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Old October 4th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #1
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Softbox or umbrella?

Hi,

i do indie movies, wedding and event video and now I'm going to purchase my first lighting equipments. i'm thinking of getting 2 fluorescent lights one as key and the other as backlight, 1 aluminium reflector and 1 diffuser. so i was wondering which is the BEST way for me to get a soft light for the key, using a soft box or umbrella? (i'm going to purchase all the equipments from a lowel dealer locally). any suggestion on the right lighting equipment will be very appreciated, i mean which one i should have and which one that i can skip. thanks.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:18 AM   #2
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Let it shine

Hi Ahmad,

Actually, if you're really sure you are going to use fluorescent bulbs, you won't need a softbox or umbrellas at all. Fluorescent bulbs are low wattage and put out a very soft light, nothing like the 300, 500, or 700+ watt bulbs used with softboxes and umbrellas.

It sounds as though you're on a tight budget and are coming up to speed with lighting. If so, I recommend, "Digital Lighting Magic"
http://www.elitevideo.com/index.asp?...ion=PRODSEARCH

John Cooksey does shows excellent alternatives to using costly lighting gear, while showing you how to incrementally add important upgrades as your budget permits.

Warm Regards, Michael
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Old October 5th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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A soft box may use accessories like grids that help control the light. It is going to be very difficult to control the light from an umbrella. An umbrella may be easier to set up, so your individual needs will determine which is best.

While fluorescent lights are softer than tungsten lamps, it may still be necessary to use diffusion to get the large surface area necessary for truly soft shadows. You might want to look in the "Photon Management" area of these forums for more ideas.

The lowel caselite with 4 lamps is something you might want to investigate. It is fairly soft yet still has some control. You can add a big piece of diffusion gel on the barn doors to make it truly soft. It is similar to the kinoflo diva400 or the coollights.biz CL-455 in the way it produces light.

For the back light, you need something almost as strong as the key. It does not need to be as soft since it won't be casting shadows on the talent's face.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #4
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The tota light with umbrella is a nice value. It's not quite as soft as a softbox, but it gives a lot of light for the buck.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #5
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thanks all for the responses. it is actually hard to find those equipment here. and the biggest problem is the price when i have to get them locally. the Lowel dealer here told me that i have to pay 40% more from the listed price on the internet for import duty and taxes, and when it comes to the currency conversion...i will end up paying more for less...

if there is anybody there that are willing to help me purchase those item over there and then ship it here to Malaysia where i can skip the import duty and taxes, that would be very, very helpful.

my budget is around USD1200. is there any suggestion for the best lighting equipment for this budget? perhaps other than Lowel?

regards,
Faiq
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Old October 6th, 2007, 04:52 AM   #6
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i think i posted the thread in a wrong place. it should be in "Photon Management".
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Old October 11th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #7
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Ahmad, you might want to ask Richard Andrewski at coollights.biz if he will work with you in Malaysia. He is based in China and sells globally so he may better understand international business. I have seen one of his products and they are decent and very affordable. He also frequents these forums and is very helpful. His customer service is excellent so far.

I think what you are looking for, based on your initial post, is something like these:

http://www.coollights.biz/clmf0150-fresnel-p-63.html

That is a fresnel HMI light that would be good as a back/rim light and is available in 3000Kelvin or 5400Kelvin. It could also be used as a soft light if aimed at a reflector or diffuser.

http://www.coollights.biz/cl455-cool...ight-p-31.html

To have a soft key, a bright fluorescent light is very handy. That one is fairly powerful and seems sturdy. That is the light that I have experience using and it was extremely versatile. I used it with the 5600Kelvin bulbs in a house with lots of light coming in the windows. The light matched the daylight perfectly and created a very natural look. It can also use 3200Kelvin lamps.

Those two lights would make a good kit along with a reflector and maybe a few clamp lamps with daylight compact fluorescents. Assuming that Richard can ship to your country, those lights should easily fit within your budget. You should be able to find a collapsible reflector locally or on an internet retailer that caters to your region.
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