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Thread: Slimbobs budget lighting set up

  1. #1

    Smile Slimbobs budget lighting set up

    Hey Guys

    I thought I would post these two quick videos I made showing my budget key and fill light and my budget backlight and background lights.

    I shot the footage at the same time as my studio video so again very quickly and roughly done (ie) no tripod sorry MB …I have kept shots short to reduce movement the best I can ….just a quick update video really.

    Rembrandt Rob (RB) advised me to get “Ianiro ice” units or “Photoflex Starlight” soft box units but these are on my wish list and I am saving up but in the mean time to get something done now until I can afford proper stuff I have made my own.

    RB also recommended to me a cheap unit on ebay to get me going but after contacting the seller he said they wouldn’t take the Photoflood bulbs RB recommended.

    So I have built my own so I can use the bulbs RB recommended as he said Photo flood do give of very good light and they sure do!!!

    I just wish they would last longer (ie) says on box 3 hours!!!!!
    I can get them for £4 each….

    Do you think I should buy in bulk and stock up now?

    The Philips factory has shut down apparently (one guy told me) and no more are getting made.

    Or do you think supplies will be around for a few more years yet ?

    Hope so!

    At least my light set up can use other types of bulbs with either bayonet or Edison screw fittings (I bought adaptors off ebay !)

    Out of pure curiosity:

    A 275w Photoflood bulb is £4 and lasts 3 hours.
    A traditional incandescent bulb (200w) is £1.50 and lasts 1000 hours!!!

    Now I know the Photoflood burns at 3400k and the normal bulb burns at 2700k
    So I was wondering what else is the difference as that is a big drop in hours from 1000 to 3 !!!

    Is the light smoother with less flicker or is it the 3400k colour balancing??? Just really interested to know the difference guys. I appreciate if something works you don’t need to know why just do it and get the result but I must admit I find all this very interesting.

    Anyway enough from me…….one of my light videos is below and the other one in the follow up post if you want to see how I am getting on.

    I will have some test footage very soon and will make sure to upload so you can see the result. Plus I will also upload some before and after footage (ie) before joining the forum and now after learning from you guys.

    All the best everyone




    Budget Key & Fill Light


  2. #2

    Default Budget Backlight & Background Lights

    Here is the other video of my "Budget Backlight & Background Lights.




  3. #3

    Default

    I'm very impressed with your ingenuity Bob. The use of cheap mic stands and the wooden dowels to keep them in place and over coming the counter weight issue of the diffusers. The only thing that might be an issue for you is the achievable height of the fill and key lights, they looked quite low to me. I know you will be sat down but they still seem a bit low. May be I'm wrong.

    The back light is great so long as the doughnut doesn’t get too hot. I’m not sure you need such bright background lights if any at all. As you only need them as an accent for the background. You will have to be the judge of that when you are doing your experimenting when you get your background.

    Again I’m very impressed with your ingenuity. Well done Bob.

    As to why the bulbs don't last very long, I just don't know. It's the evenness of the light spectum that makes the photofloods better for videography than normal B&Q bulbs which have horrible green spikes or something like that. I'm not a scientist. I just drive the car, I can't fix it if it goes wrong.

  4. #4
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    I'm impressed. I like the way you are working with light and I like the way you are making your own stuff.

    I'm not sure if I agree with using so much cardboard though. For flags, I would use 4mm plywood painted matt black. For the gel frames I use artists' canvas frames (sometimes called stretchers). The frames the artists stretch their canvasses onto, not picture frames.

    I also think you should use the proper lighting stands rather than microphone stands for mounting your lights (even though you've now got 10 of them). The microphone stands are okay for flags and gel frames but I don't think it's advisable to have hot fittings on such a flimsy stand.

    The reason why photoflood bulbs last a lot less than household bulbs is that they are (basically) big household bulbs pushed beyond their design limit to give more light. However, 3 hours sounds way too short! You should be getting at least a hundred hours from a photoflood.

    For the videos, the title cards make it all difficult to understand. It's a lot clearer if you have a "presenter" talking and explaining what's going on.

    But, this negativity is meant as constructive criticism and I'm really glad to see someone taking the subject of light seriously.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks Very Much MB

    [I'm very impressed with your ingenuity Bob.]

    Thanks very much Midnight I really appreciate that.

    [The use of cheap mic stands and the wooden dowels to keep them in place and over coming the counter weight issue of the diffusers.]

    Yes it was very bad having them jump off!!!!! I knew that old 1kg weight disc would come in handy someday!!!

    [The only thing that might be an issue for you is the achievable height of the fill and key lights, they looked quite low to me. I know you will be sat down but they still seem a bit low. May be I'm wrong.]

    They do look low on the video I know but they can be adjusted higher …however it is a very good point. I have experimented with my tape measure to make sure but the proof is in the pudding (testing) …cant wait.!!!

    Worse case scenario I can mount my lights on one of the vertical wooden props floor to ceiling height and use the 3 mic stands to hold diffusion & flags that’s my plan B.

    [The back light is great so long as the doughnut doesn’t get too hot.]

    Yes you are right as it is close to the bulb!!!!
    One saving grace is my light set up will be on for a max (4-6 minutes) then off for 10 minutes as I practise my next take .So lights are not on for long.
    If they were I am looking at a serious fire hazard.!!!
    Looking back with hindsight I think I should of made barn doors taped to the outside of my clamp light….what a dumb ass!!

    [I’m not sure you need such bright background lights if any at all. As you only need them as an accent for the background. You will have to be the judge of that when you are doing your experimenting when you get your background.]

    This is my major concern Midnight !!!
    You see if I use the bubs on the video two (100w ) normal incandescent bulbs it looks bright on the video but when using the fantastic blue background curtain (can’t wait for you guys to see it) it looks grey !!!My studio is very dark which is I have done on purpose to control light and not colour the wonderful light from the photoflood bulbs but and this the major concern to get the colour blue and not grey I need two (200w) bulbs shining on it!!!! Twice the power in video !!!!!

    Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love the blue so much and it would be tragic if after all my work you can’t see it??
    I have a lot of testing to do MB .Your feedback on my testing videos will be so important to me along with everyone else’s too!!!

    [Again I’m very impressed with your ingenuity. Well done Bob.]

    Thanks MB … It is quite frustrating I really do wish I could get all the proper stuff now !!!!!

    My computer can’t run Vegas movie studio properly to much for the old guy …very very slow so I am still using WMM2.1 till I can save up for a new computer.

    So much to save up for:
    Computer
    Proper lights recommended by (RB)
    Tripod (mine £9.99 of ebay is not very good)
    Juiced link box or Zoom Hn4 ( for good audio)
    Sony Vegas Editing software for the new computer that can run it properly

    [As to why the bulbs don't last very long, I just don't know. It's the evenness of the light spectum that makes the photofloods better for videography than normal B&Q bulbs which have horrible green spikes or something like that. I'm not a scientist. I just drive the car, I can't fix it if it goes wrong.]

    I see it is the evenness of the light too … they are so good MB I have compared them to normal incandescent bulbs and the different is huge I am really excited to see how my cat character looks in my new studio and with proper light bulbs too.

    Thanks a million for your feedback and for having the time to watch my videos!!

    Hope you are having a great weekend

    Last edited by slimbob; 03-11-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  6. #6

    Smile Thanks Very Much Rob

    [I'm impressed. I like the way you are working with light and I like the way you are making your own stuff.]

    Thanks very much RB that mean a lot coming from you!

    [I'm not sure if I agree with using so much cardboard though. For flags, I would use 4mm plywood painted matt black.]


    Plywood !!!!! of course and painted matt black I wish I had thought of that !!! You are right cardboard isn’t the best I appreciate that now RB I will make some other flag boards just like you said a.s.a.p !!! This is great as plywood and paint aren’t very expensive.

    [For the gel frames I use artists' canvas frames (sometimes called stretchers). The frames the artists stretch their canvasses onto, not picture frames.]

    Yes like with the flags I will look into this too a.s.a.p that approach is a lot less fiddly to make than my mount board/ bulldogclip ones !!!!

    What do you use to stretch over them to diffuse the light Rob???

    Is my heat resistant gel diffusion paper o.k …I bought it from a proper photography shop on ebay ???what other options do I have if mine is not good enough?? Fabric ?????


    [I also think you should use the proper lighting stands rather than microphone stands for mounting your lights (even though you've now got 10 of them). The microphone stands are okay for flags and gel frames but I don't think it's advisable to have hot fittings on such a flimsy stand.]

    Yes very good advice I don’t want to make a remake of “The Towering Inferno”
    I will keep my mic stand for my flags sheets and frames as you recommend.
    I also use one to hold a cardboard replica of myself I made to help me setup my camera as I am filming myself and am in front of the camera so I have to set up on my own unfortunately ……works a treat though …the replica I mean!!!!!!


    [The reason why photoflood bulbs last a lot less than household bulbs is that they are (basically) big household bulbs pushed beyond their design limit to give more light. However, 3 hours sounds way too short! You should be getting at least a hundred hours from a photoflood.]

    100 hours honestly!!!! That is brilliant news….. they will last me ages now I would of accepted the 3 hour life regardless Rob as I am so happy with the light (thanks for recommending them to me ) but 100hours is fantastic !!! Even if I get 25 or 50 hours I will be over the moon.

    Rob should I stock up now ?? I can get them for £4 each (275 watt) bulb
    Will they be hard to get in the future or will they be around for a while yet?
    A gentleman told me that the factory has closed down (Philips) and no more are getting made!I couldn’t source 150 watt 3400k bulbs or 75w just 275w or 500w (which wont fit in my clamp lights (ie) to powerful)

    [For the videos, the title cards make it all difficult to understand. It's a lot clearer if you have a "presenter" talking and explaining what's going on.]

    Yes I agree too many stop and starts of video plus I didn’t use a tripod too …
    What a dumb ass….

    [But, this negativity is meant as constructive criticism and I'm really glad to see someone taking the subject of light seriously.]

    I am taking light very seriously Rob as I know how powerful it is in helping me make the most of my equipment and also help me with my videos. I don’t know much I know but I have learned so much from this forum and your advice is priceless to me.

    I have even built my own studio out of wood and duvets with 100% cotton black duvet covers so the light from my photoflood bulbs is not coloured or tainted. My studio is basically black with some white behind the camera.

    It is dark but it works a treat !!!!!!

    Thanks again Rob for having the time to comment on my videos.

    It would be great if you could comment on my future light testing videos.

    Can’t wait ….. doing my first test tomorrow

    Hope you are having a great weekend.

    Last edited by slimbob; 03-11-2012 at 01:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Incandescent lightbulbs are being phased out for domestic use but still okay for industrial and specialised use. This is why you can't get domestic 100w bulbs anymore. I suspect that a lot of the manufacturers are considering giving up altogether as it's probably not worth keeping a production line going for the few thousand photoflood bulbs they're going to sell. (Incidentally, in lighting... bulbs are not called bulbs, they are called lamps. But I call 'em bulbs here because everyone knows what you're talking about and it avoids confusion.) so, it may be worth investing in a couple of spares but don't go too mad as you will almost certainly progress onto other forms of lighting if you stick with video.

    Gel diffuser is right. Fabric stops too much light and can burn. When you need more, it might be worth investing in a roll of Lee 251 half diffusion, which is what I tend to use a lot of. I find that full diffusion soaks up too much light and reflects more than it lets through!

    I agree 100% with Midnight on the backlight issue. A smaller light, without all the fancy doughnuts will probably be a lot better, safer and easier to work with. Ebay "Par 16" and for a tenner you get a spotlight you can position without worrying about it bursting into flames.

  8. #8

    Default

    I remember when I first used lights on a shoot, (work lights) I used baking parchment as a diffuser and used wooden C47s (clothes pegs) to clip it onto the lights. It didn't take long for the pegs to start smoking. If the back light is only on for a few mins and never left unsupervised you might be ok until you get something better. I have a couple of these lamps/bulbs used as down lights in my kitchen and have found they don't get too hot.

  9. #9

    Default

    [Incandescent lightbulbs are being phased out for domestic use but still okay for industrial and specialised use. This is why you can't get domestic 100w bulbs anymore. I suspect that a lot of the manufacturers are considering giving up altogether as it's probably not worth keeping a production line going for the few thousand photoflood bulbs they're going to sell. (Incidentally, in lighting... bulbs are not called bulbs, they are called lamps. But I call 'em bulbs here because everyone knows what you're talking about and it avoids confusion.) so, it may be worth investing in a couple of spares but don't go too mad as you will almost certainly progress onto other forms of lighting if you stick with video.]

    Got you Rob I won’t go mad and just buy a few spares for now

    [Gel diffuser is right. Fabric stops too much light and can burn. When you need more, it might be worth investing in a roll of Lee 251 half diffusion, which is what I tend to use a lot of. I find that full diffusion soaks up too much light and reflects more than it lets through!]

    Made note of Lee 251 half diffusion for a future purchase

    [I agree 100% with Midnight on the backlight issue. A smaller light, without all the fancy doughnuts will probably be a lot better, safer and easier to work with. Ebay "Par 16" and for a tenner you get a spotlight you can position without worrying about it bursting into flames.]

    Will look into the par 16 in a can spots …very good value I...
    will 50w be enough or would I need two on each side lighting each side of head and shoulder ?

    Thanks very much Rob


  10. #10

    Default

    You have been in the danger zone too MB !!!!

    Yes I would never leave my lights on unsupervised they are literally on for a few minutes then off for a while so hopefully the danger issue wont apply.

    However yours and Rob’s concerns are very valid and I will look into the par16 and also Rob’s other advice about plywood, stands and diffusion paper.

    Everything is always noted and acted upon MB !!!


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