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Rob Gregory

Building a new Kit with Jokers and Aputure

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Hey guys, I wanted to get your thoughts and input on what I am thinking of doing here. I have been a commercial still photographer for years, but have been shooting on the Red a lot this past year for both client and personal work. Unfortunately my DP who gives me access to his gear is moving to North Carolina, so I decided to bring these capabilities in-house.

I'm building out a full cinema kit and want to be able to shoot action (I shoot a lot of athletes commercially) and shorts that I do for self promotion. I tend to like dramatic lighting and punchy contrast. So now that you have the background, on to the fun stuff!

Here is what I am thinking of getting to outfit my kit:

Joker2 1600 w kit (with all the various lenses and stuff)

Joker2 800 jo-leko with source four Jr zoom ellipsoidal 25-50

4 Aputure f7 lights for any additional accenting or space lighting

So what do you think? And just to explain my thought process, I am going with the cheap aputures because that way I can put more of my budget into my larger workhorse lights. They are also small and can operate with a battery, which let's you stick them anywhere without any issues. Their light is variable too, so I don't think it would create any issues as far as matching the Jokers goes.

So anyway, those are my thoughts. Looking forward to hearing what y'all think and thank you in advance for your input!

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Its just a lot of money.  The two jokers together will be about $20,000.  I'm not familiar with the Chicago market but your going to wanna to see how many days you can bring them on as a kit fee or rent them out to get your money back.  The two lights rent for about $375 together in LA, thats around 55 days which is a sizable amount of working days depending on how often you work.  Not to mention insurance and maintenance, and repairs, which probably bring it more to like 60-65.  If you have the days its worth it.  ROI aside the units are really good, I would get the lensless reflectors for both units.  The joker 1600 is actually brighter than an m18 if you have that.   I would bypass the aputures if you are gonna invest in the jokers.  Might as well get quasar battery powered units with honeycrates.  More versatile.  Its all up to your particular style, but I would drop the second joker and get some litemat 4 with snapgrids, they are probably the most useful smaller light out there.  I don't like going on jobs without one. But if you like a harder front/fill light with the dramatic sports hard backlight then it might not be useful.  If you rather the hard edge and a softer wrap around fill from the edge side, the eggcrated litemat comes in pretty handy.  

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Ryan Emanuel said:

Its just a lot of money.  The two jokers together will be about $20,000.  I'm not familiar with the Chicago market but your going to wanna to see how many days you can bring them on as a kit fee or rent them out to get your money back.  The two lights rent for about $375 together in LA, thats around 55 days which is a sizable amount of working days depending on how often you work.  Not to mention insurance and maintenance, and repairs, which probably bring it more to like 60-65.  If you have the days its worth it.  ROI aside the units are really good, I would get the lensless reflectors for both units.  The joker 1600 is actually brighter than an m18 if you have that.   I would bypass the aputures if you are gonna invest in the jokers.  Might as well get quasar battery powered units with honeycrates.  More versatile.  Its all up to your particular style, but I would drop the second joker and get some litemat 4 with snapgrids, they are probably the most useful smaller light out there.  I don't like going on jobs without one. But if you like a harder front/fill light with the dramatic sports hard backlight then it might not be useful.  If you rather the hard edge and a softer wrap around fill from the edge side, the eggcrated litemat comes in pretty handy.  

 

Hey, thanks man! I appreciate the response and your thoughts. I'm gonna go check out the litemat 4's, because those secondary lights are where I'm feeling a little iffy.

As for days the jokers will be used and all that... for my personal situation, I look more at if the gear fits my style of work and will allow me to shoot the type of projects I want to create. I attract commercial clients with personal projects, and shoot a lot of creative personal projects as a result. I'm mainly just looking for something that I can use on a variety on projects and in a lot of different ways. That is why I'm looking at the 2 jokers. I can see a number of ways that those 2 lights could play well together to create some really beautiful lighting. I like that I can make them both hard and soft sources, and there is so much light, you can basically do whatever you want with it, including lighting up a big room or cutting it way back. I tend to like big light sources and we have a big 12x silk in the studio that I feel like would be able to create a really beautiful, soft diffusion for it off a vflat bounce or something like that. And the Joe-Leko kit could allow for some really creative cuts and light shaping that I think I'd have fun playing around with.

Anyway, those are the reasons I'm feeling pretty sold on the jokers. But like I said, I'm gonna go check out those litemat's and I appreciate the recommendation! Have you had any experience with any of the LED lights that have the full color range? Curious if those are worth taking a look at or not. Some of them looked pretty interesting, but I've also seen a lot of bad reviews. Might need to just rent a few and play around with them...

Edited by Rob Gregory

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Posted (edited)
On 6/8/2019 at 3:41 PM, Ryan Emanuel said:

Its just a lot of money.  The two jokers together will be about $20,000.

 

Just as an update. I am heading more in the direction you recommended, so I can use that money in other parts of my buildout.

Right now I'm looking at the Joker2 800, Litepanels Gemini 2x1, and two Hive Hornet 200-c's. I think those will give me a good base to play around with, and three full color LED's. I tend to like punchier light that I can soften, which is why I am going with the Hives. And I can always use one of my jobs to pay for a Joker2 1600 if/when I need it. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again for your thoughts! Definitely helped me broaden my thinking.

Edited by Rob Gregory

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