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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:00 AM   #1
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Lowel tota into hot photoflex softbox

Hey all,

Just about ready to assemble my light kit, and I talked to a gentleman on here a little while ago in a previous thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82055

He mentioned that you can put a lowel tota light into a photoflex hot soft box the silverdome to be exact.

"For soft key, put it into a cheap hotlight softbox. Photoflex makes some great boxes.... 24x32" is a really nice size, especially for travel. A softbox with speed ring, tota, and stand will cost less than a Lowel Rifa anywhere near the same power...plus you can use the tota outside of the box. "Photoflex Medium Silverdome and Speed Ring (for Tota)"

Now my question is how exactly does that assemble? I don't want to order it and realize it won't fit on. Is this speedring from Photoflex or lowel, and how will it attach? What do I need to order to make this work for the lowel tota?

Thanks very much

Luke
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:24 AM   #2
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A lot of manufacturers make that particular speed ring now, I believe the ones I have are photoflex. It looks like a regular speed ring, with a twisted piece of metal attached. On both ends of the twisted metal are regular 5/8" studs, and the kit comes with a tilting adapter to mount to a stand. So, you basically build the box on the speed ring, then simply slide the tota inside the box and attach it to the stand fitting. The metal bracket is twisted in such a way as to aim the tota more or less correctly. Pretty easy. If you leave the front diffusion in place, it takes about 45 seconds to go from packed to lit.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

pictures worth 1000 words.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 08:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaron Berman
If you leave the front diffusion in place, it takes about 45 seconds to go from packed to lit.
You can set that up in only 45 seconds? I guess I'm not shooting enough video. Or is there some trick that I"m missing?
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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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Ok, I lied. 50 seconds. The trick? Leave the front diffusion on the box, leave the rods in the box. When you go to set it up, put the rods in opposite each other. No tricks, just way too many set ups and tear downs!
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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:42 PM   #5
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It is really fast to set up. When I first got the setup, I was really worried because I had been on some still camera shoots where I had seen people wrestle with a softbox for a solid 20 minutes. But this combo with the tota light is great.

My only complaint is that it seems like the power cord for the tota light doesn't fit through the speed ring as well as it could. It's a little tight for me, but maybe I'm just being picky. I just feel like sometimes the ring doesn't allow the plug to seat all the way into the socket on the light and then the Murphy's Law part of my brain goes into overdrive about the power cord falling out during a really good interview. I've never had it happen, and don't think it should be a concern. I just think that the power cable should fit a little better when used with this speed ring.

My doomsday mind aside, I'd defiantly give it a 9 out of 10 on a product review.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #6
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Ah yes, the issue of the "almost fit." If you mount the cord to the light, slide the light in the box, and screw it to the stud a little ways out, it just barely clears. I actually replaced the stock 5/8 stud with a slightly longer one so it fits easier.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #7
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Just a quick note.

If you do buy a Tota, note that the otherwise very sensible Lowel company uses a non-standard cable plug for the light. It looks like a standard IBEC power cord, but it has a bump and socket thingy that means that if you misplace the Tota's offical power cable, you'll either have to pay for a replacement or get out your router and custom channel yourself a new plug - cause none of your standard power cables will run the darn thing.

(small foolishness in an otherwise very sensibly designed light)

I use then in softboxes all the time too - and when I need to light up the wall of a factory interior or something. Outside of that, they're not really good in modern video, IMO because they spray so much uncontrolled light everywhere.

Oh, don't forget to open up the little fly leaf doors whenever you use them. If you don't - particularly if you're using the standard 1k lamp - the nice shiny silver reflector surfaces turns brown pretty quick. You'll know you forgot because of the distinctive smoky smell.

Good tool, used for what it's designed for.

FWIW.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #8
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Does anyone use this speed ring/soft box combination with an Omni Light? Is there any advantage to using it with the Tota?
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Old January 21st, 2007, 12:37 AM   #9
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Big advantage in efficiency. With an omni/dp light, you need a deeper box like a cinedome to get even light on the front diffuser. Otherwise, you need a baffle inside, which drops you another stop. I find a 750 tota to be about 2-3 times as bright as a 1k dp in the same box (the dp with the internal baffle).
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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaron Berman
Big advantage in efficiency. With an omni/dp light, you need a deeper box like a cinedome to get even light on the front diffuser. Otherwise, you need a baffle inside, which drops you another stop. I find a 750 tota to be about 2-3 times as bright as a 1k dp in the same box (the dp with the internal baffle).
I'm with you there....these things throw a lot of light.

Thanks for the info and tips.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 04:14 PM   #11
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Thank you so much for the info Jaron, such a brilliant and affordable set up! I can't wait to get my hands on this combination!

Luke
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Old January 4th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #12
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I know this thread is about 2 years old, but it I'm looking to get a couple softboxes & this thread popped up in a Google search


the question I have is, does anyone know if you can use the Tota frame w/ a gel on it inside a softbox?

it seems like it might be possible, although maybe too hot?

thnx
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Old January 4th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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Zach,

Yes, I have done that very thing a couple of times when I needed to put CTB (blue gel) on the light to make it match the outside light coming in through a window. It does get hot, but I've had no problem doing it.

Have fun!

Rob
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