Anyone have experience (or opinions) with these metal halide lights? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 21st, 2010, 06:30 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bemidji, MN
Posts: 75
Anyone have experience (or opinions) with these metal halide lights?

We're still trying to decide on our interview lighting package. We have decided daylight temp is where we're headed... gelling or bulb swapping as necessary. But looking at the LEDs and Flo options turned up these metal-halide lights. We're curious. The Alzo Digital Fastbox kit looks interesting, but there's a serious lack of user information out there on these lights. ALZO HMI Location Kit Video

I did find on another forum someone said they used these lights to light presidential candidate interviews (with link to video).

Does anyone have any experience with these lights?

Also, is this too much light for a simple head/shoulders shot? Each light is supposed to be the equivalent to 800w tungsten (without the throw of course).

I wonder if one of these with a reflector would be a good portable key/fill solution. Not quite as portable as the LED solution... and no color temp option... but better cri.

Metal Halide, LED600 or a four-bank flo fixture for key/fill?

Thoughts?

Thanks

Last edited by Kent Fraser; January 21st, 2010 at 11:43 PM.
Kent Fraser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:47 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern, CA
Posts: 198
The bulbs were developed for warehouses, parking structures and streetlights where the cold greenish cast of standard metal halides was ugly at best. A whiter/bluer light is more effective, it's easier to see with so less light is needed.

The ballasts are what's going to get hot. Notice they say they don't create as much 'radiant' heat from the bulb. You also need at least 5 minutes for them to stabilize and they won't 're-strike', light up again, if they haven't fully cooled down.

CRI=88 that's nothing to write home about.

So are they equivalent to HMI ? Not by a long shot. Would they be a good cost effective alternative ? That depends.

Go to your local aquarium shop and ask about Metal Halide daylight balanced lighting for a marine aquarium. You'll find the very same lights available at about the same price. You'll also find they're popular to grow Orchids, hot house Tomatoes and Marijuana.

In the right setup they're probably good lights for the money. Make sure you're white balanced to them, don't need to move them once they're on and you'd be OK.

For a portable interview setup, not so much.
Kirk Candlish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 162
I have a set of three of these lights and plan to get more. They are fantastic for the price. The light is soft and pleasing.

The bulbs are actually quite good. Alzo has a third party manufacturer produce bulbs at their specification. They're not the same bulbs you find in parking garages and grow houses. The temperature is perfect for matching daylight coming in through a window.

The downside is the warmup and cool down time. If you're run and gun and can't wait the five minutes for warmup and up to ten minutes for cool down, these aren't the lights for you.

I have used these light for interviews, commercials and feature film work with great results. If you can deal with the warmup/cool down time, they will not let you down.
Chad Haufschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Chad: these are somewhat interesting to me for a specific business model I have in mind. How did you get yours? Direct order from ALZO or a reseller or????
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 162
Hey, Shaun. I got mine in a round-about way and I feel kind of bad about it even though there's no way I could have known. I actually got the original fixtures from a third party about 4 years ago that no longer sells them because they didn't actually have permission from Alzo to sell them in the first place!

I've since spoken with the Alzo guys on a few occasions and purchased replacement bulbs from them, much better bulbs than came with the set originally. It's my impression that they don't have resellers. It's all direct order. Honestly, with the customer service they've given me even though the lights were purchased in a somewhat shady way, I wouldn't buy from anyone else. They're good people.

What's your plan if you don't mind me asking?
Chad Haufschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern, CA
Posts: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Haufschild View Post
They're not the same bulbs you find in parking garages and grow houses. The temperature is perfect for matching daylight coming in through a window.
Oh but they are. They have a daylight balance phosphor, just as aquarium lights, modern street lights and hydroculture bulbs do.

You got much better replacement bulbs ? So they sourced a different vendor the second time around.
Kirk Candlish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 162
Kirk. I'm not saying the technology isn't the same. It is. I'm saying that the quality of light I've gotten from Alzo's bulbs is better.

The first set I received from the unauthorized vender were the same metal halide manufacturer branded bulbs you'd buy for your weed garden. Now I got to say that the quality of light from those bulbs really wasn't too bad. But the Alzo branded bulbs I purchased to replace them gave me a noticeably more consistent color temperature from fixture to fixture.

I spoke at length with an Alzo rep when I needed new bulbs and found out about the unauthorized dealer issue. The rep was candid about the problems they were dealing with because of the infringement. I bought the bulbs and noticed the difference.

That's my experience.

Have you used or seen the Alzo lights in use? If not, check them out. For the money I'm very satisfied.
Chad Haufschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern, CA
Posts: 198
Yes, I saw them at a trade show and the bulbs were identical to the 400W MH 5500K bulbs I use for my aquarium. That's the point I've been making.

There are only a couple of manufacturers for the bulbs and they do change the phosphors for various vendors. They may be able to get a custom phosphor run done, but they'd have to buy an enormous quantity of bulbs and have the means to extensively test the output of the bulb to design a custom phosphor.
Kirk Candlish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
There are plenty of ways of producing light and many of them will work quite well for video purposes. These kinds of discharge light weren't intended for this kind of work, but if they work and you're happy with the results - that's fine. You can buy so many excellent and not so good products that in the end, it's like buying tools. You can buy an expensive tool, and use it for years and get very comfortable with it, and know it's limitations and strengths. You can also buy a budget tool that may fail quickly, or be able to do nearly as much as a proper one. Me - I hate this type of discharge lamp. I just find it rather bland and some colours in clothing and background just look muted. I really hate the reds that get revealed by these lamps. Somehow many shades of red all appear very similar. They do cover large areas well. I've used a dozen or so of these to light theatre auditoria for TV purposes and they work pretty well as general light - however, in these circumstances, the light on stage looks better - which actually helps me - keeping the audience lit but bland.

The softness helps to conceal poor or difficult lighting placement - especially if you can use softboxes or diffuser.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
Yes, I saw them at a trade show and the bulbs were identical to the 400W MH 5500K bulbs I use for my aquarium. That's the point I've been making.

There are only a couple of manufacturers for the bulbs and they do change the phosphors for various vendors. They may be able to get a custom phosphor run done, but they'd have to buy an enormous quantity of bulbs and have the means to extensively test the output of the bulb to design a custom phosphor.
Fair enough, Kirk. Their rep made it clear to me that they do indeed have their bulbs made to customs specs. Of course he may have been blowing smoke up my butt! Regardless, I'm pleased with the quality of light and the performance of the fixtures.

And I agree with you, Paul, that not all tools are equal. But each of us have different budgets, requirements and stylistic concerns. These lights don't trip your trigger. That's cool. As you said, we use our tools, get comfortable with them and learn their limitations. For me they work perfectly.
Chad Haufschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Thanks Paul. The limitations as you express them will still work for my SPECIFIC perceived need. I just can't warrant multiple Mole Richardson HMI's for what I need RIGHT now and can't rely on HMI rentals as my idea is based on a fast response model.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern, CA
Posts: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
In the right setup they're probably good lights for the money. Make sure you're white balanced to them, don't need to move them once they're on and you'd be OK.
Like I said in my first post, balance to them and you'll probably be fine.

And as both Chad and I said, the warm up and cool down time makes them tuff to use for quick setups and teardowns.
Kirk Candlish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Just remember that white balancing to a light source that has a significant spike in a colour response range (like sodium vapours and OLD fluoros) causes the "offending" colour's Proc Amp to have it's gain reduced significantly, thereby reducing overall colour fidelity. A BALANCED light source will always yield a better colour representation than a heavily weighted one. This is why premium level cameras like Sony's BVW-600 and D700 had two rings of correction - one for neutral density, another for preliminary colour correction to get the light "into the ballpark" before white balancing.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:04 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network