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light question from a beginner


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#1 CoreyAndrews

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 07:04 AM

Maybe this should be in the first time filmmakers forum but since it's about lighting i'm putting it here. Here's the deal, i'm hoping to shot a low budget short film in the late spring and a large portion of it is going to take place outside at night so i'll obviously need lighting. I've been looking on ebay for something fairly cheap but decent and the two types of lights i found that interested me (and are in my no budget price range since i'll need 3) are as follows :

opteka 100 watt halogen light : opteka light

or :

250 watt studio light : 250 watt light

Now, what i want to know, is why exactly are these lights so much better then using a 500/1000watt flood light that can be bought at any retail store for 20 dollars. Obviously with big production shoots the real high end lights gives the power and focus abilities you'd need but for something low budget should i stick with buying video lights or am i just being ripped off by being sucked into these so called "professional" video lights. Btw, i intend to shot the short with a DVX100A in the woods.

Sorry, for being such a newb, haha, but everyone's gotta start somewhere :) Also, thanks in advance for any help with this question! :)
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#2 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 07:40 AM

Maybe this should be in the first time filmmakers forum but since it's about lighting i'm putting it here. Here's the deal, i'm hoping to shot a low budget short film in the late spring and a large portion of it is going to take place outside at night so i'll obviously need lighting. I've been looking on ebay for something fairly cheap but decent and the two types of lights i found that interested me (and are in my no budget price range since i'll need 3) are as follows :

opteka 100 watt halogen light : opteka light

or :

250 watt studio light : 250 watt light

Now, what i want to know, is why exactly are these lights so much better then using a 500/1000watt flood light that can be bought at any retail store for 20 dollars. Obviously with big production shoots the real high end lights gives the power and focus abilities you'd need but for something low budget should i stick with buying video lights or am i just being ripped off by being sucked into these so called "professional" video lights. Btw, i intend to shot the short with a DVX100A in the woods.

Sorry, for being such a newb, haha, but everyone's gotta start somewhere :) Also, thanks in advance for any help with this question! :)

Corey,
Is it a video shoot? Anyway your links came broken to me.
I would suggest u to buy some chinese lanters from IKEA or similar stores at your location, and use photoflood lamps 250-500W (3200-3400 kelvin), in them.
They will do your work really fine, there are a bit tricky to control though, so u will also need black paper or cine -foil to cut away unwanted light from your set.
DImitrios Koukas
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#3 Sol Train Saihati

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 08:20 AM

What's your budget mate? :D
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#4 CoreyAndrews

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 08:49 AM

sorry about the broken links, the 250 watt lamp i was looking at is this : 250 watt light with focus

and the 100 watt opteka halogen light is : 100watt halogen light

As for my budget, not much. haha, i'd like to spend the least amount as possible but still get results.



honestly, i was hoping to get something worthwhile out of the $400-600 dollar area. I just was mosty curious as to whether either of those light i'm looking at are worthwhile or if they're simple overpriced due to them being "studio lights". I realize with the barn doors and such it would obviously be easier to control the light but really, it wouldn't be hard to rig those up for any type of light. Again, sorry, i am new to this but am keen to learn and experiement, If I had the camera now i'd simply play with the lighting but I'm saving every penny to hopefully have this by spring. I am poor. haha :)
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#5 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 09:15 AM

sorry about the broken links, the 250 watt lamp i was looking at is this : 250 watt light with focus

and the 100 watt opteka halogen light is : 100watt halogen light

As for my budget, not much. haha, i'd like to spend the least amount as possible but still get results.
honestly, i was hoping to get something worthwhile out of the $400-600 dollar area. I just was mosty curious as to whether either of those light i'm looking at are worthwhile or if they're simple overpriced due to them being "studio lights". I realize with the barn doors and such it would obviously be easier to control the light but really, it wouldn't be hard to rig those up for any type of light. Again, sorry, i am new to this but am keen to learn and experiement, If I had the camera now i'd simply play with the lighting but I'm saving every penny to hopefully have this by spring. I am poor. haha :)


Ok,
Now I ve seen what u mean, the Opteka light is definately one battery powered for on camera set-ups, but maybe you can use it on a tripod.The first one (250W), I can't tell from the description if it is battery powered too.
Wich means u will definately want spare batteries to run them.
And the extra batteries will mostly go far more expensive than the light itself.
Anyway the 250W it's an ''openface'' source wich by my experience u will need to use it with some diffusion on, 250-251 or simillar.
But I am not sure it's worth it.
The suggestion with the chinese lanterns among with those two light, maybe they will get u somewhere, but not this 2 lights alone.As for the spare bulbs for them I believe that they cost too much (for your project), while the chinese ones can use just practical bulbs on.

Dimitrios Koukas
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#6 CoreyAndrews

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 04:04 PM

Ok,
Now I ve seen what u mean, the Opteka light is definately one battery powered for on camera set-ups, but maybe you can use it on a tripod.The first one (250W), I can't tell from the description if it is battery powered too.
Wich means u will definately want spare batteries to run them.
And the extra batteries will mostly go far more expensive than the light itself.
Anyway the 250W it's an ''openface'' source wich by my experience u will need to use it with some diffusion on, 250-251 or simillar.
But I am not sure it's worth it.
The suggestion with the chinese lanterns among with those two light, maybe they will get u somewhere, but not this 2 lights alone.As for the spare bulbs for them I believe that they cost too much (for your project), while the chinese ones can use just practical bulbs on.

Dimitrios Koukas


well just so i don't have you confused, i wasn't intending to buy the 2 different lights, i had intended to buy 3 lights of 1 kind, i'm pretty sure the 250watt light isn't battery powered. I figured it would be the better source but a friend for some reason though the 100 watt ones were better for video, again we're new to this, i think he's crazy. hahaha Also, what exactly is diffusion (does this have to do with soft light?)? I know from reading that the typical lighting set up is 3 lights, one on each side, one being brighter(the key) and then one in the back, would it be best maybe to get one higher end like that's like 600 watts, and then get two 250 watt lights? do u think that'd be an appropriate setup for shooting at night in the woods. Keep in mind, most of our shots will be fairly tight, nothing huge. It's a simple horror story that we just want to try and do as good as we can and just use as a good learning experience :)
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#7 CoreyAndrews

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 04:16 PM

ok, i read about diffusion it is indeed creating softlight, my question now, what material can one use for this, is there any practical material that can handle the heat or do i need some specialty material? Thanks again, sorry if i'm being a bother :)
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#8 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 02:45 AM

ok, i read about diffusion it is indeed creating softlight, my question now, what material can one use for this, is there any practical material that can handle the heat or do i need some specialty material? Thanks again, sorry if i'm being a bother :)


As I have allready suggested you, have a look for the china lanters you can found in IKEA or simillar stores, u know the round white ones covered with paper?Easy to rig and very light.
This will give u a diffused more ellegant softlight that is good for filming.
But I am not saying that the hard light fixtures aren't something that u can't use!
This has to do with the overall aesthetical approach of your movie.
I do not know where you can find the diffusion matterial that can stand heat ,I just know some brands like
LEE, ROSCO, and Chris James (if this still excists).And yes it is specialised material. So depending on your location you should find a dealler for them.
Basic diffusion numbers are 216, 250 and 251. Also there is always spun glass that works for the same effect and doesn't reduce the colour temperature so much.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#9 CoreyAndrews

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 02:56 AM

As I have allready suggested you, have a look for the china lanters you can found in IKEA or simillar stores, u know the round white ones covered with paper?Easy to rig and very light.
This will give u a diffused more ellegant softlight that is good for filming.
But I am not saying that the hard light fixtures aren't something that u can't use!
This has to do with the overall aesthetical approach of your movie.
I do not know where you can find the diffusion matterial that can stand heat ,I just know some brands like
LEE, ROSCO, and Chris James (if this still excists).And yes it is specialised material. So depending on your location you should find a dealler for them.
Basic diffusion numbers are 216, 250 and 251. Also there is always spun glass that works for the same effect and doesn't reduce the colour temperature so much.
Dimitrios Koukas


Thanks a lot, I appriciate the help! :D
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#10 Oron Cohen

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 06:27 AM

well just so i don't have you confused, i wasn't intending to buy the 2 different lights, i had intended to buy 3 lights of 1 kind, i'm pretty sure the 250watt light isn't battery powered. I figured it would be the better source but a friend for some reason though the 100 watt ones were better for video, again we're new to this, i think he's crazy. hahaha Also, what exactly is diffusion (does this have to do with soft light?)? I know from reading that the typical lighting set up is 3 lights, one on each side, one being brighter(the key) and then one in the back, would it be best maybe to get one higher end like that's like 600 watts, and then get two 250 watt lights? do u think that'd be an appropriate setup for shooting at night in the woods. Keep in mind, most of our shots will be fairly tight, nothing huge. It's a simple horror story that we just want to try and do as good as we can and just use as a good learning experience :)


Hi Corey,

I think your way of working its not good, because what you need to find out first it?s what kind of a "look" you want the scene to have. If you don?t know how to describe what you want I advise you to do what I love to do: watch films. Not just films, find films that have similar set up (woods, night), and find out different lighting set ups, then describe what kind of light you are looking for, and people in the forum can help you.
Maybe you need only one big light source like an HMI 1.2, and it will cost you less to rent it for a few days, or it well maybe a Kino, I hope you get the point try to tell yourself and us what you want, there is no rules in cinematography! Remember that!

And one more thing, I think if you read Nestor almendros book it will help you allot because its learn you that it is not about back light and key light it's about the mood you are trying to achieve(it's help me allot at first),
Good luck anyway:)
(sorry about my bad English )
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Aerial Filmworks

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Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Willys Widgets