Advice on a set of continuous lights?

BHuij

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Hey everyone—

I've reached the point in my DSLR video career where it's time for me to buy my own lights instead of mooching off my friend's anytime I want to control the lighting.

I have a few options, and while I haven't researched any of them exhaustively yet, I'd like to start getting opinions.

1. In the past, I've used my friend's lights. He has a 3-light setup that uses daylight balanced CFLs in banks of 4 (he can choose to power up half of a light with only 2 bulbs if he wants it dimmer). Each bank is behind a 16x24 softbox. To be honest, I've been pretty happy with that setup. I can get the same one for about $130 shipped. I know it's not pro gear, and the reviews say it's not super durable, but I've used it and it gets the job done for what I'm looking for.

2. I work at a camera store and could theoretically assemble my own kit of slightly higher-quality lights and stands for not too much more. If I did that though, I would be really tempted to go the umbrella route over softboxes as they are expensive outside of kits. If I got a 3-light setup with umbrellas, how would that work for video? Should I use shoot-through umbrellas or bounce umbrellas, or should I just stick with softboxes even if it means a little extra spending up front?

3. Some other option I haven't considered yet? I would like to keep things under $200 if possible, but if it's really not going to cut it to get decent lights, I could go higher.
 

JohnnyBlack

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Youtube is your friend, go search for Curtis Judd and inexpensive lighting. He uses the umbrella approach shooting through the umbrellas.
 

brunerww

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Umbrellas are easier to carry and set up, softboxes give you more control of the light. You will never see pro film or video shooters with umbrellas.

That said, I am a big fan of ring lights for diffusion, but they are expensive. Here is what a 3 ring light setup can do: Review: Stellar Lighting Diva Ring Light

Since you work in a camera store, I recommend you assemble your own soft box or ring light setup with decent lights and stands. The online kits will do the job, but they are pretty flimsy.

Good luck!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 

Bedo

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1. In the past, I've used my friend's lights. He has a 3-light setup that uses daylight balanced CFLs in banks of 4 (he can choose to power up half of a light with only 2 bulbs if he wants it dimmer). Each bank is behind a 16x24 softbox. To be honest, I've been pretty happy with that setup. I can get the same one for about $130 shipped. I know it's not pro gear, and the reviews say it's not super durable, but I've used it and it gets the job done for what I'm looking for.

Please could you tell me where can I find that set for $130? If you can't post here the link, maybe could you send me a PM?

Thank you
 

Stern Fox

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The best and cheapest route to take is halogen lights they are powerful but do get hot quickly.
 

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