suggestions: first lighting set under $400? at

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Old June 8th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
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suggestions: first lighting set under $400?

I'd appreciate your thoughts on the following lighting set
My criteria
-mostly interviews indoors (some outdoors)
-light weight for travel (one-man crew)
-budget around $400

Key light: china lantern (idea from Scott Spears site) = $20

Fill light: reflector (5-in1 from adorama) = $50

Back light and background light = $280
(2) 250 watt lights with barndoors and 1 softbox and bags from rostronics

2 mike stands with boom for china lantern and reflectors = $40

TOTAL $390

ADVANTAGES as i see it
- the barndoors will be good to control the back lights
- The china lantern can go up to 300 watts and it is a soft light
- reflectors i think will help me a lot for outside interviews
- I can start building up a better light set (reflectors and britek lights will always be useful for more advanced sets)

My next step would be to look into couple of fresnels

any suggestions? alternatives?

thank you
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Old June 10th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 66
bad idea?

I'm starting to think the lack of responses to my post may mean this is not a very good set-up/combination. I haven't yet committed to any purchase because I still have time. If there are better alternatives for less than $400 for my objetive, I'd really apppreciate your thoughts. I'm new and learning. Thank you.

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Old June 10th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #3
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The china ball is indeed a soft light, but it's very difficult to controll. Not my first choice for an interview key. The light goes everywhere unless you drape the ball in Black wrap.

A soft box would be a better choice. (In fact, what you list as your background light is a better choice) There are some inexpensive options available. Look into the Britek light kits.

Mic stands aren't really suitable for light stands. They tend to be unstable.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2005, 11:23 AM   #4
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Maybe pickup a florescent light or two? (as outlined in the following article)

You'd use them for cases when you need fst setup, and it provides soft light for interviews.

Other stuff you might want to look at:
Stringers/extension cords- guage matters if using high power lights.
Random gaffer stuff to clamp lights in places.
Black and white foamcore.
Gaffer tape - Ebay may be a better deal for new, sealed gaffer tape than B&H. I've bought shurtape #628 (brown) off there. Black is a little better, Permacel is probably a little better than shurtape.

There's also a sticky on this forum for low budget lighting ideas.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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Location: Albany, NY 12210
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I'm not familiar with that product, but it looks like a real nice kit if the quality is there. I would spring for the second softbox if at all possible. Keep in mind that a lot of times budget items can work pretty well, but often require more setup time and aren't always as durable. Is there a way for you to check this out in person before purchasing? My biggest concern would be the stands. That's often an area that gets skimped on with these kits, and it's no place to save money in my opinion. Still, you could do a lot with that kit, so far as the features. Make sure those lights will accept scrims. I didn't see any mention of that at the link. Also, 250w lamps aren't a whole lot. You'll probably want to add a higher wattage fresnel in the future, but it looks like that kit can grow with you quite nicely.
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