View Full Version : Lighting Kits?
03-20-2007, 04:59 PM
What's the best deal going for lighting kits, in terms of value versus performance? Any preferences for certain bulb types? How many lights would you normally use if lighting an indoor room scene?
Is this sort of package any good?...
03-20-2007, 05:49 PM
IMO, your probably better off to rent then buy, at least at first. If you absolultely have to buy then here is things to consider.
What is your usage?
Shooting low end commercials and interviews you can probably get by with some lowel lights. The case lights seem nice though I have never used them. The DV kit will get you by. This is the cheapest solution. I personally don't like them.
To light an indoor scene?
Lots of variables there, lets talk lighting strategy first. If you go by John Alton "Painting with Light" which Martin Scorsese stated is his influence, then you consider eight points of the scene. This is the order in which I light
1. Ambient - This is a base light to ensure I have light every where I want exposure. I usually set the ambient at the very bottom of what I think my exposure range will be let's say a f2.8. I like soft light for this either flos or soft lights or floods with soft boxes. Brand, I like Kinos for the flos and Mole richardson Zips or Floods with Chimeras.
2. The key light - What is the object of the scene? I light it to a f5.6 or slightly higher. Usually with a fresnel or a soft box. This could be one fixture or more depending on what look I want. Again Mole Richardson is my favorite brand, you can take that for grant it in the rest of this post and I'll explain more at ther end.
3. Fill light- now I'm looking to control the shadows, some times you need hard shadows other time soft. Remeber we light for two reasons quantity (to get exposure) and quality (to produce mood and controrl attention) So we don't rellay create sexy lighting we create sexy shadows. Use your fill light(s) to control the shadows you need.
4. Clothes light-skin is a very different refelectivity then clothing, thus needs different lighting, some times you can use the light you have and just screen it or silk it down to the level you need. If I need seperate fixtures here I use soft light not to create a lot of shadows in clothing. You usallly want the attention on the face.
5. Back light - This light is really more technique then anything. Usually it used to seperate your subject from their background and help add depth to your shot. It is a bit stronger then the Key an f6.8 should be plenty. I see too many movies where this is overused IMO and detracts from the realism of the scene.
6. A kicker light. Many times this can be confused with the key because of it's intesity. It usually comes from a back aspect and sends a little ray of light across the cheek or someting like that.
7. The eye light - the most over looked light on the set yet can make a women look like shes in love or really bring life to a charachter. It's not a light that illuminates, but a light that reflects from the eyes to give that sparkle of life and love. Recently I've used small LED's with great results.
8. Finally the set light. Add light to break up walls or large areas. Lights to enhance the mood and ambiance of the setting.
OK that's probably a wole lot more then you were asking for, so here's may take on brand names.
Mole Richardson, the best built, most reliable lights in the flood, fresnels and soft lights. I like there punch lights as well. Also the most expensive, but not a huge difference. For instance the yoke of a mole is like t bar which is much more staable then flat bar. This is just a small example of their quality.
Kinos, the leaders in flourescents. However I have not tried any others, I always had Kinos so I can't really give a good comparison here.
Arri, good lights and good glass. Not as rugged as a mole, but a bit cheaper.
Altman, on par with Arris.
LTM I've used their smaller lights and like them, not quite as rugged as a mole.
I would not recomend any other brands then these for movie lighting. Hope that helps.
03-20-2007, 07:44 PM
As a DP you are all about lighting. I keep a relatively small light kit in my truck. If I have a big job I'll get a grip truck and Gaffer. The Amvona stuff is pretty cheapo, you won't get a long life out of that stuff.
Here's the light package that I've put together over several years and works really well for a lot of situations. You'll have to spend a pretty good amount of money to put a decent kit together, but lighting is what will sell you as a DP. Keep in mind this set-up is for broadcast video EFP work, docs, magazine shows, corp etc., although I have used it on some small dramatic productions. I've found that with my Sony D600WS the camera is very fast so I don't need huge lights.
In my truck there is:
Arri fresnell kit:
3 300W fresnels (w/barndoors and scrims)
1 650W frsnels (w/barndoors and scrims)
LTM Pepper kit:
3 150W fresnels (lamped with 200W)
2 Kino Flo Diva lights (dimmable, lamps can swap 32K or 56K)
2 Lowel Tota lights (with Chimeras, S, XS and China Ball)
1 Joker 400W Buglight (HMI)
This is a pretty small kit but you can accomplish quite a bit with it. Along with it however is years worth of buying grip and electric to be able to mount this stuff wherever, along with stands and C-stands, dimmers, edison cables, dirtbags, flags, cookies, nets etc. Grip gear can be pretty expensive once you start adding all this stuff up.
So along with the lights mentioned by Gopher and what I've listed above you can do pretty well. Beware of lesser brand names because they just don't last. Even the Lowel stuff is pretty cheapo. I only keep the Totas because they work well in a soft box.
Lighting is fun and it really helps to have good tools to work with.
03-21-2007, 10:59 AM
Hi Lowkus - gopher certainly knows a lot about lighting than I do; but one light I wouldn't be without is a Dedo:
You have more control with this light than any other I've seen. It is just so flexible, useful and can dig you out of a really large whole.
Check it out.
Best regards, Phil
03-21-2007, 04:38 PM
Dedo is an excellent light for its purpose, as is most other lights. Unfortunatly Dedos are beyond the faint of wallet. You can get great highlights, spots and controlled lighting from the Dedo, just don't try to flood a room with them.
03-21-2007, 05:08 PM
I've found that for a lot less cash, I can use an LTM Pepper (150W) with a focusable snoot and do many of the effects one can get with a Dedo. I couldn't justify the cost when suitable alternatives are available. But normally if I am looking to create some kind of breakup in a back ground, instead of using patterns from a Source 4 or Dedo or my little Pepper I prefer to use a cookie or create some sort of pattern with an open frame or net. Of course if it is a particular pattern or specialty look I'll do whatever needs to be done!
04-01-2007, 07:54 PM
the package you see on your link is a strobe only system, not a bed one but most recomended for still photography and not moving frame, especially with the capacity of the Red sensor.
You must spend some money on your lithes, I for one stand strong to the believe that no matter how good your product is, if no one can see waht you have shoot there is no product, the lithe gives so much to your image and coming from a Still photo back ground I can tell you Lithe is as important as your project, no lithe no project.
I have purchased a compriensive tungsten lithe package from Filmgear and I personaly have a good relation with Malcom from Cinemills, I think there lithes are a better match then Arri at 30% less.