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Old May 7th, 2010, 03:13 AM   #1
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Lighting Grip, diffusion and reflection

I'd like to know what everyone is doing about using 4x4s (or similar).

It strikes me that the main suppliers (Matthews, Westcott etc,.) are really very expensive for what amounts to some pieces of aluminium and fabric and special clamps.

It's such an important part of controlling light that there must be reasonable alternatives?

Even DIY alternatives?

What does everybody do here?

thanks
paul
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Old May 7th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #2
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You could buy the grip heads and use them as a basis of mounting a lot of accessories onto the heavier light stands. For example, the stands used for 2k blondes can take a reasonable amount of weight, so long as you don't put them up too high and you use a sand bag (However, you lose the neat intertwining legs of the C stand). The old 4 x 4s used to be made of wood (many till are), with diffusion material taped to them.

Much kit was originally DIY by the crews and then the manufacturers made a higher quality version, that they didn't need to spend time building. Chimeras were another piece of kit that came about like this, used by Jordan Cronenweth, so that they were called Cronie cones originally.

If you look around B & Q or other DIY places you can find very similar pieces of kit to that used on films.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #3
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I didn't know that about chimeras, learn something every day!

I wonder whether there are any companies out there producing the same kind of collapsible frames for a reasonable cost. I like the transportability.

I have found lastolite in the UK have a range of skylites, these look fairly reasonable and seem to do the job. Anyone using them?

cheers
paul
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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #4
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Wescott makes some nice, lightweight kits called Scrim Jims for 4x4s and other stuff around that size. They are not too expensive and they break down to a small bag. But they are kind of flimsy and definitely not heavy duty like the Matthews or American stuff. If you are going to be outdoors, you really need the heavy duty stuff for the simple fact that when the wind comes up, you had better have something that won't fold or collapse.

For use on a still day or on interiors, the Wescott stuff is usable but the first time you try it on a windy day, you will regret not having heavier duty stuff. I would check out Norms too, I think I priced out a 4x4 kit with the frame, solid, single, double and silk was under $500.00 with the discount.

Dan
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