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Old March 26th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #1
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Used arri kit price question

A guy local to me is selling a kit:

Arri Fresnel Tungsten 4 Light Kit - consists of: 1 Fresnel 300, 2 Fresnel 650 Lights, Arrilight 1000, Barndoors, 4 Light Stands, Bulbs, Soft box Chimera, Rings, Accessory Pack, and HEAVY DUTY CASE Case - 2600 Total Watts, all for just $2,000.

Kit looks to be all but brand new ("more money than brains" comes to mind), but $2k is about twice what I'd pay for that kit.

Anybody have any suggestion of what it's actually worth?
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Old March 27th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #2
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That's the Arri Softbank IV kit. Costs $3141 at B&H. $2K is thus a very good price if in good shape.

Why would you only pay $1K for that kit? Makes it sound like you don't think the lights themselves are worth it. Arri lights are solidly built, industry standard and last forever if properly treated. They have also been improved over the years to maximize the light output, in the design of the reflectors and the lens. There are less expensive alternatives around, but they likely won't perform as well or be as robust.

If I didn't already own that kit, I'd buy it at $2K in good condition, let alone "all but brand new".
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Old March 27th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Why would you only pay $1K for that kit? Makes it sound like you don't think the lights themselves are worth it.
In short, I don't. I'm not saying no one should think it's worth $2k, I'm just saying that if I found a $2k gift certificate in the gutter tomorrow morning, and it could only be used on hot lights, a 4-light Arri kit wouldn't be on my list. A couple of 4x55 cool-lights, yes. A comer 1800, perhaps. But 4 tungsten lights, that are basically composed of a beefy filament arced across 110v... I think I can pull of a similar function for about 25%.

There is a price I am willing to pay for name and reputation (for my $, about $1k), but at some point, I'm not ready to pay 3x or 4x or 5x for 110v arced across a filament that costs $5 to mfr.

However, I came here to find the market price for such a gizmo... and I appreciate your (and anyone elses) input.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 01:55 AM   #4
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Stands alone are worth $350 - 400 FYI.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #5
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A Fresnel kit is a lot more versatile than a florescent light kit, which restricted to just being soft light. One gives you control, while the other is more difficult to control. I'd take a hard light kit before a soft light kit any time, there are numerous methods of converting hard light to various degrees of softness. Plus, those wonderful pools of light and quick shafts down a wall.

That's not to say I don't use florescent units, I do, but I love mixing hard and soft light.

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; March 28th, 2010 at 10:14 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #6
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I have the same kit and have been using it for 15 years now. It is still in great condition and still works flawlessly. As a matter of fact, I just loaded it into the truck and am leaving for a shoot with it. $2k is a steal if the kit is really in good shape and includes all of the accessories.

Dan
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #7
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Clearly, the people with the MOST experience here of actually making a living doing video lighting have given you advice.

This is a very good deal on an EXCELLENT general purpose light kit.

Your statement " I think I can pull of a similar function for about 25%" - linked to a lighting list that includes only a fluor softbank and an "ON CAMERA" light??? - tools which are useful in about 1/10th the lighting situations the Arri kit would solve, proves that you're one of those folks who believe that they've figured this "lighting stuff" all out.

Good for you. For heaven's sake do NOT buy this equipment. Nobody here would ever want you to change your whole outlook confronted by the decades proven reliability and flexibility of tungsten fresnels over your choices.

The rest of us understand that after 25 or 30 years of daily working with real-world situations has convinced us that there's always something more to learn. Particularly from the people we trust who are not only still working professionally, but who never stopped learning and decided "my current tools are ALL I'll ever need to understand."

Good luck in your practice.

Oh, as to your question about what it's actually WORTH. I'd say MORE than the seller is asking.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
A guy local to me is selling a kit... but $2k is about twice what I'd pay...
Mike, since you're going to pass it up, tell him he can list it here for even
more than what he's asking from you. Based on the replies you've received
so far here, he'll have no trouble selling it on our site for more than $2K.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #9
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That's a really good buy. Sure, it's overpriced, you're paying for the brand. But there's a flip side, they hold their value better than any other brand. It's like buying a Boston Whaler, yes, overpriced, but you get your money back fast. It's very liquid, not so of ebay chinese brand knockoffs. I'd kill to have that kit.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #10
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To be completely fair:
ARRI lights are professional level tools (not unlike Snap-On or MAC in the hand tool market) that may not be appropriate for all levels of video producers.

What one gets with lighting equipment at this level is:
- high quality construction - these lights will outlast 3 or 4 cameras you own with just a modicum of care - barn doors will stay firmly attached and still be aimable after many years;
- industry standard fixtures and fitments - show up to any pro video shoot and these will mount to a wide assortment of grip gear by many different manufacturers;
- high quality of light emission - no hot spots or "donuts" - another industry standard light, the Lowel Omni, while a good light for indirect lighting has a nasty "donut hole" of reduced light emission that can be seen in some direct lighting scenarios;
- industry standard colour temperature - you'll get consistent 3200k colour temp out of these instruments versus a wide variance with consumer fixtures like work lights and the light will be full spectrum without spikes and peaks that need to be dealt with in post;
- high CRI - a high CRI means a highly accurate colour representation of your lit subject;
- safe - these fixtures are intended for the purposes for which they will be used and contain additional safety features like scrims to protect from bursting luminants;

I understand that not every video maker can justify the cost of pro level gear when starting out and may CHOOSE not to work with pro gear even when they can afford it. But again, lighting and grip gear will outlast virtually every other video purchase you make. I love my Ianiros and Lowels because every freelancer I work with opens my light kits and instantly knows what they are dealing with.

Just my 2 cents as an independent with about $8000CDN invested in lighting gear.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 08:13 AM   #11
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I've liked the ARRI Fresnels I've worked with... The open face heads are good for Chimera use and general flood work. ARRI makes a good light. They are pretty durable as well as reasonably light weight. The heads I've used do seem to get a bit warmer than some of their heavier counterparts, but that's the tradeoff.

They're well made and well thought-out fixtures.

I'd agree with the pack... In this economy, if you have 2K for lights, you'll have a difficult time getting more for your money.
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