Thread: What cheap lighting kit can you suggest for narrative filming?

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  1. #1 What cheap lighting kit can you suggest for narrative filming? 
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    For all you lighting experienced person, if you are setting up your lighting gear for narrative filming (indoor and outdoor), what will be your ultimate lighting kit? Now, if you are on a shoestring budget, what lighting kit will you buy first (you are limited to a few hundred US dollars to spend on your first go around, which lighting gear will you spend on first, and then next)? It will also be helpful if you can explain how you prioritize your purchase list for the lighting kits.
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  2. #2  
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    This right here will go farther and do more than any other $750 worth of lights will get you.
    The trade off is that these are tungsten lights - so they will give you the best color, but the most heat on set.
    To get this much power in LED or other cool lights will easily cost 5-times as much.

    http://www.came-tv.com/2x1000w2x650w...kit-p-305.html

    Also;
    You may want to get one or two of these 4-bulb fluorescent lights because they give off nearly no heat, and they are already a "soft" light, so you usually won't need to put any additional diffusion in front of them like you often will with the fresnel tungsten lights.
    They put out about an 800-1000 watt equivalent. They also can be just a tad on the green side so it is best to put a $5 1/4-minus green gel in front of them. I have 2 of these and I just Velcro's the 1/4-minus green gels right onto the front of the light housing and I leave them there.

    http://www.came-tv.com/4-cool-video-...ing-p-187.html
    Last edited by DPStewart; 11-03-2015 at 03:55 PM.
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  3. #3  
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    A few hundred dollars?


    Cheap ass Chinese redhead kit
    Cheap ass Chinese 5-in-1 reflector/diffusor
    And then flags, clamps, extra stands for flags/diffusion etc, gaffer taper, more clamps, sandbags, gloves and a utility knife.

    Thing is that cameras nowadays are so light sensitive that in lack of budget to get good lights, the best fallback plan is to work with the light you have as much as possible and focus your efforts on shaping it. Shoot during the day, use negative fill, reflectors and practicals.



    [EDIT]
    Looks like I'm not the only one who reads shoestring budget and thinks of Came-TV
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    That's terrific guys. In fact, I was looking at the Came-TV stuff since they have reasonable lighting. The challenge I had was which ones to go with first based on my allotted spending. Thank you for your suggestions.

    I also think if there are anymore who finds these cheap equipment useful for zero to low budget indies, appreciate the sharing of those products you found to be useful. Thanks again!
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EYu View Post
    That's terrific guys. In fact, I was looking at the Came-TV stuff since they have reasonable lighting. The challenge I had was which ones to go with first based on my allotted spending. Thank you for your suggestions.

    I also think if there are anymore who finds these cheap equipment useful for zero to low budget indies, appreciate the sharing of those products you found to be useful. Thanks again!
    Well, a friend of mine got their set of three 2k blondes for a shoot of hers I was DP'ing, and one was DoA, two of the stands were missing screws and one of them broke down completely during production (a long with one of the lights).
    When you buy cheap you buy frequently. I mean, the lights that worked were good and at least one of the stands worked flawlessly. In the end it is what it is -- She opted to buy the set of 3 rather than renting one (Ianiro blonde) for the length of the production.

    Just take extra precautions - Wear protective gloves at all time when working with the lights, test them before using them and place them in ways that would they come crashing down no one will die.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tolin View Post
    In the end it is what it is -- She opted to buy the set of 3 rather than renting one (Ianiro blonde) for the length of the production.

    Just take extra precautions - Wear protective gloves at all time when working with the lights, test them before using them and place them in ways that would they come crashing down no one will die.
    Great advice Tolin. Definitely will keep in mind.

    Have any of you heard or used these from Amazon?

    Tungsten Halogen Kit
    http://www.amazon.com/Cowboystudio-P...0+lighting+kit

    7-Socket CFL Kit
    http://www.amazon.com/StudioPRO-Cont...t+lighting+kit
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  7. #7  
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    i dont think you can get any kind of lighting kit thats good for indoor and outdoor for a few hundred dollars.
    honestly ive done a lot with a simple arri 650 lighting kit and a couple of leds, but you need grip accessories too. if i didnt have a couple of 1000 to spend then id rent.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EYu View Post
    Great advice Tolin. Definitely will keep in mind.

    Have any of you heard or used these from Amazon?

    Tungsten Halogen Kit
    http://www.amazon.com/Cowboystudio-P...0+lighting+kit

    7-Socket CFL Kit
    http://www.amazon.com/StudioPRO-Cont...t+lighting+kit
    With regards to the first one I feel the reviews speak for themselves (And also if you take the 5-1 reflector, strip it down to the diffusor, put this in front of the redhead and flag off the spill you can get very similar result but with more flexibility.

    As for the second one the reviews speak for the seller (since those are two bogus accounts). And cheap CFL bulbs is not the way to go - besides, why would you want 'daylight' colored lights anyway when they're not strong enough to compete with actual daylight. People who buy these strange lights are hobby/budget photographers; cus when you're taking stills you can get away with a lot of crazy shit.
    For outdoor shoots just use reflectors, diffusion and negative fill. Also as JLdp said, you can do a lot with just a few light sources (sun included), as long as you have the proper tools to shape it (Flags flags and more flags -- And diffusion and bounce boards). I've done interviews with a single blonde (I rarely do anything without one) where it worked both as a key, a kicker and fill through a lot of bouncing.
    Last edited by Tolin; 11-03-2015 at 04:56 PM.
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  9. #9  
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    I was going to say, renting is probably the best option on that kind of budget. Plus, you can try out different kinds of lights and find which ones you prefer. Arri fresnels and Kinoflos are usually a good place to start.

    Also, make sure you know the electrical needs of your locations, that may also be a deciding factor.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tolin View Post
    With regards to the first one I feel the reviews speak for themselves (And also if you take the 5-1 reflector, strip it down to the diffusor, put this in front of the redhead and flag off the spill you can get very similar result but with more flexibility.

    As for the second one the reviews speak for the seller (since those are two bogus accounts). And cheap CFL bulbs is not the way to go - besides, why would you want 'daylight' colored lights anyway when they're not strong enough to compete with actual daylight. People who buy these strange lights are hobby/budget photographers; cus when you're taking stills you can get away with a lot of crazy shit.
    For outdoor shoots just use reflectors, diffusion and negative fill. Also as JLdp said, you can do a lot with just a few light sources (sun included), as long as you have the proper tools to shape it (Flags flags and more flags -- And diffusion and bounce boards). I've done interviews with a single blonde (I rarely do anything without one) where it worked both as a key, a kicker and fill through a lot of bouncing.
    +1
    agreed.
    a few good lights that are worth the investment and last you a life time is a good investment, you can find some better professional standard used lights on ebay rather then cheap stuff on amazon that will break in 6 months. i see someone selling some arri 650s for around $250, id get two of those, 2 stands, 2 sandbags, extension cords and maybe like a grip scrim jim pkg that has some bounces, relfectors and flags.
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