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Lighting with Redheads for dummies


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#1 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 02:26 PM

Hi, I'm doing my first steps in lighting. I purchased a kit of 3 Redheads, 800w each. It feels so good to play with light. Next I want to change two bulbs for 250w and keep one 800w. Is it a good idea? 

Also, please tell me as much as possible about diffusion, I noticed those lights get pretty hot and eat a lot of power, any tips on how not to burn a house and not to brake the bank? 

 

 


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#2 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:03 PM

Don't bulb down. Redheads aren't really usable as a direct light on anything but the background, for nice light quality you'll need to bounce or diffuse them. For starters I'd recommend getting some large lighting umbrellas to give you some nice directional soft light to work with.
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#3 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:11 PM

Why not to bulb down? A lower W would be easier to control and defuse, I think. Plus 800w would melt down foam board like a butter. 


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:15 PM

I've never melted a foam board with a Redhead. You just obviously don't put it right up against the thing.

 

Sure you can bulb down-- It'll still be a light which is good for bouncing and diffusing-- and I'd be ok using it as a direct light-- maybe as a strong top light-- something where the shapre of the beam isn't as big of an issue-- but if you bulb down you're just cutting down on how much push you'd have through diffusion and bouncing.

 

In truth-- it would be better to pick up some 150 fresnels as opposed to swapping the bulb on the reds. Then you can use them as a soft source and model with your smaller fresnels.


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#5 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:25 PM

Is there a difference between 150 fresnel and 150 halogen? 


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#6 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:27 PM

As far as I know Arri makes some halogen lights as well, like 650w one. 


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:32 PM

Halogen is a bulb type. Fresnel is a lens on a lamp. You could- for example, have a Fresnel HMI, but you can't have a Halogen HMI.

 

Fresnels, be they Arri or anyone else are the industry standard lighting equipment because the lens allows you to really control the beam and cut it with flags and get sharp shadows-- if you'd want.

The open faces, from Arri and others are good brute force lights--- normally used to give you a soft source or light up something in the background where you don't need the kind of control you'd get from a Fresnel. Also they are lighter (open faces) for the most part since they have no lens to worry about.

 

Another type of light is a PAR which stands for Parabolic Reflector. These are also generally brute force lights which have a long throw and are great to punch through some slight diff.

 

If you wanted to, by the by, use a red-head or a PAR on talent and still keep it directional, I'd look into using Opal.


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#8 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:36 PM

Thank you Adrian, very helpful information. 

How about diffusion materials for redheads? Is there something strong enough to resist the heat? 


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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:40 PM

The heat is nowhere near what you're making it out to be compared to the output, say, of even a 1K VNSP Par. As such most cinema gels are designed to withstand high(er) heat, and if you're really concerned, you could put it on a frame away from the head-- e.g. you get an open frame and skin it with diff. Or you can use heat-shield gels as well though this is something you'd normally do on say a 4K Par or higher.


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#10 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:46 PM

Asking because many people told me that they set their diffusions on fire with redheads. I did a test yesterday putting a full blue ctb gel onto barn doors using normal wooden clamps and left if for 15 minutes, seemed fine. What about soft diffusion paper, can you recommend anything that can be put directly on the barn doors? 


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#11 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:47 PM

I don't like carrying around soft boxes. 


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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:48 PM

You don't really use paper.. but the diffusion gels will be fine. Sure you can starta fire with a red-head, as you can with a 100W light bulb-- if you're putting stuff too close to it. That' what you put it on the end of the doors-- myred-heads even have little clamps for this built in.

 

As for diffusion materials-- companies such as Lee and Rosco sell them which you can put on. Most people like 216, 251, Opal, and maybe Hampshire.


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#13 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:50 PM

Redheads are daylight balanced, right? 3200K if I remember correctly. So in order to make it 5600K you have to put CTO gel on it, right? And vise versa. 


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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:52 PM

3200K Is Tungsten balance, which is what redheads are. Daylight is 5600. To convert a red-head to daylight you'd use a full CTB-- and you'd also loose 2 stops of light give or take.

 

To convert Daylight, such as a Kino Flo, HMI, or Daylight LED, then you'd use full CTO and loose 2/3rds of a stop.


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#15 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:54 PM

Thanks. 


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#16 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:54 PM

My pleasure.


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#17 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:56 PM

Is it true if you down bulb from 800w to 250w for example color temperature will change? 


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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:59 PM

It shouldn't. I haven't reglobed them though. Color Temp in a Tungsten unit is based on the voltage going through it-- simple dropping the wattage shouldn't have an appreciable effect on color temperature-- which is why it is often preferred to dimming which decreases voltage and color temperature (for example, going from 3200K to 1900K ect). This is nice for a warm glow-- but if you just want to drop intensity causes problems. Scrims are also used for this purpose-- either wire on the head or on frames in front of it.


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#19 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

I noticed when I project some light on a white wall and play with dimmer color temperature seem to change. Maybe it's just me. 


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#20 Vadim Joy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 05:45 PM

I'm not expert in lighting. So 250w bulb produce less heat in front of it then 800w, right? Which means it can be placed closer to flammable objects like curtains for example. 


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