Jump to content


Photo

Lowel DV Creator kit OR Litepanel LED


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 FCFilms

FCFilms

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Producer

Posted 20 March 2006 - 10:42 AM

I posted this at another forum, so forgive the double post....


I have received my Panasonic HVX200, but have no light set. I have one old Arri light I use and that has been it. I am mainly an editor/producer and would like to shoot/light my own interviews and then graduate to filming music videos. My work now consists of mainly corporate stuff.

SOOOO, I have enough money to buy one or the other right now. I can afford the Lowel DV Creator set here:

http://www.bhphotovi...=285925&is=REG addedTroughType=search

or

The Litepanels LED.

I know it is like comparing apples to oranges, but which would be your first choice if you could only have one and you were in my position.

Thanks so much.

B
  • 0

#2 Matt Irwin

Matt Irwin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 389 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:26 PM

If I were in your position and only had a choice between the two units you mentioned, I would probably go with the lowel kit. At least you'll be able to work a standard "3-point" interview setup (although I usually use two lights and a bounce fill, and then light the BG). Just make sure you have sufficient full CTB in case you have to mix with daylight.

If I were doing a lot of run-and-gun, candid interviews, I would go with the LitePanels.

As far as the kit goes, I would suggest looking at something else. It sounds like you're on a budget, so Lowel is probably a good call. Look for a kit that mixes a Rifa light with some hard units. The Tota in the kit that you found will likely do more harm than good.
  • 0

#3 FCFilms

FCFilms

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Producer

Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:40 PM

If I were in your position and only had a choice between the two units you mentioned, I would probably go with the lowel kit. At least you'll be able to work a standard "3-point" interview setup (although I usually use two lights and a bounce fill, and then light the BG). Just make sure you have sufficient full CTB in case you have to mix with daylight.

If I were doing a lot of run-and-gun, candid interviews, I would go with the LitePanels.

As far as the kit goes, I would suggest looking at something else. It sounds like you're on a budget, so Lowel is probably a good call. Look for a kit that mixes a Rifa light with some hard units. The Tota in the kit that you found will likely do more harm than good.


Thanks for the advice, Matt. As I am learning more about lighting, I realize I want to make the best choice I can with my limited knowledge. I will be working with the 3-point more often, so the Lowells really do make more sense.

So if you were putting your own package together, what specific lights would you go for. You mentioned the Rifa. What would you go with for the other two? This kit seems to have it all, but still has the Tota. It's a bit above my budget, but I could swing it if it makes more sense. I think I would buy all separately if I understood more about exactly what an experienced person would do in my shoes with my budget (8-1000k).

I was also looking at rostronics.com, but really got confused with their website. I want to take the plunge, but just need a nudge in the right direction!

Thanks for your help - B
  • 0

#4 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:42 PM

The LEDs fit a nice niche, but are by no means a complete light kit. In most cases the light wont even be enough to act as a decent key light. Every shoot I have ever seen them used on, they almost invariably filled in as a close fill.

with the lowell kit you will have more options and more variety in the quality of light you can provide. with the LED you can really only do soft lighting with the unit closer up (around 3-4 feet) giving it a sharp fall-off. LEDs are great, but only if you have a complete lighting kit.

Totas are hard to control, try out the omnis
  • 0

#5 FCFilms

FCFilms

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Producer

Posted 20 March 2006 - 02:47 PM

I also found this kit at B&H that seems to have what you mentioned.

B
  • 0

#6 Matt Irwin

Matt Irwin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 389 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 March 2006 - 07:34 PM

I also found this kit at B&H that seems to have what you mentioned.

B


I would go for the kit you mentioned in post #3. Don't get me wrong, totas are NOT worthless. I just rarely use them because they spill too much and are a pain to use with gels. They are great for bouncing as long as you can control them. Speaking of which, you might want to look into a small grip kit. Barndoors can only do so much.

To answer your other question, I would personally not buy lowels. For interviews I would put together a kit of maybe a Kino Diva or two, a single lamp fluo, a couple of peppers, some bounce, gels, etc, but that would be considerably more expensive. Generally, for tungsten lights, I would look to Arri, Strand, Dedo, Desisti, LTM, etc. Much more solid, but again on a budget, the Lowels work and are a good value.
  • 0

#7 Brian Wells

Brian Wells
  • Sustaining Members
  • 438 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 March 2006 - 08:36 PM

Lowel lights are older designs with high wattage lamps in open face heads -- which gives very hot fixtures that are difficult to control! You have to use gloves to adjust them and they must sit for 20 minutes+ to cool down enough to put them back in the case. There are better products available today. If the goal is to light good looking interviews, you'll immediately want some sort of soft source, such as a chimera softbox or a fluorescent. And, some lower wattage lights for back/hair light. For around the same price as the Lowel kit, you could get a Kino Flo Diva Lite and a small Pepper or Dedo and some small kit stands. At least those are lights you can grow with. With the Lowels, you will come to regret buying them when you realize how difficult they are to work with, how hot they get, and how expensive the accessories are compared to other brands. Also, the lamps are expensive! About $30 each!! The true cost of a light system is not the purchase price, but the running costs. With fluorescents and 24v dedolight, the lamps hardly ever need replaced. And when they do, they cost less. If you're on a budget the last thing you want to do is get a lot of lights that don't look very good and are hard to work with. I second Matt's idea of getting a fewer number of high quality lights, such as a Kino Diva and a fresnel or two.
  • 0

#8 Mitch Gross

Mitch Gross
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2873 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 March 2006 - 09:28 PM

I think you might be a little harsh on the Lowel lights. A Rifa is a good, simple and relatively inexpensive soft light. Add a couple of Pro lights and you're in business. I have Lowel lights that are more than a decade old with a lot of history and use behind them and they're still going strong. The bulbs have lasted quite a long time and are not that expensive compared to other quartz bulbs. And the biggest advantage of Lowel lights is that they are very small, lightweight and easy to transport. I have a couple of kits that I can sling over my shoulder for a quick one-man band video shoot. Can't say that about a Diva.
  • 0

#9 Brian Wells

Brian Wells
  • Sustaining Members
  • 438 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 March 2006 - 09:49 PM

True -- I am a bit harsh on Lowel. I think there are better options out there. I will say that I like the quality of light from a Rifa/softbox more than the Diva, but in the end, the convenience of the Diva won my heart. When I'm in a hurry, I don't mind carrying a bigger light into a shoot if it means I get out of there quicker because I'm not waiting for my lights to cool down. Even though the Diva isn't as compact as the Rifa, it can be tucked away quicker because it doesn't get as hot. It's all personal preference, of course.

Kata makes a small light bag that can hold a Diva 200, a couple 150's, some extra small kit stands, cardellini's, mafers, a 12x18 flag kit, and can also be slung around the shoulder like Lowel kit. I just find fluorescents to be a dream for quick shoots, but I know I am preaching to the choir here...
  • 0

#10 BradH

BradH
  • Guests

Posted 20 March 2006 - 11:11 PM

I don't want to change the topic too much, but would all of these suggestions be the same if shooting 16mm (at novice level), or would you take a completely different path? I'm also considering a $1,000-1,500 budget with oportunity to grow and add.

Brad




A Rifa is a good, simple and relatively inexpensive soft light. Add a couple of Pro lights and you're in business.

For around the same price as the Lowel kit, you could get a Kino Flo Diva Lite and a small Pepper or Dedo and some small kit stands. At least those are lights you can grow with.

For interviews I would put together a kit of maybe a Kino Diva or two, a single lamp fluo, a couple of peppers, some bounce, gels, etc, but that would be considerably more expensive. Generally, for tungsten lights, I would look to Arri, Strand, Dedo, Desisti, LTM, etc. Much more solid, but again on a budget, the Lowels work and are a good value.

I would go for the kit you mentioned in post #3. Don't get me wrong, totas are NOT worthless. I just rarely use them because they spill too much and are a pain to use with gels. They are great for bouncing as long as you can control them. Speaking of which, you might want to look into a small grip kit. Barndoors can only do so much.

Totas are hard to control, try out the omnis

Look for a kit that mixes a Rifa light with some hard units. The Tota in the kit that you found will likely do more harm than good.
  • 0

#11 FCFilms

FCFilms

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Producer

Posted 21 March 2006 - 09:47 AM

Lowel lights are older designs with high wattage lamps in open face heads -- which gives very hot fixtures that are difficult to control! You have to use gloves to adjust them and they must sit for 20 minutes+ to cool down enough to put them back in the case. There are better products available today. If the goal is to light good looking interviews, you'll immediately want some sort of soft source, such as a chimera softbox or a fluorescent. And, some lower wattage lights for back/hair light. For around the same price as the Lowel kit, you could get a Kino Flo Diva Lite and a small Pepper or Dedo and some small kit stands. At least those are lights you can grow with. With the Lowels, you will come to regret buying them when you realize how difficult they are to work with, how hot they get, and how expensive the accessories are compared to other brands. Also, the lamps are expensive! About $30 each!! The true cost of a light system is not the purchase price, but the running costs. With fluorescents and 24v dedolight, the lamps hardly ever need replaced. And when they do, they cost less. If you're on a budget the last thing you want to do is get a lot of lights that don't look very good and are hard to work with. I second Matt's idea of getting a fewer number of high quality lights, such as a Kino Diva and a fresnel or two.



Brian, Thanks for the response. I appreciate your time. I guess my problem is actually putting the kit together (where to purchase - actual model numbers) . That's what makes the Lowels attractive is a beginner lighter like myself can just push one button on B&H's site and get a kit (for better or worse!!)

Not sure which Light Stands, I need a stand/boom for mic, and I am not sure exactly what the lights are you mentioned above (pepper, dedolight).

You have to understand, I have been around lighting for many years, but when it comes to the terms and light names, I have learned nada! I know how to set up lights, but don't know all the terms. If you could take a few minutes to give me links to the actual products, I would love to buy what I can afford now and add on rather than buying the Lowel kit.

The help would be greatly appreciated.

B
  • 0

#12 Bob Hayes

Bob Hayes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1087 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Culver City, California

Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:33 AM

I am not a big fan of Rifa lights or Diva lights. The reason being their lack of flexibility. If I am going into the field I want my lights to be small, rugged, and above all flexible. The thing about a Tota is worse comes to worse you can bounce two off a ceiling and light a whole room. You can not do that with a Rifa or a Dive. Bounce a Tota off of a 3 x 3 foam core and you have a Diva like source.

With regards to you kit choice? I like your first one which is small compact flexible. You might want to buy used off of E-Bay if you are looking for more bang for your buck.
  • 0

#13 Brian Wells

Brian Wells
  • Sustaining Members
  • 438 posts
  • Other

Posted 05 July 2006 - 10:42 PM

Just like to add that I have finally come around to preferring tungsten softboxes over Kino Flo Diva Lite's. When comparing them side by side in an interview-type setting, the Kino looks absolutely dreadful with bad color reproduction (it still looks pink even with the dimmer on 100%!) and a "punchy" hard edge that is anything but "soft." The shadows cast by the Diva Lite fall somewhere in between a fresnel and a softbox. They are REALLY hard! Even compared to an Extra Small softbox, they are harder! The Diva Lite works well for certain applications, but it is far from the smoothness and color clarity of an actual tungsten softbox. Tungsten light is 100 CRI, which looks noticeably better than the spikey pink-hued fluorescent tubes used by the Diva Lite.

My new favorite key is a Photoflex Starlite and Silverdome kit that I found on eBay for $90.00. It is a much better looking light. I am converting my Diva Lite's for greenscreen use with the 550NM biax tubes from Kino. That's about all these lights will be used for anymore because they look bad on everything else.
  • 0


Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Opal

Metropolis Post

CineTape