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Old January 28th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #1
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dedolight vs. arri fresnel, portable location kit

I've heard some raves about the dedolight here and elsewhere, and the arris also, so I thought I'd throw this out there. For a portable kit for interviews, etc, which way would you go, or what combination of the two? One thing that isn't clear to me is (other than cost) where the fresnel would be prefered. I haven't been able to find any direct user-end comparisons, but it seems like the dedolight is much more efficient and lighter, both important attributes for portable, small crew location work.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:22 AM   #2
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Hi Adam,

Are you talking about the dedo 650 tungsten vs an Arri Junior? I'll guess that you are and say that there is nothing the Junior can do that the dedo can't. I have 100 and 650 dedos, and all the Arri Juniors - bought before the 650 dedo was available. If I only take one light, it is usually the dedo 650. The dedo is just so much more controllable. JUst one example: In tight locations you can send a narrow beam of light in to a reflector. A Junior will do that as well, of course, but not to the same degree.

Best,
Helen
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Old January 29th, 2004, 09:30 AM   #3
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Thanks, Helen, I was hoping you would chime in. I wasn't refering to any specific dedolight, but more how they compare across the range and specifically if there's any reason besides cost to go with a fresnel instead of a dedo. I talked to dedolight yesterday and was informed that the 100s have been replaced by 150s with new optics and now have 3 times the light output of the 100s. One factor that has me thinking dedo is that I'll be shooting often in old houses, long interviews, and how much power I draw will be an issue. Also lugging around a dedo kit seems much more manageable. Thanks for the 650 comparison.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #4
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Helen,

I just ordered the Arri 650 Watt fresnel a few minutes ago. I'd given the Dedolight a lot of consideration...due mainly to your posts about Dedo...but the deciding factor was price. Dedos ain't cheap, are they?
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Old January 29th, 2004, 09:42 AM   #5
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I don't own Dedos and have only used them on few shoots, but they are great little lights. They're small, light weight and give one heck of a punch for the size. They're big draw back is they are expensive when compared to other lights, but again that can be deceiving. Here's an example, if you compare watts of lights, say a Arri 650 to a Dedo 100watt, on the surface the the Arri 650 sounds more powerful and cost $100-200 less. In reality the output of a Dedo is very close to a 500 watt Arri. So you're very close in output and you have half the size to deal with.

Here's another cool thing about Dedo's, the lamps are dirt cheap and last forever. Ok, not forever, but I would guess you have at least 20-30 times the lamp life over most conventional movie lights. In a demo I saw once, the creator of Dedo's took an Arri 150, while it was on and pounded it onto a metal chair. Blam, the lamp blows. He took a Dedo while on and did the same thing 6 times and lamp never blew. How many times on a set have you bumped a light and blown the lamp. I had them go over and it's always re-lamp time (except for the time the director's head got in the way, but that's another story.) The Dedo lamps are very sturdy, so over it's life, you'd most likely make up the extra cost of the Dedo in savings on replacement lamps.

I should say I don't work for Dedo and nobody related to me owns stock in them, I just like them.

Scott
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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:44 PM   #6
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Nice demo reel on your site, Scott!

Well now... I didn't know about the added whallop the Dedos carry. I figured a 650 Arri and Dedo would be about the same.

Definitely something I'll look into before my next purchase.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #7
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Thank for the kind comments on my reel.

My joke about Dedo's is, "You can light a scene and pound nails with it at the same time.".

Scott
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Old January 29th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #8
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I've got a question about Dedos. I'm just learning about lights, and am trying to make smart choices in building my arsenal. I don't believe in buying cheap stuff, but I also don't believe in spending money on things you don't have the expertise to take advantage of. Would a Dedo be a waste of money for me? For the price, a couple of Arri or Mole fresnels seem like good choices. They're good solid gear, and have been used for years and years. Dedos seem like real precision instruments, which is great if you know what the hell you're doing. Since I'm just learning, would it be a better idea to start out with more traditional gear? Looking through the B&H catalog, it seems that in order to operate the Dedo universal lamphead ($369.95) I need a power supply, which starts at like $900 bucks. That's serious cash (to me). With the power supply, the light looks to be dimmable, but would the color temperature change like it does with dimmers on other lights? If not, that would seem to be a big plus in the Dedo's favor, but maybe I would be better off if I was forced to learn how to size up a lighting situation and pick the right wattage fresnel right off. I could swing the Dedo, but I worry that it would be like trying to drive a Ferrari with a learner's permit.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 11:10 PM   #9
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Dedo's are expensive little buggers and that's the reason I don't own them. I've been tempted at times, but am usually feeding my various cameras, film & video. Either that or I've found some used deal where I could get 3 lights for the price of one dedo.

That said you could go for the Dedo DLHM4300U which has a built in tranformer which runs $580, add barndoors for $70 and you've at $650-ish.

In the end, I recommend you hunt up some used lights. Check out:
www.visualproducts.com
www.woodennickellighting.com

I'd go for a 600watt Fresnel, some form of soft light (a Lowel Rifa or Chimera) and a opened faces 1K (Lowel DP or Mickey Mole. Add a Midget or some form of 200 or 300 watt fresnel. Then suppliment with some china lanterns and mini halogens. (read my article: Low Budget Lighting at the top of the Photon management section.)

Dedo's are like fine sports cars, so build up a general kit and then when you build up some spare bucks, get some.

Scott
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Old January 30th, 2004, 04:46 AM   #10
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Regarding the built in power supply, there's also models with an in-line dimmable power supply. The advantage is that the head can then be used with a battery if you ever needed that option, or could be used with a main power supply box. Just more flexibility in the long run, and no real drawbacks compared to the built-in. BTW, I got this info from dedolight. They're very helpful if you call them. Dimming does change the color temp.
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Old January 30th, 2004, 06:27 AM   #11
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Adam's right - the in-line dimming power supply is a lot cheaper than the multi-head power supplies, and you can get an XLR4 cable for battery use. Before I got my own, I often found that rented units had unreliable in-line power supplies, so if you are renting it may be better to get the robust multiple power supply units. I've had no problems with my own in-line units, but, having paid for them myself, I treat them fairly carefully and try to persuade the rest of the crew to do likewise!

The total amount of light that the small dedos (100 W, 150 W) put out does not match the Arri 650 in flood - where the improved optical system is less benefit. For overall lighting they definitely can't replace a 650 Junior.

I couldn't find any hard photometric info for the 100 W or 150 W head (with no projection lens - the info is there for the projection lenses) on the dedo site, but here's what they say:

'The light head of the Dedolight system is extremely compact yet - with its dual-lens concept - provide astounding light output. With a 100W lamp in flood position, its light output is greater than a 300W fresnel studio fixture. In spot position, its output equals or exceeds a 1000W fresnel studio fixture.'

Best,
Helen
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