Softening Key Ligh

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by roger_k, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. Hey All,

    I have a Smith-Victor 1000watt quartz halogen that I use for my Key
    light. The light is pretty hard on the subject. What can I use to
    diffuse it. I see photoflex has x-large softboxes, can those fit on
    Smith-Victor lighting stands. What other options do I have to
    diffuse that light. Please give suggestion that will not catch my
    house on in advance.
  2. The cheap way is to buy a bunch of PVC pipe to make some stands then go to the fabric store and get some white rip-stop nylon. Lay it over the pipe stand between the light and the subject. Not too close or you will indeed light a fire. Two layers give more softening than one etc.
    Move the diffuser closer or farther away, look at the shadows that you want and voila, you get it done for a few bucks. Softboxes with hot lights can be done but I have seem them light on fire or melt the light .
  3. Absolutely - A white sheet over a PVC frame with halogen worklights was my
    main lighting until I bit the bullet on some lowel softboxes. Works like a
  4. If you have the barn doors on the light ,you can attach some diffusion material on the doors,with a wooden clothes can get these gels in single sheets at a motion picture supply or lighting house, or off the web. they are about $3 or $4 a sheet ,,ones to try are ROSCO diffusion material like,116 Tough White Diffusion or 101 frost or 102 tough frost,depending how soft you want to go..LEE has similar gels, checkout there web site at the link below, there is a ton of great info on lighting and gels, and filters to download for free in PDF, the cosmetic peach 184,,from LEE has a built in warm tone and frost layer, the peach warmness of the gel punches out the skin detail, it is a great gel for skin and diffusion at the same time ,ROSCO has a version also,look under ,diffusion colored at the LEE link for the cosmetic peach, I dont know the ROSCO ####
  5. Put a 1,000 watt quartz light in a Photoflex softbox and you are asking for meltdown
    and a firehazard. Make a diffusion screen out of heat resistant materials like Rosco
    Toughspun and keep a fair amount of airspace & ventilation between the screen and
    the light. <P>The only softboxes I know of that are designed for firestarters -- I
    hot lights -- are the Video series from Chimera.
  6. Ellis you crack me up. Don
  7. clipping diffuser on barndoors creates soft light for anything up to 12 inches from the light. Use the big sheet on PVC idea and you get huge light source, creating soft light several feet away from the screen. Keep the barndoors on to direct the light onto your diffusion screen, out of your lens and off the background/ceiling/floor... t <p>p.s. I made a frame that's sized to fit a king sized (white-ish) bed sheet with elastic banding sewed across the corners. It makes a great scrim that's a little warmer than neutral. If you're not trying to match specific colors in your photos, it certainly would work for your needs. Use light stands and Bogen superclamps to secure the panel, and don't forget to weight the stands.
  8. Something else that I find works very nicely and costs 0 dollars is to shine your 1000 watts at a large white wall and use the reflected light on your model. Have the model 7 or 8 feet out from the wall and the results can be stunning.

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