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Lighting advice
  • I've had these lights for the last two years:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PhotoSEL-5400K-Studio-Softbox-Lighting-Light-Kit-2x85w-/180679494748?pt=UK_Photography_Lighting_Kits&hash=item2a11564c5c

    And generally I've been pretty happy with them. They've allowed me to get to grips with the basics of two and some three point lighting (using a small lamp or practical as a back light). They have a good colour rendition and they match daylight very well, which has been great for matching darker interiors with exterior light from windows and doors. And they don't run too hot either.

    But I feel like I've outgrown them. There's things I don't like about them. They aren't dimable. I've replaced one of the 85W bulbs with a 35W to provide some different between the key and fill, but most of the time I found myself have to move the lights forwards and backwards to manipulate the brightness, and in some of the tighter spaces we film in this isn't always practical.

    There also isn't really anyway to control the light - there's no doors, or focusing element. There's certainly no way to light individual areas with a small beam - these things just throw out big soft light.

    So, I'd like something that improves on this, but my money is pretty tight at the moment. This is all unfunded, personal stuff. If I have to spring to more than £200 than I'll probably keep working with what I have for the time being.

    It's also very important to me to try and keep setup time to a minimum. I really want to keep the amount of time spent filming high, rather than spending it on setup times that could be streamlined.

    I do realise that I'm trying to break the "fast, good, cheap" rule :)

    So, options, as I see them:

    - Change the kit: Find one or two cheap lights, ideally around the same output and colour temperature, but dimable and more controllable. Is this likely for the price I want to pay?
    - Modify the kit: Find some dimable bulbs and insert my own dimmer into the power cord (Do dimable high CRI, 5500K, cool bulbs exist now?) and buy some black wrap to add some more control.

    Any advice appreciated!
  • 6 Replies sorted by
  • http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/883/photography-video-studio-portrait-softbox-lighting-kit#Item_1
    It is cheapest option.

    Having similar setup myself I can say that it is not very practical for non-studio work. Fluos must be kept in special boxes, setup is not extra fast. All of this take space (mostly lamps). But it is not bad option.

    I bow think that best is to have something like powerful 1000 led light, led fresnel, and two 312 lights.
    But it is not so cheap. Something around $1000 minimum.

    Also remember that many just love halogen fresnels and work with them only.
  • @sam_stickland

    Forget about focused lighting from LED panel. LED panel with many bulbs generate discrete lightings when it's focused. Also LED panel is not easy to work without diffusion filter which softens the lighting.

    Halogan fresnels should work great for focusing. But forget about dimming. Color temperature changes. You'd need a set of fresnels at different output. $$$$.

    LED hand light might give focused light. I haven't tried it yet.

    My lighting kit has 5 fluos bulbs. It has no dimming, but I can turn on and off each bulb to control overall power. Not easily portable. Not easily assembled. It's cheap. Good enough for studio.

    I like VK's suggestion. 1000 LED, a frenel, two 312 LEDs. $$$$. I can't buy'em.
  • This is why I am looking forward to test first LED fresnels :-)
  • If it has many bulbs, I would be surprised if it gives good focused lighting.
  • >If it has many bulbs, I would be surprised if it gives good focused lighting.

    Arri's do, but I don't wanna know for how much they go. Any affordable one's on the horizon Vitaliy?

    EDIT:
  • >Any affordable one's on the horizon Vitaliy?

    Meaning?
    I hope that we'll have access to the fresnels prototypes.
    Also you an see topic about LED studio lights. As I remember one of the 1000 LEDs have options with 60 and 30 degree LEDs.
    If you ask me, all Chinese manufacturers must move to small surface mounted leds and provide 5-6 different sheets with lenses (from 5 degrees to 100 degrees). These sheets must also fully correct problems with spectrum of the LEDs used.