Jump to content


Photo

Trying to build a softbank


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Ollie Bartlett

Ollie Bartlett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Other
  • Bristol, UK

Posted 16 January 2008 - 09:02 PM

Hey there,

I've recently been given a load of theatre floods, i'm guessing which were usually used for lighting backdrops... essentially, i've got 18x 500w theatre floods, and am trying to find a use for them.

So far i've been using my redheads, with diff and if neccessary ctb for overall soft light but losing a lot of light in the process, then my arri's for any additional key, backlight etc... but i've been thinking about rebuilding the theatre floods into large soft banks of about 3Kw each (which as far as i know is the maximum output of any UK household mains).

Does anyone have any suggestions on how i could maybe go about doing this? I'd like to get rid of the outer metal housings and mount 6 of them per frankenstein creation on some sort of metal bracket, just to keep the weight down, but am really unsure as to where to even begin. As well as this, is there any solid material that i could use as permanent diffusion, but thats A... not going to cut too much light (damn you M2!), and B... not going to burn, and how far away would this need to be from the bulbs themselves so as not to burn the diffusion itself.

I think these softbanks are my plan at the moment, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions its very much appreciated... in fact, if anyone has any better ideas for these lights use, then thats extra appreciated.

People of cinematography.com... please help me put these things to good use... in fact anything so i can take them out from under my bed. Thats where old clothes are meant to go!

Cheers people,

Ollie

Edited by Ollie Bartlett, 16 January 2008 - 09:04 PM.

  • 0

#2 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1690 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:37 PM

It would help if you listed the name of the manufacturer and the model number of the fixture. Maybe post an image so we could get a better idea of what the reflector and bulbholder look like. By flood, do you mean a broadlight or a overhead cyc light?
  • 0

#3 Ollie Bartlett

Ollie Bartlett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Other
  • Bristol, UK

Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:49 PM

Hey there,

Yeah sorry mate, when i put the post up it was pretty late so i guess that kinda slipped my mind.

They're Strand Nocturne 500's, but unfortunately my DSLR has been lent out at the moment so cant provide my own pics... however, this should provide more info than i can possibly ever give.

http://www.strandarc...odanocturne.pdf

As a side note, my ignorance will shine through here when i ask, whats the difference between an overhead cyclorama and a broadlight. Just tried doing some research but couldn't really find many answers (other than all the overhead cycs i saw seem to be hung, and all the broads seemed to be on c-stands).

Cheers guys, and apologies for the lack of previous information.

Ollie

Edited by Ollie Bartlett, 17 January 2008 - 06:51 PM.

  • 0

#4 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1690 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 17 January 2008 - 10:29 PM

The Strand page you provided a link, sums it up. The Nocturne has symmetric distribution of light, even from top to bottom. It could be termed a broadlight, like the Mole-Richardson 3211. The Coda has asymmetric distribution of light, the shape of the reflector will evenly light a cyclorama from top to bottom when hung above it.
The answer is yes, the Nocturne could be used to build a large softbox. You could remove the hanging yoke to reduce the weight. Build your softbox, shaped similar to the Mole "chicken coop" ( see www.mole.com). I'd suggest using aluminum sheet or light gauge steel if you can spotweld. Mount the fixtures to the outside of the body and each shines through a rectangular hole. The diffusion material can be stapled over the open end of the softbox or you could make a slide in frame from sheetmetal to hold the diffusion. You'll have to figure out how to mount your softbox and how to ventilate the heat from the interior without spilling light all over.
  • 0

#5 Matthew Parnell

Matthew Parnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Electrician
  • Brisbane, Australia

Posted 18 January 2008 - 08:41 AM

Heres an idea i dub the Nocturnette. This might do what you want in terms of being a large soft source (when fitted with a frame with diffusion) but also be able to double as a 2k hard source.

nocturnette1.JPG

nocturnette2.JPG

I would put velco on the edges of the frame and cut gel pieces to fit and velco edge them as well so you can quickly change between levels of diffusion and gel.

I would do sheets of 216, 250, 251 and Gridcloth to suit the frame.

Edited by Matthew Parnell, 18 January 2008 - 08:45 AM.

  • 0

#6 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 18 January 2008 - 02:59 PM

Heres an idea i dub the Nocturnette. This might do what you want in terms of being a large soft source (when fitted with a frame with diffusion) but also be able to double as a 2k hard source.


Looks like a lot of weight for only 2K of light...

I'd be tempted to just put two heads on a double offest, with a frame of diffusion in front of it. If I wanted more output I'd look into pulling apart the units and build a new housing with just the harnesses and reflectors (which presents its own challenges, of course). Edit: just re-read the original post; this is indeed what you were proposing.

How about a DIY chimera-style bank that attaches to the front of one of these units?

There's worse things than having a bunch of cheap, small self contained lights on hand. This is just the thing for night exteriors where you need to stash a lot of small lights around to light up areas in the BG.
  • 0

#7 Ollie Bartlett

Ollie Bartlett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Other
  • Bristol, UK

Posted 19 January 2008 - 10:34 AM

Cheers for all the answers guys,

I think my plan at the moment is to tear 12 of the lights apart, just keeping the bulbs, holders, reflectors etc, and get the local metal working guys to knock me up some sort of ventilated aluminum housing for each 6 light unit (based pretty much on the original casing per light... just a larger version).

I'm liking Michaels idea of keeping a few around though. I can easily imagine getting into a situation where i wish i hadn't used up all of my resources and had a few smaller lights still around to kick up some backgrounds.

Is there any point in me trying to find some sort of solid diffusion, or will this just cut out more light than i can afford? Essentially... should i just go with sheets of gel if and when i need them, or is there enough of a payoff in just having something solid that i can slide into a frame on the front of each unit?

Once again guys thank you for all your input... I don't know a lot, but 90% of what i have learned has come from this site and not uni. Much appreciation!

Ollie

Edited by Ollie Bartlett, 19 January 2008 - 10:35 AM.

  • 0

#8 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 19 January 2008 - 02:25 PM

Is there any point in me trying to find some sort of solid diffusion, or will this just cut out more light than i can afford? Essentially... should i just go with sheets of gel if and when i need them, or is there enough of a payoff in just having something solid that i can slide into a frame on the front of each unit?


You don't need a "solid" diffuser. Just make the housing so that you can clip gels onto it, or make some kind of gel frame that you can mount gels in.
  • 0

#9 Bob Hayes

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

Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:58 AM

Here is a soft light I built. It houses 4 1K nook lights or 4 650 watt Lowell Tota lights. I built a 2? x 2? aluminum frame I used 3? x 3/8? stock I should have used 2? x ΒΌ? so it is a bit heavier then I wanted. The Box is 5? at the wide side. I made it out of 1 10? x 4? sheet of Gator board. A very heavy duty wood fiber backed foam core. The 10? is a special order but let me build to the 5? size I wanted from one sheet with out waste. I attach the box to the frame using ?Spring Loaded? quick release hinges. The pins retract thereby releasing the box. The pins fit into a Manfroto menace arm holder. This lets me tilt the unite with out it getting too front heavy.

I put it on a junior rolling stand and make sure it is baged. I worked out great. It is pretty large and not as light as I would have wanted. It works great in a stage environment where I build it and just roll it around. Because of it's size I would have to take it appart to get it in a practical location.

big_softy.jpg
  • 0

#10 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1690 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 22 January 2008 - 12:21 PM

Very nice example. Keeps the lights intact and outside the box, minimizing the trapped heat. I would not tear apart the Strand Nocturne lights as you are considering. It will create a safety issue.
  • 0


Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

The Slider

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Opal

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products