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Light Kit for Documentary Style Shoot


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#1 solange reyner

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 10:56 AM

I'm deciding whether to build a light kit or buy one intact and needed feedback from others on what selection was best. I was looking into the Kino Flo series, mainly because I'll be shooting in close quarters a lot of the time and don't want the subjects to start sweating on camera. Has anyone had experience with Kino Flo lights, or LED light kits - and which do you suggest, if so. Can the lights be used for background spot lights, too, and is there anything specific/extra I should be looking for?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:22 AM

Kinos are nice, if a bit bulky on occasion (and i personally dislike their skin-tones) but for a documentary shoot quite useful. You'll get better output -v- LEDs and better colors as well.
I'd go with a Diva Kit, good for interviews and dimmable as well. Also, as they don't consume a lot of power, you needn't worry as much about blowing breakers in, say, an office building, or a house.
Price is kinda steep, but if you can afford to purchase/rent it, I'd go for it.
Also very useful as you can change tubes between D and T depending on what you need. If only using 1 tube-set I'd go with Daylight tubes as you loose less through CTO than CTB.
Also, what are you shooting on?
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:13 PM

Why do you want to buy, may I ask? Light kits are pretty cheap to rent. For example, the my local rental house offers a nice, four light Arri kit for $75 daily. I've seen comparable kits sell retail for $1,800 to $2,000. So in that case, you'd need to be in production for 25-30 days before it'd make sense to buy the same kit.

From my own experience having worked with a range of lights, I LOVE using ArriLights of the tungsten variety. They were versatile, rugged, and offer great coverage. I never felt for want of lighting when I had a kit on hand.

But they can be a bit pricey to buy. A cheaper alternative which I've turned to lately is buying Mole-Richardsons. They come pretty cheap if you buy just the light and not the stand. I got a 2K for $200 bucks. The stand itself costs MORE, but I can rent it for 5 bucks! It's an easy choice, so maybe that might be an option for you too.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:17 PM

While I love Arri kits, and Moles, and they are cheaper, Brian, I believe that for this doco shoot, the heat a T unit will put out is why they're erring towards Floros/LEDS.
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#5 Brian Rose

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:51 PM

While I love Arri kits, and Moles, and they are cheaper, Brian, I believe that for this doco shoot, the heat a T unit will put out is why they're erring towards Floros/LEDS.


It must be closer quarters than I've dealt with, because I've not yet had a problem with heat or discomfort, when I used them for interviews.

Still, I get the concern, though I think my original question still applies: why buy when you could rent?
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