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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:29 AM   #1
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Britek 250W enough for a key light?

I'm thinking about picking up a kit from Rostronics. I'm on a budget and I was originially planning to use Home Depot work lights but these kits seem like a much better way to go.

I'm wondering if the entry-level kit of two 250W lights will give enough light for interior shooting for short films? Is 250W enough for a key light or should I move up to the 650W lights?

Also, is the softbox typically used for the key or the fill?

Thanks.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #2
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250W is a good start, depending of the size of the area you have to light. 600W should be easier to work with as a key light.

In a typical 3 points lighting setup, the key light is a hard, natural looking light, the fill and the back lights are frosted (a soft box, a gel, etc) to cut the shadows. But the rules are here to be broken, depending of your needs.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #3
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You can do a lot with 250 watts. I use a 250w Lowel Pro light all the time. However in a softbox it is _barely_ enough to be a key light for a close up interview. Not enough for a soft key on anything larger than a person's face.

I once used a 250 watt photoflood bulb in a chinese lantern to light most of a short movie and it worked quite well in small rooms.

A 250 broad light like you are proposing would work as a back/background/hair light or a close up key light when diffused. It's not going to light up a set.

I dont think kits like you are describing are such a good idea.

First I would check on the quality of the stands. Anything with plastic locking collars will break very quickly.

The cheapest decent light stand I have seen is the AS-806 sold by Amvona (check their listings on ebay).

Secondly you probably need a mix of lights. A 250 watt and a 600 watt (for larger areas and as a bounce light) would not be a bad start. You are better off mixing and matching even if it costs a bit more.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #4
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Bill is right, some 600 W + some 250 watts are the way to go. But for the quality of the product, there is no problem. I am using a britek lights kit (2 600W focussing with barn doors and soft box and 2 200 focussing with barn doors) and I have no complain about the built quality.
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Last edited by Jean-Philippe Archibald; September 18th, 2005 at 10:15 PM.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 12:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Andrews
I'm wondering if the entry-level kit of two 250W lights will give enough light for interior shooting for short films? Is 250W enough for a key light or should I move up to the 650W lights?

Also, is the softbox typically used for the key or the fill?

Thanks.
Brian, I actually have two of the 250W Rostronics (Britek) lights you are talking about. However, I use them as backlights, not key/fills. I like to light relatively small interior rooms and I don't think the 250W lights are near big enough to do a decent job.

I went ahead and picked up the 1000W/500W dual lights you see on the Rostronics page. I got two of them and I use one of them with a softbox as a key and then I usually use barndoors on the other one and reflect it off of something as a fill. I used to think that I could just have the key at 1000 and the fill at 500, but there wasn't enough of apparent difference on someone's face.

The good thing about the 250W lights is that they are focusable and you can use 300W bulbs in them.

The bad thing about ALL of Britek lights are the stands are crap. They WILL fall apart after moderate use. This has happened with every stand I got from them...8 ft and 4 ft.
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Old October 13th, 2005, 03:52 AM   #6
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Tom at Rostronics does offer better stands than the default option, and they are quite suitable. No falling apart.
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