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Thread: Lights .. ...

  1. Default Lights .. ...

    Hi all,

    I am going to be doing a lot of shooting of mainly interior room / restaurant type shots (think video for estate agent property tours).

    Can anyone, based on experience, recommend the best lighting set up I may need for this kind of filming?

    I have a SWIT camera mounted light but think I will probably need more lighting for those dull day shoots indoors.

    Is this right or can I get away without additional lights (using reflectors and natural daylight for example)

    If so, can anyone recommend a seller and or a package of lights that would be suitable? My budget isn't massive by the way :0)

    Thanks for looking

    Matt (Goldfinger)

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    CAVEAT - what I know about lighting can be written on the head of a pin.

    On camera lights are good for shoot and run documentary but they tend to give a rather explicit and unflattering result. I say no more as it will likely be uninformed pants.

  3. Default

    Thanks Mark - I was a bit concerned about the harshness of on camera lights so wondered if there was a softer alternative or addition that could give a room a nice warm, natural sunlight effect if I was shooting, say, on a dull, cloudy day.

    Think the on camera may be good at close ups too if I soften it up a bit !

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    Lighting a room is a case of "painting with light" and involves the same amount of knowledge and skill.

    I would suggest that you go to your local video rental house and hire a couple of four-bank Kinoflo units. They give a very soft light and won't give you annoying shadows everywhere. Failing that, at the cheap end, get a couple of open-face redheads and bounce them off white walls, ceilings, reflectors or polyboard.

    In essence you're asking "I want to draw a landscape, what paints should I use?". Instead of asking "Where can I learn to draw and paint?"

  5. Default

    I live in Cornwall - don't know if there is such as a thing as a video rental house !!

    I might investigate the red head option though as a second best in order to achieve that nice warm glow - can you recommend a retailer?

    PS Loving the painting analogy

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    Personally I would look for something secondhand on ebay. Providing you stick with "known" makes you shouldn't have a problem. There isn't a lot which can go wrong with lights and, if it does fail, then they're usually easy and cheap to repair. I would suggest, in order of preference:

    1. "Arri" as a search term then look for junior or fresnel lights in the 650 - 1000w range. the 300w are a bit weak for what you want. Next have a look for Arrilite 800w units, not as versatile as the fresnels but built like tanks and will last for years.

    2. "Redhead" as a search term. Good makes are Photon-Beard and Ianiro. Watch out for cheap new gear from China or Eastern Europe. Better to buy a decent secondhand reputable make than a unit which will fall apart after a couple of knocks.

    When you get a light, have a play with it before you use it in anger. A few hours spent in finding out how the light reacts when you bounce it, diffuse it and gel it is a good investment. If you haven't got a reflector, a sheet of 1m x 1m white polystyrene gives a lovely soft light.

    Edit: This is the sort of thing to go for: For secondhand kit, don't spend more than 150 for an Arrilite, 200 on a fresnel or 100 on a redhead. Watch out for those "too good to be true" offers from Korea, Romania, China etc. etc.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Arrilite-800-t...d=p3286.c0.m14

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Arrilite-red-h...d=p3286.c0.m14

    This seems a nice secondhand kit: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3-x-QuartzColo...d=p3286.c0.m14

    It's worth spending a bit extra to get decent lights. I still use kit I bought twenty years ago so it's a good investment.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 10-21-2008 at 10:43 AM.

  7. Default

    A-ha! Now I see where the Guru moniker comes from !!
    Great advice so many, many thanks for that - I shall get right onto EBay today and see what I can find and follow up your links.

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    As a further comment to our lighting discussion - I bought a SWIT camera mounted light a week or so ago (cost 280 with extra battery) and am now fearing that it was a waste of money as completely inadequate to my lighting needs.

    Do you know whether my fears are correct or are their occasions where a camera mounted light can be effective in mainly roomscape shooting or would perhaps a two/three light set up would be better or is there a way of mixing the two lighting types?

    Thanks

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    I don't know that particular light and it will have its uses but I would suggest that it isn't what you need for room lighting.

    On-camera lights are for people. If you've got someone standing in front of the camera and you want to give them a bit of zing (or, in some cases, just want to see them) then an on-camera light will do the job. They are not good for lighting sets, rooms or anything else. It doesn't mean that you've wasted your money, there will be times when an on-camera light (sometimes just as an eye-light as it adds a glint to the eyes) is very useful.

    So, if you can get your money back, I suggest that a trio of redheads is much better for room lighting. If not, don't despair, it'll come in useful at some point or other, just not for set lighting.

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    If you decide you dont want the swit, I may be intersted ( if it rains money this week) - maybe you can pm me details?

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