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Old August 5th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #1
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Micro Softbox: is it for me?

I have a pretty sparse set-up right now for my public access show, and that's the way I like it. :)

I want to buy things as I need them rather than travelling around with a lot of bulk since I'm a one man crew.

I use a Lowel Pro Light for lighting right now but I think the shadows it creates are a little harsh.

I'm shooting some interview footage to include as extras on a friend's DVD this coming Monday and am considering getting this Chimera Softbox.

Do you think it would be a good investment? If I have time I'll post some sample footage to give you an idea of how the lighting looks without it.

Thanks.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #2
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sample footage

OK I cut a short quicktime movie. This looks a LOT darker than the footage does on my preview monitor, but I guess that's just Quicktime for you.

You can still see what I mean about the shadows. They just look more dramatic here because the overall footage darkens as I export it from FCP.

Sample footage

If you can recommend any other lighting alternatives, I'm all ears.
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Last edited by Konstantin Vilenchitz; August 5th, 2005 at 07:18 PM.
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Old August 5th, 2005, 11:11 PM   #3
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HI some thoughts and Chimera DV film contest

http://www.studentfilmmakers.com/chi...g/awards.shtml

The micro is a good little run and gun bank. It is dedicated to the prolight with its hardware but you could adapt it for other on camera lights.
It is the on camera bank of choice of the eng world.

The bigger the light source the softer the light

Depending on what you plan to do you could buy something like the 8000 or 8005 kit

We make a speedring for the prolight that uses regular lightbanks and I have seen 12x16 videopros on camera.

If I can help drop a line and thats what I will try to do.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply, Richard!

That 8000 kit looks impressive but it's over my budget for the moment.

"[The micro] is the on camera bank of choice of the eng world."

Sorry, what's the "eng" world?

The only things I really shoot in a controllable environment, where I can set up lights etc, are interviews. Usually one on one, and I like a nice tight shot. The 8000's description on B&H mentions it's ideal for "3/4-length interviews"...

Would using the 8000 kit be preferable to say two pro lights? I'm very new to lighting techniques so bare with me.

I'm mostly concerned with ease of set-up, and minimal load since I am carting everything myself, usually on the subways in NYC.

I've seen some Lowell light kits which seem attractive for around a similar price as the softbox kit. I guess I'm just not sure what the next step in lighting should be for me.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 01:57 AM   #5
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well it is all good

You could try a translusent umbrella for $20 off camera

ENG -Electronic news gathers


you could also try tough spun diffusion ect

shooting through trans fold up disk

banks are great too

Hope this helps
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Old August 6th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #6
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What would be a good companion light for the Lowell pro light that I have?

Would an omni light be a good next step?

Would it be more logical to add another light first rather than to diffuse the prolight I use right now as a key?

Then make the omni the key and use the pro as fill?
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Old August 7th, 2005, 10:54 AM   #7
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I have one of these micro softboxes and really like it. The only problem with the Pro light is that is does not dim. I keep a few precut sheets of .3ND with me and clip them on the front to dim down when I need to.

Maybe our Chimera guy has a better suggestion on dimming the Pro light? Is there a simple gel holder for these micro banks?

Mike
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Old August 7th, 2005, 11:32 AM   #8
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Hey Mike,

Glad to hear you like the Micro softbox.

What kind of set up are you using the Micro for? What other lights are you using with it?

In terms of a dimmer for the prolight, I have one of these which could help you out.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 04:45 PM   #9
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Hey again, thanks for all the info.

After hemming and hawing for a long time, I decided to pick up the micro softbox yesterday for an interview I shot last night.

I was really pleased with the results! I was surprised at what a difference it made in the light quality from the pro light.

I'm eager to go over all the footage. It was incredbily easy to set up and I think it will treat me well while I set save up some for a larger set up like the Rifa.
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