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Old March 4th, 2003, 11:28 PM   #1
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Arri D2 Kit

I plan to add a good set of fresnel lights to my arsenal of lighting tools. Basically, I generally need to light small-to-medium sized indoor scenes and want to keep the per-lamp wattage under 1K (as a practical matter for residential settings). I also prefer to buy a set of lights as a packable kit and keep the weight of the kit down to the extent practical.

After weeks of research I've come to the preliminary conclusion that the Arri D2 kit would fill my bill. But before I pull the trigger I want to solicit any opinions forerunners with this kit, or other fresnel kits, might have.

Thanks very much, in advance, for any thoughts you might have.
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Old March 5th, 2003, 03:51 AM   #2
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I really like the Lowel omni's and tota's as well, worth checking them out.

Zac
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Old March 5th, 2003, 09:51 AM   #3
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Kermie,
Thank you for the suggestion. I already have a complete Lowell Omni/Tota outfit. They are, indeed, very handy but those are open-face lights, which throw a very different style of light than fresnels.
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Old March 5th, 2003, 10:24 AM   #4
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Ken, I have the Lowel fresnels, or Fren-L as they market them. They are more expensive than the Arri's (here, anyway), but have a few extra nice little features, and a more versatile set of barn doors. The Arri's look cooler, being silver and blue, but the all black Lowel's look more 'pro', for people that care.
I'm not sure what the D2 kit comes with. I put my light kit together seperatly, not as a factory package, and then just bought a case to fit it all. Gels, scrims, Manfrotto light stands, etc...
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Old March 5th, 2003, 10:32 AM   #5
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Thanks very much, Dylan. I didn't look at Lowell's Fren-L's, mainly at Mole-Richardson and Arri. Will give them a look!
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Old May 19th, 2003, 03:54 AM   #6
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Hey Ken, did you ever end up getting the D2 kit? If so, how is it working out for you? I've been seriously considering the D1 kit and I'd like to hear your opinions so far if possible.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 11:57 AM   #7
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I sure did, Brad. In a nutshell:
  • + The quality of light that these Arri's throw can only be described as gorgeous.
  • + The controllability / focusability of the lghts is outstanding.
  • + The fixtures are well-made. Barndoors are solid. Cables are heavy-guage. Heat management is effective. Fixtures are designed with either stand-mounting or rigging in mind.
  • + The stands included with the kit (basically Manfrottos) are also solid and smooth to operate.
  • + The included Chimera soft box is compact and sets-up quickly.
  • + The included scrims and frames are handy.
  • - The top spring clip that holds the scrims and barndoors in place can be a challenge to operate, especially when the lights are still hot. Leather gloves required!
  • - The kit is heavy, weighing-in at nearly 50 lbs.
  • - It can be a bit of a challenge to re-pack the case.
I hope you find this summary helpful. I think you'll like the Arri's.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 12:14 PM   #8
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thanks a lot Ken, that was very helpful. It helps to hear real world experience instead of just spec sheets. I think I'll probably end up getting the D1 because I'd like to have one 150w light and one 300w instead of the two 300w. I figure the 150 could at least be used as a hairlight. I'll be doing this for short film productions.

One more questin if I may. How do you usually set up your 3 point system with that kit? Do you use the 650 inside the Chimera for a key, and the 300w for a fill? I figure it all depends on the situation, just wondering what each light is best suited for, as the Arri site doesn't seem to talk about this.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #9
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Dylan, if I were to show up with some Lowel lights on a professional film shoot, they would kick my ass off the set right away.

Ken, you are right all the way.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #10
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Brad,
It really does all depend on the scene and subject. Standard guidelines might suggest that the big light is normally your key, but in practice this is not always, or even usually, the case.

Interestingly, the Arri kit comes with an instructional brochure, The Arri Lighting Handbook, written by Bill Holshevnikoff. It features many tips on using the lights effectively.

Enjoy!

p.s. Akos, if I showed up on a film set I, too, would get a boot in the caboose even if I had a Freightliner full of Moles. I don't work in the industry. <g>
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Old May 19th, 2003, 01:18 PM   #11
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great thanks Ken! You've been of great assistance this past month in helping me get together all my equipment. I appreciate it.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Akos Szemenyei : Dylan, if I were to show up with some Lowel lights on a professional film shoot, they would kick my ass off the set right away.
-->>>

As dumb a statement as that is, here's a dumber reply.

(Humour)
You'd get kicked off faster with the Arri fresnel's than with the Lowel Fren-L lights, here's why...

1) the Arri's are blue and silver. The Lowel's are black. Everyone knows pro gear is black.

2) the Lowel's have a bigger and more complexe barn door. The impressiveness of your lights is based soley on the size of your barn doors.

3) The Lowel Fren-L's are heavier. The more grips it takes to roll in your gear cases, the more "pro" you are.

4) The Lowel Fren-L's are more expensive than the comparable Arri's (who knows why...) So if you have them, you obviously have a bigger budget, and are more "pro".

5) If in doubt, slap a "Property of Lucasfilms" sticker over the small Lowel logo, and you'd never know who made it.

:)
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Old May 19th, 2003, 03:49 PM   #13
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Well, I am more concerned about the quality of the light, amount of control, and how durable the particular lights in the kit are. I'm less concerned about how "cool" or "pro" they look.

I think it's funny when people get all wrapped up in looking cool instead of getting the right tool for the job. Indeed there is a certain amount of professionalism you want to convey to the crew and cast or whatever, but seriously, who are you trying to impress? The DP? If the DP knows anything about lighting, then showing up on set with an Arri kit isn't going to get you "booted off", unless they have better equipment already...in which case, why are you bringing lights anyway?

I can't imagine when a situation like that could occur where you randomly show up on a set with an Arri or Lowell lighting kit and they would kick you off. If they need the lights, they need the lights. If they have something better already, then they won't need yours. Do you seriously think someone would look at them and say. "Hmmm those are blue, therefore they aren't good." If that's the case then whoever you're talking to has no idea what they're talking about and shouldn't be concerned with the equipment. A good director or DP is going to know that the Arri's will produce a quality light. Maybe not the best, but they aren't going to choose the Lowels becuase of the black casing.

You said "the Arri's are blue and silver. The Lowel's are black. Everyone knows pro gear is black."


So, if I get the Arri kit, and then paint the exteriors black, am I pro now?


You said "The Lowel Fren-L's are heavier. The more grips it takes to roll in your gear cases, the more "pro" you are."

So basically, get the Lowells because they're heavier, though not at all better in quality, even though that means you'll have to hire or feed more crew to lug them around, because that looks "more pro". Plus, according to many posts around here, the stands that come with the Lowel kits are too flimsy.

Doesn't make sense to me.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 03:57 PM   #14
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I think Dylan was pulling your leg, Brad. Many of us here have one longer leg due to Dylan.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #15
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oh haha!
I misred that first part at the top. Sorry bout that Dylan. :)
(though it appears that is how some people really do make their decisions in this field).
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