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Old December 23rd, 2003, 06:27 PM   #1
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Bottom line: Best handheld light/belt combination?

In your experience, what's the best handheld light/battery belt plus optional softbox combination? (The type for a PA to carry...not to mount on the camera--taking into consideration wattage of the lamp, burn time of the belt, real estate of the softbox diffusion screen, type of connector, and price of all.)

Here's what I've found:

Gyoury wands - great. But the 30v belt is way too pricey.
Lowel i-Light - nice but lacking oomph. Especially when you add the dichroic filter thus cutting the output by 50%.
Lowel Omni - good, but can you attach a large softbox...and how long can your average belt power a 500 watt bulb
Lowel Pro - same as above
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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:37 PM   #2
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I'd go for an HMI light source, no matter what battery belt I chose. Frezzi, for example, has HMIs from 18 to at least 50 watts IIRC. One of those behind a camera-top softbox is quite nice.

There are other suppliers but HMI is by far the biggest bang for the weight unless you look at the white-light LED soft-sources. But now you are talking Real Bucks.

A 18 watt HMI, while giving you the light equivalent of about 70 watts of Halogen light, will run for over an hour on a single NP-1B Nicad battery. 4-5 hours on a pro belt.

The small Frezzi's run about $700 list.

Most Pro belts have a current limit that precludes you running a 500 watt bulb.
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Old December 26th, 2003, 03:14 PM   #3
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John:

I've been running my Gyoury on a 12v inverter, using a variety of batteries depending on the job (including 12v belts and Anton Bauer with XLR plate). It works fine. I can't give you an accurate run time, but I do know that it requires somewhere around 180 watts to run (i.e. it wouldn't run properly on a 140 watt AC inverter, but would on a 220 watt). I am currently setting up my XL1 to run off 14.4 volt Dewalt batteries which have a lot of punch and cost $45 each, and plan to have an adaptor so I can use one of these batt's in a fanny pack to power the Gyoury.

Output-wise, it's similar to a Joker 200 *(HMI) with softbox, more so if you are working in tungsten (you would have to gel down the Joker vs. swapping wands in the Gyoury).

I've used it battery-powered for walk-and-talks both as a handheld unit in the reflector and on a boom pole with the China ball setup, and it is lovely. The China ball in particular is great in that you are able to float it exactly where you want independently of the camera, and it is a pretty light source.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 01:34 AM   #4
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Charles,

Mind sharing which brand of 12v inverter and belt batteries you're using? Also, just to clarify, you're using simply the wand with the snap on reflector, right? That would make a huge difference in price.

Mike,

I'm trying to avoid the "Real Bucks" you mentioned...as much as possible anyway. I have a Frezzi Mini-Fill and it just doesn't cut it in my opinion for anything other than news-style camera mount situations.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 01:57 AM   #5
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John:

I have a Radio Shack inverter, nothing fancy...keep meaning to replace it with another one that doesn't have a fan (it hasn't boned me yet, sound-wise, but it may one of these days). I don't know about brands of belt batteries, they came from the rental house. Depending on how long your shots are, you can do fine with a single battery as I described earlier. The trick, of course, is to adapt your existing assets so you don't have a pile of redundant gear--I'm trying to use the same batteries for the camera and for the Gyoury, as well as to charge my cel phone when I'm on a long location day, or power my laptop on a long flight when the internal batteries run out (like when flying to Japan some day, for instance...!)
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Old December 29th, 2003, 10:00 PM   #6
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charles,
not to hijack the thread, but i'm curious about the Gyoury light system. i'm used to conventional HMI light sources when working with 5600k.

i'm looking for a 200w HMI to do eng standups with - cuz thats what i'm used to - but now i see the Gyourys.

what might you recommend if i go with the Gyoury? keep in mind i'm lighting one person for a standup. can i get away with one dimmable, the reflector and ballast - then just mount it on a stand?

being able to DC power it would be great, but inverter is fine as well.

thanks for your insight.
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Old December 29th, 2003, 10:49 PM   #7
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Hi Brian:

Yes, one dimmable unit with reflector will set you up nicely. The dimming function is great to quickly dial in the intensity, especially helpful if the unit itself is up high or inaccessible (it makes a beautiful soft hair light when rigged out on a boom, and with the ballast remoted it's all too easy to adjust if the dark haired subject is replaced with a platinum blonde.

The real treat of the Gyoury's is the modularity. From a straight on Kino-Flo type setup like you would be using with your standups (in either 5600 or 3200K configuration, quickly switchable) you can use the wands outside the reflector such as strapped on to a car visor or accent background light. And the afore-mentioned China ball rocks.

Gyoury makes a nice set of accessories that include adaptors to directly mount the reflectors onto 5/8" studs or C-stands, with or without the ballasts piggy-backed, and incorporating a ballmount for positioning. There's also a bracket that lets you mount a bare wand onto a stand.

As far as comparing to a 200w HMI, I have been told the output is similar but I'm not sure if that is bare or through a Chimera (I'm guessing the latter). I think the decision of which unit would be based on whether you need the added flexibility of design of the Gyoury.

Good luck! If you go with the Gyoury, let me know what you think!
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Old December 30th, 2003, 07:46 AM   #8
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charles,
thanks much for the info. i need to get my hands on one to see just what they're all about. truly more affordable than a conventional HMI. i see b/h sells them - i'll try to find a dealer here in FL as well.

thanks again
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Old December 30th, 2003, 11:58 AM   #9
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You can buy direct as well. If you have questions, Chris Gyoury is there to help. He and his wife Sarah are very nice. Tell 'em I sent you!
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Old December 30th, 2003, 12:21 PM   #10
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yeah - i saw that. looked their site over pretty well. i would like to get my hands on one for a demo. i don't buy even a pair of jeans without trying them on first!! ;-)

thanks, charles!
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