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

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 20th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
Lowel Rifa Vs Arri 650 w/ Softbox

Which would be the better soft box solution?

Lowel Rifa-Lite 66 Tungsten Light Kit
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...6_1_Light.html

or Build this Combo:
Arri 650
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=72020&is=REG
Soft box
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=257337&is=REG
Speed Ring
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=13668&is=REG

Any and all options welcome. Maybe some of you have used both and have a preference.
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
Any and all options welcome. Maybe some of you have used both and have a preference.
I've used both, and while I like the rifa light, (it's very easy to setup/teardown/store) it's not as flexible as getting an Arri. With the Rifa, you are only going to get soft light. With the Arri, you can use it with the Chimera, or bounce it off a bounce board, or use it as a hard light. Far more flexible! My other suggestion would be looking at getting a Mole Richardson Baby 1k. You can put either a 1k, 750, or, I believe, a 500 watt lamp. I say that because there are times when I really NEED a 1k softlight, and then there's times I only need 500 watts.

just my two cents,

Matthew
Matthew Rogers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 12:55 AM   #3
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
The Lowell Rifa is very portable and sets up in a snap compared to the Arri 650 + Softbox, but you can't really go wrong with either one. I ended up replacing my Rifas with 2x Arri 650s and some frame panels. For me, it's a more flexible kit. YMMV.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 03:05 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Rogers View Post
My other suggestion would be looking at getting a Mole Richardson Baby 1k. You can put either a 1k, 750, or, I believe, a 500 watt lamp. I say that because there are times when I really NEED a 1k softlight, and then there's times I only need 500 watts.
This with a softbox?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...nel_Light.html
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 08:01 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa-Orlando, FL
Posts: 124
Fresnels and the standard Chimera is not your ideal combination. The softbox is too shallow and even when the light is at its widest setting it will give you a hot spot.
If you have to use Fresnels Chimera makes the Daylight Junior. This is a deeper (and more expensive) softbox. http://www.chimeralighting.com/produ...fm?productid=3
Also keep in mind that the outputs of Fresnels lights are considerably lower than the equivalent of open face light of the same wattage, if you must use fresnels get at least a 1K. Open face lights are the best sources for softboxes.

I own several Chimeras and Rifas, they both have their own distinctive advantages.

Lowel Rifa has been my favorite for years, particularly when I travel. Itís basically the same size as a Chimera but the light is built in so its one less thing that I have to carry. Being a bare bulb in the center of the light it gives an even light. It's much faster to set-up and also much lighter and easier to fly-it on a boom.

Lowe just released their new generation Rifa EXchange light. Itís the standard design on the outside but it has interchangeable light sources that include the standard tungsten or daylight fluorescent bulbs.
http://www.lowel.com/download/Rifa_exBrochure4-07v3.pdf
Iíve seen the light at NAB this year and it was quite impressive. When using the fluorescent bulbs itís excellent with the front diffusion screen or without it.

The only disadvantage that I have encountered with a Rifas is that itís dedicated to its own light sources. I often use HMI lights with softboxes and in that case I have to go back to my Chimeras.

If you are looking for higher output then you can't beat a 1K open face light with a Small Chimera box.
__________________
NinoMedia Productions - EFPLighting.com Advanced Lighting and Gripping Workshops
Nino Giannotti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 01:27 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
Seems the Rifa is the way to go so far.
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 03:08 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Oliver,

Not really. You're getting GREAT perspectives from a variety of users.

The key is that every shooter has different needs and different working styles.

If you're like Gino with a thriving professional practice and you'll be facing a variety of shooting locations, styles, and significant TRAVEL, you'll have need for both of these options - and many more.

If you're starting out you need to focus on the kind of shooting that you're MOST LIKELY to do and be paid for in the first few years. Having a "travel ready" light kit is excellent. Unless you don't TRAVEL in the next few years!!! And then you've probably selected lights based on the wrong criteria - and the same money could have bought you something that would work much better for what you really need to do.

If I was planning on shooting locally - and wasn't sure what kind of work I'd be doing - I'd value flexibility and ruggedness over portability.

Conversely, if I signed a client with stores in 10 states, I'd make nearly ALL my buying decisions based on what travels well.

The very REASON that there are all these lighting choices (and way more!) is that there is no single light that does everything well. Period.

A perfect example is Gino's explanation of the 650-fresnel/standard softbox limitation. The Chimara small with a Tota or other open face light is a SUPERB soft box (even better with a fabric grid!). But that same Tota - while superb for filling a softbox and/or blasting ceiling reflected light into a medium room for a quick wide shot is nearly useless for a dozen other common tasks. The fresnel that is WONDERFUL for throwing a nice quality light a long distance while remaining very "barn door" controllable - doesn't fill a standard soft box as well as an open face. The "deep" softboxes that do work well with fresnel's are typically front heavy, need beefier stands and tilt-o-laters - and are not nearly as light efficient - so that 650 won't give you near as much light at a given distance.

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs. Again, that's why you have LOTS of choices, and the experienced gaffer understands not just a single light's strengths and weaknesses, but the strengths and weaknesses of many combinations.

You MUST match the lights you buy with what you need to do. Further, you should buy the lights FIRST that you need to use most often.

And that will ALWAYS start with what kind of shooting you expect to do the most. My advice is buy for that - rent the rest until you know more about what you'll be PAID to do in the future.

Good luck.

Last edited by Bill Davis; July 21st, 2007 at 03:10 PM. Reason: added a word for clarity
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 03:56 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
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 Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 07:49 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nino Giannotti View Post
If you have to use Fresnels Chimera makes the Daylight Junior. This is a deeper (and more expensive) softbox.
Also keep in mind that the outputs of Fresnels lights are considerably lower than the equivalent of open face light of the same wattage, if you must use fresnels get at least a 1K. Open face lights are the best sources for softboxes.
Nino, your talking about something like this?

Arri Arrilite 1000 Watt Focusing Flood Light
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...cus_Flood.html
Chimera Daylight Junior Plus Softbox
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ht_Junior.html
Avenger A630B
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ght_Stand.html

p.s. why do you say "If you have to use Fresnels" , "If you must use fresnels"
I get the feeling you don't like them. =)
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2007, 10:22 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Fresnels are not the first/best choice for souce light in a softbox - hence the phrase 'if you must' - at least that's my take on it.

Since you already have an ari 650 and an ari 150, then sure, why not get a Rifa? That way you'll have it fairly well covered to start. You get also find a DP light (1000w) and throw a soft box on the front of it. Giving you a different option.

But it sounds like you need a soft box solution to round out your kit. Go for the Rifa.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2007, 03:14 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
But it sounds like you need a soft box solution to round out your kit. Go for the Rifa.
Thanks Richard, I will prob do that.

I'm also getting a Reflector kit with my order. What do you think of this?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=241060&is=REG


Thanks again for everyones help on this, this forum is super helpful.
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2007, 01:54 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
...I'm also getting a Reflector kit with my order. What do you think of this?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=241060&is=REG...
I go super light in a suitcase kit with 2 Rifa 55... but I always have a 5-way reflector with me, and it probably gets used more than the 2nd Rifa.

If you're shooting outside, a sand or water bag or two can be a handy accessory, the reflector catches a lot of wind, it doesn't take much to blow it over.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2007, 04:30 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Posts: 7
I am extremely budget limited, and I am curious if anyone here has at some
point attempted making soft boxes. I have a Lowel DP light that I would like to
make one for. It occured to me that the 'glass fabric' used for the diffuser is
probably nothing other than common fiberglass cloth available at marine outfitters. That would only leave me finding a source for the silver reflective material of the box itself. I live in Seattle, and it would not be hard to find a source for the 'bones' of the box, since wands like that are used in the construction of back packing tents, and we have lots of those type of raw material stores here. So if I could find a source for the material which is black
on one side, silver reflective on the other, I could actually make a go at it.

Would be interested in hearing your comments about this.

Cheers,

Jerrold
Jerrold Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2007, 05:17 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 522
Jerrold, I didn't fully read these but they might help you get started.

http://www.studiolighting.net/foam-c...emade-softbox/

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...58/ai_12377687

http://www.deviantart.com/view/13594995/

http://thehowzone.com/how/Photo-Softbox/2
Oliver Darden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2007, 12:50 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 28
agree with most above...

i own both set-ups and both are great lights. the arri with a lens is more flexible. i probably like the "look" of the rifa a little better, and it is probably a little brighter. one the other hand, the arri is definitely a more "professional use" light. they are extremely well built, and designed to last for many years. the lowels are a little more prone to wear and tear.

one thing to think about. the arri is a heavier, chunkier light. the lowel folds very compact and light. i find myself using my arris more as "case lights" that live in a box and i carry the box around. the rifas, i can throw in a backpack with a stand and a cable and carry around all day. due to the small form and weight, they are a perfect carry-on light for travel.
Andrew Buchanan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:23 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network