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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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Question about Tota Lights

I've been shooting under a controlled enviroment with the tota kit for the last few years. I now need to take it on the road. The shoot will be a mixture of daylight and my Tota's, which means I will have to gel them. Unfourtuneatly, you cant use the umbrellas and the gel kit at the same time. What are my options for difusing the light considering how hot those lights get?
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Bounce them. Totas are so damn bright I light scenes with them, I rarely light subjects with them. If I have to use them for subjects I bounce them off of a white surface. That is usually reflectors on a c-stand but it can also be walls or ceilings. If you do not have reflectors to use the old low budget standby works fine. That is sheets of foam core from the office supply store.

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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Tota's can give great light for subjects as long as you use the correct bulb. I normaly use a 500 watt bulb for a1 person interview. I prefer not to bounce the light as I want the softer look that the umbrella gives.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

I prefer my Riffas. Bounced light can be much softer than an umbrella, it all depends on how you do it.

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Old January 30th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

+1 to bounce. Unless you're bouncing it off a handheld mirror a wall is a way bigger lightsource than an umbrella, so automatically softer light ;)
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Old January 30th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Chimera and Photoflex both make soft boxes for the Tota. You need a speed ring to attach them to the Tota. You then gel the softbox. But for about the same price, you may find the Rifa EX a better system for mobile lighting. The EX system lefts you change sockets between tungsten and flo.

Softboxes let you control the light and put more of it on your subject compared to blasting it on a wall or ceiling. Also, a good softbox lets you add egg crates which further help control spill. YMMV
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Old January 31st, 2013, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

I wonder if tota can be bounced off these Elinchrom blue umbrellas?

Elinchrom Umbrella - Blue - 41" EL 26380 B&H Photo Video
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Old January 31st, 2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Unless you're not worried about lighting your room as bright as your subject, I'm not a big fan of bounced lights for interviews. You'll have a bear of a time controlling spill unless you also want to start packing a large flag kit. You can get nice soft light, but if you're going for a more dramatic look, or trying to tone down a distracting background, I'd suggest a softbox that you can grid.
If you have a portable 5-in-1 type reflector, you can throw a large CTB through it (silk diffuser). It will knock the light down quite a bit, but you'll have soft daylight balanced key or fill.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

I've used a blue umbrella for years with my totas, love it! Fast to set up and pack away. Matches daylight well.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Sara, thanks for the link, that may be a good option.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill Pendleton View Post
I've used a blue umbrella for years with my totas, love it! Fast to set up and pack away. Matches daylight well.
Phil is the color temperture accurate with these umbrellas? Also, can the stand up to the heat of the totas?
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Old January 31st, 2013, 11:46 PM   #12
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Re: Question about Tota Lights

Been using the same blue umbrella for 7 years, had one small burn when the light was knocked over and was pushed hard up to the umbrella. As with all my umbrellas, don't mount them too close, usually have 2cms (1") of the shaft sticking out the back of the light.
Matches daylight quite well (although may vary between brands). When using it as a key I always white balance under it.
I even use it indoors when no daylight present, gives a real warm glow to tungsten pracs (lamps) in the background.
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