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Lighting advice -On the cheap


Dustin
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I know cheap and quality don't usually go hand in hand but I am looking to get my lighting setup started this year. I have a budget that I'm hoping would be around $4-500 not including stands,  but ideally I'd like to be under that. I normally shoot interview type films, documentary, and occasional short narratives. 

I am thinking perhaps of starting with 2 bigger (at least iPad size) LED panels and one smaller led panel. On the bigger panels I know aputure makes a wide variety as well as others. For the smaller one I was thinking of getting the aputure al198 (the $50 one), for a hair light as I could probably grab two of those. I know DSLRVideoshooter just did a review with small led lights under $50 but some of these or all have their faults.  I've also seen on film riot making a cheap clamp light so I thought maybe I could swing a couple of those. I like LEDS because they don't get hot but I know on the cheaper end I can run into noise issues/Low cri/ magenta/green tints etc. so does anyone have any suggestions for a good quality, high cri light setup? 

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I have a bunch of Lowell stuff I got off eBay for pretty cheap over the years. It's kind of the opposite ethos from cheap plastic LEDs- all metal, good build quality. They do get hot, and they use a lot of power, but the light quality is great and the stuff is heavy-duty and reliable.

For LEDs you may want to wait for the next videos in that series, Caleb said he was going to do the same sort of comparison in higher price brackets. Hopefully he finds something decent for $100-200.

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2 minutes ago, aldolega said:

I have a bunch of Lowell stuff I got off eBay for pretty cheap over the years. It's kind of the opposite ethos from cheap plastic LEDs- all metal, good build quality. They do get hot, and they use a lot of power, but the light quality is great and the stuff is heavy-duty and reliable.

For LEDs you may want to wait for the next videos in that series, Caleb said he was going to do the same sort of comparison in higher price brackets. Hopefully he finds something decent for $100-200.

Are there any issues in mixing say a Lowell Omni type light with a DIY Clamp light and/or LED Lights. Like I'm probably gonna get that Aputure 198 light and/or one of those lights in Caleb's under $50 video simply because they are so cheap.

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Past matching the color temp, no, there shouldn't be any issues. But remember that controlling and modifying your light is just as important as the lights themselves.

The Lowel lights have accessories available (or included, if you get a kit) for mounting standard diffusion, gels, softboxes, umbrellas, etc. With the cheap LEDs you might get a clip-on diffuser or color filter, but past that you're usually on your own for controlling the light.

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Just now, AaronChicago said:

Aputure for sure. The stuff that they're doing is game changing. Great color balance. Remote controls where can assign all of your lights onto 1 small dimmer. Lightweight, battery powered (if needed), powerful.

Nice! Any specific models you'd recommend? For my situation would you rather spend around 5-600  or more for some Aputure lights or find some lowel type lights for under 400? Or mixed?

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3 x 400w redhead light kit can be found pretty cheap these days on ebay. If you don't care about about room temperature (they get really hot!!!) They come with dimmers, with solid support normally and bulb are cheap to replace (u can get some outdoor ou indoor balance one too)

Then you get some frost 1/2 / ctb or cto / and some black rosco alu sheet for modifier + some wood clip to hang those gel. Good kit to learn key / fill / back triangle stuff

 

Plenty of power to shoot outdoor too. Otherwise those Apurture led would be a great investment on a long shot.

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1 hour ago, bigfoot said:

3 x 400w redhead light kit can be found pretty cheap these days on ebay. If you don't care about about room temperature (they get really hot!!!) They come with dimmers, with solid support normally and bulb are cheap to replace (u can get some outdoor ou indoor balance one too)

Then you get some frost 1/2 / ctb or cto / and some black rosco alu sheet for modifier + some wood clip to hang those gel. Good kit to learn key / fill / back triangle stuff

 

Plenty of power to shoot outdoor too. Otherwise those Apurture led would be a great investment on a long shot.

Dude those are really cheap and def budget friendly! What bulbs do I need for them? Links? 

Edit: all the reviews I've found are horrible?

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Been using them for 4 years without real issues. The only thing with those kind of light ... witch is also applicable for the cheap Lowel stuff (same bulb pretty much).... never move them when the light is on, bulbs will go dead really easily. 

I'm going to try to find the link for the bulbs replacement. You also need "heat" gloves to operate them without risking of burning yourself... and to change bulbs, they should never touch the fat on the skin. 

 

File Dec 12, 9 47 21 PM.jpeg

... oups they are 800w 

I use them also often when I need to work something out in the yard !  I don't need to get those cheapo hardware store construction lights

easy to find on ebay: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/5x-800w-Halogen-Tungsten-Lamp-Studio-Lighting-Continuous-Light-Red-Head-Bulb110V-/262329757042?hash=item3d14126d72:g:zOMAAOSw0UdXwQT1

search for : 800w tungsten bulb ...110v or 220v according to your country

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If you want to travel a lot, it might not be the best investment with the soft case. 

They are still a real classic of video production, the real one use to be around 1000$ for 3 head, Chinese one still hold for me. Anyone with basic electric skill could re-wire them if ever those goes bad (the main issues I could see except fragile bulbs) 


Otherwise you could maybe look for some copy of the Arri fresnel like those below or used Arri kit ( they might be more solid than the red light ...not so sure)
 http://www.ebay.com/itm/3pcs-x-650W-Fresnel-Tungsten-Light-Continuous-Spotlight-As-arri-For-Video-Photo-/302036913898?hash=item4652cd8eea:g:oD8AAMXQTT9RwXlX

...those should work great too : http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Lowel-ENG-Lighting-Kit-/152329122098?hash=item237785f132:g:UeYAAOSwXeJYDf2p

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/LOWEL-PRO-LIGHT-PACKAGE-ON-SALE-/152308549686?hash=item23764c0836:g:hCcAAOSwHMJYH79q

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Thanks man! Yeah IDK with what I've seen apparently Aputure has improved most of their lights to 95CRI+. I'm looking at the 528W which is on sale for $125. I was going to wait until after the new year but maybe I will pick up a cheapo $50 light or two for fun see what I can come up with. Then figure this all out after the new year!

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15 hours ago, Dustin said:

Nice! Any specific models you'd recommend? For my situation would you rather spend around 5-600  or more for some Aputure lights or find some lowel type lights for under 400? Or mixed?

The most versatile is the LS1 variable temp. The 2nd one that I'd look into is the COB120t/d. It has a Bowens S mount, so you can add fresnel lenses, softboxes, etc. It's super bright when you add a fresnel lens.

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I got a set of Ianiro redheads (the original redheads!) for under £150 on ebay - 3 lights, stands, scrims etc. Got a 300W Arri fresnel plus stand for around £30. Nearly a full Lowell kit - Omni, Tilta and the other one whose name escapes me, in separate ebay deals for a total of around £100. A bunch of good stands for £20. A boom and stand for a tenner. You can definitely put together a lighting package for little money if you're prepared to take it slowly and look out for deals. The only instruments I've bought full price have been a few different LEDs - there doesn't seem to be the same kind of bargain-rich secondhand market in them yet. Plus, I should mention, Lee gels are, for what they are, really cheap!

 

I should add, @Dustin, that I don't know where you're based, but the UK used cinema lighting market is like a tiny gnat compared to the big buffalo of the US one.

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37 minutes ago, Tim Sewell said:

I got a set of Ianiro redheads (the original redheads!) for under £150 on ebay - 3 lights, stands, scrims etc. Got a 300W Arri fresnel plus stand for around £30. Nearly a full Lowell kit - Omni, Tilta and the other one whose name escapes me, in separate ebay deals for a total of around £100. A bunch of good stands for £20. A boom and stand for a tenner. You can definitely put together a lighting package for little money if you're prepared to take it slowly and look out for deals. The only instruments I've bought full price have been a few different LEDs - there doesn't seem to be the same kind of bargain-rich secondhand market in them yet. Plus, I should mention, Lee gels are, for what they are, really cheap!

 

I should add, @Dustin, that I don't know where you're based, but the UK used cinema lighting market is like a tiny gnat compared to the big buffalo of the US one.

Thanks for that man! Well I couldn't resist BH low price on the Aputure 528 at the moment...$125 new! Here is what I went with to try...1 Aputure 528W, 1 Aputure AL-H198 and one of their Impact Air-Cushion stands. My plan is to put the 528 on the stand, put the 198 on a ball head/cheap tripod I never use. I will also pick up a reflector or make one. Also need to get some cheapo sony batteries but anyways...I'm pumped to finally be getting some lighting gear!

When I get the money...I will definitely be looking at picking up some tungsten lights lowel/arri on the cheap as well! Can't hurt to have both in my kit.

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So some people favor the 528s over the W. BH has already shipped...should I get a S and return the w? Is the 528W gonna be useless compared to the S?

 

EDIT: Purchased the 528S. Will ship the W back. Hopefully I'll have some video with this and my setup soon for anyone else interested?

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