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Photon Management
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Old April 21st, 2005, 02:07 PM   #31
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These are stick up lights and are meant to be used with the metal base flat, taped up, hung, or, using the chain and the cut outs, they can be mounted on the riser of a light stand, or any narrow thing that will fit inside the cut-outs. They aren't mounted in the normal way, but are great for location shoots. I think the Lowel website has examples of how they should be mounted. The little slits are where you slip the chain in after you've placed the light. It works by tension, but they are kind of a pain to use. Not what I'd recommend as a main light, unless the space was really funky. You'll also have to have a little blackwrap handy to kill spill.

These take R-40 reflector flood bulbs. You can fit any medium screwbase bulb in them, though, but you can't use the barn doors with a non R-40 bulb.

You may want to find some fresnel lights that will be more effective and useful for DV filmmaking. These Lowel Lights now are sort of a specialty item as they are more for location lighting and news type shoots. I have this kit, but rarely use them. Be careful when taping them up, use paper tape and try not to pull the paint off. It's best if you can tape to painted wood, or something like that. Wallpaper is bad, you'll pull off the paper.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 09:12 PM   #32
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Thanks for the reply Mark. I'll didn't even think about taping up the light. I like the idea of mounting it to wood though. I'll grab some of that black tinfoil stuff too to catch light spill.

One awesome thing though... My dad went digging into his old stuff and guess what.. he pulls out three fresnel spots made by photogenics! He doesn't even use them so he's going to let me use them for my films. I'll use my lowel lights too though I think.

I might try to sell them, but if I don't, I'll just keep them.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 09:55 PM   #33
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Adam,

You're welcome. You may as well hold on to Lowel lights, they'll come in handy. The Photogenics are good, they're 100W, 150W or 200W depending on which globe you put in. You may also want to invest in a couple of higher wattage lights too, 650's or something like that.

You're on the right road.

First rule of lighting, learn how to use one light- the sun.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 10:43 PM   #34
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I think lighting and learning how to make my Sony FX1 look like film are my biggest concerns right now. I've found some solutions on this board for the look like film part, but I'm really concerned about the lighting.

OH, I also picked up a Photoflex 12" x 16" dome 500w lamp too for some extra soft lighting. I also picked up a dual 500w construction light from home depot that I will be putting behind a while 4' x 8' translucent diffuser. I did my first film about a month ago, an action flick, and man on man did we not know what we were doing. I'm sure that after I continue, I'll keep learning.

Thanks again.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #35
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Lowel - DVcreator Kit 55 French or UK distributor

Does anyone know where I can find a good distributor in either France or the UK for Lowel - DVcreator Kit 55 (with hard case & lamps)?
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 11:19 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Duncan
Does anyone know where I can find a good distributor in either France or the UK for Lowel - DVcreator Kit 55 (with hard case & lamps)?
Try Pro Kit.

http://www.prokit.co.uk/
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Old November 27th, 2006, 09:39 PM   #37
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Best Lowel light kit best bang for the buck?

Hey all,

I've decided I want to go with a small lowel light kit to compliment my Panasonic Gs400. What do you think is considered one of their best kits or their best selling to most folks? I'm looking for something with a soft box, fresnel, or possibly omni light with umbrella. Not sure what wattages I need for each light for most digital video work. I also need to know which tungsten to daylight conversion gels I need.

Thank you

Luke
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Old November 29th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #38
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There are a lot of ways to approach this.

First, you should know (you may already know) that Lowel is the lightest weight stuff out there. Perfect if you're hopping on planes, single-handing out of the back of a car, etc. Not so good if many people are using the same lights.

I like Lowel... and Arri, and Mole, and Videssence, and a bunch of stuff, it's all good.

IMHO the Rifa is a great light. A Rifa 55 or 66 is a great, extremely portable, easy to set up, very efficient soft box. I bought a 55 because I was doing a lot of work out of a suitcase, and that and a couple of open face 350 watt instruments made a very light and small kit. Air travel is now only 50 lbs. per piece (used to be 75). Now, I'm considering getting rid of some of my heavier lights and getting a 66, too.

The Pro is a great little light, almost a fresnel, but inexpensive, low wattage, great for sensitive DV cameras as a back light. The Omni is an OK open face light, usually I'd want some diffusion or a reflector in front of it. The Tota is an amazingly small incredibly bright instrument... that puts out pretty harsh light in all directions at once.

A really nice small kit might be a Rifa 55 or 66 (if lighting two people go 66), a pro or two, an omni... then, if lighting large spaces, a couple totas. A couple flexi-fill style 5 in 1 reflectors, a couple extra stands, you'll want some full and 3/4 CTB for your tungsten to daylight correction, some tough spun diffussion, a bunch of little gadgets, a couple 25' extension cords of at least 14 gauge, a couple cube taps,... a couple safety cables, spare bulbs, and gloves to protect your hands when the lights get hot.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 01:47 AM   #39
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Hey Seth,

Thanks very much for the informative reply. Question when do I know if I need to use 3/4 or full CTB for tungsten to daylight correction? I have two 50 feet extension chords, one is rated at 15 amps 14 guage, one is rated at 13 amp 16 guage, will the 16 guage wire get too hot or what would be wrong with using that kind of chord with the lights?

Also I'm wondering what are the best wattages to get these lights? I'd be mostly lighting interiors.

I've been looking at this kit
http://www.lowel.com/kits/GoPro-visions.html
and this one

http://www.lowel.com/kits/DVcreator1.html

or this one

http://www.lowel.com/kits/rifaPro55.html

and add on a rifa light to that. I don't see the advantage of the omni, or tota light when you can get the pro lights that are focusable?

Luke
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Old November 30th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #40
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I just noticed you're using a GS400. I would consider a single 150W Dedolight ($700) and a Photoflex Starlite with Silverdome and 40 Degree Fabric Eggcrate ($500) over the Lowel Kit. Add a few compact stands, a lame' reflector (pop up), a squeezer (dimmer), and a DIY case, you should be setup for around $1500.00. That would be a high quality lighting kit for anyone.

Dedolight is the winner of four technical achievement awards. There's a good reason for that. The Starlite is just a nice small softlight with a thoughtful line of affordable accessories.

Last edited by Brian Wells; November 30th, 2006 at 08:42 AM.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #41
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No disrespect to Brian - I've not used dedo.

The Lowel DV Creator plus a rifa is pretty versatile. I teach at a college that purchased just that, but bought a rifa 44 with it, which is too small.

You'll decide on the 3/4 or full CTB by clipping it on a light, white balancing to it, and see if the exteriors look blue. Alternativly, preset the daylight balance and see if you have good skin tones under the light. 20x24 sheets about $6 at bhphotovideo.

A pro is a small, narrow beam. An omni is much broader.

You'd probably only be able to use a pro for a backlight or front light for one person. Omni, a lot more coverage. Tota - a big bad light that will illuminate a whole room. Kinda' depends on the interiors you're shooting.

Someone here can tell you the allowed wattage on a 14ga. or 16ga. extension cord, or maybe it's printed on it. 14 is almost as light as a 16, I always buy 14 or sometimes 12 for heavier applications, but 12 is quite a bit heavier, bulkier, and harder to handle.

You'll proably not have an issue with a pro and an omni on a 16ga., but put a rifa 66 (750w) and a tota (1000w) on a single cable and you have to be carerful.

Wattage - I'd just go with the stock wattages to start, then figure out if they're serving you well. Your mileage will vary.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 11:33 PM   #42
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Hey thanks very much guys. I checked out those dedo lights. What an amazing product, unfortunately out of my budget. Thanks for the tips of the lowel stuff, I don't have a lot of cash to spend, but I figure this stuff is going to last me, unless you can think of anything better.

Luke
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 06:34 AM   #43
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Luke,

Ebay is your friend. If you're cash strapped, and have the time... some judicious bidding will get you a LOT of gear for your money. FIRST check out the retail prices for the elements you want. Try not to pay more than 60% list (and don't forget those shipping charges!).

I've got an ENG kit, that I've built up over the years. (Som e before Ebay existed.) Garage sales, thrift stores, Ebay and Craigslist. People buy gear to make the next "Great Movie" all the time. Three months later, they realize owning gear is not making a movie. So it goes up for sale.

Keep your eyes peeled, don't get overexcited in bidding (there'll be ANOTHER fresnel for sale in a couple of days... I PROMISE you.) and GOOD LUCK.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #44
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Setting up my Lowel Dv 44 Kit

So I've got the Lowel 44 kit with the 250w Rifa, 250w Pro, 500w Omni & 800w Tota lights.

The Rifa has its own 'soft-box' and the Tota has a reflective umbrella.

There's also an assortment of gels and frames that I can't figure out how to attach.

Anyway, I am at a loss when it comes to knowing which light to use for what purpose.

I want to shoot a quick scene of two people talking. We'll have the two close ups (angle and reverse angle) and the wide shot.

Basically, I want to test a simple 3 point lighting set up.

So if I have a key, fill and back light (and a spare that can light the background) which light should serve which purpose?

Thank you for your help,
-- John.
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Old February 5th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #45
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So, John, the answer is - "it depends". The question of which light to do what with is the reason that some folks make a career out of nothing but lighting.

I'd recommend any of a number of good books on lighting. The two you might start with are "Matters of Light and Depth" by Ross Lowel (yes, the same Lowel) or "Lighting for Digital Video & Television" by John Jackman. There are a large number of other books that you can move on to, but these are both good starters.

There are also, of course, lots of DVDs, websites, and seminars depending on what works best for you.

So, some basics, and then spend time experimenting with the things you've got to see what you can get them to do for you. BTW, Lowel's website has some good info on it, and I've had good luck with support from them on getting the various little gadgets in their kits to work. They are clever, but pretty unique to Lowel.

Good luck!
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