Hello everyone! I've been a long time lurker here and really appreciate all of the incredible knowledge this forum has to offer. I've been trying to piece together the answer to this question by scouring the lighting forum here and trying to average everything out but I thought I'd finally just bite the bullet and ask for some advice.
The use case for my lighting kit is typically corporate/documentary interviews as an OMB. I currently have a modest setup built around portability that I'm now looking to add a bit more punch to:
- 2x Westcott Ice Light 2
- 2x Aputure Amaran HR672S
- 2x Aputure Amaran HR672W
- 2x Aputure AL-M9
- Aputure Amaran H198
- D-Fuse softboxes for the Amarans
- Chimera High Definition/ENG Fabric Kit (Two collapsible 4x4 frames with the usual set of fabrics)
For grip, I've always been able to get away with Manfrotto nano stands and double ball joints. I carry a couple of 40" turtle base stands, arms, and an extra 20" riser though as well now that I have the Chimeras. I also have a Matthews Minigrip kit that's great for holding 24x36 flags on nano stands.
I have a budget of about $2000 for the next iteration of this setup. I'd like to keep any additions practical and portable as an OMB owner/operator to complement my existing kit. Larger shoots I certainly have the ability to rent if there's a crew involved, but for my own kit I'd like to keep things reasonably compact and quick to set up.
I'm mostly looking for something portable that will let me take more advantage of the 4x4s, and be more durable than my current set of Aputure panels (the Amarans feel like they're going to break in half every time I look at them). I'm also wondering if, given what I already own, it would be more sensible to invest in a single, more expensive light within my budget rather than look for multiple lights.
So far some things I've been looking at are:
- Intellytech LC-160 (pair)
- Westcott Flex Bi-Color 1x2 (single)
- Litepanels Astra 6x (pair with a single Chimera softbox, stretches the budget a bit though)
- Aputure LS-1C (pair)
- Kinotehnik Practilite 602 LED Bi-Color Fresnel (pair)
- Used Kino Flo Diva-Lite 401 two light kit
- Aputure 300d and Aputure 120d, fresnel attachment, Elinchrome Rotalux 39" octa
Another option I suppose would be an Arri D2 kit with a couple of 300s and a 650, though that stretches the budget a bit more and also isn't nearly as portable as the other options.
If there's anything further I can do to give more context to my use case please let me know. Cheers!