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Old September 21st, 2007, 12:03 PM   #1
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Open-Faced 1K

I decided not to go with a softbox only kit (Rifa, Starlite, etc) and instead buy a couple of 1K open-faced heads and soften them up in various ways from there. I know it's more money but I realized that the versatility is important.

So, I'm pondering which way to go. I've used the Lowel DP lights quite a bit, back in school and more recently rented, and they weren't taken care of that much. Despite that, they performed very well. I've never gotten my hands on the Arri 1K except while fiddling around in B&H, so I wanted to know what people's opinions are regarding these two models. As we all know, Arri is one of the most trusted names in the biz, but for the price, I'm very much leaning towards Lowel.

So what's the difference?

Thanks.

~~Dave
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Old September 21st, 2007, 01:46 PM   #2
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Dave,

What area of "difference" concerns you most?

They'll both put out pretty equivelent light - so as to performance, it's probably a wash.

Given equal care...

The Arri will outlast the Lowel
The Arri will hold it's resale value much better
Both companies are reputable and will stand behind their products so "repairability" and parts availability will be pretty comparable.

Across their whole range of lights (and I've used many models from each company over the years) these are my overall impressions...

In "build quality" the lowel stuff tends to be lighter weight (good for travel) but no where near as solid and robust as Arri. To stretch a metaphore, Lowel builds passenger cars - Arri builds TANKS. One reason Arri stuff holds it's value over time so well.

It's the little things that make a difference. For example on nearly every Lowell light, the power cables are medium guage and removable but typically have a special female plug receptical with a bump on one side such that you need to use the matching Lowel power cable (or adapt a standard one with a router) to operate them. On Arri insturments, they are SUPER heavy duty and hardwired. Power cables CAN'T go missing on Arri's. Leave a Lowel power cable on a location shoot, and that insturment is out of comission until you replace the cable.

Both work great. If money is the most important criteria, choose Lowel and enjoy. If you're in things for the long haul and want a safer long term investment and uncompromised performance over years - Arri probably has the advantage - an advantage you'll properly pay for.

Two different approaches. Both valid. You pick what you like.

Good luck.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:36 AM   #3
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Dave,

Are you intending to use them as softboxes?
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:16 AM   #4
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I was planning to eventually get at least 1 large (36"x48") softbox, but they wouldn't be used solely for that. Why do you ask?
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 12:08 PM   #5
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I'm not sure how 1K heads are comparable to a softbox, as in, you were going one way and then decided to go the other. Just trying to understand your reasoning.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 01:21 PM   #6
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Some clarification:

I was originally planning to purchase some 1k softbox kits, like a Rifa or Starlite. However, because of the fact that those particular ones can only be used as a softbox and nothing else, I decided to go another route. I'm going to buy a couple of 1k open-faced heads that I can also throw a softbox on if I want to use it that way.

Also, when I asked about differences, I really just wanted some opinions on the pros and cons of each. I know that output wise (and also the focusing) the units are similar, if not identical. I've used the DP light a lot and I like it. But, I was wondering what the extra money for Arri would get me (and if I wanted/needed whatever that would be).

Also, is the stand mount on the DP strong enough to support the added weight of a large softbox on the front end?

Thanks.

~~Dave

Thanks for the help so far.
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