The light kid I usually work with is compact flourscents, and that seems to work fine for what i do. Any suggestions on which is the best bang for the buck?
Results 1 to 9 of 9
07-01-2012 12:58 PM
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
07-01-2012 01:13 PM
The only "kit" you're likely to get for $300 is some shop lights.
There's the softbox CFL kits on eBay with stands, etc... don't know what kind of quality they are.
And of course, we don't know what you're shooting - your style may call for a bunch of fresnels.
But if you're starting out and need bang for the buck, I'd lean towards biax flo kits from China - many modern camera sensors look best with daylight balance, and heat and amp draw will be more manageable, and you can use daylight or 3200k tubes. I've gotten some nice used fresnels on eBay and from Pyramid Films, but they often need rewiring. Theatrical fixtures are great budget lights as well, and come up used often. Open faced fixtures are great for bounce or scrimming.
This is a big can o' worms around here, the tungsten vs. daylight mindset, the softboxes or not positions, etc etc. But for naturalistic lighting, you can go a long way with open faced lights, barndoors or black wrap, fabric and a fresnel or two. Then you'll need stands, grip heads, and some sort of flags, even if it's black and white foamcore for now.
When i first started using cinema style lighting (for fashion stills with tungsten film well before quicktime and DV tape), I did a tremendous amount (and learned a lot) with a couple open faced rectangular theatrical fixtures (basically work lights with real barndoors and yokes, which take the double-ended bulbs from 100 - 1k), a couple 6" theatrical fresnels that could be lamped from 500-750, a lot of sheer white fabric, ripstop, unbleached muslin, black felt, a ton of stands & grip - and a subscription to American Cinematographer (I was just trying to differentiate my style in the market, not shoot films, but learned a lot of how films were lit).
07-02-2012 02:18 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
CoolLights have a 2x55 portable biax light for $300, but that's a single light and a far cry from a "kit."
Alternatively you could place your $300 in a CD account at the going rate of about 1%, then leave it there for 200 years, at which point you might have enough for a starter kit ;)
In all seriousness though, if I were you I would look at putting that $300 towards one light andget the notion of buying a kit for now - just start slowly building one piece by piece. Used tungstens like Michael suggested would be a good start for the ultra-micro budget, as long as heat isn't too much of a concern. You don't need anything fancy, but my experience with the cheap plasticy CFL fixtures on ebay have taught me to steer well clear of that stuff. Also keep in mind that if you start buying used lights off ebay, you need stands to put them on.
07-02-2012 02:34 PM
You're not getting a decent kit for $300. As others have said, build up piece by piece. Rent whatever things you need that you don't have while this process occurs, and after you've acquired a decent package, hopefully you won't have to deal with rental houses anymore.
07-02-2012 02:38 PMPhilip Goetz
07-02-2012 03:00 PMCameras : Panasonic GH3 with Grip, Panasonic GH2, Panasonic HMC-150
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
OIS Zoom : Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8, Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8
07-02-2012 05:19 PM
about $200-$300 per light is about the best youre going to do for even "decent" lights. i say save your money until you can at least double your budget or youre just throwing your money away.
07-02-2012 07:04 PM
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
- La Jolla, CA
Filmmakers starting out usually can't afford the pro equipment. But they still want to make movies. Old fashioned photoflood reflector lights are very economical. Of course, you'll eventually want to get something more sturdy and versatile. But until then, consider these:
and maybe add a hairlight:
I know many videographers will say these are not pro enough..... but ya gotta start somewhere!