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Old May 11th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #1
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Need some gels - where to go / what to get?

Hey all,

I've just purchased my first lighting kit and I need to get some colored gels and diffuser material to clamp on to the barn doors (so they'll need to be the slightly larger squares.

Can you point me in the right direction and give any advice on what I should get?

Thanks a bunch,
JL
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Old May 11th, 2005, 06:56 AM   #2
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What kind of lighting kit did you purchase? I am assuming since it is your first lighting kit you purchased a Tunsten kit with 3200K balanced lights.

The use of gels is pretty specific to the situation/location you are shooting and/or the effect you are trying to acheive. Can you give a little more information on what/where you will be shooting? Are you looking to try and put together a basic gel kit? Most of the manufacturors have gel sets you can buy that are designed around dealing with common situations like balancing 3200K to 5600K etc.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #3
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Sure - here's more info:

I bought a Rifa 66, which I'd love to get an egg crate for but they are really expensive (any suggestions? :-)

I have a couple Lowel Omni's, which I plan on clipping gels to the barndoors, both colored for background setup, and diffuser material when needed.

I have a couple Lowel Pro's, that just like the omni's, will have them attached to the barn doors.

I don't know much about balancing yet, so I need to learn about that.

Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks for the help!
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Old May 11th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #4
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Here's what I carry in my gelly Roll:

Opal
Tough frost
Tough spun
CTB 1/4, 1/2. 1
CTO 1/4, 1/2, 1
Bastard amber
Pea green (for plants etc.)
assort party gels
P-38's- lots of em

Jeff Patnaude
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Old May 11th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #5
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Great list Jeff.
Perhaps you could expand a bit on the lingo to help us understand the acronyms.
Thanks.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, but I too could use a bit more of an explaination so I could understand what they are used for and how to track them down.

(Don't mean to imply you need an explanation Jimmy :-)

Thanks for the time.
JL
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Old May 11th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #7
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CTB stands for Color Temperature Blue and CTO - Color Temperature Orange. The CTB gels are used to convert Tungsten light towards varying degrees of sunlight. The CTO gels would do just the opposite, they would convert varying degrees of sunlight into a color temperature more closely resembling Tunsten lighting. An example of when you use say a CTB gel would be when you are shooting inside and you have alot of sunlight coming through a big window but you need to light using your light set. If you try to color balance your camera with the sunlight and the lights in your set you will not get good color reproduction because you are working with two different temperatures of light. 5600K for the sunlight and 3200K for your light kit. If you add a CTB 1 gel to your lights it will convert the 3200K temperature to 5600K which will more accurately match the sunlight coming through the window (assuming you are shooting say a noon on a clear day). Then you will be able to get a good white balance on your camera.

A good place to start would be to get a good basic video lighting book. I know Focal Press has a number of good books on lighting for video.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #8
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I apologize guys. I wasn't trying to be snooty, or be the lingo king.
I'm sitting down with my Roscolux swatch book and also
so we are on the same foot for descriptions:

Soft light- light that is diffused and makes a soft edged shadow.
Hard light- light that is very directional and makes a hard edged shadow.

Materials/Gels:
Opal-(I think it's #216) a soft diffuser, helps back lights wrap shoulders just a touch.

Tough frost-#103. A solid almost opaque gel that really diffuses light.

Tough spun- #105 a thick, fibrous material that deeply softens/withstands hot lights.

CTB 1/4, 1/2. 1
Color Temperature Blue. I use the 1/4 to balance with flourescents (I know its not the same, my Hitachi cams are forgiving). 1/2 or 1's I use to help balance tungsten for daylight. 1/2's are a little warmer. (The 1/4's are great to hold in fornt of the lense and "trick" the white balance to go a little warmer.)

CTO 1/4, 1/2, 1
Color Temperature Orange. quarter, half, and full. Nice on a background window shadow for a "late afternnon" effect. Shooting black folks with tungsten sometimes gives a blueish sheen on skin highlights. A quarter or so will fix it.

Bastard amber- well, that's just its name. There's colors close, like "straw" for example. Good for backlights on blue screen shots, negates backspill.

Pea green (for plants etc.)- a green gel I use with so called "specail lights" to pop a background plant, etc.

assort party gels- these are the deep purple, red, bright-whatever. Batman- lookout.

P-38's- lots of em.- clothespins.

your mileage may vary. It depends on the type of setups you intend to do. I shoot a lot of interviews in homes and offices.

There you have it girls and boys, video-chef-Jeff's favorite gel combos!

Jeff :>D
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Old May 11th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #9
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P.s.
Hey James, about your Riffa light. Why not cut out foamcore and make a box to go on the front? Cheaper than an egg crate or honeycomb for sure. Box with a piece running down the center.

A grip showed me that trick for fresnel lights. Cut out 4 trapezoid-shaped sections and it forms a box you can clip on the barndoors. Insert your favorite diffuser and - Voila!

Jeff Patnaude
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Old May 11th, 2005, 04:57 PM   #10
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Wow! I thought I'd get some good info from the board, but not that good. I really appreciate the time and info Kevin and Jeff.

Jeff - for the Rifa, you mean I would just use foamcore to make a box (sort of like taking a cardboard box and removing the top and bottom) and attaching that around the corner of the softbox, with a piece in the middle for support? Never thought of that. How far from the edge of the softbox would you recommend going out (8")?

Thanks for the knowledge.
JL
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Old May 11th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #11
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Also...

Would you recommend B&H for this stuff, or some place else?

JL
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Old May 11th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #12
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There are three major manufacturers of the stuff. Rosco is the most predominant in the U.S., followed by Lee, and then GAM (Great American Market). Lee is by far the biggest in Europe. Rosco and Lee are more oriented toward all uses (both theater and film/video), while GAM is more oriented toward theater, although you may find gels made by any of the three that will come in handy for you.

Any theatrical supply house in any good-sized city will have the gels. Ask for a free swatch book from them (the samples are about 1" x 2 1/2" so don't expect to put the stuff to use!), to learn exactly what you are getting into. The gels that you purchase will be in 18" x 24" sheets, and they should cost about $5.75 per sheet. If you find your self paying a lot more than that for them, you are getting ripped off. In some markets, they will also sell big rolls of the stuff. Great for lining windows, etc. Very expensive. That is when you would likely want to go to B&H.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #13
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Hey James,
your in california-there's got to be a grip/ lighting/ camera rental place around there somewhere. Most any place that rents out lighting for video/film has grip stuf and what's called EXPENDIBLES- gaff tape, gels, etc..
Check your local yellow pages.

Good luck.

Jeff P
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Old May 11th, 2005, 10:18 PM   #14
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You guys rock. I will start to hunt this stuff down.

I can't thank you enough.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #15
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Excellent synopsis!

Wow ... nice post Jeff...
I have been looking for just the right splash for my interview backgrounds ... I'll seek out the straw bastards!

Thanks for the expanded nomenclature ...

This is the best darn resource on the web.
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