with a VX-2000 and my budget is around $250 to get somthing that will make my interviews look good.

Thanks in advance!
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Old September 6th, 2004, 09:19 PM   #2
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This has about half the needed output: 200 watts instead of 400 or usually 800 to 1000 per fixture found on basic pars or redheads. And about half the usual amount of barndoors found on pro gear: 2 instead of 4. The umbrellas are a nice choice for diffusion.

A nice set of work lights from the trusty Home Depot will do at 500 watts per lamp. Bounce 'em off foam core, keep 'em away from the intense heat and you will fill the room.

Often, I tend to ignore online sellers that sell a multiltude of "goodies" like the cell phone antennaes cleverly included in the link. But that is just me.

Your budget will dictate the path you choose. Entry level gear for this kind of work can be researched at companies like Chimera and Ianiro to name a few.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 10:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. One last question. Where can I find barn doors for Home Depot lights? Also, will the standard outlet be able to support the Home Depot lights?

-B
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Old September 7th, 2004, 05:32 AM   #4
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Hi Brian, BE CAREFUL!!!!!!

O.K. no more yelling but I wanted to get your attention. These are not rated for extended use and must be ventilated due to the extreme heat that work lights create.

A clean 15 amp circuit can handle a connected load of about 1600 watts. Your hair dryer is about 1200. Just check the rating on the work lamps. Usually there is a kit with 500 watts x 2.

Try to use these exclusive of the available light as you might encounter difficult white balance conditions.

As for barn doors, I did notice at one point a website that had homemade plans to construct just this item for use on work lamps.

Once you are showing up at a corporate or paid locations to ply your craft, you must absolutely NEVER bring your starting out lighting rig with you. You will want professional gear.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 06:56 AM   #5
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I've gone the Home Depot route and found it a waste of money. Ended up replacing them quickly. As you note, they are uncontrolled (no barndoors) and they get very hot which is a problem when you strike your equipment (pack up).

Look for a couple of these 600w lights (B&H TEQL6). Testrite and Smith Victor have identical units for around the $70 price mark. Add some $40 stands. Add a couple 3 wire extension cords from anywhere. You can add shoot through umbrellas later. If the lights are too hot for your current situation, bounce them off the back wall or ceiling.

Don't forget to look in the used section of B&H and Adorama. An old pull along suitcase can do for a case to get you started.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #6
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The best value in lights is the new Britek series. You can get a 250-watt focusable with excellent barn doors, lamp and universal stand mount for around $75. It has a scrim frame and can even take a softbox (and the softbox is only about $42!) They simply cannot be beat, nor can you come within a country mile of 'em by using worklights. For more punch you can get the 650-watt version for about $105. They're a steal, about half the cost of equivalent Lowel equipment.

Go to www.rostronics.com to check 'em out.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 01:12 AM   #7
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--- "My question is will 200 Watts per light be enough to light this room? Will 2 of these lamps be enough, and the obvious question, has anyone had experience with the lighting I have chosen?" ---

200w sounds a little dim to light a room, much less your subject. It just won't carry that far if you have daylight coming into the room.

For interviews, it's a good idea to have at least three lights handy (for standard 3-point setup). For what it's worth, my usual interview set up is a very soft cross key, a semi-soft hair light (ie. hard light w/ some diffusion on the barndoors), maybe some bounce fill, and maybe a dim & soft eye-catch light.

So while this hard source kit you are looking at may be a good buy, you may want to think about a soft light as well. You might want to look into fluorescents as well-- if you can get your hands on color correct tubes, you'll be able to pull some great soft light with a little extra diffusion. Plus, they consume a lot less power without a big loss in output.

Good Luck!
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Old September 15th, 2004, 07:31 AM   #8
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Remember, your not lighting the room. Your lighting the subject to be interviewed. What do you want to see in the shot?

You need a:

Main - 200 with shoot through Umbrella placed as close to the subject as possible without being in the shot.

Fill - get a large piece of cardboard. Cover it with aluminum foil (dull side).
Place it on the opposite side from you main. Adjust appropriately for the amount of fill you desire. You will need an extra stand for this.

Then you need to decide if you want to use your last light for a hairlight or a background light. I'm seeing fewer hairlights in broadcast interviews these days.

Its always nice to have something in the background that relates to the subject. I would use my 200 to light that. Find a lamp dimmer at your local home improvement store. Make sure its rated for 500 watts - they are usually $15. Test it with the light to make sure it doesn't cause the lamp to buzz. Now you have some control over the light. Dimming a light will change its color temp. On a background it works well, like putting a yellow gel over the light. I hope that one of the lights comes with barndoors to give you added control - making slashes for example. You can also use neutral density gel to knock down the light. The umbrella will scatter light everywhere, so the room will get some light.

Be sure to block all the windows with opague material. Even a black garbage bag can work.

I like to keep a good distance between the subject and back wall (15ft) and the camera to subject distance (10 -15ft). You'll probably be shooting wide open. This can also help seperate the subject from the surroundings.

I would go with the new g-200 by Britek. They have 4 way barndoors and are focusable, which will give you much more control. They have a three light kit for $299. Then you will have enough lights for all positions.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #9
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Go to film-and-video.com. click on instructions. Walter Graff has some of the best interview suggestions your going to find.
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