View Full Version : I like the 650 Arri, but is there a smaller alternative?
December 9th, 2008, 01:34 PM
I'm a one-man band, and I need to stay very mobile, so size and weight are a big issue for me.
I've got a Lowel Pro Light, a V-Light, a soft-box Rifa for interviews... and a Lowel DP light. I've been using the latter, which has a 500W bulb in it, to bring up the light level in large rooms, and throw light on someone at the other end of the room... but I'm not sure it's exactly what I need.
Would something with a glass lens on it, like a Pepper, or an Arri, be better for this kind of thing? If anyone ends up recommending another light, can you tell me if it's nice and compacts? (I can google the exact dimensions).
David W. Jones
December 10th, 2008, 06:06 AM
You might consider a Pepper 300, which can also be lamped as a 420.
December 10th, 2008, 08:25 AM
I'll look into that now.
December 10th, 2008, 08:28 AM
David, excuse my lack of knowledge in these matters. But could you tell me... would this Pepper 300 (nice size) be better than my Lowel DP (500W), to throw light on someone (or something) thirty feet away. Looking at it, I think it might, because the glass lens allows the light to be focussed better?
December 10th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Malcolm, 30ft is way too far for a 300 pepper to throw a spot. You are not going to find anything "small" that can do that well.
What are you trying to shoot? When I shoot "reality" and documentary type situations in rooms with low light levels I will use Lowel Rifa lights pointed at the ceiling, or hung from various places. They are light, portable and fast.
December 10th, 2008, 10:40 AM
Hi Bradley, thanks for the info. I realize I was hoping for too much, with this small light that can throw 1000 watts-worth. I do have a Rifa (500W); never occurred to me to use it in the way you suggest (I've been using it just as an interview light, quite close) - - I have to start thinking of some new strategies, I guess.
Will that Pepper be any better than my DP, in other respects? (they look so different: one with a glass lens, the other without)
December 10th, 2008, 11:04 AM
The fresnel is a much nicer light. It has a more even light beam to it than an open face light.
A 300 watt fresnel is a great background light, or stow light, etc . . . It is just a little under powered to be used as a key.
December 10th, 2008, 11:13 AM
O.K., I understand. So you might hang a Rifa from above, as your key... nice soft light; wouldn't work from the back of the room, but hanging just above, it would be great.
Thanks for the tip.
December 10th, 2008, 03:52 PM
For a long, even throw, the Lowel DP is you best bet. You can go from the 500 to a 750 or even 1K lamp, and you can buy a narrower reflector that makes a longer throw beam. A similar size fresnel won't give you as much light as far away, but it will give you a narrower, more focused beam. Hanging a softer light in closer, as mentioned above, would be your best solution if it's do-able.
December 10th, 2008, 07:37 PM
That's very interesting. Maybe I'll just stick with the DP, then. And use my Rifa in this new way.
Thanks for all the tips everyone.
December 10th, 2008, 09:07 PM
a mole 1K open face will also work. for a throw that far though, 1K tungsten, 400/575 hmi would be minimum,.
there are also 2K open face that work well too.
arri copy lights can be had from coollights.biz or altman, amongst others
December 11th, 2008, 04:09 AM
Just a couple of quick points.
Throwing a beam to distance while still retaining SOME of the quality of soft, flattering light is EXACTLY what a properly designed fresnel lens accomplishes.
I've lit dozens of professional speakers in hotel ballrooms from 30 to 50 feet away using Arri 650s as front fill lights.
In conjunction with the general room lighting, they can open up eye sockets and generally give your camera enough light to record a more natural image without overly harsh shadows.
300's are too weak at that distance, but might probably be OK at 10-20 feet for the same purpose.
But this is why one of the great "starter" kits for people wanting to move up to true professional lighting is the ubiquitous Arri kit with 2-650s and 2-300s.
It's not cheap. But among a LOT of other tasks it's perfectly suited for is a hotel ballroom stage speaker where you can use the 650s at distance and use the 300s as side stage rim lights and cover an executive giving an "on stage" presentation with quality results.
Fresnels are the ONLY technology that manages to kinda, sorta defeat the physics of lighting which decrees that at distance, lights appear to be point sources and create harsher shadows the farther they are placed from a subject.
Plus fresnels have vastly more punch since they don't have the unacceptable wasted energy of running an open face light through diffusion to spread it into a softer source.
December 11th, 2008, 10:03 AM
Taking into consideration the need for punch at a distance and size/weight for mobility, I would also recommend looking at the Dedolights. These are going to cost more than you likely want to spend, but they are quite small units that have a wicked punch and an incredible focusing range, mostly due to their advanced lens design. Certainly worth looking into.
December 15th, 2008, 04:16 PM
I really like the Dedo's, but have a question. The units with self contained power supply attached seem like a great idea, but in my experience have been much less reliable than expected. I thought the idea was the heavy filaments in low voltage bulbs were supposed to ensure long life, but have head two units fail, mostly due to power circuit failure. Anyone have experiences pro or con? The unit is the 150w DLHM4-300 - Tungsten Light Head.