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Chimera Softbanks.


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 04:47 PM

Hi.

I'll be buying my first light within the next month, a Chimera Softbank. The prices for these lights seem to be around $350.00. Does that include a light, or is that just for the actual bank.
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 06:13 PM

That's probably for just the softbox.

On a budget, I'd recommend a Photoflex kit. You can get a lightstand, lite, 2 lamps and a softbox for $350 to $400
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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 04:18 PM

If you want a softlight, then I'd recommend buying a used Mole 1k or 2k zip. Cheaper and a lot more rugged.
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#4 Bill Totolo

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 06:33 PM

...or for $7.95 just put some Grid cloth on your barn doors.

What I like about using a Chimera though is the ability to attach a fabric grid to help control spill.

I just lit an interview today using a combination of 1 Chimera box and a couple units with grid cloth attached.
Works great.
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#5 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:30 AM

Get a Lowell Rifa-light instead. Or as recommended, a zip light. Old school, but very useful.
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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:27 PM

...or for $7.95 just put some Grid cloth on your barn doors.

What I like about using a Chimera though is the ability to attach a fabric grid to help control spill.

I just lit an interview today using a combination of 1 Chimera box and a couple units with grid cloth attached.
Works great.


A softlight or a zip without an eggcrate is like a fresnel without its lens. Sure,it works without one, but not as well. Putting diffusion on the barndoors or an open face or fresnel is not going to give you the same quiality of light that a softlight will.
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:13 PM

That's probably for just the softbox.

On a budget, I'd recommend a Photoflex kit. You can get a lightstand, lite, 2 lamps and a softbox for $350 to $400


Jonathan, could you please specifc which kit you're talking about. It really sounds up my alley.

Thank you everyone for your comments. :)
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:59 PM

Also do a search for Britek lights. Lower cost than Photoflex and decent quality (just treat them with kid gloves, they are built of high impact heat resistant platic, as apposed to metal.) I imagine your on a tight budget and are buying all the lights you'll get to use for the next 2-3 years, so these lights should last and fill out a decent package. Dont get the stands from them....worthless.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 09:20 PM

Check out Photoflex' current promo: http://www.photoflex...mo_2/index.html

I can't say enough about the Octodome. Chimera also makes a nice OctoPlus softbank, but this is definitely the better deal. There's a link to a list there of participating vendors, go through them and see what's the best deal you could get.

Then for that second StarLite that you're getting for free, you can always just buy another softbox & stand to go with it. Saving you a little dough in the long run.
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#10 Bill Totolo

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 10:49 PM

A softlight or a zip without an eggcrate is like a fresnel without its lens. Sure,it works without one, but not as well. Putting diffusion on the barndoors or an open face or fresnel is not going to give you the same quiality of light that a softlight will.



Well I'm of a different mind.

Gridcloth is the same material used on many softboxes so you'll get a very similar quality of light. The only difference is size. And you can compensate for that by hanging gridcloth off the front of a 650 or 1k with the bottom leaf open and get a pretty large source.

But I have another great solution that I stole from Brian Reynold's:

Use something known, in the United States, as Liteboard. It's liteweight diffusion material that comes in large sheets, about 3 feet by 5 feet. It's a little rigid but fairly flexible at the same time. You can clamp this to the front of a 1k (or 5k or whatever) and get a HUGE SOFT source of light for $12. You can get sheets of it at Leonetti. It's fast and very flattering, and hey, it worked on NYPD Blue.

Give it a shot.
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#11 Bill Totolo

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 10:51 PM

If you want a softlight, then I'd recommend buying a used Mole 1k or 2k zip. Cheaper and a lot more rugged.


I understand you can put Lowel Tota lamps of lower wattage in the Mole 2K zip lights. Can anyone confirm?
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 12:11 AM

Use something known, in the United States, as Liteboard. It's liteweight diffusion material that comes in large sheets, about 3 feet by 5 feet. It's a little rigid but fairly flexible at the same time. You can clamp this to the front of a 1k (or 5k or whatever) and get a HUGE SOFT source of light for $12. You can get sheets of it at Leonetti. It's fast and very flattering, and hey, it worked on NYPD Blue.


I do this quite often as well, especially if I'm needing a much broader and punchier soft source than a softbox can give me.

Photoflex & Chimera both sell adaptors to attach to par and fresnel lights, but for these I would much prefer just hanging a frame of silk or gridcloth than paying $200+ for what's essentially just a sheet of diffusion.

Cheers for that Bill
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#13 JD Hartman

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 01:31 PM

I understand you can put Lowel Tota lamps of lower wattage in the Mole 2K zip lights. Can anyone confirm?


The zips normally use 1000w FCM globes, 28000 lumens. Possible substitutes are: 750w EJG, 20600 lumens, 500w FDF, 13000 lumens or FCL, 10000 lumens. The FCL is a cheaper globe than the FDF as well as having a slightly lower color temperature. The above specs. are from the USHIO lamp catalog.
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