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Covered Wagon & the China Ball

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  • Covered Wagon & the China Ball

    Looking into practical kino & halogen globes..
    Does anyone have experiences they can share shooting with omnidirectional soft lighting?

    I was reading an old cinematography mailing list and was surprised to see John Brawley of this forum discussing wagons!

  • #2
    You may be talking about far higher level than I can help you with. But here's a blog post I made on my experience with a chinaball for the first time. By far the best thing I've ever used for quick lighting or to boost practicals. Love the look it gives people.

    http://www.productionattic.com/blog/...matic-lighting

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Deggen View Post
      You may be talking about far higher level than I can help you with. But here's a blog post I made on my experience with a chinaball for the first time. By far the best thing I've ever used for quick lighting or to boost practicals. Love the look it gives people.

      http://www.productionattic.com/blog/...matic-lighting
      +1

      I am a big fan of China Balls. Use the cheap paper versions you can get at most import stores with high CRI CFL's

      http://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com...a_688_prd1.htm

      http://www.alzodigital.com/full_spectrum_lighting.htm

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      • #4
        Nice.

        Have you ever made a mobile version? Can't think off the top of my head how I'd power a standard bulb from a DC source.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've made a mobile version which was very simple. Had a china ball, on a boom pole with a bescor battery belt, and car cig lighter power inverter plugged into it. Simple and worked great.

          Comment


          • #6
            @robmnellson
            Awesome, thanks I'm going to try that.

            Comment


            • #7
              We had the cheap $99 bescor battery belts that were quite old, so they didn't last too long (if I recall about 20 minutes of lighting on a 250 watt bulb). Also our inverter had a fan in it that was a little loud so I had to keep the boom pretty long to keep the fan noise away from the mics. Still though it worked very well for what we needed.

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              • #8
                Whenever I get the chance I use tungsten Chinas (JemBalls). Love that soft single source look.
                director reel

                11 Blocks, debut feature on Netflix

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                • #9
                  I'd love to order a Jem Ball! Their website was not very helpful with ordering info. I recently was going to buy a Chimera birdcage, but on second thought just dropped some cash on a lantern lock china ball. I think my chimera money is best served buying a Chimera Pancake in the near future instead.

                  Offhand what's the Jem Ball pricing for the small/medium models?

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                  • #10
                    The one with one bulb is about $600 - a bit steep for was it is IMHO.

                    I use those cheap pop-up photo cubes, works fine.
                    Blog: http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Not a China Ball but Hurlbut's blog on making a DIY Book Light is worth a read and the result looks fantastic

                      http://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2...-a-book-light/

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                      • #12
                        Hmm yeah $600 is a bit steep for me for a china ball.

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                        • #13
                          I won't be focusing on mobile use, but that is a very interesting way to put it into action.

                          My goal: having the light play naturally in a small space in ways that are more difficult/space consuming with directional sources. The actors can move with more freedom, and separation from the background will mainly be achieved with proximity to the light.
                          I want to make use of real world lighting in all locations, turning off/on fixtures, changing bulbs as it suits the feel. I'm aiming for a good exposure with iso 400, around f2.8 - 4.

                          My thinking is the new kino flo 26w cfls seem to have fantastic color reproduction matching tungsten, so I'll be able to mix those with halogen globes and incandescents in place, without a fire hazard. Maybe I can use some dirty fluorescents in the back for some of that monocolor separation. This was tungsten limited to table, dirty flos bounced to the back:

                          dni.jpg

                          Has anyone given the kino cfls a shot? What do you think?

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                          • #14
                            Hi there, looking at building a china ball for an upcoming no-budget music video shot in a flat.

                            Checked out Deggen's instructions (on the first page), but a bit put off by the unsafe bulb.

                            Anyone in the UK successfully put a china ball together with good results?
                            If yes, care to share the parts you used? Thanks!

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                            • #15
                              I use Alzo Digital high CRI CFL lamps in paper china balls. Unlike tungsten lamps they don't get hot enough to be a fire hazard. Their large 85w CFL's throw a lot of light this way.

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