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Old March 19th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #1
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Lighting suggestions for my projects

I know there are hundreds of threads on this subject. I've spent days reading through them and I think I'm even more confused as to what to get, so I thought I'll post this thread for my particular situation.

I'm a newbie, but I don't want to have to upgrade my lights for the next 10 years. I hate buying cheap and flimsy stuff.

I'll be packing and unpacking often, so it needs to
travel well (portable and durable) and take a minimal
amount of time to set up.

My max budget is $3,500 for everything (key light,
fill light, back light, tripods + accessories).

Obviously, if I can get a great lighting kit below
budget, that would be even better.

I'll be shooting mainly indoors and in close quarters
(but I also want the flexibility to light a larger
room if in a pinch).

- Medical examination lanes (eg: eye examination
rooms, dental rooms, patient waiting rooms, and other
areas in a doctor's office).
- Corporate office interviews
- Home interviews
- Photo shoots

I was thinking about the Chimera 8000 soft light kit
for starters, but I'm not sure if I would have space
issues in a doctor's office.

Others have told me to get some HMIs. I know they are
pricey, but if you think they are worth it, I might be
able to up the budget.

Your suggestions on equipment and where I can get it would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Mel
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Old March 20th, 2005, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: Lighting suggestions for my projects

Hi

Thank for writing me..
Is this site great or what..

Thanks again Chris H and team,

I will do my best to help.
I think it will come down to a choice of HMI or Tungsten.
Anyone have any input so we can help create the perfect kit?

Talk to you later Mel


Thanks again for writing

richard
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Old March 27th, 2005, 11:50 PM   #3
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Kit 1 or Kit 2

Can someone tell me which kit would be a better start for my purpose:

Kit 1: Arri Softbank I Tungsten 4 Light Kit ($2,340)
Mfr# 571984 B&H# ARSB1K
- 300W Fresnel (531300)
- Barndoor Set (531310)
- Filter Frame (531320)
- Full 5" Single Scrim (531350)
- 1-Full 5" Double Scrim (531352)
- 1-FKW 300W Lamp (GBFKW)
- 2 x 650W Fresnels (531600)
- 2 x Barndoor Sets (531610)
- 2 x Filter Frames (531620)
- 2 x Full 6-5/8" Single Scrims (531650)
- Full 6-5/8" Double Scrims (531652)
- 2 x 650W Lamps (GBFRK)
- Arrilite 1000 (571100)
- Barndoor Set (571110)
- Full 7-1/4" Single Scrim (571150)
- Full 7-1/4" Double Scrim (571152)
- Chimera Video Pro Bank-Small (571159)
- Chimera 7-1/4" Speed Ring (571158)
- 1000W Lamp (GBDXW)
- 4 x AS-2 Stand (570050)
- Accessory Pack (571700)
- Heavy Duty Case (571197)

Kit 2: Lowel DV Creator 55 Tungsten 4 Light Kit (1,429)
- 1- Rifa-Lite 55
- 1- 500W Bulb (EHC)
- 1- Pro-Light
- 1- Pro-light 4-Way Barndoor
- 1- 250W Bulb (GCA)
- 1- Omni-Light
- 1- Omni-light 4 Leaf Barndoor Set
- 1- 500W Bulb (FTK)
- 1- Tota-Light
- 1- 750W Bulb (EMD)
- 3- Uni TO Stands
- 1- KS Jr. Stand
- 1- Tota-frame
- 1- Assorted Gels
- 1-Pro & i Gel Frame
- 1- iP Assorted Gels
- 1-Flexi-shaft pkg (2)
- 1- Tota-flag
- 1- Tota-brella
- 1- T/O Lampak
- 1- DP/Tota Lampak
- 1- TO-84Z Case
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Old March 28th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #4
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Hi Mel,
I don't know iuf you are still looking, but just in case, I have gone through some of the same issues in the last year or so. I actually have two similar kits and like them both. The Lowel is a bit more portable. I use it when I just need to grab something quick and I know I don't need an elaborate setup. The Arri is in a really nice case with wheels, but that's because you need the wheels as that sucker is pretty big and heavy. The Arri fresnels have a nicer, much more controllable light than the Lowels and that's part of the big differnce in price. The build quality is also top-notch. They will easily last 10 years. The Omni's are real portable but don't give as nice and even a light as the Arri frensels. You sort of get what you pay for.

For video interivews, the Chimera video pro's are awesome. They really make a difference and set up so easily. I have a few of them and they get used a lot. With your budget, I would suggest the Arri kit, an extra tota and softbox and a couple of 100 or 200 watt LTM peppers. The peppers are real small fresnels and are incredibly useful. They make great hairlights, backlights, eyelights etc...

Another thing you might want to look at for close quarters is a pair of Bogen Autopoles. Those are adjustable poles that can be stuck between two walls or a floor and ceiling and used to make a quick and dirty light grid. You can then fasten Mafer clamps (superclamps) to them and hang lights, flags mics etc... I picked some up a few months ago and I find I'm using them all the time, especially in tight places where a stand just gets in the way. They come in various sizes and can even be cut to fit and set up in a matter of seconds. They're realitively inexpensive too, somewhere around $150/pair.

As far as HMI, I too would like to get some, but the cost is prohibitive. You can buy a whole lot of other gear for the price of one HMI. For small places, you may be able to do all you need to with tungstens and some color correction gels. The problem is in larger spaces with open windows, but in that case, the Arri kit will serve you better than the Lowel.

You might also look into fluorescents, but unless you buy Kino's or maybe the Lowel Caselight, which are made to be portable, they are not very portable and cost a lot.

Just some thoughts.

Matt
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Old April 4th, 2005, 12:22 AM   #5
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Thanks Mathew.

I'm going through analysis paralysis. Still haven't decided...

What do you think about this setup?

Kino Flo Parabeam 400
Kino Flo Diva Lite 400
Kino Flo Parabeam 200
100w LTM Pepper
200w LTM Pepper

Great idea about the Bogen Autopoles.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #6
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Yeah, the kinos look great. I wish I could afford them. I have succesfully made 4'x2 daylight fixtures with electronic flicker-free ballasts for around $70 including lamps. They certainly aren't as nice as the Kinos, but they work fine. What you might want still is a couple of larger focusable tungstens like 650 fresnels for better key lighting. You are likely to run into situations where you need that extra punch that you can't get from flos or the little peppers. One other thing to keep in mind is that the flos do take up more room, especially the bigger 4 lamp models.

Matt
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Old April 5th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #7
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The Arri kit will be good and Matthew's info & suggestions are good, incl. Getting a Tota and another Chimera. Maybe a Small or X-Small. The medium is 3' x 4', so it's a bit big.

The Arri's will last for a very long time, if taken care of reasonably well, they'll last a lifetime. Don't throw them on and of the truck :~). Having fresnels gives you more options than just fluoros. It's easier to soften a hard light, than it is to harden a softlight.

For smaller lights, instead of the Peppers maybe get a pair of Arri 150's They are very compact and I think a little more powerful than the Peppers. A friend also said that they ran hot and he had to change globes more often than with the Arri 150's. The Arri 150's can also take a 200W FEV globe.

DedoLights are really great, but they would put you over budget. They are small 100W/12V and 150W/24V light systems that are quite powerful due to their double fresnel design. A very sexy system, but there are lots of parts and it gets expensive rather quickly.

The one drawback to the Arri kit is that the stands are light weight kit stands. Be sure to get some sandbags, no matter which stands you use. These will prevent your lights from falling over, especially the Chimeras. You may want to consider getting additional double, or triple riser stands just for the Chimeras.

I have Kino flos and love them, they are great, light weight and make really nice light. I use the 4Bank system, which take 2' or 4' T12 tubes. The Diva Lights are nice, they take the newer 2G11 four pin tubes. They are a little more powerful than the T12's and a bit more contrasty.

Kino Flo's are also good because you buy a set of daylight tubes and a set of tungsten tubes and you are adaptable to almost any situation. Conceivably, you can also put in regular fluoro tubes, taken from on site and match the overhead lights. Then correct for color when you white balance. I haven't done that, but it should work okay.

Other things to consider are:

Will the enormous case fit into the vehicles you plan on traveling in-taxis, etc?

Buy the pieces of the system separately and get Matthews or Manfrotto Beefy Baby stands; smaller case(s) and stand bags. Milk crates are good for car travel and can be purchased. Get a decent folding cart to haul all your gear.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 10:47 PM   #8
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Thanks

Thanks for great advice Mark!!

Regards,
Mel
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Old April 6th, 2005, 02:31 AM   #9
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Oh, good. I was worried, after reading my post, that I might confuse you further.

Look at a lot of set photos, read American Cinematographer and other mags, check out books on lighting and camera. I put my present lighting kit together a piece at a time and I still have all the pieces, over fifteen years later.

Getting onto sets and working is the best thing, especially if you meet other people with greater knowledge and experience. Always be learning.

The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook is great and talks about a lot of things, all relevant to lighiting.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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Go with the Lowel kit over the Arrri. starting out, you'll have an easier time with lowel. THe DV55 kit will do all you need. You can always add lights later if you need to but you probably will not need much more than a lowel kit. most folks think you need lots of lights to light well but for pros its the other way around, less is better and the norm. I have some articles on my website that might inspire you.


Walter Graff
BlueSky Media, Inc.
888.435.5428 ext 31
Cell 917.217.9766
walter@bluesky-web.com
www.bluesky-web.com
Offices in NYC and Amherst Mass.
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