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Help. Getting my First light


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#1 John1

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:40 PM

I need your advice. I am getting my first light kit very soon. I have saved so much to get this light kit. I want to get a set of three point red head light since that is the standard lighting set up used(three point lighting). I have been saving for so long like way long and now i am finally able to afford redhead but I am confused. 1. I borrowed one some few days ago to experiment with it and there were so many things i din't like about redhead. 1. it was emitting too much heat and adjusting the head looked like a danger zone which i must be very very very careful before been able to adjust it else i might get my hand burnt. 2. It seemed too bright for me. It can't be dimmed and to use the three light i must have enough space so that i can move the fill light away from my subject to ensure it is not as bright as my key light. 3. I kept having problems with this strong shadow that doesn't seem to want to disappear. I kept adjusting and adjusting the light.

3. The weight was heavy, though not quite heavy. And there is no way i will take it to any office(i shoot more of documentary) without calling attention. People will know someone is here. Doesn't make me conspicuous. 

4. I shoot short films too and i don't know if redhead is used to light scenes when shooting film whether short film or feature film.

I really love white fluorescent light, they don't generate heat, very convenient to use and all that,  but it is just too expensive in my country for me to afford. I am still a student and all i can really afford for now is red light which i have been saving for many months before i could even get the money to buy it. Please advice me, should i go for red head? thats all i could save up to buy and if i plan to save up more to be able to afford fluorescent that might take like forever. What should I do. Please advice me.


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:59 PM

Lighting instrument choices are pretty personal. That said I have 3 red heads which I hardly ever pull out (i got them used for about $25/head from a store closing).

It sounds to me like you'd want to avoid anything hot and heavy so might I suggest getting a wescott spider light with kino flo CFL bulbs. it is very important to use KinoFlo brand bulbs for it in order to make it photograph properly (though some other brands such as Osram are good-- I haven't used them yet). This will give you a cheap/light/florescent head. However it won't be dimmable as far as I know.

 

There's also Cowboy Studio and other such knock off kinos out there-- which for what they are will work i suppose.


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#3 John1

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:51 PM

Adrian, you use red hed... Does it give u any problem. Not like I don't want anytin to do with. I jst want to know if red head won't give me problems
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 01:57 PM

I use them on occasion. Never direct, though. Often I'll throw them through a silk or work them as a small booklight.


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#5 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:45 PM

I'd recommend a fresnel for lighting talent.  Even an older colortran baby is cheaper than a brand new redhead.  It's best not to go tungsten if you don't have to though. The heat is annoying and hazardous and they pull too much electricity.  You can build a flourescent bank yourself for the same price as a redhead. Similar to that spider light but if you do it as a batstrip instead of a par they'll all be flat making the surface of the unit like a kino.

 

 You just get a case, the sockets, zip cord, Some color correct CFL's with a CRI of 90 or higher and you're good to go.  I built 5 that fold open and simply plug in.  They each closeup into their own self contained case.  The lights have lasted me 5 years and I've never had to change the bulbs.  They function the same as a Kino Diva and were built for a third of the cost.  Much better for subject lighting.  Redheads are good for lighting the set and backgrounds.  

 

Anything DIY, beginner or sketchy though is best kept to small gigs like interviews and your own personal projects.  You never want to bring this type of stuff onto serious commercial or narrative shoots for other people or offer it up as a rental to other DP's  who are expecting a normal standard package.  The further along you get, it even becomes a matter of sticking with only a few name brands like Arri and Kino, Dedo etc to avoid raising eyebrows.  But for now, as a student, building your own lights and spending money on the grip gear that you can't DIY like Cstands is the way to go.


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:38 AM

Be careful with floros if your electrical grid is iffy-- e.g. massive swings in voltages which require some kind of voltage regulator on the mains. It may seriously screw up low cost ballasts, and cause flicker which you'd not get (as much of) with tungsten units.


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