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Ed Richards
21-Mar-2008, 14:29
I am building a workspace that will be large enough to allow me to shoot still lifes in part of the space. Unfortunately, window light - my usual favorite - is pretty limited so I will need artifical light. I mostly shoot black and white, so color balance is not so critical, but I would like to keep exposures in the 1 second or shorter range. (Recognizing that this will not be possible if I get into significant bellows factors.) Cheap would be nice.

Ted Harris
21-Mar-2008, 14:48
Ed,

First, what does cheap mean, under 1000, under 500, or? You,ve got lot of different choices and like anything, the more sophisticated options generally cost more. I have the capability to bang out more than 8000W but that is way more than you need. For most still life work I usually work fine with 2K or less. Usually a 1K 10" Fresnel and a 1K elipsoidal spot (leko). I always keep the spot on a dimmer. I'll sometimes fill in with a couple of tiny lights (Kleigel Inkys).

You may do just fine with something like the open faced Lowell lights, I just want more control than they give me.

Feel free to give me a call if you want the long answer with potential prices and brands, etc.

BarryS
21-Mar-2008, 14:53
I don't know what you consider cheap, but fresnels are great for controllable light. I have some Arri's, but they're pricey with the barndoors. I've heard some good things about BluLine fresnels--basically Arri knockoffs.

http://www.imagewest.tv/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=65

For $269, you can get a 300W or 650W light with barndoors and $319 buys a 1K. I've also found cheap Altman zoom ellipsoidals on ebay (<$100) and they make handy lights--if a little unwieldy.

Ed Richards
21-Mar-2008, 15:18
Like everyone, cheap is as cheap as possible, but I am also willing to do inexpensive, i.e., under $1000.:-)

I had not thought about lights with Fresnels, but that sounds like a great idea.

Ted - 8K watts? Maybe I can use that 220V I put in for a power saw after all.:-) Do you run these on 220 or did you have have a whole set of extra 110 circuits run to the studio?

lenser
21-Mar-2008, 15:25
Why not really go cheap and consider the utility lights in the hardware department in Walmart. Not strictly designed for photography, but they can be stand mounted and put out a murderous amount of light. Put up a diffusion screen in front of them (not too close due to heat) and simulate your window light.

Tim

Mark Woods
21-Mar-2008, 15:43
Remember that you lose abouty 1/3 of a stop when exposing B&W film with Tungsten light. I personally like Speedotron strobes. I have a number of them and they put out a lot of light. Polaroids are almost mandatory, and Chimeras or some other tools are needed to really work with them (like C-Stands, bounce boards, etc.).

Have fun!

Ted Harris
21-Mar-2008, 15:48
:) Studio has its own box and I never or hardly ever use all 8K. Everything is on dimmers. My recommendation is stick with Kleig, Ianiro,Mole Richadson, Arri, LMT Pepper for fresnels and Colortran or Altman for lekos. You also want to be sure all the lights have Edison plugs (standard household) and not Bates. Watch out for ther brands, especially cheap ones ..... they can have too thin heat shields and housings, etc. See my email for more.

neil poulsen
21-Mar-2008, 15:55
For hot lights, Lowel offers a good variety. I use these. DP lights have a better focus control than the Omni Lights, although the latter are less expensive and more compact. There are lots of accessories for these anything that you get from Lowel.

You can see their catalog at www.lowel.com.

Check out EBay and Craigslist, if you have a Craigslist that covers your area.

vinny
21-Mar-2008, 16:44
I'll second craigslist too. Sometimes you may find someone in los angeles willing to ship small lights to you.
I work with hot lights all the time and i've used just about everything available in the states. Lowels are cheap but not don't offer much control. I hate them more than anything. Ianbeam 2k "blondes" make great bounced sources with tons of output. They're a standard fixture on most movie sets. Also check out mole richardson nook lites. Similar to lowel open faced units but better built and better barn doors.

No one has mentioned par cans. Rock N Roll lights that use par 64 globes of wattages from 1200 to 500 watts. Most commonly available are the 1000watt "medium" globes. The fixtures are available used often and the globes usually cost more than the fixtures. The put out a lot of directional light and simulate shafts of sunlight quite well. They accept scrims and snoots also. Many variations of globes are available including dichroic daylight balanced. Search par 64 or par cans online. The last two i purchased were $20 each with gel frames.
vinny

Ed Richards
21-Mar-2008, 16:54
> Polaroids are almost mandatory

and are history, which is why I am thinking about hot lights. The alternative is using my digital camera to test the lighting.

John Kasaian
21-Mar-2008, 17:15
Mole Richardson rocks! And they also are great for warming tortillas ;)

Capocheny
22-Mar-2008, 12:47
Hi Ed,

Ianiros... just don't bump up against any of these hot lights! :>0

Cheers

Mark Woods
22-Mar-2008, 14:13
BTW, you can use your digital camera as an exposure meter with strobes. Also, Mole-Richardson lights are the standard in the film industry because they are durable and easily maintained. I'm not sure what your experience was with sparking lights, but they were clearly not maintained correctly. I own 17 of them (from 250w to 5K) and love to use them.

CG
22-Mar-2008, 17:03
Lowel Tota-Lights are a great basic light. They are good if you think in terms of indirect light. With a few exceptions, they suck if you think in terms of using them direct and unmodified which is probably why some folks hate them. I've used some for thirty years or so and am still happy with them. I bought a few more recently when a good offer came up. I have a few fresnels etc but the Totas are a great start and reasonable too.

C

Greg Lockrey
22-Mar-2008, 17:14
I second Lowel. I use a pair of Lowel Tota's each side with polarizing filters whenever I need to copy large pieces of art work. They pack up small when not in use.

Frank Petronio
22-Mar-2008, 17:22
Ed, start with two Lowel Totas, a large and small umbrella, and some extra Lowel brand stands in addition to the ones you need for the lights. Be sure to get some spare bulbs and just get started. Even if you get fancier stuff later on, the Lowel stuff is always going to be useful (as well as affordable and portable).

Ed Richards
23-Mar-2008, 13:46
What about the Lowel Omnilight?

Frank Petronio
23-Mar-2008, 13:49
They are all good but I like the Totas because they are small for the amount of light, but I don't do anything very sophisticated, I do pretty simple set-ups. I am sure the lighting experts can give you a good reason to use an Omni though ;-)

Kirk Gittings
23-Mar-2008, 14:57
I've used the Totas and Omnis for many years. They are work horses and bounce pretty well too. Most architectural photograhers though don't use the 3200k photographic bulbs but the warmer household ones from the hardware store because they match residential lighting better, last much longer and are 1/3 the price.

I have found them very cheap on Ebay of late.

Murray
23-Mar-2008, 22:21
What kind of polarizers tolerate lamp heat?

The ones I have are all plastic and I think don't like >70C.

J Kasaian - you do alot of cooking in your work, don't you? ;O)

Same foods, different heat sources ;O)

Greg Lockrey
23-Mar-2008, 23:41
What kind of polarizers tolerate lamp heat?

The ones I have are all plastic and I think don't like >70C.

J Kasaian - you do alot of cooking in your work, don't you? ;O)

Same foods, different heat sources ;O)

I use Rosco brand that come in 19"x10' rolls and cut to 19x30" or so nailed to a wood frame. I have mine mounted about 12-14" from the lamps and they been in use for about three years. They probably get about an hour per week of use. I tried a different less expensive brand that lasted about 3 months.

Scott Davis
24-Mar-2008, 08:08
Don't forget Smith-Victor lights for inexpensive floods with lots of accessories. Just remember whenever working with hotlights to keep a set of potholders around for adjusting your barndoors. Otherwise you'll end up with no fingerprints.

jetcode
26-Mar-2008, 10:22
I am building a workspace that will be large enough to allow me to shoot still lifes in part of the space. Unfortunately, window light - my usual favorite - is pretty limited so I will need artifical light. I mostly shoot black and white, so color balance is not so critical, but I would like to keep exposures in the 1 second or shorter range. (Recognizing that this will not be possible if I get into significant bellows factors.) Cheap would be nice.

There are some High Frequency 5000 kelvin fluorescent light panels out that are low power high illumination. I would use these over any of the high powered lighting systems out there for cost, efficiency, and size.