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Mole 4k Softlights... what to use them for?


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#1 Marc Roessler

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 04:25 PM

I'm currently toying around with a Mole Richardson 4k/5k softlight (the less common one with the two-part silvery reflector and 4x 1250W or 4x 1000W quartz bars.. quite similar to the Quartzcolor softlights).

This light has got me wondering a bit... how is this beast is actually used? I mean.. at EI 200 it gives me almost a T5.6 when I'm at 3 meters distance... when I switch it down to 2k/2k5 it is still a T4 (as expected).

Nice for lighting a high-key soft-light low-speed-stock/high-speed-framerate video clip. But what else is this used for? It won't be of much use as a fill light at this intensity, and if you back up farther away the light will become harder so it won't be a softlight any more. I'm considering to lamp it down to 4x 800 Watts (needs modifications to the lamp sockets), but I'm still wondering...

So I'd like to hear how you use these lights, what lighting style/stock/T-Stop range etc, if you use them at all.

Thanks,
Marc
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#2 Tim Tyler

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 05:07 PM

There's a stage in Seattle I shoot at occasionally that has two hefty old Super Softlites on rolling stands in the corner.

I don't think they get much use, but I like using them for key lights on head-to-toe green screen shoots, maybe punched through a 4x4 opal frame. The color temp is a little warmer than 32k (as is the case with most zip lights) so be careful of that.
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#3 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 05:11 PM

I like soft lights, but I seldom carry any bigger than a 2k zip on a truck - the bigger ones tend to be a bit unwieldy on location.

On stage I use them a fair amount - they're not too soft on their own but if you bang them into a 4x4 you've got an instant book light with less spill...

They can work well for fill if they're right next to camera, primarily in a hard light style lighting set up.

I've also seen them rigged to provide ambiance, although space lights and chicken coops are more common.
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#4 Ken Keeler

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:42 AM

I will have to agree with everyone else i tend to only use these on stage traveling with them is impractical they are quite large. I mainly have used the 4k Zip for greenscreen work. if i were doing a full head to toe greenscreen i would use the 4k to light the ground or in some rare cases i would use this as my key or fill. more often then not i will use this light to bring up my ambience in a room by either blasting it through a 4x4 with either opal or 216 etc. it all depends on the shoot an what you are trying to achieve. all lights are just tools know how they work and what they can give you so if you dont have access to certain equipment you know you could make a certain light work for the job.
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#5 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:37 AM

What globe does the fixture use? FCM or FFT? Main limitations are: overall fixture size (although the large reflector makes it softer than a zip); weight; power consumption, approx. 34A. Is the one you are considering buying wired with a 60A bates connector or four Edison tails? I have 2-2k zips and 2-750 zips and prefer them over a fixture with a softbox.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:43 AM

Try these:

http://www.bhphotovi...r_Softlite.html
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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:05 AM

Actually, more definitive infomation here: http://extranet.mole...16-1933&id=8969
Normally uses the common FCM, but can be lamped down with no modication to 2k (4x500w).
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