Jump to content




Photo

What's in your lighting kit ?


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Dave Pitone

Dave Pitone

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Other
  • Philadelphia

Posted 11 March 2015 - 02:03 AM

I'm new to indie film-making, just starting last year with an indie feature length. As we build on last year's work with a new project for this summer, I'm curious as to what DPs out there keep in their lighting kits.

 

In our first project, we shot with a Nikon D800 DSLR and Rokinon Cine lenses. And for light sources, we used Arris as follows - 

 

(1) 150 watt fresnel

(1) 300 watt fresnel

(2) 650 watt fresnel

(1) 1k watt open face

 

We mostly shot indoors in smaller sets.

 

For the upcoming project (which will be a similar set environment), the plan is to build/improve somewhat in all areas.

 

So we replaced the Nikon D800 with a Canon C100 and Atomos Ninja. And we've also added the following lights to the above list: a 1000 watt fresnel and a 2000 watt open face. (Along with scrims, gels and holders, stands and sandbags, and decent strong cases, etc.)  The idea is to build a good kit for this new project, and other projects that we'll be doing afterwards. It's about putting together and developing a good, serviceable kit, over a period of time.

 

So I'm just curious as to what other indie DPs are using or keep on hand, to be ready for the situations they run into - regarding the stuff they own. I realize many rent. In the same sense, if we need a 5k light for a day or two, we'll rent as well. But rather, I'm curious as to what you own and keep on hand.

 

Thanks !! Dave


  • 0




#2 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 6771 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 11 March 2015 - 03:27 AM

As cameras get more and more sensetive, I bring out smaller and smaller lights. I still keep a good amount of PAR64 VNSPs in my truck; because they don't fit in my apartmennt, as well as some fresnels which hardly ever get opened in addition to chinaballs and a selection of bulbs-- and I mean a lot of bulbs, such as :

(frosted unless otherwise noted)

 

25w

40w

40w clear

60w

60w clear

60w Halogen, clear (halogen bulb inside househould housing)

75w

100w

100w clear

200w

300w clear

300w

 

Those i can screw in wherever or throw in a china ball or on a stick as needed. Also i keep a bunch of daylight bulbs. right now I'm big on Cree 5600K LEDs, since most of the BCAs i find here in LA are rather, well, crap. And, while a little green the Crees are dimmable and give 100w output daylight for a 13w pull. Kino is also making some CFL bulbs. I picked one up recently; but I don't 100% know how I feel about it yet.

 

Other useful things to have are Kinos, 4x4s and 2x4s and a few singles 4's . You can almost always fiind a use for them and people tend to rent them all the time.

 

If you want to get crazy and invest in some lighting which'll really serve well these days, the M18s are pretty awesome-- though they come at an awesome price as well. But, when you need a bigger gun you can fit into a prius and run off of household power, the options are limited.


  • 0

#3 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2264 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 11 March 2015 - 10:29 AM

I only have a small ARRI fresnel package (a 1K & 2 650s) and the Lowel Ego.  But I definitely want to expand it - probably with some PARs & Kino-Flos.


  • 0

#4 Dylan Sunshine Saliba

Dylan Sunshine Saliba
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, Colorado Springs

Posted 11 March 2015 - 11:41 AM

Being confined to apartment storage for now as well, I have a couple super small ARRI Fresnel (150 and 300), a couple CFL softboxes, and I too have also found the CREE LED 100 watts daylight bulbs incredibly useful on a dimmer. I can run them off a cheap inverter plugged right into the cigarette lighter in my car.
The OP sounds like they have a great start to a great kit and good call adding C100 recorded externally). Stick with ARRI and you'll have good value and resale value. I would love to take their L series LED Fresnel for my dream package. L10, two L7s, and an L5....four lights for ten grand (or maybe just the HMI m18). Same boat as Cine Glass....need more budget!!! :*(
  • 0

#5 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11232 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2015 - 12:41 AM

Re Adrian's comments, the Photon Beard platinum blonde is about the cheapest way into a new 1200W HMI. It's a blunt instrument, but I like it.
  • 0

#6 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 6771 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 12 March 2015 - 12:48 AM

Phil do you happen to have a link for that light, I'd like to take a look at it. I need an HMI on hand one of these days; blunt or not.

 

Also Dylan, not a big fan of the Arri LEDs, but that's just me. I'm not a huge LED fan on the whole, though I am very much a fan of Hive Plasmas, but they're super costly currently.

I also keep toying with the idea of building a few huge cree brute like lights-- something with about 15A draw, which would be.. well substantially bright.


  • 0

#7 Edward Lawrence Conley III

Edward Lawrence Conley III
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles CA

Posted 12 March 2015 - 12:59 PM

Although the M18 comes with a 120v standard "House Hold" plug in the US- it really draws too much power. It needs a dedicated 20amp circuit.


  • 0

#8 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2575 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:37 PM

Adrian,

 

The Platinum blonde is basically an HMI version of the classic 2k Blonde open face lamp.

 

http://www.photonbea...i-lighting.html


  • 0

#9 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4032 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 12 March 2015 - 07:07 PM

Photon Beard: Making light work since 1882

obviously wasn't called Photon Beard originally because:

 

"I therefore take the liberty of proposing for this hypothetical new atom, which is not light but plays an essential part in every process of radiation, the name photon."

-Gilbert N. Lewis, 1926

 

It appears the company was known as R.R. Beard. Does anyone know what the R's stood for?

 

Freya


  • 0

#10 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4032 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 12 March 2015 - 07:09 PM

Found it:

 

Robert Royou Beard (1856–1932) was born in Bermondsey, London . His family were in the wine trade, but the young Robert became apprenticed to Oakley's, a firm of brass-finishers, who were involved in the manufacture of magic lanterns. He invented an automatic regulator for high-pressure oxygen cylinders, a necessity for lantern illuminants, and in 1882 set up his own company, R.R. Beard Ltd., to manufacture it. His next-most successful invention was the Eclipse slide carrier, which made magic lantern operation easier, and gave a primitive mix on the screen. Beard had a practical interest in cinematography from its first appearance in England.


  • 0

#11 Marc-Andr

Marc-Andr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Montreal, Canada

Posted 13 March 2015 - 10:36 AM

I have two arri 1k fresnel, 3 softboxes housing 4 bulbs each and I have 8 45w 5500k cfl and 8 3200k cfl. I have two cheap portable led pannels and 2 clamp light. I have a couple of cto, ctb, +green and -green gels. I have some white bed sheets for diffusion if I need to and a 5 in 1 reflector.

I have a big gap in my kit, I need some small 300w fresnel lights because gelling and scrimming my 1k is a nightmare.
  • 0

#12 Dave Pitone

Dave Pitone

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Other
  • Philadelphia

Posted 13 March 2015 - 01:37 PM

Marc which scrims do you use more for your 1k?


  • 0

#13 Marc-Andr

Marc-Andr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Montreal, Canada

Posted 13 March 2015 - 01:43 PM

I use the double scrims, but I find they leave a grid pattern on the light beam. I also have nd gel that I have yet to use. But I should just use lighter lights I guess when I need a dim hard light. I could use either my led panels or some clamp lights.

 

The double scrims are supposed to cut 1 stop of light but I'm not sure it really is the case.


Edited by Marc-Andr, 13 March 2015 - 01:43 PM.

  • 0

#14 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2264 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 13 March 2015 - 02:19 PM

The double scrims are supposed to cut 1 stop of light but I'm not sure it really is the case.

 

If you're using the ARRI scrims, it's more like 2/3 of a stop per double-scrim.  I also have 1K dimmers which can be very useful provided you're willing to deal with the varying color temperature.


  • 0

#15 Marc-Andr

Marc-Andr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Montreal, Canada

Posted 13 March 2015 - 03:10 PM

Yeah dimmers.... I avoid them as much as possible. I don't have  1/8 and 1/4 ctb to counteract the color change, I only have 1/2 and full. 


  • 0

#16 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2264 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 13 March 2015 - 03:21 PM

I only use dimmers for effect...never for color correction.  Filtering the lights (or the camera) is definitely the best way to go for that simply to avoid the guesswork.  Unless you have a color temperature meter, it's basically a guesstimate as to what the exact color temperature of the light is if you're using a dimmer.


  • 0

#17 Marc-Andr

Marc-Andr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Montreal, Canada

Posted 13 March 2015 - 03:25 PM

Yes definitely! When you say for effect, you mean a color effect or for playing with the intensity while filming?


  • 0

#18 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2264 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 13 March 2015 - 03:52 PM

Yes definitely! When you say for effect, you mean a color effect or for playing with the intensity while filming?

 

Usually for intensity while filming.  But that's one of those things that has be used sparingly, otherwise it gets gimmicky.


  • 0

#19 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 6771 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 14 March 2015 - 03:20 AM

I try to avoid dimmers unless I want that warm look. Nets are nice if you don't mind a c-stand forest to get through; else I'll scrim and break up the pattern if it's throwing a lot with a light diffusion like a hampshire or something. It may take away some of the light; but then you can modulate a bit.


  • 0

#20 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 14 March 2015 - 06:04 AM

Building a lighting kit... having very recently finished doing just that I can tell you it's a loooong and complicated process. How much vehicle space do you have to transport it with? How often do you realistically need certain fixtures? What can you do without? And what can you not possibly do without? How much of your budget do you put towards fixtures and how much towards grip? 

 

There's a tonne of questions to wrestle with. And a LOT of opportunity costs to face in the process.

 

A lot of the motivation for building my own kit came from repeatedly working on shoots that simply couldn't afford a gaffer with a small van, so I decided to build my own small kit that would allow me to light things properly regardless of the other people and resources (or lack thereof) that a project might have. 

 

It's taken the better part of three years to get there, but this is the kit I eventually settled on and assembled:

 

Fixtures:

1x 1.2kw HMI PAR

2x 2000w Arrilite Blondes

2x 650w Dedolights

2x 150w Dedolights

2x BBS Area48 Softlights

3x Z96 LED Panels

 

Grip:

2x 2000w Dedolight Dimmers

6x C-Stands

1x A4050CS Boom Stand

4x Triple-Riser Combo Stands

2x Low-Boy Combo Stands

3x 4x4 Frames + 216, 250, 251

2x 4x4 Floppies

2x 12x12 Frames + Ultrabounce, Light Grid, Half Soft Frost

1x 2m x 2m Lastolite Skylite Rapid Frame + Fabrics

6x Cardelinni Clamps + Extendelinnis

8x Super Clamps

11x Grip Heads

2x3 Flag Kit

3x 7' Umbrellas (silver, white and shoot-through)

Spring Clamps (big, medium, small)

Builders Film (for blacking things)

Gels and Diffusions

 

All of that fits into a one-tonne ute, and it's really quite remarkable just how versatile the kit is. Every piece of gear in the kit was ruthlessly vetted before I'd consider buying it - but that thoroughness has really paid off in allowing me to avoid making too many expensive missteps as I assembled the kit.

 

So far I've shot a feature, a tonne of shorts, music videos and branded content with this kit. And the fact that it allows me to rarely worry about being stumped by any particular lighting scenario is a godsend. The specific grip gear I chose, allows me to mount lights in awkward places, and when shooting on location - that very often seems to be the difference between a great result and a mediocre one.


  • 0


Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Pro 8mm

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Tai Audio

CineLab

CineTape

Glidecam

Zylight

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

The Slider

CineLab

Zylight

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Pro 8mm

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc