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Levi

Lighting Recommendation?

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So looking for some help getting my first lighting kit. It will mainly be for 2 point interview set-ups but it might be used for general fill or broll lighting. I was originally looking at the aputure tri8c but it's $670 CAD vs the h672w at $281 CAD. I was also looking at the ls 120d ii but it's $1k plus softbox and fresnel. I wanted to start out under $1k CAD and go from there. I should probably look at lights other than aputure but the amount of lights is overwhelming. I'm not very knowledgeable about lights so any recommendations are welcome. 

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In my opinion you should invest in the light with the most light output as in go for the light that's 10,000 lumens compared to the light that's 5,000 lumens. The more light the better and if your client has an issue with the light then perhaps I would put some diffusion in the front of the light to make the light maybe less harsh. However, go with whatever works for you. Maybe get the Aputure. What's your budget?

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Here's a used tungsten kit with a decent sized Rifa and a small Pro light for US$425.  It also comes with a 40-degree egg crate for the Rifa.  This kit is a good deal and that Rifa with the egg crate is great for interviews.

 

It would would probably be a good idea to add  a "medium-sized" focus-able light, such as an Omni (here's a beat-up one for US$32).  An extra stand for this light will probably run US$30-US$100.

 

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Thanks for the help! I really appreciate the input

@Zach Goodwin2I was aiming for under $750 USD or $1000 CAD

@tupp I like that idea, but I was thinking going with one capable of being battery powered would give me greater versatility. (I sometimes shoot in buildings without electricity or places that aren't near an outlet) I'll have to look into that option more though and maybe consider powered ones in the future? 

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8 hours ago, Levi said:

@tupp I like that idea, but I was thinking going with one capable of being battery powered would give me greater versatility. (I sometimes shoot in buildings without electricity or places that aren't near an outlet) I'll have to look into that option more though and maybe consider powered ones in the future? 


With a tight budget then you'll get your best bang for your buck by buying 2ndhand tungsten lights. 

They get hot though 

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I am curious if anyone has experience with the new lowel tota led? I haven't seen many reviews. They seem to output a lot of light for relatively cheap. I have fond memories of tungsten tota lamps exploding in college.

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14 hours ago, Levi said:

I like that idea, but I was thinking going with one capable of being battery powered would give me greater versatility. (I sometimes shoot in buildings without electricity or places that aren't near an outlet)

Are you shooting your interviews in outhouses?

 

 

5 hours ago, IronFilm said:

With a tight budget then you'll get your best bang for your buck by buying 2ndhand tungsten lights. 

With tungsten, you also get a smoother color spectrum, greater beam control and a higher power density.

 

 

56 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

I am curious if anyone has experience with the new lowel tota led? I haven't seen many reviews. They seem to output a lot of light for relatively cheap.

I saw it at NAB.  I doesn't look as bright as Tota with a 750w bulb.

 

 

56 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

I have fond memories of tungsten tota lamps exploding in college.

Here's a tip:  never touch the glass part of a quartz bulb, because the oils from your skin will cause it to eventually pop (explode).

 

Always use a clean paper towel to hold the bulb when lamping a fixture.  Don't use a facial tissue -- it can be impregnated with moisturizing oils.

 

If you accidentally touch the glass part of a quartz bulb, do not turn it on until you have first cleaned it with a new paper towel and isopropyl alcohol.

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28 minutes ago, tupp said:

Here's a tip:  never touch the glass part of a quartz bulb, because the oils from your skin will cause it to eventually pop (explode).

...and if you are using equipment that students have touched, assume the worst and never use one without a protective screen. This is the main reasons I use LED lights: if you are working with inexperienced crew on a no budget set, LEDs won't burn anyone or explode. Or cook the room.

To be fair, though, I only ever had one tota bulb explode on me. I used 2-3 different totas with electrical problems, shorting, buzzing loudly, or sparking. I never had any issues with other Lowel lights, just the totas.

32 minutes ago, tupp said:

I saw it at NAB.  I doesn't look as bright as Tota with a 750w bulb.

Like, half as bright, or like 500w equivalent? If you got any sense from what you've seen so far.

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43 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

...and if you are using equipment that students have touched, assume the worst and never use one without a protective screen.

Yes.  Always use protective screens with open-faced tungsten fixtures, regardless of the level of the crew's experience.  Most manufacturers will give you a protective screen for free if you don't have one.

 

 

43 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

This is the main reasons I use LED lights: if you are working with inexperienced crew on a no budget set, LEDs won't burn anyone or explode.

Well, you definitely do not want students (nor inexperienced crew) handling your cheap, delicate, re-branded LED fixtures -- they will break something on such fixtures at some point.

 

In general, non-pros handling professional equipment should be very careful, and you have to clearly and emphatically warn such folks of any potential hazards or equipment vulnerability.  I never had a problem with students ruining bulbs by touching them -- I simply don't let them install nor handle bulbs.

 

 

43 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

Or cook the room.

Well, LEDs generally don't provide the punch nor control nor clean color that tungsten fixtures give -- so there is a trade-off.  Also, LEDs generally have more weight-per-footcandle (especially if one is toting batteries)

 

Furthermore, on cold sets or on locations with plenty of AC, any heat from the lights is often not a problem (sometimes it's a benefit).

 

 

43 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

To be fair, though, I only ever had one tota bulb explode on me.

Oh.  Well, you wrote, "totas," a plural tense indicating that someone inexperienced installed multiple bulbs.  If several bulbs pop, it's probably because a clueless person used their bare hands to lamp the fixtures  -- popping bulbs have nothing to do with the fixtures themselves.

 

 

43 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

I used 2-3 different totas with electrical problems, shorting, buzzing loudly, or sparking. I never had any issues with other Lowel lights, just the totas.

Really?  2-3?  I have never had one Tota (nor any other tungsten fixture) "buzz," "spark" nor "short."  I have experienced sockets go bad from someone who didn't fully seat the bulb.

 

If there is contact arcing on a Tota double ended bulb, it is easy to see merely by removing the bulb.

 

 

43 minutes ago, KnightsFan said:

Like, half as bright, or like 500w equivalent? If you got any sense from what you've seen so far.

It looked like it had the output of a 300w tungsten bulb.

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13 minutes ago, tupp said:

Well, LEDs generally don't provide the punch nor control nor clean color that tungsten fixtures give -- so there is a trade-off.

I've honestly liked the look from decent LEDs as much or better than tungstens in my uses.

9 minutes ago, tupp said:

Really?  2-3?  I have never had one Tota (nor any other tungsten fixture) "buzz," "spark" nor "short."  I have experienced sockets go bad from someone who didn't fully seat the bulb.

Yeah, it's bizarre. I did equipment checkout for a few semesters, and I had an entire shelf of totas with problems. Maybe someone before me had methodically ruined each one? That and the exploding one really put me off totas.

12 minutes ago, tupp said:

It looked like it had the output of a 300w tungsten bulb.

Oh wow, that's disappointing. Another strike for totas, I guess.

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14 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

I've honestly liked the look from decent LEDs as much or better than tungstens in my uses. 

Okay, but real tungsten has a smoother spectral curve than fake tungsten.

 

 

14 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

Yeah, it's bizarre. I did equipment checkout for a few semesters, and I had an entire shelf of totas with problems. Maybe someone before me had methodically ruined each one?

I seem to recall hearing that some folks were buying off-brand replacement bulbs and double-ended bulbs for hardware store, quartz work lights.  They were putting these sub par bulbs into production fixtures with double-ended sockets (Totas, Nook lights, various zip lights, Colortran Multis, etc.), and the bulbs were slightly shorter than the standard bulbs.  Perhaps someone in your organization purchased a batch of such bulbs, and that is what caused the buzzing/arcing on multiple fixtures.

 

I have never seen such problems, but I have always used brand-name bulbs in my fixtures.

 

 

14 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

That and the exploding one really put me off totas.

What?  No.

 

As I said above, a popped quartz bulb has nothing to do with the fixture -- someone likely touched the bulb without cleaning it, or the bulb could have been defective.  Don't blame the Totas.

 

 

14 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

Oh wow, that's disappointing. Another strike for totas, I guess. 

No.  If anything, it's another strike against the relatively pathetic output and power density of LED fixtures.  The tungsten Totas are fine.

 

Actually, the LED Tota is probably also fine -- it just gives less output (and is undoubtedly more expensive) than a tungsten Tota.

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