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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:15 AM   #1
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Unreal Lighting Bargains! Honest!

I am going to share a lighting secret with my DV Info comrades. When the old timers read this, they will knowingly nod and smile. The younger, post-Super-8/Regular-8 fellers might scratch their heads at first.

Take the time to visit neighborhood yard sales and flea markets. Just takes an hour or so on weekend mornings. You will find many of those super bright 650 watt movie lights from the 50s, 60s and 70s that were used to light indoor home movies. The old timers (like me) know to which I refer. In today's market, the lamps themselves go from $14.00 t0 $20.00 dollars apiece and the average price I've paid for the thirty or so I've purchased thus far have been about a buck a piece.

You've read correctly. A buck ($1.00) each. 650 watters!

The BEST part about these lights is that you can plug them in to any wall socket because they use your run-of-the-mill lamp cord! 650 watts! YEOW! None of this heavy duty three prong Cinemobile generator hogwash. When the bulb burns out I toss the whole thing in the trash. These lights are awesome for video usage.

Another thing to keep in mind is unreal bargains on other stuff as well.

Example #1: I attended a citywide yard sale three years ago and found a Miller fluid head tripod, the kind for one of those 60 pound film cameras. I would guess it retailed (in its time) for anywhere from $1,000.00 to $1,600.00. I picked it up for $35.00

Example #2: Attended a flea market two years ago and picked up two lightweight fiberglass extension mic boom poles for $15.00 total (each retailed for $150.00 apiece).

Example #3: Last year I attended a neighborhood yard sale and bought eleven (11) Smith Victor studio lights, with barn doors and stands, two 650s, five 500s and four 250s. I checked their total online retail prices. $1,100.00. I picked up the whole shebang for $28.00.

I tell all of you this because the equipment is out there! Go and get it! Us working class stiffs can outfit ourselves pretty well with a bit of patience and a little money.

I hope to motivate everybody here with my post and invite others to share their stories of good fortune as well.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh DiMauro
You will find many of those super bright 650 watt movie lights from the 50s, 60s and 70s that were used to light indoor home movies. The old timers (like me) know to which I refer. In today's market, the lamps themselves go from $14.00 t0 $20.00 dollars apiece and the average price I've paid for the thirty or so I've purchased thus far have been about a buck a piece.

You've read correctly. A buck ($1.00) each. 650 watters!

The BEST part about these lights is that you can plug them in to any wall socket because they use your run-of-the-mill lamp cord! 650 watts! YEOW! None of this heavy duty three prong Cinemobile generator hogwash. When the bulb burns out I toss the whole thing in the trash. These lights are awesome for video usage.
Ok... I'm not exactly scratching my head, but could you be more specific about what lights you are talking about? Throw a brother a link, man!
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 01:38 PM   #3
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Been there, done that...that's a good tip, Hugh. It should be noted that these lights were designed when people used film cartridges which usually lasted less than a couple of minutes. I found one with the instructions and it advised not to use the light for more than five minutes or it would over heat. Maybe HVX users should start collecting them ;).

Keith, there's a wide variety, but many look like chrome bike lamps. Some had sealed beams like a headlamp. Most took lamps that are no longer in production, so without working bulbs, there're pretty useless.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:07 AM   #4
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The photoflood 500w bulbs are only about $6 at B&H. What I wish I could find is a deal like that Smith Victor setup. I am primarily interested in fluorescent lighting, and those SV lights with Edison mounts and big reflectors and barn doors are perfect for a big compact fluorescent. I have a 4ft. fluorescent fixture, but those are so hard to control the light. Some of the SV lights look like they can accomodate a softbox universal speed ring and I really like the look and versatility of softboxes when grids and such are added. Without the diffuser attached, a softbox can also be used as a big reflector for a large "compact" fluorescent (~65-85W).
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Old May 4th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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Cousin Keith:

They no longer manufacture those lights to which I had referred. They are small but powerful as all get out. Do you remember those old light bars that had one, two, three and four high wattage bulbs that just blinded the dickens out of ya? I have tons of them, too. Shucks, maybe I should just take a few pics and e-mail 'em to ya. I am so happy at my good fortune that I just want to spread the Love, know what I'm sayin'? They're hot and bright and start to smoke when you keep them on too long. Ahhhhh... the memories.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #6
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I got 4 C-Stands off Craigslist for $100. There's another place to occasionally scour.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #7
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C-Stands? Lorinda Norton is looking for those!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #8
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So am I. I just bought a Dynatran one (sold by Amvona on ebay), and yes, somehow one of the joints that holds the legs to the base was mysteriously cracked. So, that blows.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #9
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QUOTE=Joe Lumbroso]I got 4 C-Stands off Craigslist for $100. There's another place to occasionally scour.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I saw this post. Heck of a buy!
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:01 AM   #10
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I remember seeing old 8mm films that used lights like that.

Whenever the camera panned over to someone they'd squint like it was high noon on the beach! :-)

In the '70s we did a film project and had one hanging on a pole over our little set (was a stop-motion animation) and the 650-watt light eventually melted its own plastic housing.

We did get the project finished and it got an honorable mention in the Kodak Teenage Movie Awards that year.

Unfortunately, and I can't fathom why this happened, but the teacher who insisted on buying the project from us for her files ended up THROWING IT AWAY!!!

I found out about it because I asked if I could borrow it to transfer it to a digital format and she gave me the bad, bad news.

But I digress.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #11
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In the end it is light that can't be focused or shaped. It belongs to the past. For a low end source, I think work lights would be a better solution.
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