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Old November 4th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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Softboxes

Out of curiosity, is it better to buy a speed ring to use a softbox on an open-faced 1K ArriLite, or a 650Watt fresnel Arri Jr Plus?

I noticed the Arrilite speed ring (the 2900) is less expensive than the one I would need for the 650 fresnel, and I plan to use it with a Chimera Video Pro Plus 1 size small, so I'm wondering. If I'm using it on a 1K light, is it overkill for a size small soft box, is it better to use it on the 650 in this case?

Would a medium size softbox be more practical than using a small size softbox?

This setup will be used probably 95% exclusively indoors in my apartment. I'm not concerned with convenience of transportation. And they'll mostly be used to achieve a softer light for short & simple drama films.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #2
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Hmmm. I think my decision is already made for me. The B&H compatibility says that I can't use a small softbox on anything higher than 750w. So I would need to down-lamp the Arrilite if I wanted to.

So, is it better to just use a medium size softbox on the 650 fresnel, or save up to buy the bigger softbox and use it with the open-faced 1K?
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Old November 4th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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I'm not an expert on soft-boxes, but I think it's safe to say that with a fresnel in a softbox, you won't get as even a spread as with an open-faced source. It's just the nature of the lights. The fresnel has a focused beam and a lot of it is going to be going exactly where it's aimed, so you'll get a noticeable hotspot on the face of the box. With an open-faced source, the light will just bounce all over the place in the box and the hotspot (if there is any) will be less than noticeable, giving you a more even, soft light.

In short, if your budget allows, I would get a box for the 1k.

~~Dave

Last edited by Dave Dodds; November 4th, 2007 at 05:09 PM. Reason: realized that you weren't considering buying one of the above-mentioned lights, but instead wanting a box for what you have.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #4
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In order to accommodate the narrower beam of a Fresnel light Chimera makes a softbox that is about 50% deeper than a standard softbox.

http://www.chimeralighting.com/produ...fm?productid=3

On equivalent wattage lights (650 Fresnel vs. 650 open face) an open face will deliver considerably more output than a Fresnel and a better choice for softboxes.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #5
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Hmmm. Maybe I can use the small Chimera Video Pro with the ArriLite 1K. B&H Photo listed it as only being compatible up to 750watts. Yet, the Chimera Catalog says it should be good up to 1000 watts. I guess B&H just made a mistake.

Anyone use this combination of products with success?
Cause I'd really rather not spend the extra cash on the medium size Chimera because I really don't need it that big.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #6
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I use the Chimera Video Pro Plus 1 size small on a Lowel DP 1k all the time with no problems.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:09 AM   #7
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Great news... Thanks!

Is it risky to buy softboxes used from eBay? I don't suppose they wear and tear that much, do they?
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Old November 5th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #8
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Anytime I've hired Chimera kits, I've always had them with Arri HMI fresnels.
That's been 1.2k and 2.5k fixtures, the 2.5 was supplied with the biggest Chimera I've ever seen!

Anyway I left the fresnels on full wide when in the boxes and it worked very well.

Open face lights are probably only marginally better than properly made modern fresnels in softboxes.

If I had to choose between fresnels and openfaced on a shoot I'd take fresnel everytime. They are more controllable when used as a hardlight but still work well in a softbox. Of course Fresnels are more expensive, and heavier.

You could always try and take the lens off a fresnel if you are using it in a chimera. See what difference it makes, dunno.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #9
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"You could always try and take the lens off a fresnel if you are using it in a chimera."

Doesn't the lens provide physical protection as well as UV blocking in an HMI?
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Old November 6th, 2007, 05:34 AM   #10
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I meant on the 650w halogen, not in a discharge fixture.
Only to get more spread in the softbox.

To the OP.

You should do a quick bit of testing with your 650w fixture. Find out the size and depth of the softbox you are thinking of, then work out if your fresnel will at the least light the whole front of the softbox.

You could ask if they are made of proper materials if you get them from ebay. Maybe there's a particular ISO standard relating to this sort of use.

Duncan.
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