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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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Cheap fresnels on ebay?

Just wondering if anyone had tried any of the "generic brand" fresnel lights sold on ebay. These types of lights seem like they'd be pretty hard to screw up, but assuming they are cheaply built what can you guys see the problems being? (besides burning down the set...).

This one's called "Bluline"

http://cgi.ebay.com/BluLine-650W-Vid...QQcmdZViewItem

This one's called "photogenic"

http://cgi.ebay.com/Photogenic-Fresn...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old January 4th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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bluline fresnels

i own two bluline 650 fresnels and a 300 bluline fresnel which i have been using for 2 months with no problems these are the arri knockoffs and sell for app. $150 less than their arri counterparts they are well built and function perfectly
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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Nothing at all wrong with the above post. And a LOT of people have excellent experiences with well built "knock off" brands.

But I will note that I have 2 Arri 650s, 2 300's, and 2 150s that have been in service with me for more than 15 years.

I bought them used somewhere around 1990.

I can still not only get parts and service on them all around the USA, but pretty much anywhere there's a big city on the planet.

And when I die and my family eventually sells them, I bet they get nearly what I paid for them.

Yep, $150 is a good chunk of money per lamp. And that may be a reasonable overarching concern at this point in your career. If so, go for it.

But some times investments in time tested and proven tools can also be a good strategy.

Particularly when looked at as the totality of cost over time plus considering residual or resale value.

Whichever decision you make, I sincerely hope you end up delighted with the results.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #4
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I would prefer to save $4 and get lights from a company I know offers support. The online auction places may be perfectly fine, but knowledgeable support is a big plus.

http://www.coollights.biz/cltf0650-6...snel-p-57.html
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:37 PM   #5
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yeah marcus, and their shipping is $10 cheaper too. Thanks for the link! Seeing as how I'm pretty broke and am pretty sure I'll be famous in a couple of months and can just use the studio's gear I think I'm going to go with saving several hundred bucks and buy the generic brands : )

I'm thinking about getting a couple of 300w and a 650w fresnels and maybe a softbox for the 650. I'm planning on using these for documentary interviews etc. but primarily for a short film I'm planning on shooting in HDV. Does this sound like a reasonable kit for this? Any suggestions? I would like to stick to tungsten fresnels because I like the quality of light the give off. I have really no experience with using lighting so I don't know if this is overkill or underkill.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #6
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I'm in the same boat as cal up there. Anyone approve?
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Old January 6th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #7
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also, can anyone recomend the best place to buy cheap light stands for these?
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Old January 18th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #8
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Hi, I have been trying to find stands for my lights too.

So far my best one is a stand that was made for a set of halogen worklights. take a look at this http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...T-L&lpage=none This one is a little lighter duty, but it could work for some of the lighter lights out there.

I used the stand to a 1500 watt light set that has a 250 watt, and a 500 watt bulb in each of two lights. I thought I would use the worklights for video, snd make some barndoors for it, but it just became too much work & money to make barn doors! So I took the flourescent green stand apart, painted all the pieces flat black, and put it back together. Now it looks as good as some of the expensive stands I see out there. It stands about 6 feet high, and is strong enough to hold my 750 watt source four.

All i needed to attach the light to the stand was a spacer, and a few washers to make the mounting bolt that came with the light kit work.

In all, I spent about $80 on the light kit. If I never use the light, my tripod id still less expensive as lots of them out there, and there are lighter duty kits that would still hold most lights.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 01:25 AM   #9
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When I was buying lights I was always coming across B&M (Bardwell and McCallister) lights on ebay. I got a 650 from that company (sold through pyramid films. who may have since sold all their inventory), and except for the fact that the barn doors aren't held in on the top with the swiveling lock thingy they way they are on an arri, it's a pretty decent light. Apparently this used to be a pretty prominent company. Might look for stuff from them. Sorry, no idea how much I paid for it. I must have thought I was getting a deal or I wouldn't be posting this.

As for stands, I also got those off ebay. There was a texas based company that sold these beefy but very lightweight stands for around $50 a piece. They were made of aluminum, and extended to about 13 ft. They're not super sturdy, but for fresnels up to 1K (long as you don't try to go all the way to 13 ft) they'd be fine. If you can find 'em. I can't remember who the seller is, and I got 'em so long ago it won't let me visit the auctions.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 02:41 AM   #10
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Here's Bardwell and McAlister:
http://www.bmlighting.com/

They seem to still be going strong.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 03:05 AM   #11
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My bad. I didn't know they were still kickin'. However, the OP would be looking for older, and therefore used, lights, if he's looking for cheaper. That's what I got off "the Bay".
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Old January 19th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #12
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Richard at Coollights sells some fresnels at very reasonable prices. I haven't seen them in person, but the look good on the site. Very much like Altman fesnels I've used for years. http://www.coollights.biz/ I think I would go for these over the eBay ones because Coollights has a pretty good reputation on these boards.

For stands, I got some $60 stands from Flolights http://www.flolight.com/ (look under accessories) to go with the 500LEDs I bought. They are much heavier duty than I expected and better than the stands that came with a set of Altman fresnels I bought some years ago, and the main reason I bought the Altmans over the Arris was because I liked their stands better.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #13
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I bought a couple of Richard's little fresnels, a 150 and a 300, and I'm a happy customer. For stands I put 'em on Avengers. Been eyeing his fluorescent soft boxes too but need to figure out a good solution for transporting the bulbs.
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Old January 20th, 2008, 12:52 AM   #14
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Hi Mark,

Glad to hear your pleased. We made these foam lined bulb transport cases that we ship with our new portable fluorescent units just as part of the package (pictured below). We also have a similar package for the 200w bulb that goes in our softbox so you don't have to worry about it being safe when you get where you're going. I don't have a picture of the package right now but its similarly foam padded and has a carrying handle on it.
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Cheap fresnels on ebay?-bc4casecm.jpg  
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Last edited by Richard Andrewski; January 20th, 2008 at 08:51 AM.
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Old January 20th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #15
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The foam lined bulb transport case that is included with the portable fluorescent lights will surely keep your bulbs safe. It's sturdy, trust me.
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