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Old May 20th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #16
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VERY good input BILL. thanks for taking time to write that up. i did consider that the "Flo" kind of lights wont project light very far and thats definitely a CON of those kind of light systems.
i think i will go with daylight temp lights cuz they dont bring down the f stop as much. i don't think there is a "perfect" choice anymore. just too many situations.... so now trying to do my best at covering the basic situations...
man, this stuff is scary. its all so expensive. will be upset if i make the wrong move. but i guess everything can be corrected with filters.....?
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 03:11 PM   #17
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There is a LOT you can do with one decent HMI, one Flo, and one LED. It's a bit more pricey than the common 3-light tungsten kit, but just has so many more ways to be utilized.

Lighting is only a small part of the battle my friend. Learn your grip gear, and you'll do more with those few lights than most people can do with 10.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #18
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yeah, starting to realize that....
getting into the gear next. with proper gear seems you can make anything work BETTER.
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #19
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If you're going to be gelling daylight lights with CTO, that indicates you're using HMIs, I would think. Adding CTO to fluorescent or LED lights is going to give you not much more than a nice soft glow, of very little use more than 5 feet away from the subject.

I use daylight LEDs (three Flolight.com 500LEDs and am getting another 1000LED soon) for interviews and generally closeup work. For bigger things I have to rent HMIs or go with gelled tungsten to mix with my LEDs. Adding a sheet of full CTB to a 750 watt open face tungsten light drops it down to about the same output as a 500LED (a little more, actually), but it has a lot more throw, and you can spot and flood it.

If I could only have one set of lights it would be a set of four Lowel Quartz D lights. You can get a kit with four lights, barn doors, stands and they all fit in a nice case with room in the lid for gels and a couple of flags, which you'll need.. Use diffusion gel for people shots, use them bare for big long throws, gel them with CTB for mixing with daylight, carry a variety of lamps--1K, 500 watt and 750 watt. The downside is that you'll be lucky to get a couple of 500 watts on one circuit without blowing it.

There's no one set of lights good for everything. Sometimes I need frenels, sometimes open face, sometimes a combination of everything I have and can rent. I like shooting with daylight because, as noted above, there is usually some daylight coming in and if you can't block it, use it when possible. Also, most office fluorescents seem to be in the 4500K range, a lilttle closer to daylight than tungsten. However, if you're doing much more than interviews and two-shots, you'll need to go for HMIs when talking daylight...and that's what rental houses are for because most individuals can't afford to buy them.

You can, of course, get bigger fluorescent daylight fixtures that use up to 6 or 8 lamps, usually 55 watts each. But they're big and heavy. They provide a really nice soft fill, but again, not very much throw.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #20
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i guess my final hesitation about buying DAYLIGHT over tungsten is that if you were shooting any interior and there was some light coming from a window and you used 56K lights to add to that, there would also inevitably be practical lights that have tungsten lights in them so using 56K lights would then cause mixing of light sources and bad color balance right?
so in that situation wouldnt you want to stay away from the window alltogether and just use tungsten?

thats prolly my final question about which to buy... for now lol.
plus, almost all professional equipment is tungsten (lowell, arri etc.) so still a bit curious on reasons to buy DAYLIGHT over TUNGSTEN.
-JS
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Old May 20th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Steele View Post
i guess my final hesitation about buying DAYLIGHT over tungsten is that if you were shooting any interior and there was some light coming from a window and you used 56K lights to add to that, there would also inevitably be practical lights that have tungsten lights in them so using 56K lights would then cause mixing of light sources and bad color balance right?
so in that situation wouldnt you want to stay away from the window alltogether and just use tungsten?

thats prolly my final question about which to buy... for now lol.
plus, almost all professional equipment is tungsten (lowell, arri etc.) so still a bit curious on reasons to buy DAYLIGHT over TUNGSTEN.
-JS

I carry a range of CFL bulbs in 3 color temperatures especially to deal with what you just mentioned. $50 worth can re-bulb an entire house. Compared to the time and effort required to gel a full set of tungsten lamps, it's nothing.

Also, you're last statement is grossly incorrect. Thirty years ago there was certainly more tungsten used on set. But now, on pro sets, it's nearly all daylight. You're shopping in the bargain basement section and getting a VERY skewed view of "professional" lighting. I'd wager that ARRI produces 3x as much daylight gear as tungsten. Lowel barely qualifies in most circles as professional lighting (and I own $2k worth of their gear so I have no axe to grind there) so I wouldn't use that as a marker.

This is why you aren't seeing daylight balanced lights:

Light Sources

There is also the fact that people at this level of the game aren't buying "kits". They know what they need and they buy that.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 09:47 AM   #22
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i will admit i am a bit clueless but have learned a TON in these past few days. thanks a bunch everyone.
i think i have a game plan...
basically, you can never have too much light only not enough. so i will go bright as i can and get the basic key light, fill and kicker and will search for good deals on good equipment. i dont think a light "kit" would ever make me happy cuz it will always lack something i need. I was just thinking it would be a good place to start.
great info guys!
-JS
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Old May 21st, 2010, 10:07 AM   #23
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CFL - Compact Fluorescent.

Basically, the spiral shaped replacement bulbs you see in the store. Some brands of these are of excellent quality and are suitable for film/video. They generally come in 3 color temperatures: 2700, 3500, 5500. I buy a selection in each color, and and 2-3 wattage ranges.

They give off a very pleasing glow of light, and in the higher wattages can be quite bright. With minimal diffusion they can serve as lovely fill light, or used as a group in a fixture, they can simulate a window in a room.

The art of lighting is sometimes referred to as placing shadows. It would be beneficial to you to not begin your thoughts of lighting with the Key/Fill/Kicker paradigm, and instead begin to view images in the sense of where the light and shadows fall. I can barely remember the last time I did a "3-light" setup, and even the classic 3 light setup is generally at least 4 lights since the background often needs light as well.

I have an interview scheduled next Monday with a VIP. I will take a single softbox with me for that. I know the room has windows, so I will augment that with the softbox. I'll let that soft light wrap around his face somewhat, and place here close enough to the sidewall to use that as my reflector. I will set the lighting levels of the "key" so that the background falls to the level I want it to be at.

Careful control of the subject, distances of the lighting instruments, and the surroundings can allow you to accomplish more with less. If you cannot be in control of these elements, then you need to bring more tools.

Make sense?
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Old May 21st, 2010, 10:28 AM   #24
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Perrone...

makes ALOT of sense. thanks for the crash course. i didn't even know CFL's were available in 55k!?!
my productions are about to get soooooooo much better.
i have relied on available light for my amateur work. for my professional work i have gotten by with usually only using a couple lowell flood lights and sometimes a spot to light background objects etc.
tackling lighting is gonna be fun. its like learning video all over again and my productions are going to look FAR more high end.
thanks for your time Perrone and everyone else. i have been reading tons and tons of thread and searches and will continue to!
-JS

Last edited by Jason Steele; May 21st, 2010 at 03:29 PM.
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