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Old July 2nd, 2010, 04:09 AM   #1
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Meking HMIs

Anyone seen or played with any of these?

Continuous Light HMI 400W FC2 Lamp For Film & Camera on eBay (end time 02-Jul-10 13:48:31 BST)

They seem to have a range to 400w that looks to have an integral ballast and then 575+ with an external ballast. Chinese. cheap.

The sub 575 i would guess are ceramic/MH based, they require a warm up period so aren't hot restrike.

I was thinking about designing/making some like these a year or so ago, they're a fairly good price, although i have no background on the company, safety, electrics etc,.

cheers
paul
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:01 AM   #2
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Just from the picture they look incredibly poorly made.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:26 AM   #3
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That's a little unfair based on a photo, what makes you say that? Even arris are aluminium extrusions like this.

I have both real arris, dedos, kinos and some 3rd party knock offs. And some of copies are really pretty good. It depends whether you're a rental company or whether you look after your equipment. The concerns are really of electrical safety issues which would be difficult to judge based on a photo hence seeing whether anyone has made the plunge...

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Old July 2nd, 2010, 07:19 AM   #4
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The claimed lamp life is 8,000 hours so those are not the lamps made for film and television!
The lamps in our 200W Joker Bugs and 400W Kobold are rated at around 300 hours. They're also around 50% of the price of that unit so something says they're using the much cheaper industrial / commercial discharge lamps. If that's the case then the quality of the light coming out of these is going to be quite poor.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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the ones under 575W are probably ceramic, but having said that there are some very high quality bulbs available that are long life, designed for architectural display, exhbitions etc,. very high CRI, better in some cases to HMI which can be quite variable. I think the jokers 400w are philips MSR bulbs?

I went through a phase of jury rigging some fixtures like this together because i saw a market opportunity but i didn't really have the time to do it so gave up. But a year ago i made some really nice quality 200W tests out of off the shelf high frequency ballasts and ceramic bulbs, even bringing some 575/1200 ballasts over from china. Tested with various cameras and the light was great. Also 4200k versions which i found quite flexible with the way i light.

If you take apart a joker bug 400 there isn't several thousand dollars worth of electronics in there. HMI prices are artificially high because they can be.

If jokers were more reasonably priced (over here anyway) then i'd get some because i like the design and the way they work. But for us it's easier to hire, even though i love owning!

The downsides to these ceramics are that they are not not restrike, but that's not always an issue.

I say again, i wonder if anyone has actually seen or used one of these? If they check out safety wise and are made sensibly then a 400W could be a nice little light.

cheers
paul
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 01:20 PM   #6
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As was pointed out to me recently lighting is priced solely by what the market will bear. A case in point is the LightPanels Sola 12 Fresnel fixture which uses a $50 LED and still ends up costing near $5,000... and probably is selling like hotcakes.

On the flip side is the LEDZ Brute 30, a 2K lumen LED fixture that also retails for near $5,000 and which is NOT selling well.

The Joker Bug are priced exactly right for their intended market. We know this because they're still selling.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 05:02 PM   #7
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Richard at Cool Lights has been doing HMI-style lights that are very affordable (I'm not all techhie about this, but I'm recalling it's with ceramic-discharge-whatever).

Don't know if the technology is comparable, but his take on HMI's has been embraced by plenty of folks. Just sayin', it can be done. Don't know a thing about the units above (other than they are "continusus", whatever that may mean...)
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 02:06 AM   #8
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I've seen the light in question before. For me, there were a number of things that made it not very interesting.

1). Don't like the lens. Its a frosted glass concave par type lens. So much for your hard light/shadow rendering if you want that. Seems like they wanted something thats sort of like a par can with a diffusor lens on it, definitely not a fresnel.

2). Magnetic ballast. Fine at some frame rates/shutter speeds but not at others. We only sell electronic ballasts. At least it doesn't have a fan though which is nice.

3). Its ugly.


We never find anything off the shelf we want to sell. The only thing going for it is the 250 and 400 versions use the Philips MSR 250 and 450 type semi-HMI "entertainment" bulbs (all the good things about HMI including color rendering and daylight color temp but not hot restart). They are often used in spotlights or moving head stage lamps. So I wouldn't categorize this as a CDM but something about midway between CDM and HMI. Those are the same bulbs we've been using in our prototypes for 250 or 400w instruments. I like them a lot. The only thing holding us back from having our own 400w fresnel is developing an electronic ballast without a fan which is quite a trick. People in the video / film world don't like fans.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #9
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Thank you Richard for your insights.

I don't see any ballast with the sub 575 lights, could they have it integrated in the head?

cheers
paul
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Old July 5th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #10
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Yes its integrated into the head which is interesting as I would expect a 400w magnetic ballast to be fairly large and relatively heavy. I never saw the inside of it.
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