Need Help Choosing Lights


TPF Noob!
Jul 6, 2011
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A friend of mine is having me do a photo-shoot for her online clothing company. She's planning on using several interesting locations within the building she works at and would like to use lighting for this shoot.

I would like to use hot lights as I am much more confident in their use. I have worked on several film sets using them and have a decent amount of experience setting them up and whatnot. However, I've never had to actually pick out which lights to use so I am curious as to what you think of my selection so far...

Key light would be a 650-1k Tungsten with a Chimera Medium Stripbank White. Fill would be 300W Tungsten (possibly with a smaller Chimera) and I'd use a 150W hair light.

She would like to keep the rental costs relatively low.. say around $150 for the day so with those lights plus a few accessories it would be well within the budget. I may consider using strobes; however, the thought of basically practicing using lighting equipment with models rather terrifies me.

What are your thoughts on this so far?
My thoughts are that using hot lights on a model is much more difficult than strobes. You have to take into account the heat, the relatively low output, thus running into shutter speed or ISO concerns, and that both of those issues can completely ruin a shoot. Sweat from the models, noise from the ISO, blur from the shutter, etc, etc.

Photography takes a lot more light than video does. Video is supposed to be is not.
If you are shooting with ambient you will need more power
Huh? Or do you mean if you are trying to overpower ambient so that it does not influence the shot, the OP will need more power?
Good call on the Spider lights.... I have used them for video, and they do really well. Much more comfortable for the subject as well... hot lights suck! I have not used them for photography, because I prefer flash.

You can get decent set (or knock-offs) fairly cheaply... like these: Interfit INT117 Super Coolite 5 Kit with 2 Heads and Stands (Black): Camera & Photo. Easy to work with... and put out pretty good light. Comes with usable softboxes too.. and socks for the reflectors. I bought these for where I work (amazing what IT gets asked to do, sometimes!), to record conferences and seminars with (only podium area is lit and recorded). For photography, you will need to have them fairly close.. for video, I get away with ten to fifteen feet with this setup.

Flash would be better.. but sounds like you don't have much experience there. Good luck! :)
Thanks for all of the input. I am leaning towards using strobes given all the heat concerns and whatnot. Still more than a bit nervous about that since it will basically be a learning experience...

I would like to use the Mola Beauty Dish and coupled with a Speedotron 106 Lamphead... I will also need to rent a power supply, transmitters/receivers (I have a Canon 60D)... and anything else I am forgetting? Is it possible to get by without a light meter or is that going to be another requirement? Also, rather than using the Speedotron, might it be simpler to rent a Canon Speedlight instead?
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You can get by without a light meter, BUT having one will make your life a LOT easier, especially when doing multiple light set-ups. Using a few speedlights would indeed likely be easier and more convenient, but the technical side of it wouldn't be any different, and you would have to determine whether or not they would provide sufficient lighting for the project.
The Speedotron will have a modeling light and won't need batteries. If you're shooting indoors where power is not an option, then it's a better choice than a speedlight.

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