What would you do with a Redhead?

Started Sep 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP sacentre Senior Member • Posts: 1,725
Re: What would you do with a Redhead?

Barrie, thanks for that interesting advice. Yes, it's a pity about the barn doors. Exactly what I said to the person who donated the light - "but they could have been cleaned and resprayed!". I have a mate in the video business in HK who says he will look out for a set for me.

These lights seems to be available on eBay so I might try a get a second one someday but for now, I'll try and find uses for the single one. And failing that, I can stick it on a stand as a prop in the corner to impress visitors.

Thanks again.


Barrie Davis wrote:

sacentre wrote:

Many thanks. I kinda imagined something like that but was worried if they'd be all sorts of WB issues.

I have a set of three Redheads, and like them a lot because they are very bright and very compact. To increase their flexibility I added metal brackets to support umbrellas. But 800-watt Redheads are VERY hot running, even for tungsten lights.

I use mine for lighting room interiors, where incoming daylight is not a factor. I use them as powerful softlights by bouncing them into white umbrellas, or bouncing into white walls/ceilings when conveniently orientated. I also have a heatproof Chimera softbox that fits.

The Redheads thereby make a good adjunct to three Lowel Fresnel spotlights that I have, the two kits together making a very flexible outfit that is relatively compact compared with much tungsten lighting, and rather less heavy to transport than the 6 studio flash units needed for the same kind of shoot.

Continuous light allows you to gauge lighting effects by eye, of course. Effectively the "modelling lights" are more accurate than even the best studio flash, because the modelling lights are the shooting lights.

There was a whole stack of filters with the light but the barn doors originally supplied with it were tossed out because they were rusty.

Disposing of the barn doors was a big mistake. They can be rubbed down lightly and resprayed with matt black heatproof paint meant for motorbike exhausts. The barn door blades also make a convenient support at a distance from the face of the light that helps to hold diffusing materials away from the heat.

You can filter the Redhead to match daylight/flash, but I wouldn't bother. A single speedlight will deliver more power, and be more controllable. The only filters that can withstand the intense heat are special dichroic glass ones, and they get so hot in use they are best handled with industrial grade insulating gloves. Also, waiting for the filter to cool down to a safe temperature is a delay if you are packing up for storage/transport.

Indeed, a single Redhead doesn't make a lot of sense by itself, except perhaps as an emergency outdoor worklight...[??]

Or maybe as a single bounce light from the ceiling to subtly raise overall brightness levels when you are otherwise shooting by dim tungsten domestic lights.

But to fully employ it photographically you really need at least a couple of other tungsten lights to use with it. Thing is, even if you were going to shoot some video, bright fluorescents would probably be a better bet these days....(shrugs).

Final advice....?

If you don't think you will use in the bounce application as indicated, then bung it on ebay... and point out that the barn doors are absent.

"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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