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Old March 27th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #1
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Tota w/Soft Box or Flo's?

Hello,

My lighting kit right now consists of 1 omni, 2 totas & 2 pro lights.

I have an interview based project coming up and would like some nice soft light.

I could:

1) use spun over my omni for key and a tota for fill - $0

2) get a soft box for the tota and use the other tota for fill - $300

3) Get a dimmable flo-gear flourescent and tota for fill - $600

Any opinions would be great.

BTW, the idea of a tota inside of a soft box sound like a heat situation as these lights heat up the room when they are not covered!

Has anybody used totas in a softbox? How is the heat?

Thanks
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Old March 27th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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I've used Totas in Small and Very Small Chimeras for years. Wouldn't load 750s in the Very Smalls, so I stick to 500 watts and make sure to ventilate properly. Use black wrap on the back to block light off behind the unit but allow heat to escape up. Great use of a Tota.

But if you want SOFT light, forget the soft box and use foam core. Get a nice big piece of it and you can put 2 totas if you like and get a much softer light than through a softbox which is no more than putting diffusion in front of the lamp and black wrap around the sides. And it's much cheaper.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Hey Geoff.

Thanks for your reply.

So how close to you put the totas next to the foam core?

How close is the foam core to the subject?

How about directionality?

I am thinking the softbox would allow you to place the light a little better?
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Old March 27th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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You can get a Photoflex, a Chimera, or a Rifa Light. The nice thing about those, is that they can fold down to a very compact size. You just have to wait for the lights to cool down enough so that you don't melt the fabric. Ideally you have enough coin for Chimera Quartz banks, these are able to withstand the higher temperatures, so a 1K Tota, should be fine, as the Quartz banks are rated for 6Kw. You still have to be careful not to melt the bag, though.

Kino Flos are great, I use them a lot and a 2'x4Bank is great for talking heads. They are light relatively compact and the great thing is that you can go from daylight to tungsten, just by switching out the tubes. They do get a bit hot, but if you are in a hurry, they can be packed and loaded right after you shut them off and unplug everything.

Chimera's Daylight and Daylight Jr lines work with Fresnels and I think Wescott makes a softbox that will work with a fresnel also.

Also it's best if you keep the rear flaps open a bit. I usually leave the top flap pulled back to keep the air flowing. To kill the spill a flag, or a blackwrap shroud will also work.

The eggcrates are helpful in preventing the light from going all over the place. You could also make an eggcrate from black Foamcor and sticky back Velcro.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #5
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I've put the Totas as close as six inches to the foam core using 750 watt bulbs. Sometimes I'll hang two sheets, one on each side, exactly opposite each other, one acts as key, the other as back/rim, about five feet from the subject. To account for angle of incidence, I'll put a 500 on the back light and move it further away until I get the right ratio. If you do this right, you can basically have a nicely lit interview with just two light sources as the light will wrap nicely. The foam core ends up being off axis (the axis being a line between the subject and interviewer) about 45 degrees, and the two pieces exactly opposite from each other.

And I wouldn't recommend a 1K bulb in the Tota, even though it will hold it and work. You'll be replacing your Tota's guts in not too distant future.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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Hi Tim! I knew I'd seen your name somwhere before. ;-)
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