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Old November 17th, 2005, 12:01 AM   #1
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Omni vs Tota = in practice, what's the difference?

Hi, I'm a novice when it comes to lighting. I have a Lowel Omni which I've been using as a general purpose light, and wanted to pick up an additional light or two.

So, um, after going to the Lowel site, I can't figure out whether I'd be better to buy another Omni or a Tota this time. The Tota uses a different style bulb with a higher wattage, but do the two units have differing applications? That is to say, is there something the Tota will accomplish better than the Omni?

Any input much appreciated.
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Old November 17th, 2005, 11:08 AM   #2
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The Omni is a focusing open face light, while the Tota is a broad light.

An open face can be controlled with the barn doors and has a more direct pattern [than a broad] to begin with. It can be used as a hard key (if you want that), although a fresnel will have a cleaner shadow. They are also perfectly good for bouncing, diffusing, backlight, or whatever.

The Tota, you'll notice, has no barn doors and throws light... everywhere! (including out the back) They are a pain in the a$$ to control, and I only really use broads (if at all) for bouncing or diffusing through a frame. The upside to broads is they are usually very light weight and therefore easy to rig. Another downside however, is (at least with the tota) in order to mount any gels to the light, you need Lowel's rediculous gel frame that mounts into the umbrella hole and sits away from the fixture, creating horrible back-spill from the reflected light off the gel. If you get a tota, get a few flags and a roll of black wrap to go with it.

Personally, I would look to other higher quality brands than Lowel, like Arri, Desisti, Strand, and dare I say it... Mole. However, if you are buying on a tight budget and/or you are travelling with your lights a lot, Lowels do become pretty attractive. I've just had too many blown bulbs and other issues with Lowels to consider using them again.

Best,
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Old November 17th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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You can get barn doors for tota..upper and lower

This is my two cents.. where ever that saying comes from

Tota is hated and loved as a broad flood with good use in Lightbanks
or In a Lantern,
as a background light- flood
a bounce off ceiling- white I hope, or as with a gel.
Through diffusion,

If you use the correct bulbs, don't run it with its little wings closed or put it in a trash compactor it will usually run forever. You can use a 250,500,750 or GE 650 watt bulb that gives you 1000 watts but will not burn out the ceramic sockets and over time a reg 1000 watt bulb will.
You can get a clip on set of barndoors that serve as gel holders and are very useful they sell them in sets of 2 or 4. I think it is like 30 for the pair.

The omni has a real real uneven and not really useful flood and spot achieved by having the little bulb move like half an inch away from the reflector. You can buy a spot reflector and it works much better but thats another 50 bucks along with barndoors which are almost always like 50 bucks.

You can put a Lightbank on the omni but it will have more of a hotspot and only does 250 and 500 watts ac and I think 100 or 50 watts DC
The DC part might come in handy but on a battery won't last long.

If you think you are going to add a lightbank later and want a strong fill than get the tota. There is a Chimera 8000 kit that is not bad and complete.
f you are looking for a focusable light than go to a Fresnel.
Arri, Mole, Desisti.

If you think you need lots of power for high source fill with Lightbanks
look at www.barger-baglites.com
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Old November 17th, 2005, 04:02 PM   #4
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Richard and Matt,

Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate the time you have taken to reply.
Really helpful comments... you've given me a lot to think about,

Josh
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Old November 17th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #5
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Richard,

What is the ANSI code of the GE 650?
Thanks.

Bill
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Old November 17th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #6
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So UV coating keeps heat down to 650 but puts out about 1000 watts

Fcm Hr
Fwm
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Old November 18th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #7
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I've shot for years with Totas. They're great broad lights that can be used with a wide range of bulbs and modifiers as mentioned above. With a frame and a silk you can have a huge light source.

Quote:
If you think you need lots of power for high source fill with Lightbanks
look at www.barger-baglites.com
Oops, you added an S that's not in the URL, try http://www.barger-baglite.com
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Old November 18th, 2005, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Veil
Fcm Hr
Fwm

Thank you. :-)
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