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What's the best lighting kit for $2000?
  • Hi guys, shooting a indie feature early January/ February. Multiple locations and quick setups etc. I have $2000 to spend on lights. Can anyone recommend a versatile lighting kit? Cheers

  • 12 Replies sorted by
  • Why don't you rent? You could get some amazing lights with that cash. BTW, if you need quick setups, LEDs and Flos are the best since you don't need to wait for a damn 2K to cool for 20 min before you can touch it. More info: Locations, power vs no power avail, interiors, exteriors, car stuff.....blah blah blah :)

  • tungsten.

    chinese.

    massive sets available here on personal-view.

    on ebay from 350w to 2kw available. Buy fresnel since it can focus. Do buy C-stands for flags n filters. with tungsten there is never enough black flags, never!!!

    if money not enough for 2k sets, do make ones with cheap reflectors from 0.5w to1.5k from store, make your own flaps. apply this to any light made. its worth the time. wont focus like fresnel, but flags, angles, distance, and time can make magic.

    Do use filters gels very importan to have frames for them on c-stands. tungsten is very hard light must be contoled well. use any difractor available.

    There you are, forget HMI light complicate too much. Tungsten for me is the golden standard when properly used. Please balance well you kelvins.

    if you have outside locations forget tungsten on daylight.

    ahhh build one big electric box to manage your lights and DO INVEST on cables.

    good luck.

  • @vicharris thanks for the response, we are shooitng on the weekends and on random dates so I don't know how renting would work. We aren't shooting in one big block. Yes excellent piont, more info :) We are shooting interiors; 50%of the film will be in houses and hotel rooms. Will be shooting in cars, exteriors we are hoping to use natural lgihting. We may not have power in certain situations. There's also a massive party scene inside a hotel room. We are working as a skelton crew. We want a look very similar to this..

    @endotoxic that's for your input. I already own those lights, two of the light stands are broken and the bag is gone. Plus they are heavy and bulky to transport IMO. How to you make skrims, flags and diffusers? Cheers

  • Ahhh, so what do you already have?

  • Should of mentioned that, I'm a bit hungover :/ I have 3 x 650w tungsten, 1 x 350w and 1 x 150w. Plus 2 x 800w redheads. All Chinese copies

  • For difuseryou can use any white blanket or paper from diferent materias to attain texture. For flags make a frame use aluminium for better weight, make the frame winth 90° angles it handdles better. for flags just change material black flags use matte materials in black.

  • Oh shit man, you most of the way there! I'd grab some LEDs from the deals here for the car stuff for sure. Even in daylight you'll want the extra couple stops you'll get from em. Some diffusers, flags and screens and you're good.

  • @azza_act I have the smaller version of the road rags: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/272813-REG/Matthews_350596_RoadRags_II_Kit.html

    Can't stress enough how good they are. The frames are similar to tent poles and the kit breaks down really small. Better for my storage situation, but I wish they were a little bigger. If you have the space you can't go wrong with the bigger version.

  • @azza_act

    It depends on task. 2k is not much, really. It is important to understand how much power you will have available and required setup times.

    I suggest fresnels set (as most probably you will need them and will need small as hair light), one or two big good led panels, plus you can get fluos on remaining sum (and later change them to kino-flo copies).

    If you are very short on time and will have problems with power - go pure LED.

  • @azza_act I would recommend you use the lights you have and rent on weekends as most rental shops give weekend deals. Since you are shooting on weekends. This way you get the best tools for your day and night shoots. Plus you will have a better idea after you rent, what lights you would be itching to buy:)

    If you want to invest in lighting get 25' or 50' rolls of ND gels, 03 to 09 for windows, flags, scrims, CTO & CTB gels and diffusion gels in different degrees, softboxs or a Chinese lantern they came in many sizes or a 8'x8' butterfly with a single or double silk or muslin or even a white bed sheet, c-stands and sandbags.

    I use these flags for portability I have two Pro sets. I don't work with them in anyway. http://gear.digitaljuice.com/products/products.asp?pid=2042 Best LukeV

  • ^^^^ Good point that @LukeV. I've rented 2 x 2k and 2 x 1k from Friday to Monday for £80 for a 48 hr film challenge. Worked out well. I'd say finding 6k of power any where but a studio is going start getting difficult though, so I'm all for having my own LEDs.

    I'd like to get a set of battery powered panels (1x1) and some LED 100-200w fresnels. When I need a bit of extra lift, renting a single, or 2 x 2k (power supply depending) with CTB will do just the job......in theory anyway :D. Good luck!