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Thread: Lighting Question For Rembrandt Rob

  1. #1

    Default Lighting Question For Rembrandt Rob

    Thanks for saying you might be able to answer my questions Rob

    Understand if you don't have time.

    O.k here is my situation and questions Rembrandt Rob,

    Here goes.

    Helpful info


    Panasonic nvgs400 MINI DV camcordrer (SD)
    Rode NT3 MIC and stand
    Eight 10Ē inch diameter clamp lights white inside (250 watt capacity)
    Variety of incandescent bulbs from (40 w to 100 w)


    Old basement cellar (16 foot long 14 foot wide 7 foot tall)
    Duvets used to enclose filming/recording space.
    No windows.

    Me (Subject)

    Rob I am 8 feet away from camera lens sitting down
    There is 3 feet between me and my background curtain.

    Nobody operating camera (i.e.) filming my self-sitting down talking (comedy/stories)
    Can move about dynamically in seat but always-seated in same position.

    Make up = cats musical look, colours yellows/oranges and browns.
    May have second character black/greys and white.

    Current set up (Basic 3 point lighting)

    Key light = 5 and half feet away from face approx 45 degrees shining down on me.

    5 of my clamp lights with 100-watt Incandescent bulbs in. Experimenting with how many on and different bulbs strengths.

    Fill light = 7 feet away from face approx 25/30 degrees shining down on me

    2 of my clamp lights with same bulbs as key.(Experimenting)

    Backlight = 1 or 2 clamp lights ceiling height same side as fill light shining down.

    P.S Ė Considering up lighting background curtain too with coloured bulb same colour as curtain.


    Rob realise that my set up is very cheap and I think it is good to have goals to aspire to. As a future goal I am aiming to get the set up you recommended in a previous post.

    Key - Ianiro DMX ICE (2 55w kiniflo tubes) Tung
    Full Ė Basic light (ie) 250 watt photoflood with umbrella / Chinese lantern
    Back = Basic light (incand/halogen 100w)

    I think this set up would cost about £500 all in and is the most I would be able to invest in the future.

    With regards present situation what bulbs Rob? Photoflood or stick with incandescent.
    Midnight made aware of halogen bulbs can shatter and best avoided from safety perspective as no protective glass between my lights and me. I was considering GLS halogen 100watt before I found this out.

    Learned from you that Tungsten (3200k) is good for skin tones but I am in makeup?? Yellow/orange/brown is this not an issue for me (no skin exposed)
    What best colour temp etc? Incandescent ,halogen???

    Have used normal unbalanced CFL (all same brand) but realise these are not the best for me and more importantly the environment!!!!!!

    Was considering daylight (CFL) until Tim kindly pointed me to your previous threads!

    Any advise with current set up Rob?
    Should I scrap clamps as key and use halogen work light (500w) with shower curtain etc?

    Should I invest now in budget Photoflex skyline soft box (just abut afford)

    Rob this isnít some whim or phase hobby!!!
    I want to do the best I can and realise that lighting is foundational and so important.

    I canít thank you enough for any response/help/advice that you can give a newbee like me Rob .

    Cheers and all the best

    Last edited by slimbob; 01-27-2012 at 11:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Firstly, stuff the environment, the picture has to look good. So, forget low-energy bulbs or LEDs and go for tungsten.

    Incandescent bulbs are the best for skin tones, followed by Kinoflo tubes. The big reason for moving from the old-fashioned photofloods is that they get very hot and need a lot of electricity.
    (Photofloods are incandescents.)

    In your situation I would probably go for a soft key light such as the Ianiro ICE with kinoflo tubes or, if that's too expensive, then an open face unit (such as a redhead) with a softbox. A second unit, as large or a bit larger (size-wise, not power-wise) as a fill light, close to the camera and that's your face nicely illuminated.
    I personally wouldn't go as high as 45 degrees for the key light and I would have the fill a lot lower as well.
    Then a simple 100w domestic fitting with a spot bulb for a hair light and that's you sorted.

    Depending on your background, you will probably get away with a couple of soft sources or simply bounce some light off a white ceiling.

    As for equipment... Chimera is very good and very expensive. Photoflex is almost as good and nowhere near as expensive. Lastolite will do the job if you don't handle it too roughly. Anything else WILL melt of fall apart after a short while.

    Personally I am not a fan of the 500w and shower curtain unless you really have no money left at all. It does the job but has a tendency to melt or catch on fire if you're not careful. As you are doing everything, it would be better to find a safer alternative.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Most consumer camcorders don't need megawatts of lighting.... If you want to stay cheap (whilst you dip your toe in the water) Have a look at this...

    Softbox Continuous Photo Studio 50x70cm 4 in 1 lamp holder UK stock | eBay

    which is not bad to start with as a soft key and another one as a fill. Bung 150w photofloods in the key, 75w floods in the fill and you have luverly soft frontal lighting.

    Just don't expect it to be robust or to last any length of time and make sure that you watch out for overheating.

    Edit: I would send a mail to the seller BEFORE you buy just to check that it will take the photofloods. Some will only take CFL or Energy Saving bulbs.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 01-27-2012 at 06:17 PM.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Thanks Rembrandt Rob

    Rembrandt Rob thanks a MILLION

    I have copied and pasted this for reference like with Tim and Midnights replies.

    If you canít quickly clear up the few points below then totally understand Rob , as this reply is massively helpful and will be acted on!!!

    Here goes:

    Yes the Ianiro ICE are a future goal with kinoflo tubes (tung) I am saving up!

    Rob when you say red head with soft box would a:
    Photoflex starlight soft box be acceptable?
    What power do you recommend for key 500 watt or bigger like 800/1000watt

    Regarding the 45 degree angle of me to key and Fill I meant in the horizontal plane not sure if you thought I meant in the vertical plane my wording wasnít very clear sorry about that.

    Is half power for key a good staring point and could I use a umbrella to create a bigger area of soft light? (ie) Like you advise less power for fill and bigger area.
    (i) 400-500 watt key 200-250watt fill?

    Got you about work light and Shower curtain Rob ........I wonít risk it especially with my duvet system as Zero pointed out!!!!

    I will end up a human torch!!

    Canít thank you enough Rob

    All the best.


  5. #5

    Thumbs up Thanks !!!!!!!

    Sorry didn't see your second post !!!!

    Thanks so much Rob I will look into ebay link and ask questions like you said.

    Got to start somewhere hey !

    Definitely saving up for those Ianiro ICE !!!!!!!!!!

    Look like great pieces of kit but just like Tim and Midnight said you have to master the foundational stuff first and then when you can afford better equipment you will appreciate it and know how make it shine !!!!!!

    Thanks a million Rob (understatement)!

  6. #6
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    Mar 2005
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    The Photoflex starlights are great when added to a softbox, I have two of them. I would certainly go for them rather than the cheapo gear on ebay if you can afford it. The Photoflex will last for years, mine are now at least 5 years old and show hardly any signs of wear. They are also sturdy and well ventilated. They give off a lovely, even light.

    As for wattage... Normally the bigger the better but... If you're in a cellar then (a) you won't have too much power available and (b) the lights will kick out a lot of heat. 500w units will be more than enough for any camcorder less than 10 years old. As a rule you should never run more than 2000w total from a domestic mains.

    Have a look at the ICE (UK) units which are cheaper than the normal ICE units. They are meant for location work and are lighter than the "full" ICE units. You won't need DMX for a start.

  7. #7


    Great Rob thanks

    Haven’t heard back from ebay guy.

    I could use 500 watt bulb (photoflex starlight) in key and 250 watt bulb in (photoflex starlight) with bigger soft box dimensions just as you said (ie) less power and bigger light area placed nearer to camera so I could place key 45 Degrees horizontal plane and height just as you advised and fill nearer the camera as you advised (maybe 20 -30 degrees)? and of course experiment.

    Can Photoflex be dimmed so you have more control of the light Rob??????

    I am getting there Rob!!

    Regarding ICE (u.k) are they still made Ianiro ?? Cant see on website (i.e.) cheaper???
    DMX meaning ability to dim light source????????????

    Cheers Rob as always


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    The starlight doesn't have a built-in dimmer but you can buy in-line dimmers very cheaply, or even make up your own from ant DIY store. Domestic dimmers usually are only rated to 500w, which would be okay for your needs.

    The ICE (UK) portable units are the 5502, 5504, 5506 and the 5508. (With 2,4,6 and 8 tubes respectively) Personally I rate the 5504 as the best all-rounder.

    Ianiro UK Limited: 5504 DMX

    DMX is a remote control protocol. This means that if you have a console (control desk) with a DMX output, you can control the light unit remotely. They also have a dimmer facility on the actual unit for manual control. I see that they only do DMX units now, there wasn't a lot of difference in cost (about £50) so presumably they have discontinued the non-dmx range.

    You can see the ICE unit in action here... Ianiro-ICE - Computer.m4v - YouTube
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 01-28-2012 at 12:28 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Cheers Again Rob !!!

    Got you Rob !

    Thanks again for your time and help with my lighting set up!!!!

    Already hunting around for things to sell on ebay to raise funds.

    At least I can still experiment with what I have like Midnight said while I save up and build my light set up over time with your recommendations.

    First thing to get is a decent key!!!!!(Ianiro/Photoflex)

    I can replace old cheap gear over time.

    Exciting stuff

    You can be rest assured I will be acting on your great advice just like I have done with Midnight's and Tims!

    I am off now to carry on building my duvet dampening inner studio !!!

    Hope you have a great weekend Rob



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