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Old May 16th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #1
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Newbie lighting help

I'm rounding out my video production "starter-kit" and I have about $300 left over for lighting.
Are any of these lighting kits from BH worth the money?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=&cltp=&clsgr=

I'm looking to use these for indoor interviews.
From what I've read, tungsten lights can get pretty hot...but Fluorescent lights seem a little too pricey.

I also don't want to spend $200 on a kit and then have to buy "just one other thing" to finish it out.

Ideally I'd like a 3 light set up, or a 2 light with a foam core to reflect the key light.
Any suggestions welcome.
Thanks.
Mike
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Old May 16th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #2
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Add a couple of cheap ebay lightstands and you're set.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=ACDelco
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thanks Cole. I know the Home Depot type worklights are a good workaround, but I've used one before and it was kinda harsh, and I don't want to get into a situation where I'm building attachments and trying to figure out crazy rigs just to make something like this work. I'll just say it, I'm lazy!
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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takes as much time to hang a bedsheet in front of a craftsman light (obligatory fire hazard warning - leave room between them) as it does to unpack a softbox and put it together. I've done both, one costs more. Yes, you'll get more control out of a softbox, but you can buy flags and lights and sheets and stands for 2 setups for the same price as a good softbox that won't fall apart on you. And bulb replacement cost is astronomical on pro lights. As a low budget filmmaker, I'd rather put the money into what goes in front of the camera.

Light is light. You control cheap lights the same way you do expensive ones. The Lighting master class on the dvd release of "Dead Poets Society" summed it all up perfectly for me...they spent all day flooding their custom made dorm room set with 30k+ of light...but the actors face was too dark...so they improvised by folding a sheet of printer paper in half and putting it in his book to bounce light onto his face. 10's of 1000's of dollars of lighting gear comes down to a $.01 piece of white paper.

When I've used pro lighting kits in the past, I've been less than impressed with their flexibility compared to the clamp lights I've got...and my lights can get banged around (which happens) and I don't worry about the replacement cost as much as I would a pro lighting kit. My bulbs are cheap, my lights are cheap, as long as you spend time learning them (same as you would with a pro kit), you can work wonders with them...and with the flourescents, you can bare hand hold them if necessary.

Paint them up with high heat flat black paint like you would buy for a grill and you're set. No unexpected reflections off of them, they look great on set, barndoors added give you the light control you want from your lights. lack of time and lack of tool aptitude are the only reasons I can see to try to stretch your $300 into a lighting kit that will fall apart on you to have to be replaced within a year or two anyway. I pay $20 per light and add $5 of barndoors to them. I can throw away 4 of them and still stay under your budget and within your requirements for a lighting kit.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #5
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for the GE Softwhites, gels are cheap, so you can eliminate the inherent "flourescent" color to the lights on set. White balance to CTO/CTB gelled lights and you're good to go. If they are still throwing green, add a 1/4 magenta (minus green) to them, but the GE softwhites are filtered pretty well to begin with.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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A white bedsheet was suggested. How about something less flammable? Wjat is the best stuff to hang by the light?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #7
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1- If you use a bedsheet, you would put the bedsheet a good 3+ feet away from the light. Moving the diffusion material further from the light makes it softer.

A professional solution would be something like:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...me_Scrim_.html
(just search for "silk" on the B&H website.)

2- If you want to clip diffusion material to the light, there is diffusion material like spun glass. The companies which makes filters (Lee GAM Rosco) have many different types of diffusion material.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #8
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Pro lights get really hot, these gels are made to be clipped to the barndoors of them, I don't see this as any different. I have seen them melt when you touch the surface of a bulb with them...that happens almost instantly, but even 6" away from the surface, the pro gels hold up pretty well.

(manufacturer's warnings, etc. etc., safety first) - I get yelled at here when I don't mention safety to people...I started out assuming common sense, but was told it doesn't exist...of course, I have learned it the hard way myself over time. Wall outlets carry lots of pain in them ;)
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Old June 20th, 2007, 06:39 AM   #9
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Gels are listed as "expendables" in any grip supply store. The reason being that they don't last since they are usually very close to the lens of whatever light you're using them with. I'm not sure what that means mounting it horizontally or vertically to get it to last longer. The first I ever heard of that.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Excuse the poor drawing:

http://glennchan.info/Proofs/dvinfo/mounting-gels.gif

Mounting it vertically lets heat escape.
Attached Thumbnails
Newbie lighting help-mounting-gels.gif  
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #11
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thats true you may get two or three more uses out of them letting the heat escape, but thats about it, and even that is dependant on how powerful and how close to the light fixture they are.

Stephen Eastwood
http://www.StephenEastwood.com
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