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What to get for initial Lighting setup?


hansel

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Hey,

It happens to be that we have a couple of things lined up were we need lighting, again. We have rented before but I feel we need a more constant aproach. We are taking little product videos with humans in it and do webshop photos. We will buy a set of two lights. My options are:

- Two 100W dedolights

- Two 800W redheads

Both are used and for a reasonable price. Which would make sense as a first buy? We have worked before with redheads and LED panels. Also with a flash setup but this drove me nuts. I am  trending for the dedo lights as they dont get that hot and seem to be of very high quality. Or should I get them all and use the Redheads to flod the room and the dedos to spot?

Maybe some of the lighting wizards can be of help?

Thank you very much

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Hi Hansel I'm not expert buy I can suggest you the roger Deakins forum, he is the DOP of the coen brothers. it's awesome it approach. he would probably suggest you to do not imitate tutorials/techniques/him, but to experiment by yourself and searching what you feel is right with the light following your taste. and make practice shooting every day.

but is maybe better you ask him directly here: https://www.google.it/search?q=roger+deakins+forum&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab&gfe_rd=cr&ei=SRoZWLKRMufw8AeKgoGgDA

 

bye! :)

 

 

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On 11/1/2016 at 7:37 PM, hansel said:

Hey,

It happens to be that we have a couple of things lined up were we need lighting, again. We have rented before but I feel we need a more constant aproach. We are taking little product videos with humans in it and do webshop photos. We will buy a set of two lights. My options are:

- Two 100W dedolights

- Two 800W redheads

Both are used and for a reasonable price. Which would make sense as a first buy? We have worked before with redheads and LED panels. Also with a flash setup but this drove me nuts. I am  trending for the dedo lights as they dont get that hot and seem to be of very high quality. Or should I get them all and use the Redheads to flod the room and the dedos to spot?

Maybe some of the lighting wizards can be of help?

Thank you very much

Dedolights are normally way way more expensive than redheads, so if they're the same price and you can't make up your mind....    then it actually is a no brainer, get the dedolights every single fvcking time!!! :-D

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Dear @DanWake thank you very much! Will suck up as much Deakins intel as possible.

@MichaelCoffee and @IronFilm , well the Dedolights are about 3x more expensive but to be honest, most of the time the more expensive (higher quality) buy is the more sensible one in the long run, at least that's what I have learned in the past. So, I might scrape my last pennies together and check out the Dedos.

Thanks for your advice!

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7 hours ago, Dan Wake said:

can you suggest good quality/cheap red heads to buy on internet please? I have seen some on amazon but its are too filmsy. thanks

Ianiro are the original redheads and are still competitively priced (http://www.ianirouk.com/categories.php?CategoryID=40) - even better if you can pick up a used kit on ebay!

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On 11/2/2016 at 10:36 PM, hansel said:

Dear @DanWake thank you very much! Will suck up as much Deakins intel as possible.

@MichaelCoffee and @IronFilm , well the Dedolights are about 3x more expensive but to be honest, most of the time the more expensive (higher quality) buy is the more sensible one in the long run, at least that's what I have learned in the past. So, I might scrape my last pennies together and check out the Dedos.

Thanks for your advice!

Only three times more expensive per light?? Holy crap what a bargain! (still)

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Hey Dan,

I have been trying to light things with cheap tungsten for the last few years and I think it really depends on what you are trying to do with them. They do the job very well for their price but also can be a pain in the ass to work with for instance if you want to get even exposure over an area. They get hot and in a small studio you will get hot, too.

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2 minutes ago, hansel said:

Hey Dan,

I have been trying to light things with cheap tungsten for the last few years and I think it really depends on what you are trying to do with them. They do the job very well for their price but also can be a pain in the ass to work with for instance if you want to get even exposure over an area. They get hot and in a small studio you will get hot, too.

thanks for advice. have you tryed to add a dimmer to them? and another cool thig could be to use the technique of the bouncing light using for example e white bed sheet (info grabbed from roger deakins forum).

what do you think about doing white balance with those lights is it ok?

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5 minutes ago, Dan Wake said:

thanks for advice. have you tryed to add a dimmer to them? and another cool thig could be to use the technique of the bouncing light using for example e white bed sheet (info grabbed from roger deakins forum).

what do you think about doing white balance with those lights is it ok?

No never tried to dim them. I have been bouncing and softboxing them though, works ok. I think whitebalance can be trouble but it really depends what you are shooting and what other light sources there are...

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I just struggled a bit with this very issue, and here's what I ended up doing.

I started with a couple used Mole Richardson 1K fresnels. I got each for about $150 off eBay, used in good condition. Beautiful lights, very robust, and easy to control. They're my bread and butter--I use them on everything.

Next, I hopped over to Home Depot and picked up some dirt cheap clamp lights. Fitted with some high-wattage incandecent bulbs, they're great for accents, hairlights, background splashes, etc.

Next thing on the list (should be coming this week) are a few ETC Source Four Pars. $70 each shipped, again used. These are 575W tungsten fixtures, but the design of the bulb makes them about the same output as a 1000W open face. These are great for bouncing or pushing through diffusion if you just need raw output, but they also come with 4 lenses: wide flood, medium flood, narrow spot, and very narrow spot. These attachments don't produce the same quality as a fresnel, but they're usable as direct light and easier to control than a redhead. I've used them on a few sets for background punch, kickers, and even as an effect spot for a dream sequence, and they're surprisingly versatile. You can even pick up 3rd party barn doors for $15 or so. Dollars per lumen, S4 Pars are unbeatable.

As soon as I sell off a few more things, I'm picking up a couple Aputure Amaran 672S LED panels. Excellent CRI, dimmable, run on batteries or AC, remote operable, and easy to diffuse (if necessary) with the built-in umbrella mount or Aputure's softbox attachment. I'm debating going with the Ws instead, as I already have enough hard lights, and maybe a variable color temp version, but we'll see how things pan out once I'm actually ready to buy.

Last item on my wishlist is a Lowel Rifa. I admit, this one is a luxury item; it's essentially a big tungsten softbox, but what makes it cool is that you can have it out of the bag and set up in maybe 20 seconds because of the slick way it collapses and expands. Great for motivating interior lights, as a dramatic toplight, beauty light, or anything else you'd use a big soft source for. Some of the newer Rifas even have a system where you can replace the tungsten fixture with three florescents, lowering your power consumption and giving you the option of daylight balance. Very nice. You can find used ones missing the front diffusion sheet for reasonable prices, then just replace the front for $20 or so.

Just remember, don't skimp on light modifiers, stands, and flags.

Go back to Home Depot and find those big 4x8 ft. pieces of styrofoam insulation--white on one side, silver on the other, 1" thick--cut them in quarters (halves if you have the space), and wrap the edges with gaff tape. Bingo bango, you've got some pretty dope bounce boards! If you're using fresnels, grab some used scrims off the 'Bay. They're a little pricier than dimmers, but they won't mess with your color temp when you need to knock down your output. Buy some basic Lee Gels (get these new) in all the essential flavors: CTB, CTO, Straw, Diffusion, ND. They sell a combo pack of 1'x1' gels that include all these, as well as more exotic stuff and some fun colors (primary red is a personal favorite). Grab a bag of clothespins to hold them on your barndoors, and 1" pony clamps for anything else that needs securing. Grab some blackout fabric (duvetyne) for negative fill and controlling spill. Extension cords seem like a "duh" item, but you'd be amazed how many beginners forget about them. You can't be loading 4000 watts of light onto one circuit, so keep enough of these around to run power everywhere you need it. Lastly, some black wrap (I use Rosco Cinefoil) is great for any time you need to shape a light on the fly. I like to cut mine into big, useful-size pieces so they can be reused from project to project.

When it comes to stands, it's hard to cheap out. You simply don't want to trust heavy, expensive, hot lights to a subpar stand. Most brands are great, although my friends speak pretty harshly about Impact. I haven't used enough to confirm or deny. A lot of people like to use C-Stands for their lights, especially the Matthews ones. Personally, I think they're best-used to hold your bounce cards and flag, as the leg design and articulating arm on the top make gripping and positioning modifiers quick and easy. A good one will run you $180-200 retail, although areas with more local filmmaking may have some on the used market for less. In terms of actual light stands, my favorite for the dollar is the Kupo Master Combo HD Stand. It folds up nicely, has both a baby pin and a junior receiver, gives you a leveling leg for uneven surfaces, a solid steel construction, and can hold up to 88 pounds. What a beast! Best of all, they only cost $150 retail. Use these for your fresnels, Rifas, or anything you need to fly high. Don't forget to pick up some sandbags to keep all this from tipping. I have a set by Impact filled with fine gravel from Home Depot (I feel like they should be paying me for this). Lastly, for your C-stands, some Matthews flags are a staple in any grip's kit. It's essentially just a sheet of black fabric on a metal frame with a post on the end for clamping into a c-stand knuckle, but they're invaluable for shaping your light the way you need it.

This may seem daunting at first, but the best way to learn is to pick up the basics and start using them. Practice makes perfect, and lighting is no exception.

Cheers!

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Lots of good recommendations in this thread, always fun to see what other people are using. In my opinion, if you're just starting out I don't think there is any need to get too crazy with any huge investments. My first lighting setup was just 3 aputure Al-H198 LEDs, and they took me a long ways.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1114779-REG

They're only like $60 a piece! I added AC power functionality for pennies which let me run these tiny, portable, (and dimmmable!) high CRI lights on either AC, double AAs, or rechargeable sony npf style batteries. In other words, very versatile! I've shot all kinds of corporate/talking head kind of pro-level stuff using only these three lights and a 5-in-1 reflector for bounce on occasion. Depending on how ambitious your needs are, the whole setup, with cheap stands and all, is easily less than $200 total.

So, a great place to get started. Then later you can assess your needs if you need bigger, brighter. more spot, more flood, fresnel, etc. But for now, I'd start out small. Just my 2 cents! Good luck!

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The Aputure 198s look cool to me as well, but mostly for kickers/hairlight/accents. Source Four Pars are only $10 more apiece for good used copies and offer much more output and control. Plus, at 575W, you can run two off the same circuit with headroom to spare. If I were on a budget and needed two lights, I'd choose those in a heartbeat over LEDs. They're small, too, so you don't need amazing light stands to support them. I've used aluminum Insignia stands from Best Buy without an issue, although you're going to want to sandbag them.

Also, I almost forgot China Balls! Insanely cheap, but used in all kinds of production from two guys in their dorm room to Roger freaking Deakins. Pop an incandecent bulb, flourescent, or even a rolled-up LED strip inside and you've got a soft, even light that's easy to rig where you need it.

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I know it isn't the best, but it gets most of my work done:

http://www.came-tv.com/high-cri-bicolor-2pcs-900-led-video-lights-studio-film-lighting-p-211.html

I got it cheaper than the price it is listed it at... probably going to grab a couple of their Fresnels as well.

Also, these are built to take a beating, I mean... well.... I've had cheaper LEDs and the barn doors peeled and dented too easily.

 

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2 hours ago, TheRenaissanceMan said:

Also, I almost forgot China Balls! Insanely cheap, but used in all kinds of production from two guys in their dorm room to Roger freaking Deakins. Pop an incandecent bulb, flourescent, or even a rolled-up LED strip inside and you've got a soft, even light that's easy to rig where you need it.

Ha, China Balls, brilliant idea!

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