Lowel Rifa Vs Arri 650 w/ Softbox - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
Thanks everyone for all the great info, gives me a lot to consider.

I basically want a well made, softbox kit that can be used in many beginner DV situations. I will most likely will NOT be travailing.

Currently I have an Arri 650 for a hard light, and an Arri 150 for hair / back light, both with avenger stands (A630B 10'8", and A625B 7' 10").

Bill, taking this into consideration what softbox kit would you buy to add soft light to my existing lights? (does not have to be the Rifa or the Arri 650 w/ soft box! =))

Oliver.

Price these out.

The Rifa - self contained, lightweight, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. Not particularly robust. I'd expect it's service life to be 3-10 years in the hands of someone careful. 1-2 years in a rental house.(Which is why they don't typically use them!) Your mileage may vary widely! You're trading flexibility (the Rifa only does ONE thing, but does it well) for convenience. Nothing wrong with that. Screw up any part of it (lamp excluded) and you need to replace ALL of it.

You already have the Arri 650. It's service life is essentially unlimited since with even decent care, it should still be in service 25 years from now. Photoflex makes a series of longer softboxes that fill better with a fresnel. That would be a cheap flexible softlight combo working with what you already have. Screw up a part of the system and you just replace that part - not the whole thing. Downside? If you're using the 650 as a softbox filler, it's not available to do something else.

Buy a Tota light, a Chimera small or medium, and a 40 degree fabric grid. It's lightweight, travels well, relatively inexpensive, and would be the softbox equivelent of your Arri in that you should expect that with minimal care - it to still be working in 25 years. Same repairability as the Arri system.

So the question is how serious are you about video? How long do you need your equipment to last? Do you want to buy stuff ONCE and use them forever or to buy "starter gear" now and move up in a few years?

That's your decision. Each solution is defensible. Each will produce soft ligthing for interviews. Each has accessories available to help you do better lighting.

Make your choice, pay the bill.

Good luck.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Buy a Tota light, a Chimera small or medium, and a 40 degree fabric grid. It's lightweight, travels well, relatively inexpensive, and would be the softbox equivelent of your Arri in that you should expect that with minimal care - it to still be working in 25 years. Same repairability as the Arri system.
Could you post some B&H links to these items?

Thanks for the info Bill.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #18
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I just setup the Tota-Chimera combo. Nino is right. It's a great softbox. Very high quality. I feel it will take wear an tear.

You can get these Tota's cheap on eBay:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._120_240V.html

I went with this speed ring but there are others. The main thing is that this ring puts the weight of the Chimera on the stand and not the light. That means you can pull the Tota out of the softbox without changing anything.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...for_Video.html

This is the Chimera:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ro_Plus_1.html

As for reflectors, I'm a fan of the Photoflex frame system. The round ones are flimsy and get caught in the wind and can be hard to control handheld. THe frame system gives you alot of coverage. I use it in the studio and in the field.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #19
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I'm torn between these two soft box combos.

If you guys HAD to choose, which combo would you pick? 1 or 2.



Combo 1:
Arri 650 Watt Plus Fresnel
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._240V_AC_.html

Photoflex CineDome Softbox, Silver Interior - Medium - 24x32"
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=197002&is=REG

Photoflex Speed Ring
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=214774&is=REG




Combo 2:
Lowel Tota-Light (It uses bulbs from 750 to 300 watts )
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._120_240V.html

Chimera Video Pro Plus 1 Softbox X-Small - 16x22"
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ro_Plus_1.html

Chimera Speed Ring
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...for_Video.html
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Old July 29th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
I'm torn between these two soft box combos....
Combo 1:
Arri 650 Watt Plus Fresnel...

Combo 2:
Lowel Tota-Light (It uses bulbs from 750 to 300 watts )...
I think the question is do you want another fresnel for out-of-the-box lighting?

The Arri 650 is a nice fresnel, and can do nice focus/defocus, doesn't splash all over the place, useful for all kinds of things besides softbox work.

The Lowel Tota is amazingly small for the watts delivered, but, once it's out of the softbox it is a bare-bulb fixture, suitable for use as a hard broad, or, to reflect off ceiling or foamcor, etc. In all circumstances it is pretty hard to control when it is out of the soft box, but, there are uses for a broad.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 12:37 AM   #21
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so combo 2 for Seth
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #22
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so combo 2 for Seth
Um.. no... I'd only go for combo 2 if the Tota never comes out of the soft box, or, if I had a specific application for a bare-bulb broad.

But I don't - I have a Tota and it rarely gets used.

I'm a huge fan of the Rifa and have 2 Rifa 55, but, I travel a lot for interviews and therefore sacrifice durability so that I can get quick setup and light weight for air travel.

I happen to like the Arri 650 a lot, it's a fine fresnel and a very versatile instrument.

We're no longer talking about the quality of the soft light, but about the other reasons that you would buy a fresnel or broad. Your mileage definitely varies on this!
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Old July 30th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #23
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Can I offer a bit of advice born of YEARS in this business?

Either package will do fine. Really.

However, in my experience, what WILL cause problems along the way is the kind of indecisiveness that this thread is starting to reflect.

Seriously.

One of the MOST valuable skills that someone going into the video industry can posess is the ability to judge alternatives and make the best decision they can - and then live with it - "perfect" or not.

Look at it this way. Two beginners are looking for a basic softbox kit.

Shooter A picks quickly on "decision day one", (but picks a solution that's somewhat less than perfect!) She spends a month learning the capabilities and noticing the limitations of that particular light - but STILL gets out there and gets a month of practical experience at lighting and shooting interviews.

Shooter B takes the same month researching the subject to death - and ends up not making the purchase until day 31.

Score at the end? One shooter with 30 days practical experience and one with NONE.

Which shooter would you hire?

I know the desire to choose perfectly every time is tempting. But you won't. No one does. Resist the trap.

The formula for success is often less about perfection then it is about momentum.

Keep moving FORWARD. Make the choice. Move on to the next one.

FWIW.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 03:39 AM   #24
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The formula for success is often less about perfection than it is about momentum.
FWIW.
That's not bad.. in fact it's pretty good.. I think I'll steal that!
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