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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #1
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1000W Stage Lights - Can they be used?

Hello all,

My work just purchased seven 1000W stage lights for lighting stage prodctions. I'm wondering if anyone can advise me on what I would need to do to color correct them for HDV if I was to use them to shoot video footage.

I can't be sure because it wasn't me that purchased them but they look exactly like these ones here but are definately 1000W.

I can place gells in front of them but I've no idea what type of gells I should buy. Is there anything else about the lights that you'd need to know to be able to successfully color correct them?

I have no specific scene to shoot - I just want to test them to see if they'll work; if they do it will save me a great deal of money! I'm completely ignorant when it comes to lighting.

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:49 PM   #2
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Yup.They work.Just use a WB card and balance to it.The lights would typically be around that of a tungsten light.
The only problem is handling these.Can use them on a light bar but unless you have very heavy duty light stands some theatre lights may be too heavy.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat
Hello all,

My work just purchased seven 1000W stage lights for lighting stage prodctions. I'm wondering if anyone can advise me on what I would need to do to color correct them for HDV if I was to use them to shoot video footage.

I can't be sure because it wasn't me that purchased them but they look exactly like these ones here but are definately 1000W.

I can place gells in front of them but I've no idea what type of gells I should buy. Is there anything else about the lights that you'd need to know to be able to successfully color correct them?

I have no specific scene to shoot - I just want to test them to see if they'll work; if they do it will save me a great deal of money! I'm completely ignorant when it comes to lighting.

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
Don't believe you'll be sticking 1K lamps in a PAR 38 fixture. Most likely, it's the PAR 64 cans that they bought. Definitely consider safety with these cause 1000 watt lamps will put out a lot of heat.


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Old April 21st, 2006, 05:14 PM   #4
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Greg's right, they are almost certainly PAR64s if they are 1kw.

I'm not sure where you will be using them, but the other thing to be aware of is how many amps these guys will pull. Each lamp will take about 8.5 amps, so check your circuit breaker ratings.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #5
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Theatrical PARs for Video

A couple things to keep in mind. These tungsten lamps have a different color temperature than lights that are strictly used for video. You can easily adjust WB to work with them, but mixing them with lamps with a different color temperature will give you "interesting" results.

PAR64 lamps come in a number of wattages - 1000W, 500W and 300W. They also come in different "focal lengths." They use the following nomenclature - WFL is "wide flood", MFL is "medium flood," NSP is "narrow spot," and VNSP is "very narrow spot" (this last one only comes in 1000W). The lamp puts out a rectangular beam of light. It is only a guess, but I would assume that you are working with WFLs.

The main difference between fixtures like these and lighting that is used specifically for film/video is the evenness of the light. Our eyes can handle the unevenness, but the camera can't. Don't use them directly on the subject. Use them in a bounce situation, or through a diffuser.

I use lights like this for video quite a bit, as I am also a theatrical lighting designer. I typically use 500W PARs, although the 1Ks will work great. I have build a few 18" x 24" boxes that I put frost gel in front of, hang on a stand, and carefully aim the PAR cans at the frost. Gives wonderful results. Depending on the situation, the lights can be a little further away from the subject than would normally be used with video lights. You can aim more of the narrow beam PARs at a single panel of diffusion than you can the wider ones.

I also use PAR cans regularly to light weddings, etc. Again, always as a bounce source. I put them on stands close to the floor, and aim them up at the walls or ceiling. As long as the guests don't see the lights themselves, they are quite comfortable with the increased illumination.

The biggest advantage here is the very low cost of these lights. They require doing things a little differently, but you can do a lot with them.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #6
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Thanks Brian,

That's made me much more enthusiastic. What stand do you recommend mounting them on? The Manfrotto 001 Nano Stand looks good to me. Pretty cheap but I don't know if it has the right mounting for those lights.

And can you just buy any old soft box for them? Do you need to make sure they fit correctly?

Last edited by John Hewat; April 29th, 2006 at 09:05 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Miller
These tungsten lamps have a different color temperature than lights that are strictly used for video.
???? Tungsten PAR bulbs (such as FFS 1K) are typically 3200K color temp, exactly the same as quartz video globes.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:34 AM   #8
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Stands and color temp

Those stands look pretty nice, but I worry about hanging something so relatively heavy and clunky on them. The lights that I have been using have theatrical c-clamps on them, and would not work too well with what looks like the aluminum posts of that kit.

I have an old steel light stand which I use, and also have used an inexpensive, relatively chewed-up C-stand. Heavy stuff. I hang an arm off it to enable me to mount the frames I built a couple feet (maybe just over half a meter, sorry) in front of the lights.

I would worry about using a traditional softbox, because these lights produce a lot of heat. The frames I build are really cheap. Just a rectangular frame made of 1x4 (metric equivalent???), with a clamp mounted to it at one end.


The color temperature question is a good one, and I don't have an answer for you. I find that I notice a bit more red in the light that comes out of the PAR cans than more traditional video light sources. Maybe the range of wavelengths is broader with the theatrical sources? The light just seems a little "dirtier."
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Old May 1st, 2006, 02:25 PM   #9
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I've had a few theatrical fresnels in my lighting kit for years; I've done two things to adapt them to the photo world:

I add an in-line power switch and a regular three-prong "edison" plug (for the switch I use a metal switch box and plate, with strain reliefs, just home-depot stuff. I use heavy-duty extension cord wire PAST the switch, and the existing, heat-insulated lead between the fixture and the switch).

I also swapped out the C-clamp for a Matthews "spud"; these bolt on to the fixture the same as the C clamp, but they have a regular C-stand type adapter (so they clamp to the stud of a standard light stand). Use a good lock washer when you attach the spud.

When you use them this way, instead of hanging upside down, they're right-side up, and you just stick 'em on top of a c-stand.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:19 AM   #10
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I bought some 6" and 3" fresnels off ebay in the last year. These are probably older than I, and I am in my 40s. But they were dirt cheap. Cleaned the lenses (with vinegar), resocketed and rewired as needed. Added stand adapters and 3-prong plugs. Still cheap after the rehabbing.

The 3" ones work great. They get hot but are nice small lights that are easily controled. 200-300 watts is just right for a lot of applications.

For the 6" fresnels, which were true theatrical lights, I am not sure it was worth it. They are very heavy and bulky. Even with 750 lamps they are not very efficient and put out less light than 600 open face instruments. The old lenses are still a bit yellow. About all I can say is they do throw light very far. You need a _very_ sturdy stand for these. With barndoors mounted you are talking 12+ front-heavy pounds.

Also consider lamp availability if you are buying older instruments. Ebay again is your friend here.
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