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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:34 AM   #31
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Lamp types

If you are going to pick compact fluo lamps, get the cooler types, usually 6000K types or so, instead of the 3000K or 3200K types.

You can use them naked and mix them with daylight, blending quite well.

For blending with tungsten lighting, you can add a clear yellow gel. Nothing fancy: common wrapping celophane will do, because there's no heat.

Further white balancing with the camera (with the fluo on and getting to the WB white card) will compensate for slight color unbalances. Works perfectly!

Always be sure how you do your WB, as sometimes it's interesting mixing light types for color texture. So pick one light type only for your WB. If you WB where they all mix up you might lose the effect... if you are looking for it.


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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #32
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Thanks for the link Carlos... that helps to clarify your points.

Aaron... soon. Maybe this week... I've had a few people emailing me about 'em... and it's discouraging that they expect EVERYTHING for a third the price of anything else out there... which obviously 'aint happening. My lights will be super tough, functional, and durable... and cheap... but I'll also offer them in higher levels of trim at higher cost. The basics that everybody needs for a good location flo are portability, durability, stand mouting, quality of light, and a couple ways to control that light. I can address all those factors in affordable and practical ways... but then the cost can go up a lot when you add barndoors, ANY angle mounting, and eggcrate.

There is no doubt that DIY fixtures will always be cheaper then professional alternatives... and I'm just trying to span that chasm with something as nice as any professional fixture, but with a price that's somewhere inbetween.

For people wanting to spend the absolute least amount of cash... DIY or the options Carlos posted may be your best bet.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
Thanks for the link Carlos... that helps to clarify your points.

Aaron... soon. Maybe this week... I've had a few people emailing me about 'em... and it's discouraging that they expect EVERYTHING for a third the price of anything else out there... which obviously 'aint happening. My lights will be super tough, functional, and durable... and cheap... but I'll also offer them in higher levels of trim at higher cost. The basics that everybody needs for a good location flo are portability, durability, stand mouting, quality of light, and a couple ways to control that light. I can address all those factors in affordable and practical ways... but then the cost can go up a lot when you add barndoors, ANY angle mounting, and eggcrate.

There is no doubt that DIY fixtures will always be cheaper then professional alternatives... and I'm just trying to span that chasm with something as nice as any professional fixture, but with a price that's somewhere inbetween.

For people wanting to spend the absolute least amount of cash... DIY or the options Carlos posted may be your best bet.

Sorry about not knowing about your project. Just now did I do a search with your name and found a thread where you talk about a developing fixture you seem to be working in, based on Kino lights.

Mine is a much simpler line of work, as you can see. It should be cheap though, and my idea of an ideal fixture would be Lowel's Caselite systems... costing a lot less.

My latest idea, which I will find out about, would be finding an aluminum windows store here, which cut shapes for your house, and order a "window like" box from them, closed on one side. To it I could fix the lamp terminals and lamp holders, which apparently are now being sold separately.

But this ready made unit I mentioned above should be a good thing to carry around and put anywhere. It would be great to find some way to control the light spill though.


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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:28 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
my idea of an ideal fixture would be Lowel's Caselite systems... costing a lot less.

BTW: using a case as the base to build a fixture is not a bad idea. Gluing an aluminum wrinkled sheet on the bottom of the case would provide a cheap back reflector. Common oven aluminum, which I already use gluing it onto a styrofoam board as a sun or light reflector.

The question would be to find the right case, that has to be light, not too deep and large enough. Maybe that's the key to the problem.


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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #35
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Carlos... I like the fact that you think the same way I do. I've been disecting the same options that you've just mentioned.

Just to share a bit of what I've found... you can get aluminum gun cases really cheap on ebay... they are fairly close to the needed dimensions. There are also plastic cases that aren't too far off, but do a search for aluminum gun case on ebay and you'll see what I'm talking about.

For the aluminum you mentioned... that has got me vexed for a while now. There are ideal shapes of extruded aluminum which have a cross-section to work perfectly. The problem is that those shapes are extruded in minimum orders of 1,000 POUNDS (of stock) and there is NO excess which can be sold. The excess is melted back down for use in another die (the mold which the aluminum is pressed through as it cools). Those cross-sections are proprietary and the manufacturers won't sell "extra" lengths. Trust me... I REALLY tried to make that happen. If you have enough faith in a design to buy 1,000 pounds... + the die then you'd be in business. I'm guessing that it would be hard to sell enough lights to break even 'cause you're looking at nearly a $10K commitment on the shells alone. Not even Kino or Mole have made that design commitment. The aluminum track at the edges of the ParaBeam are extruded profiles which are then simply cut to length for the ParaBeam body. Since they can use the same profile for anything "ParaBeam" they probably got a truckload off that one die.

This is how I got to the designs I'm working on. The final design has got to be cheap, strong, and functional. When I get some done I'll post right away... hopefully later this week... It's blowing my mind at how slow the process has been... You can't even just throw money at people to get things done... trust me, I've tried.

I would like to see a lot more people trying DIY lighting... It was uplifting to hear that you're going through the same thought processes that I've been...
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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #36
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Yeah it's great to see you guys doing this sort of thing. I've tried to look around at doing this myself, but I just CANNOT find any decent high hertz ballasts or anything here in Auckland.

Matt, I know you'll do a good job and yeah, people can't expect KinoFlo perfection without paying that price. I mean, even if we can put them onto a Mafer clamp for our adjustability that'd be good.

Now, I've had no experience with this, but when I was look at Flo purchases, people mentioned about the Caselight and the fact that it's attached to the case put stress on the join between case and light, and transferred any jolts etc. So for transport they weren't the best - I think they were thinking about Airline transport though, where it's rough. If someone's going the homemade route, and want a Caselight style, maybe they should be aware of this.

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Old May 24th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #37
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Matt,

It's good to know I am tuned on what's happening, but I am not really looking to manufacture anything. The things I suggested are exclusively for my personal use and I just thought they might help other filmmakers get their light kits better.

E-bay is also far from my reach (I live in Brazil) except for some very cheap stuff or good deal I might get on something. To have things brought here paying no taxes is pretty expensive, and paying the taxes is way too high.

In the past I did design a portable mic preamp and sold a few units in the US, but it's quite tiresome when you don't live there. So that's not for me. Right now I am concentrating on my film/video projects, which are starting to happen.

But I can't stop my DIY head, particularly when it deals with ideas that might solve practical problems in shooting film or video. So these fluo projects have to do with that.

In any case I do understand what you are going through, if you want to design a marketable product.

The idea I have to go to a "window-maker" here maybe is not something you find in the US. Here we have several places that deal with doing aluminum windows or doors for any application you need, for any measurement you need. They are mostly special ordered, so I think a flat box that might hold fluo bulbs may look like a window to them, only with no opening. Add an U-shaped bar on the outside and we have a light box. Don't you think?

Perhaps I can find an aluminum profile that will also hold an egg-crate or a diffusor up front.


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Old May 24th, 2005, 06:32 PM   #38
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Carlos... I like that idea a lot. I considered actually making FAKE WINDOWS for lights... complete with mini-blinds! Think about it. If you use daylight tubes and have enough of 'em that the source is totally soft... or filter 'em so they are... then the light and window could be a believable prop and a functional light.

There are several companies that make daylight fixtures for "SADS" (or SADDS)... Seasonal Affected Depression Syndrome... and while working on these lights I thought that a neat product for people like that would be fake skylights... That would be a neat addition to a house anyway. If you play around with daylight fixtures and get them bouncing off of a wall... when you look back into the room you forget what time of day it is. As long as you aren't looking directly at the fixture it appears that light is coming into the room from a window.

As soon as you get something done post it... and I'll do the same.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
There are several companies that make daylight fixtures for "SADS" (or SADDS)... Seasonal Affected Depression Syndrome...
Matt, is this the type of SADS lighting you were talking about? At 4"x4"x24" this seems like a pretty portable rig, especially since its made to mount on a light stand.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 06:24 AM   #40
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Yeah, I was just throwing that out there though... I'm not into "SADS"... I'm just stating that the goal of a SADS light is the same goal of a daylight location flo... to simulate natural daylight.

That said, be careful of what you buy because some SADS lights are basically blue... under the premise that it's the blue portion of the UV spectrum that's responsible for the "healing".

The only reason I mentioned it is because any really good location flo (in daylight temp) should be useful to those same people.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
...is this the type of SADS lighting you were talking about?
Forgot the dang url: SADS Lights
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Old May 27th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
Forgot the dang url: SADS Lights

Those www.naturallighting.com products look very interesting, even if a bit expensive.

Look at the Sunpro Supreme:

http://www.naturallighting.com/show_...product_id=371

Its high CRI/96 seems to indicate it's quite linear in light spectrum.

Their Sunpro portable box looks like a reasonable deal, though I never saw that 55w lamp it uses, and easy lamp resources are essential.

http://www.naturallighting.com/show_...product_id=370

The 36w Thinlite box looks like a better deal for $65:

http://www.thinlite.com/prod11.htm

But I don't think these are SADS lamps, are they? What do you mean by being "blue", Matt?

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Old May 27th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #43
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Patrick, Yep, that's what I was talking about... I nearly ordered some of those light boxes a couple years ago... before I built my first "matt-o-flos"... I have mixed feelings about them... They aren't a bad deal considering the tubes are included... but they aren't a great deal for an DV guy either (for lack of versatility). The stand mounted light at $325 is a better deal... I'd love for somebody to buy one and report back to us. Something like that would be the closest competition to what I'm developing only because the price is halfway reasonable... and they are portable... so those two factors are worth something... but once you see what I'm doing... for around the same price... you'll understand my confidence.

Carlos, some of the light therapy lights actually have BLUE output... they cast visibly blue light. If it says daylight then I'm sure it's not one of those... All I'm saying is that if you choose a "SADS" light to convert to video use, you should be sure it's not one of the ones that uses blue LEDs or some other blue light. 5500-5600k won't be blue.

No big deal... I just wouldn't want somebody to accidentally buy one... since they may misinterpret my statement that a daylight flo would be good for SADS and *SOME* SADS lights would be good for location video.

Last edited by Matt Gettemeier; May 27th, 2005 at 02:08 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Matt Gettemeier
The stand mounted light at $325 is a better deal... I'd love for somebody to buy one and report back to us. Something like that would be the closest competition to what I'm developing only because the price is halfway reasonable... and they are portable... so those two factors are worth something... but once you see what I'm doing... for around the same price... you'll understand my confidence.
Now I really want to see what you are doing! Any way to have a peeping advance of the matt-o-flos?

And yes, the stand mounted light, if the stand is included, seems like a good deal.


Quote:
Carlos, some of the light therapy lights actually have BLUE output... they cast visibly blue light. If it says daylight then I'm sure it's not one of those... All I'm saying is that if you choose a "SADS" light to convert to video use, you should be sure it's not one of the ones that uses blue LEDs or some other blue light. 5500-5600k won't be blue.

No big deal... I just wouldn't want somebody to accidentally buy one... since they may misinterpret my statement that a daylight flo would be good for SADS and *SOME* SADS lights would be good for location video.
Well, they claim the bulbs are 10000K, which is indeed is a bit blue if compared or viewed against a 3000/3200K source. But if you are using it to fill a daylight interior with the window as main source it may do just fine. A clear yellow gel might take care of further corrections.

Carbon arcs also needed a straw coloured gel to use, and they were 6000K.

In any case I don't care for those bulbs, because those are not types you get from any place but them. The most commonly found are around 4000K.

BTW: I also think you can put a handle and a cover on the "window style" box I'm thinking of and make it a ready to go unit. Now how to control the light is the following problem, which would be how to hold a barndoor or egg-crate onto the box.




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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:13 AM   #45
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Coming back with finished 36w

After another long gap in my attendance to this thread, here I am back with my finished fixture.

This time I brought my 36w Dulux fixture from Buenos Aires to make a few changes on it.

The unit is made in China, with the mainframe being painted aluminum and the extremes plastic. It carries an on-off switch and the electronic ballast is on the back.

There were two things that I wanted to improve on:

1) Replacing the ballast for a dual-voltage type, that would let me take it anywhere. This a very practical characteristic of Dulux lamps, as their voltage does not depend on the wall AC. The ballast feeds their power, so you can pick a ballast that can take both 110v and 220v. That's unusual in a film/video lighting unit.

2) Adding an AC terminal prong, as I was a using a cable socket which is not practical.

Both things were accomplished quite well.

The ballast replacement I found was a little thicker than the original, which was longer and thinner, but I didn't want to take more time looking for a smaller one. My concern was whether it would work or not. And it did. After a wrong first wiring it worked alright on the second try.

Doing the hole for the AC terminal was more troublesome. I had to use a Dremmel-style tool to do it. I decided to use a "computer-style" AC chassis prong, which is small, universal and you can even use a computer cable for the initial tests or even as carry-around cable.

As I said on my other mail, this unit is quite good, as you can even gaffer-tape it to anything. Even a string would hold it. And it stays completely cool all the time.

It's great for lighting faces and has no flickering.

I can shoot some pictures to show it here, if necessary. But it won't be much use if you can't find a similar fixture where you live. What I wanted to submit was the general concept for making a DIY unit you can use for film or video.


Carlos
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