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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
tungsten is your grampa's lights.
You crazy whippersnappers with your LED/CFL and other acronym lights! Why I remember when we was lightin' Judy Garland up for the Wizard of Oz. Used 1.21 Jiggawhats of pure carbon arc bliss. Why it only raised the temperature on the stage about 80 degrees. Those were manly lights that real men lit real scenes with. I had a hard enough time adjusting to tungsten when they brought those in. Real lights make you sweat, dammit! Real lights have heat signatures that they smoke.

Soon you'll all be shooting with HD DSLRs that are rated at ASA 3200 and people won't care to use lights anymore. That'll be a sad day indeed.

Wimps.

Dan
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #17
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I don't know dan... seems to me that 'sad" is when one can't get their creative vision to completion because of limitations in tools/gear.

regarding lighting technologies... get ready for flo and LED to be replaced with OLED in the near ( 2012 ) future.... there's a GE factory printing sheets of OLED right now that you can replace the pull down shades on your windows with....

cameras are getting cleaner at higher sensitivities... while lights are getting brighter at lower power draw... what's not to like?
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Old October 14th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #18
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I don't know dan... seems to me that 'sad" is when one can't get their creative vision to completion because of limitations in tools/gear.

regarding lighting technologies... get ready for flo and LED to be replaced with OLED in the near ( 2012 ) future.... there's a GE factory printing sheets of OLED right now that you can replace the pull down shades on your windows with....

cameras are getting cleaner at higher sensitivities... while lights are getting brighter at lower power draw... what's not to like?
Just kidding!

I find the new technologies quite exciting. I am shooting with a 4.19lb camera HD camcorder (HPX170) on a $179.00 dolly DV CADDIE using small little 150s and 300s mostly.

I made two of my own Diva 200s and my boss at work has purchased two of the Flolight LED500 lights that I have been using for greenscreen work. I have always laughed at the inefficiency of tungsten fixtures but the fact still remains that they have more punch in a smaller, lighter package to get the job done at a cheap price. I love HMIs, I used to own a K5600 Joker 1200 watt PAR but I sold it when I needed the money. A full HMI kit for what I need usually would still run me about $18,000.00 unfortunately, too expensive for budgets these days.

I really like LEDs, I rented a LitePanels DV kit to shoot a piece at a cocktail party for a Paramount project and it worked well but I still had to light up the BG with my tungsten kit. Faster cameras are a really convenient thing but to me, you still have to light to make things look good and LEDs are too expensive and too inefficient for serious work, other than as on-camera lights.

The Flolights are good but have a green spike that is obnoxious and they are open face, therefore non-focusable. Not as soft as my Divas or nearly as soft as my beloved Chimeras with tungsten fixtures, but too harsh to be used open face on talent. They are sort of in an in-between area that I find fine for ambient or lighting up an area, but not so useful for talent.

We live in a transitory time in lighting that is quite interesting, but for me and my needs, tungsten still fits the bill, other than the damn heat that they generate (when I fire up the 2ks on interiors, watch out, it becomes a sauna).

I like the Divas as well but for me, they do not render skin tones nearly as flattering as tungsten through a Chimera. Good for narrative stuff with talent moving but for talking heads, nothing comes close to a softbox.

Dan
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Old October 14th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Richard Andrewski View Post
You could even put a cluster of 3 400w and get 1200w actual draw but closer to 4800w output. 5K from a softbox would be impossible in real life because of the heat. 1200w actual draw is definitely doable--as we know you can run 2Kw in a softbox and people like Dan do it all the time.
Is there a ballast on the market that could power 3x400w MH bulbs? That would make a terrific softbox. Barger Lite on steroid.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #20
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Is there a ballast on the market that could power 3x400w MH bulbs? That would make a terrific softbox. Barger Lite on steroid.
I've never seen one. The best I've seen is a dual 400w used for grow/aquarium type scenarios. But what you need to do is start out by deciding which bulb to use, then decide the ballast setup. What you find when searching for bulb/ballast is a tradeoff between life, color temperature and size.

In other words, do you want to run a single ended HMI type bulb--something like the Philips MSR-400 (reasonably expensive, GX9.5 base/cold start, tough to find a ballast to run it from somewhere reasonably priced and only 1000 hours life); or can you use something like the EYE Lighting (Iwasaki Electric) 400w 90 CRI:

400 Watt 6500K Metal Halide Bulb - Iwasaki, Mogul Base - eBay (item 180286303271 end time Nov-04-08 16:30:36 PST)

It is 6500K though and it uses a mogul base which will be the common type for those bulbs and it is much bigger than something like the Philips MSR-400 but its life is 10,000 hours!

Its tough to find the color temperature and CRI you want exactly--as you can imagine, the 6500K is not optimal for mixing with other lighting but would be fine in controlled situations and all by itself or with natural daylight.

The same company has a dual ballast that should run that bulb (you should always confirm with them that the configuration will work together):

PFO 400W Pulse Start Dual Ballast - eBay (item 180287271507 end time Nov-07-08 13:55:32 PST)

You should also double confirm flicker and noise issues too.

In other words, for DIY purposes, you're pretty much looking at the Grow/Aquarium lighting area for simplicity and cost sake. Venture Lighting also has some interesting lamps more in the 5000K / CRI 90 range:

http://www.venturelighting.com/Lamps...ite_lamps.html

They make ballasts too. You just have to find a dealer selling the bulb and ballast.

Iwasaki does have one 1000w bulb like you wanted though:

http://www.eye.co.jp/sources/metal/pdf/p25.pdf

5500K, CRI 90. Just need a suitable flicker/noise free ballast after to drive it. I've never actually seen that bulb carried by a dealer so a bit of searching will be necessary. It is huge and would only be suitable for a softbox or big open face fixture since the point light source isn't small enough to be good for fresnels/pars as we know them.

Of course, I'm constantly evaluating bulbs and ballasts and looking for the hidden gems with everything you'd want--size, color temperature, CRI, no flicker, long life. As mentioned before, the Philips MSR-400 isn't ideal from life or cost perspective but it is very compact and a great point light source. Thus, that's the kind of bulb you'd want for a par or fresnel and of course it could work in a softbox too. We have a ballast we found for the Philips MSR-400 here in China and we will have at least one product based on that in the near future. Probably more products like softbox too. The best situation would be to have a glass protection beaker around them in the softbox like a K5600 does. Then you're sure about UV and explosion issues.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #21
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Andrew,

with all due respect, a 1000 hr lifetime bulb is just fine for pro use. if you burned the light 8 hrs a day, thats 125 days of burn time, or you are working 2+ days a week, every week for a year. most freelancer's would be happy to be that busy. put another way, if you worked 125 days in one year, the cost of the bulb even at a low day rate would be nothing, .50/day for a $75 bulb. so a 1000hr bulb life is very acceptable for some one who is working a lot. for some one who only gets a few days per month, a 1000 hr bulb would last several years.

either way, its ok.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Richard Andrewski View Post
I've never seen one. The best I've seen is a dual 400w used for grow/aquarium type scenarios. But what you need to do is start out by deciding which bulb to use, then decide the ballast setup. What you find when searching for bulb/ballast is a tradeoff between life, color temperature and size.

In other words, do you want to run a single ended HMI type bulb--something like the Philips MSR-400 (reasonably expensive, GX9.5 base/cold start, tough to find a ballast to run it from somewhere reasonably priced and only 1000 hours life); or can you use something like the EYE Lighting (Iwasaki Electric) 400w 90 CRI:

400 Watt 6500K Metal Halide Bulb - Iwasaki, Mogul Base - eBay (item 180286303271 end time Nov-04-08 16:30:36 PST)

It is 6500K though and it uses a mogul base which will be the common type for those bulbs and it is much bigger than something like the Philips MSR-400 but its life is 10,000 hours!

Its tough to find the color temperature and CRI you want exactly--as you can imagine, the 6500K is not optimal for mixing with other lighting but would be fine in controlled situations and all by itself or with natural daylight.

The same company has a dual ballast that should run that bulb (you should always confirm with them that the configuration will work together):

PFO 400W Pulse Start Dual Ballast - eBay (item 180287271507 end time Nov-07-08 13:55:32 PST)

You should also double confirm flicker and noise issues too.

In other words, for DIY purposes, you're pretty much looking at the Grow/Aquarium lighting area for simplicity and cost sake. Venture Lighting also has some interesting lamps more in the 5000K / CRI 90 range:

http://www.venturelighting.com/Lamps...ite_lamps.html

They make ballasts too. You just have to find a dealer selling the bulb and ballast.

Iwasaki does have one 1000w bulb like you wanted though:

http://www.eye.co.jp/sources/metal/pdf/p25.pdf

5500K, CRI 90. Just need a suitable flicker/noise free ballast after to drive it. I've never actually seen that bulb carried by a dealer so a bit of searching will be necessary. It is huge and would only be suitable for a softbox or big open face fixture since the point light source isn't small enough to be good for fresnels/pars as we know them.

Of course, I'm constantly evaluating bulbs and ballasts and looking for the hidden gems with everything you'd want--size, color temperature, CRI, no flicker, long life. As mentioned before, the Philips MSR-400 isn't ideal from life or cost perspective but it is very compact and a great point light source. Thus, that's the kind of bulb you'd want for a par or fresnel and of course it could work in a softbox too. We have a ballast we found for the Philips MSR-400 here in China and we will have at least one product based on that in the near future. Probably more products like softbox too. The best situation would be to have a glass protection beaker around them in the softbox like a K5600 does. Then you're sure about UV and explosion issues.
Richard, thanks for the very thorough response,

The Eye MT1000B-D/BH is probably the bulb I need. After running a Google search, I'm now convinced it would be hard to find...
The Radium HRI-TS 1000W/D/S also has good specs, a compatible ballast & K12s-36 socket could be problematic to locate.

At the moment I'm evaluating the following bulb/ballast combos:

Osram Powerstar HQI-TS 400W/D with 400W Coralvue Dimmable ballast CV-DIM-400B

Iwasaki 400W 6.5k Mogul base with PFO 400w Dual HQI

Assuming the Osram/Coralvue combo is compatible my thought is that it would be ideal for video use. The bulb specs 5.2k, 93CRI, 12000h, F2c base look about right. The dimming ability is an attractive feature but how does dimming affect the color temperature and lamp life. The 3 ballasts needed to build a 1.2k fixture would be almost too heavy to carry on a plane. Any thoughts on this combo?

The Dual PFO ballast means I could carry one ballast instead of two but I see is no mention of dual voltage. 6.5k would require some color temp adjust.

Compromise compromise...
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Old October 15th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #23
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Compromise compromise...
Yeah. Metal halide's been around for quite a while but its still immature in many ways and hasn't been widely available especially in the USA which contributes to the immaturity. We do see the choices multiplying though and as these things are out for longer and longer there will be more suitable choices for media production lighting with all our criteria--size, weight, life, dual input voltage, noise levels (no fan or no noticeable oscillations of the bulb within human hearing frequencies), no flicker at any shutter speed or FPS, color temperature and CRI are all the criteria and its tough to get a match on everyone of those criteria.

You didn't mention universal voltage requirement before which is tougher to do with metal halide. Many manufacturers don't do it because they feel it adds to the size, weight and inefficiency of the ballast.

Dimming is tough with any metal halide including HMI. It does decrease bulb life (if that's a concern) and like all discharge bulbs there is a some color temperature change. I'd skip the dimming if at all possible as its not all that reliable with this class of ballast anyway--especially if they claim to be able to dim below 50%. Its pretty hard to hold ignition on the bulb below 50%. Most ballasts that do dimming won't go below that.

Here's a single 400w that does dual voltage:

400W 400 WATT DIGITAL GROW BALLAST MH + HPS 120/240V - eBay (item 380073117569 end time Oct-18-08 11:11:31 PDT)

Or this one:

ELECTRONIC BALLAST, 400W Metal Halide-UL--CORAL VUE - eBay (item 350059521419 end time Nov-08-08 06:57:08 PST)

The Icecap 400 should be pretty good but is single voltage 120v:

http://www.icecapinc.com/tfp%20icecap%20400-mh%202.pdf
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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #24
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Andrew,
with all due respect, a 1000 hr lifetime bulb is just fine for pro use. (snip) for some one who only gets a few days per month, a 1000 hr bulb would last several years.
Until some ham-footed bystander knocks the HMI light stand over. Then you just cry.

I use my 400-par Joker HMIs nearly every shoot. I only seem to replace a bulb a year, if that. It's the initial cost of the system that hurts the most.
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