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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #1
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Rostronics & Overseas Shipping Options

Hi everyone,

I'm looking at maybe picking up the 1500W 3 light kit from Rostronics and having it shipped to Australia - I can't seem to find anything that's as well priced over here.

Unfortunately, even though the shipping prices appear to be accurate, they are about equal to the cost of the kits. The $425 1500W kit costs about $350 to ship and that makes the deal nowhere near as sweet, and I may as well just buy an overpriced set from here in Australia.

Is there a benefit to having the poles removed from the kit? If I ordered the kit without the poles would that reduce the weight considerably enough to reduce the shipping cost?

Thanks for your help,
-- John.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #2
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The Britek stands are, at best, ok. If you can save a substancial amount by removing them from the kit, that could be a good deal, since the Britek lights (the focusable ones) are really good for the price, and you should be able to find some better stands locally.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean-Philippe Archibald
the Britek lights (the focusable ones) are really good for the price...
Thanks for your quick response!

So you think the upgrade to the focusable lights is a good idea?

What's the difference between them? I don't know what the focusable lights do...
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #4
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A focussable light have the ability to change the distance between the bulb and the front end of the light. This way, you can change the size of the spread of light... more toward flood, or more toward spot.

The Brifocus lights are designed close to the Arrilite. They are round, easy to work with scrims, and use the same bulbs as other open faced lights from ARRI, Mole, etc. The focus feature is nice to have. It's definitly not close to a fresnel light, but can be really handy.

The standard lights are nothing more than glorified worklights. IMO the Brifocus line is WAY better.
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Last edited by Jean-Philippe Archibald; January 11th, 2006 at 10:33 AM.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #5
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I agree. I ordered all lamps as focusable. Taking the stands out substantially reduced shipping costs. I selected the lamps & softbox that I wanted separatly (rather than a kit). It still came out way cheaper than anything I can get in the UK.

eg. a standard 3 light kit in the UK is roughly about £1000. I got the following:

2 x 650W
2 x 300W
1 x 1000W
1 x Softbox for RS1000

From memory I think the shipping to UK for the above was around $290, but you are best to get current prices from Rostronics.

Even with the shipping costs, it came to around £500 in total. So not only cheaper, but I got more lights!!

Bulbs took me a while to source as I didn't know they were the same as the arri bulbs and the UK bulb references are different, but all sorted. Very please with the lights!

I plan on getting the stands locally.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #6
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I hear you John. There's only one drawback living in Oz, and that's access to equipment. (and that's the only, so I guess I'll cope:). I'll be ordering from Rostronics also.

I haven't been able to find stands under $100 locally, but the heavy duty 8' stands at Rostronics work out to be around $50 (aus). If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious to know where you'll buy stands alternatively, and how much you'll save in shipping by removing these from your order? (I'm waiting for a reply from Tom to my intial enquiry). Regardless of shipping cost, at the moment I don't see a better way than making the full order through Rostronics.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #7
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You're right Steve, it's very difficult to find things over here.

I've no idea where I'd get the stands locally but after Tom's reply I don't have to worry about it. He suggested changing the postage service from USPS Expedited to USPS Air, which is about $200 cheaper!

Given that, I will most likely place the entire order through Rostronics.

However I take it from what Jean-Philippe said that the stands that come with this kit are not the heavy duty ones. Perhaps I'll look into an upgrade...

I do have one question though. In the product description, it says "These lights are color corrected (3200K)." But I thought 3200K referred to the orange/red light and that color corrected lights were about 5500K.

I just found this site here - at the very bottom of the page is an illustration of the difference - under Some Notes On Colour Temperature. So does the kit include lights that will give the effect on the left or the effect in the middle?

http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au/units/re...lighting.shtml

EDIT: My knowledge of lighting is so little that when I get all this stuff, I'm not going to know what goes on what... Which light should I put the softbox on, etc... It's going to be a steep learning curve...
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Old January 11th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #8
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A couple of things to consider when buying gear from overseas if you live in Oz.
If you are registered as a business,or are going to register you can claim your 10% GST back on local purchases. I've bought gear from overseas and sometimes the small items get through the post without having to pay GSTand customs tarrifs,but with the bigger, more expensive items, you usualy get slugged the full amount. Also take into account the crappy exchange rate at the moment.
Sometime when you do all the calculations ,shipping ,exchange rates,taxes ,warranties etc its just not worth the effort for a small saving.If you are planning any overseas trips its best to hang off untill then.Buy the gear and bring it back in your baggage ,and get the duty discount. I recently did a trip to the US and picked up a bulky item for $199. It would have cost me $440 in Oz,but if I had paid the shipping, GST,exchange rate etc to get it posted from the US, it would have cost me $420. Hardly worth the effort for the $20 savings.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #9
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When you say register as a business, does that include having an ABN?
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Old January 11th, 2006, 08:11 PM   #10
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Yes,
without an ABN and doing the full BAS thing you just have to wear the GST.
A few tips, who are they shippimg with?
I've bought in a fair bit from the USA, on one item UPS was USD 150, I asked the vendor to check out DHL and they were USD 50, only thing was they said 5 days to deliver whereas UPS were 4 days. Bear in mind that you get slugged on the exchange rate, and you pay GST on the landed price i.e. including the freight, ouch. Suddenly some of the local prices aren't so bad!

We use Manfrotto stands exclusively, pretty good value for money, I think John Barry in Melbourne carry them. Expect to pay about $140 for a decent stand. Sure the Manfrotto isn't Mathews but if it's your own kit you tend to look after it and I have to say our Manfrotto stands get a lot of use by 3rd parties and so far they've not managed to break anything.

One thing to watch out for with any US built lights, the damn leads are usually mode of horrid cable, really pays to get a local sparky to swap it for local stuff. We've had just about every USA power lead go bang, the copper is just too brittle and fails after a lot of flexing. Also in the USA running off 110V it needs to handle twice the current that you'll be using at 240V so it's way thicker and heavier than needed down here.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #11
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John, from all I've read, the 8' heavy duty stands are the way to go. Enough height to future-proof yourself, and sturdier than the shorter stands. Others who use these might chime in here. As for you learning curve, you couldn't be in a better situation right now. If you start with a good kit, that's 1/3 of the equation taken care of. Mix in some theory and practice and you're on your way. If these kits are as good as advertised (here and on dvxuser - do a search on rostronics) you'll have a kit to suit almost any situation and at great price.

My shooting partner bought an Arri kit - 1k, 650, 300 and 2x150s with barndoors and a softbox for the 1k for $5k au. $5k! Sure, it's a kit that will last forever (why they're liked by rental companies), is better quality (1 or 2 of the lights are fresnels too) and comes with scrims and a couple of extras - but a similar kit at Rostronics will set you back $1600-$1700. In this I've considered shipping, the exchange rate (.75ish) and 10% GST, and this price also includes a softbox for each light and a reflector kit. They are a different quality, make no mistake, but for me, not $3k worth.

Great news re shipping - I hadn't considered the cheaper rate in my price above.

Re the colour correction, I'm thinking it means cc'd to meet the 3200 (tungsten - indoor - warmer) standard. 5500 refers to the "daylight" standard (cooler). So the picture on the left is what you'll get. I believe the point is that you'll get consistancy between the lights and with the industry 3200k standard. My mate's Arris are 3200.

Consider the 1k light, depending on what your needs are. As you know, video needs lotsa light. After you put a softbox on it may not seem like such overkill. Also definately consider the focusable lights (there's some consensus on the boards that they are preferred, and that the other square faced lights are more like hardware store worklights. You can also fit scrims properly to the focusable, round faced lights)

Bob and Joe, thanks for your input (time to register as a business!). I imagine the learning process for beginners is so much easier than it was 10 years ago.

Steve
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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:10 PM   #12
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The stands that come with the kit (the 7'5 feet) are ok. I have bought way better stands (10 feet, very strudy) later. But they are ok! They can support the britek lights without any problem, and they are relatively lightweight. But I would not put an 1K fresnel on it!

Regarding the color temp, 3200 k is the industry standard for tungsten lightning... 5600 k is the daylight temp. An HMI lights will give you 5600 K (but HMI are really expensives). You can put a color correction blue gel in front of your lights when you need daylight temperature, but you will loose about 1 or 2 stops.

The britek lights are really great for the price. The softboxes cannot be compared with pro gear like Chimera but they are easy to setup and work great for the price.

Later, you might want to add some fresnels to your arsenal.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 03:14 AM   #13
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For you guys in Oz.
I just got an email from Video Guys in Melbourne/Sydney
They have a couple of price reductions on the kits below.
Anyone know anything about this brand?
Ianiro DIGIDUAL Light 300W/650W 240V Kit
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Old January 12th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Barker
For you guys in Oz.
I just got an email from Video Guys in Melbourne/Sydney
They have a couple of price reductions on the kits below.
Anyone know anything about this brand?
Ianiro DIGIDUAL Light 300W/650W 240V Kit
Complete lighting kit?

How can they claim complete with 2 lights when others say you need 3 lights minimum?

Great company though.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #15
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Has anyone gotten any response at all from Rostronics in the last month? I had communicated via email with them a couple months back but haven't had a response to an email in almost a month.
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