Grid VS Stands at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 19th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Central, FL
Posts: 392
Grid VS Stands

Going to create a studio in a space that has approx. 12 feet ceilings. What suggestions do you have for lighting ie: hanging a grid versus light stands etc.
__________________
Lisa
http://www.victorytelevisionnetwork.com
Lisa Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Shenzhen, China
Posts: 781
A lot of it has to do with convenience and how much floor space you can spare for light stands. On the other hand, how strong is the ceiling support to take the extra weight of a pipe grid? Maybe an engineer and the landlord (if you're renting) need to come into the conversation. So you have to consider all those things in the decision.
__________________
Richard Andrewski - Cool Lights USA - RED #114
http://www.coollights.biz
Richard Andrewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
12 feet might be just a little low for a grid. You'll lose some valuable height hanging lights below the grid, and you'll need some space above the grid for proper access.

Also, depending on the grid design, there could be some loss of flexibility. So you'll need to carefully consider your needs if you're going that route.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2010, 01:37 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
You've got some good advice here already - let me add this: when I had a studio with a grid, I still found myself lighting about 50% from the floor. The grid was great for backlights/hairlights and background lights but I often found myself adding key and fill (in interviews) from the floor for angles. If you can, I'd still rig a simple grid even with 12' ceilings but be prepared to not use the grid when it doesn't make sense to use it.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 312
Lighting from a grid makes the most sense when the same set is used over and over again. When its not, then moving the fixtures around on the grid takes considerably more time then if they were on stands. Using a goal post made from an appropriate length of pipe and 2 sufficiently beefy stands will in most cases, get light stands out of the shot when thats a consideration.

Even when the same set is used repeatedly, in order to be pre lit for various angles you'll need a good many more fixtures than you would if you were using stands. And even then you'll still be up on a ladder tweaking.
Jase Tanner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 26th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
A fixed grid has it's plusses and minuses.

The more modern approach is a "rails" system where the grid elements can all move.

If you can afford it, it is the MOST flexible studio lighting system.

My studio has two parallel fixed rails - then three movable rails hung from the fixed units on "trucks" which are connectors that slide in any direction. Next, are a series of pantographs (tensioned scissor like fixtures) that also hang from the movable trucks from the movable rails.

The result is lights that can be instantly positioned and re-positioned in all three space dimensions front-back, side to side, AND up and down.

When the studio is fully lit, there are NO cables or cords on the floor - which reduces trip hazzards by several magnitudes.

You need to increase the light on a subject by a bit? Drag the fixture a bit closer and walk away.

A "rails system" is not cheap - but if time and efficiency are important to you - then this is the BEST studio lighting system every devised, hands down.

Search "IFF Studio Rail" from Manfrotto - or there are plenty of other similar systems out there.

Good luck.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 106
Hey Bill,

That's a very cool solution. I see there are different size rail systems available but the Manfrottos I looked at weren't specific about how much area each could comfortably cover. Mind if I ask how big your studio is and what system (or what size system, anyway) you're using?
Greg Joyce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Next, are a series of pantographs (tensioned scissor like fixtures) that also hang from the movable trucks from the movable rails.
You know, I never knew what they were called until just now...

I worked in a hospital setting where our photo studio had all the strobes "flown" and kept thinking "wow, wouldn't those scissor things work great for video" and always just ASSumed that hot lights would be too heavy or something... Good to know they work for video lighting as well.

In retrospect, I should have known - we had big strobes with softboxes and snoots and all the fittings which would weigh in at least as much as the average high wattage open face or mid sized Leko.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Oh, and a friendly safety message - ALL flown lights should be secured by safety wires to something that will not fail structurally if the light falls due to mechanical failure. Hot glass, heavy housings and sharp metal edges can MASSIVELY ruin someone's day...
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Joyce View Post
Hey Bill,

That's a very cool solution. I see there are different size rail systems available but the Manfrottos I looked at weren't specific about how much area each could comfortably cover. Mind if I ask how big your studio is and what system (or what size system, anyway) you're using?
Sorry, missed your post back when it was current.

The "grid" is based on two factors. In my studio, there are two fixed "rails" that attach to the ceiling as parallel tracks separated by about eight feet. These are 20 foot sections. (Leveling them is important since you want both rails and fixtures to "stay" where you positin them. Then I have three 12' cross rails on swivel trucks. This allows each cross rail to be positioned individually. Finally, I went around the perimeter of the studio ceiling with a "double track" of curtain rail. This allows not only a heavy black sound/light drape on rollers, but also allows additional back lights or other instruments a place around the exterior.

The pantographs are interesting since they have medium weight strap springs that tension the pantograph PLUS a settable "drag" break on each unit. I've never found a fixture of any reasonable weight that I couldn't set so that you pull it into place and it just stays there. It's a very well designed system.

I think I spent about $5-6k on the system. But it's saved me 10 times that in efficiency and time every years it's been in operation.

YMMV.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 6th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 106
Your studio sounds awesome, Bill! Thanks for the great information.

Now I just need to find a building to put it in... ;-)
Greg Joyce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Central, FL
Posts: 392
Thanks for all of the great info.

Has anyone here built their own grid? If so, any links to diy grids or pics?


Thank you.
__________________
Lisa
http://www.victorytelevisionnetwork.com
Lisa Bennett is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:45 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network