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Old August 18th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #1
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Lights ? Lowel vrs Mole vrs Arri vrs Walmart

Hey guys, I am at the stage of learning DP for a " big film look "
Any one have experience with the Mole vrs Lowel vrs Arri vrs Wallmart.
I understand the basics Main/Fill/Hair/Background...But what light do you think is more Cinematic?
What bulb/difuser ect look better?



So far to get a big film look:
HD100 720 24p shutter1/60 action 1/120
Letus Extreme/Carl Zeiss Lenses
Color corection
Fycam/vest/arm 18ft crane
And good Sound
Of course "Lighting"

Any help would be nice..
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Old August 18th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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Lights 101

Lights cost more not just because of a name and a brand but because in addition to lasting a helluva lot longer they are able to give you completely different kind of light. The amount of light to a professional is not nearly as important as the 'quality' of the light. if the light is 'hard' then it creates sharp shadows and affects skin differently if it is 'soft' then it makes softer shadows and makes skin look smoother. This is a simplification but that's No. 1 After that we can focus on well, focussing: professional lights are able to produce much more 'throw' out of a given number of watts. many Mole lights for example have a Fresnel Lens which not only softens the light but makes it focusable from a wide beam to a sharp spotlight. Most cheap lights do not have a fresnel lens and this will be very important to you unless you have a better way to soften the light through the use of silks, diffusions or bouncing. Mole lights also have very effective barn doors that are hard to duplicate in a shop very cheaply or easily and provide a lot of control over what exactly the light hits. Look for a used Mole Richardson 1k baby baby or Tweenie. If you score one for under $200 and have that much to spend I guarantee you will not be disappointed. They last forever are built like a tank and are extremely simple to service. If you think there is ever a chance you will move up to the more expensive equipment just do it now and save yourself the step.


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Old August 18th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #3
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$600 Light Budget

Any Prime Light you would suggest for my price range $600

I already have gold/silver reflectors /TUNGSTEN LIGHT KIT 4x3 softbox 1000 watt / 22000 lumen / 3200 K bulb/ China Laterns 16in.12in and of course can lights with 200w bulbs.

What would you spend the $600 on?
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Old August 18th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steven Houser View Post
What would you spend the $600 on?
My first choice would be a mid-power fresnel (2k or so) but you don't have the dough for that. So my next choice would be light modifiers.

Frames, diffusion, scrims, flags, gels, etc. There is a ton more to lighting than just throwing light downrange. Shaping that light is where the art is. And you can't do that with the bare instruments.

How many C-Stands do you have? You could pick up 3-4 of those for the money too.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #5
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mid-power fresnel (2k or so)

$600

mid-power fresnel (2k or so) -$200
C-Stands -$150




There is several Fresnel types? Pepper Tungsten ect.. What should I get
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Old August 18th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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Where are you planning on getting a 2k fresnel for ~200? They're more than that on Ebay...as they should be. Not to mention the junior stand they are going to need to be on.


In case you misunderstand the terminology, 2k = 2,000w. That is a mid-power fresnel. Compared to the 5k, 10k, 12k, 18k/24k. The 2k is about as much as you can put on a basic house circuit. And by the time you put a full CTB gel on it, and maybe push it through a silk, you're going to be very glad for all 2000 watts.

I would suggest you get past the "big film look", and stick with the basics of lighting. You can light a person, a room, or a scene. And a scene can encompass anything from a part of a room, to 10,000sqft ballroom, to a exterior street. And the lighting you need for each lighting scenario is vastly different.

What is it you're planning on lighting? That might give us a clue to help you.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #7
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If you take your time, you can get really good lighting out of really cheap lights. The pro lights make it easier to control spill and get the light where you want it rather than where you don't. It's been mentioned that they last longer, they are built to take much more of a beating than my $15 scoop lights. That being said, I can go through an awful lot of $15 clamp lights without hitting the same budget point (I also have to get really creative about the lighting because I have to get the lights really close and they spill all over the set...etc, etc, etc)

Here are some tests we did with a single craftsman 500w light and a white shower curtain to try and maximize the cinematic quality of cheap lights:

Y.A.F.I.:Underground Media
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Old August 19th, 2008, 06:27 AM   #8
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Locations we are filming

"Scene's"Locations

Road trip in van
Outside downton
Bedroom/bathroom
Scary wharehouse day/night
Night Campfire

These are the locations


Bardwell Mcalister Fresnel 2K Movie Light with Stand "ebay" $200

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old August 19th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #9
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Steven,

What I am going to say here is just my opinion, but you may want to listen. If you want to buy bargain lighting in the 250w, 300w, or 600w, that's one thing. But when you start rigging up 2ks and other larger lights, you are entering a different world.

If a rigged 2k should pop the bulb, or God forbid, fall, it will potentially kill someone. A 2k tungsten also gets very hot. better than 400F. You are going to want to purchase some lights with built in safety features and quality construction.

I bought Moles. Others buy Arris. There are a few other quality brands out there, but I guarantee you, if you step onto the set of a studio feature, more often than not, you'll see those two brands most often and with good reason. Not to say B&M aren't decent lights, they are. But just be conscious of what you're buying. You're going to buy these fixtures ONCE most likely. My Mole 2k will probably be running just fine when I'm long gone.

Looking at your scenes, you are talking about lighting a warehouse at night? And lighting a downtown location? Do you have any idea how much light you're talking about? Unless you keep the framing very tight i that warehouse, you're going to be pushing multiple big fresnels. And when I say big I mean 10ks and 18ks.

Really, start playing with the van and the rooms, and work up from there. Measure your space in one of those warehouses, set an F-stop you plan on working at, and start measuring your lights in there. That will give you some idea of what you're going to have to deal with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Houser View Post
"Scene's"Locations

Road trip in van
Outside downton
Bedroom/bathroom
Scary wharehouse day/night
Night Campfire

These are the locations


Bardwell Mcalister Fresnel 2K Movie Light with Stand "ebay" $200

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old December 8th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Houser View Post
Hey guys, I am at the stage of learning DP for a " big film look "
Any one have experience with the Mole vrs Lowel vrs Arri vrs Wallmart.
I understand the basics Main/Fill/Hair/Background...But what light do you think is more Cinematic?
What bulb/difuser ect look better?
I'll let others give you advice on technique. I own a small Lowel light set, and while I think they're great as far as durability goes, customer service sucks ass if you live outside the U.S. (I'm in Canada). I have had no response whatsoever to my e-mails asking to order replacement parts, scrims, etc., and local merchants don't want to waste time and money ordering nuts and bolts.

If you expect to use and maintain your lights for a long time, I'd say consider another manufacturer.
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