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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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Cool Lights 'interview kit' recommendations?

hi all... I've been looking at creating for myself a simple cool lights interview lighting kit for portability and low energy usage, and good prices. I don't do interviews today but will, and am scheduling something now, maybe for January, so I don't have a lot of kit to draw on there already .. thinking to use daylight balanced lights

I am leaning towards LED where possible, vs. flo, for better portability (smaller, less risk to break bulbs).

what would you guys recommend for a basic interview kit, and could I do this only from cool light gear....?

e.g. 600 spot with softbox for key and a 256 spot hairlight? would a 600 flood be better (even if out of stock now)? (also with reflector for additional fill) .. do I need anything for background lighting, e.g. small fresnel? or something different (or maybe I use a small and inexpensive tungsten for background / accent light)?

any suggestions or input is greatly appreciated!
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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Hi Dave, I just put together an interview kit with a 600 spot & softbox, 256 spot (both daylight), reflector and a 200 watt tungsten fresnel. I just shot interviews with that kit and thought it was excellent. I ended up using the 256 with diffusion as a fill instead of the reflector due to some room restrictions, but I thought it worked out great. I highly recommend the Cool Lights. Attached is a still from one of the interviews to give you an idea.
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Cool Lights 'interview kit' recommendations?-interview.jpg  
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Old December 8th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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Ben, thanks for the reply and taking the time to post the screen shot, it looked nice. also makes me wonder whether a second 256 would be good for me to have (?)..

Were you able to figure out the difference in the CL stands? Which did you order for each, and do you think you selected the right ones? how is the build quality? given what has been posted about the lights I would suspect the stands would be equally good but some feedback never hurts.

thanks again!!
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Old December 8th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #4
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A second 256 would always be nice, but I didn't find that I needed it this time around.

I didn't purchase the CL stands, so I can't speak to their quality. I ended up getting some Manfrotto stands that are very nice - they are the ones that collapse flat and can lock into each other, making them easier to pack and transport.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #5
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I haven't shot with my new LED 256's yet, but until I see the LED 600 in action, I'd be hard-pressed to think I wouldn't take my 455PMD flo with me anyway. It's a gorgeous light and gorgeous look - and with the ability to swap out bulbs as needed for color, it's flexible. I'm relatively new to video and lighting, and I find it funny that already we're wanting to not carry around flo because it's cumbersome - that's progress! :)

When I pick up one of the LED 600's (soon, I hope) I'll be looking for it to replace the capability of a traditional tungsten (hard) light, hence the need for the softbox. One I pick it up I'll decide whether the next light for me after that is another LED 600 or 455 PMD for additional versatility.

Ben - you had the 200W tungsten for your shoot - did you use that because you needed to throw a cookie pattern on the back wall, or if you had another LED 256 would have used that instead of your fresnel? I've heard that you can't really use the LEDs for throwing cookies because of the "many mini lights" casting freaky shadows as a result, but I'm wondering if you couldn't throw some diffusion or something in front of a 256 and still get a cookie pattern of some sort off of it that's okay...
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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Yes it casts "freaky" shadows but have you seen what you can do when you close the barndoors and then cast that on the wall? Sometimes could be an interesting effect not unlike the very common shutter effect.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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I haven't tried that - but that's interesting! I only had long enough this evening to take out the lights and throw them on one of my stands and shine them at my 2-year-old son to check out the minus green filters. He was quite impressed and was upset when I turned them off. "More light" was his request at that point - and who am I to say no? :)
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Old December 8th, 2009, 10:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mitchell View Post
Ben - you had the 200W tungsten for your shoot - did you use that because you needed to throw a cookie pattern on the back wall, or if you had another LED 256 would have used that instead of your fresnel? I've heard that you can't really use the LEDs for throwing cookies because of the "many mini lights" casting freaky shadows as a result, but I'm wondering if you couldn't throw some diffusion or something in front of a 256 and still get a cookie pattern of some sort off of it that's okay...
I did specifically bring a tungsten for using cookies, based on what I heard on here about LEDs not being great for that purpose. On this shoot though I did not use a cookie, just the light by itself, so theoretically the 256 could have served the same purpose if I were not using it as a fill.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #9
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Ben and all - thanks for the info ... !

I am still debating between the spot & flood 5600, even if the floods are out of stock for now ... I *think* the flood would give me a little more versatility even if the punch from the spot is a bit stronger ...

I haven't found any photos / video of the flood with softbox vs. the spot with the softbox so I can't tell whether the flood with softbox would give sufficient light or whether the softbox really dictates the spot model

anyway, thanks for the input and if anyone else does have thoughts on this please do feel free to post!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #10
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I just ordered an LED 600 spot 5600k plus soft box - so update the thread in about 2-3 weeks (if I haven't already) asking me what I think, if you'd like.

Richard - I tried the shutter trick on the 256 as you suggested - VERY cool effect - just like blinds as a cookie... Thanks!

-- mitch
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Old December 11th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your comments.

You can take a look in the gallery of our site. There are some videos there including one I just posted featuring the softbox and its effects. You should find what you're looking for there.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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I have both the spot and flood LED600s. If you plan on using a softbox with one of them, you need to get a spot. The output on the flood is too low to be of much use with a softbox. I use my flood as a fill source, often either bouncing it into a 42" Flexfill or directly but with only one or two of the banks on and dimmed down. Good output overall, but not enough for the softbox IMHO.

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Old December 11th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #13
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Dan would you use the flood with no softbox as a key (maybe dimmed a bit or diffused) or is that a little too hard of a source in your opinion for single subject interview (indoors)?
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Old December 21st, 2009, 03:36 AM   #14
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I am considering getting a 600. My first question I had in mind about whether to get the flood or the spot has been answered. I would still be interested to know though how much throw the 5600k spot version with softbox has? I'd also like to second Dave's question.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 10:54 AM   #15
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I just received my LED 600 with softbox and set it up to try it out, and I'm VERY impressed. The throw on the spot is surprisingly long with plenty of power - I threw it on a wall about 15 feet away and it was BRIGHT. I put the softbox on there and it got nice and soft but the throw was still decent. The eggcrate cut the overall light level down quite a bit since it wasn't spilling everywhere but it was very nice about 10' in front of the fixture, and relatively soft. It wasn't a warm light, of course - I didn't have the CTO filter on there, but I can live with that as there are ways around it.

The softbox was very well-designed, too. It folds up into a nice little flat package and the rods to make it stiff are built-in - rather than you having to thread those yourself into the umbrella to assemble it. Just unfold it, clamp it over the "speed ring"-type thing, and put it on the light. Couldn't be simpler. I can't wait until I can get another one of these!

I'm really itching to use it in the next couple of weeks for a couple of narrative shoots I'm going to be on, and although I don't have the battery option for it at this point, having a portable, lightweight fixture that produces practically zero heat is going to be very welcome.

Richard - cool product (sorry for the terrible pun), thanks for making these! :)
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